Monthly Archives: June 2011

Latest on Discharge of a Firearm within Town Limits

Here is the Garner PD press release on the recent shooting incident.

It’s been a crazy day. I’ve received emails from the Town Council, had a long sit down conversation with the Town Manager in his office, been interviewed by NBC17’s Jackie Faye, and just got a phone call from the Mayor.

I’m still a little upset about the poor reportage out of NBC17 in the original report. I am, however, pretty proud of the Garner Town government. They’ve been really polite and helpful throughout. I will still be at the Town Council meeting on July 5th, but I’ll be there to thank them for how well they have handled the situation.

UPDATE: The video of me getting interviewed is posted here

NC Concealed Handgun Permits up – Crime is down

Every time we try to remove some of the unwarranted restrictions on where and when we may carry firearms, we are warned that “blood will run in the streets.” It’s Dodge City all over again in every newspaper. Yet what happened here in North Carolina? The last official released number of active CHPs in the State was June 30, 2010, at 195,553 active Concealed Handgun Permits. The last time I got to look at the current number of permits that number had grown to over 224,000. So we should see some serious blood running in the streets, right?
Umm. Wait. Aren’t more guns supposed to lead to more crime? Aren’t more concealed carriers supposed to lead to more shootouts over parking spots?
I don’t think that criminals are turning away from crime solely because people like me carry a gun. There are probably many more factors here than the simple cause and effect. Whatever the criminals are doing, there is one certain thing about this increase in Concealed Handgun Permits. More guns haven’t led to more crime, either violent or otherwise.

My letter to the Garner Town Council

Further UPDATE: Read the Garner PD press release here:

UPDATE: 6-30-11 12:36pm: I just received this email from Hardin Watkins, the Town Manager of Garner. Please take the time to read his response:

Mr. Sorrentino-
Thank you for your message regarding the incident on Nallane Drive here in Garner yesterday.   I’m responding on behalf of the Town of Garner and our elected officials that received your message earlier today.
There are a number of details that have been left out of the reports on NBC 17.
The Town has a self-defense clause in our Ordinance. Section 18-1(d) states: “The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the lawful discharge of a firearm by any lawful officer in the discharge of his duty or by any person in the lawful defense of persons and property.” 
At this time, the police investigation seems to indicate that Mr. Whitaker was not shooting in self defense. 
Our Police Department is acting appropriately.  The NBC 17 report and some Facebook posts make some assumptions/statements without having all of the facts of the case.
The key points that I’m able to share at this time are:
1) The Town has a self-defense clause in our Ordinance;
2) All questions about the investigation into this case should be directed to the Police Department – Lt. Wayne Moore is the Department’s public information officer.
Please bear with us as we work on the investigation.  The Town will share information at the point in time that the investigation is complete.
-Hardin
Hardin Watkins
Town Manager
Town of Garner, NC

===========================================================================

I have sent the following email to the entire Town Council of Garner, NC.

Dear Mr Mayor, Madam Mayor Pro-Tem, and Town Councilors,
I am writing you to express my shock and outrage that a citizen of Garner was cited today for “discharge of a firearm within town limits.” According to NBC17, Perry Whitaker used a shotgun in defense of his home and his life after being shot at by two intruders in his house.
This ordinance apparently does not have an exception for self defense, just an exception for law enforcement officers. In addition to being completely unacceptable, it is also unconstitutional. DC vs. Heller established that a person has a fundamental right to own a pistol in his home for self defense. McDonald established that this right is enforceable on States and localities. It would be impossible to argue that a person has a right to own a gun (in this case a shotgun) for self defense, but does not have the right to shoot that gun in self defense.
I will be attending the next Town Council meeting on July 5th, and I intend to speak on this topic. I will expect that the Town Council will introduce a bill to modify this ordinance to make a clear exception for self defense. I will also expect to hear that the Council has explained to the Chief of Police that it is totally unacceptable to cite anyone in Garner for defending him or herself with a firearm.
I have blogged about this incident, and I will blog about your future actions in this case. I look forward to reporting that you have taken immediate steps to reform this foolish ordinance and rescind the totally unwarranted citation issued to Mr. Whitaker
Respectfully,
Sean D Sorrentino
An NC Gun Blog
www.ncguns.blogspot.com
I am very pleased that I was able to express myself calmly and without recourse to foul language.

I have removed the previously posted email addresses.

The Town of Garner, NC says NO to self defense (*Video*)

Further UPDATE: Read the Garner PD press release HERE

UPDATE: 6-30-11 12:36pm: I just received this email from Hardin Watkins, the Town Manager of Garner. Please take the time to read his response:

Mr. Sorrentino-
Thank you for your message regarding the incident on Nallane Drive here in Garner yesterday.   I’m responding on behalf of the Town of Garner and our elected officials that received your message earlier today.
There are a number of details that have been left out of the reports on NBC 17.
The Town has a self-defense clause in our Ordinance. Section 18-1(d) states: “The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the lawful discharge of a firearm by any lawful officer in the discharge of his duty or by any person in the lawful defense of persons and property.” 
At this time, the police investigation seems to indicate that Mr. Whitaker was not shooting in self defense. 
Our Police Department is acting appropriately.  The NBC 17 report and some Facebook posts make some assumptions/statements without having all of the facts of the case.
The key points that I’m able to share at this time are:
1) The Town has a self-defense clause in our Ordinance;
2) All questions about the investigation into this case should be directed to the Police Department – Lt. Wayne Moore is the Department’s public information officer.
Please bear with us as we work on the investigation.  The Town will share information at the point in time that the investigation is complete.
-Hardin
Hardin Watkins
Town Manager
Town of Garner, NC

======================================================================

UPDATE 6-30-11 11:45 AM:
I have just spoken to the Town Manager, Hardin Watkins in his office. There is an exception in the Town ordinances for defense of self and property. Mr. Watkins confirms the email I was sent by City Councilman Gra Singleton.

Section 18-1 (d) states:” The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the lawful discharge of a firearm by any lawful officer in the discharge of his duty or by any person in the lawful defense of persons and property.”

There is more to this story than I can currently report. I will update later, in this post and as a separate post, as to the particulars as they are officially released. The bottom line appears to be that the reporter was incorrect when he reported that there is no self defense section. I have left the email addresses below the post, but I have blacked them out. Highlight them to read. Just don’t send them any emails unless it is to thank the Town for being polite and helpful to a blogger who turned up in their offices demanding answers.

More will be released later.

================================================================================
Can you explain this? There is a town ordinance that makes it illegal to discharge a firearm within the town limits of Garner. Unless you are a police officer. Apparently that even includes self defense.
I am trying to express my feelings about this without using a string of profanity.
I am having trouble coming up with anything to say that will not cause my mother to drive 12 hours to wash out my keyboard with soap. You can bet that I will be at the next town meeting demanding that this unconstitutional infringement on my right to self defense be immediately repealed.
I will try to express myself in that town meeting without screaming obscenities at the Town Council.
No promises, though.

============================================================================

Read the UPDATE above the post before sending any emails to the Town.

UPDATE: Town Meeting July 5th at 7PM.


Town of Garner
900 Seventh Ave.
Garner, NC 27529



I have removed the previously posted email addresses. I will still be attending the Town Meeting, though I now intend to say thank you to the Town Council and their administrative staff for their professional handling of this sitution

Colin Goddard on UNC Chapel Hill’s radio

Celebrity victim, Colin Goddard, spent a few minutes speaking with Dr. Adam Goldstein and Dr. Cristy Page of WCHL’s Your Health radio show.
As is usual, he shaded the truth enough to allow the uneducated (at least about firearms) radio hosts to make some idiotic statements. The male host didn’t know that there “is this subculture of unregulated gun shows.” He went on to totally misrepresent the judge’s ruling on the VA Tech shooter.
Go and listen to the show (at least minutes 10-32, the section Colin is on) and then leave them a comment. If enough people show up and let them know that they are totally wrong, they may listen. At least they will think twice before spouting off about things they don’t understand. Ask them when they plan on having a guest on who disagrees with Colin.
I left them a comment and I am waiting for it to emerge from moderation. They need to hear from us or they will continue to air only one side of the gun-rights debate.

Justice, self service

In a tragic story, a 23 year old man was accidentally killed when he shot himself in Sanford on Sunday.
This is tragic, and I assume that even now the gun grabbers as NCGV are firing up their Twitter machine in hopes of capitalizing on the story. Except for one problem. It appears that  our “victim” was not permitted to own a weapon due to the fact that he was a multiple felon.
I just got off the phone with Captain Jeff Johnson of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. He confirms that this is the same person. The weapon was a .22 caliber semi-auto pistol, and the “victim” did not get the pistol legally.


What would a person convicted of drug charges, felony larceny, Breaking and Entering, and carrying a concealed weapon need with a gun? Nothing good. I guess the only good news here is that he managed to shoot himself before he shot anyone else.

Mother Jones whistles past the graveyard

Now we know why the Brady Campaign exists with absolutely no grass roots support. They have a captive media willing to uncritically parrot their insane rantings.
Almost all. Though only one has made it to the Supreme Court, and McDonald won. In attempting to top the “Guns in Bars!!!111eleventy!” rhetoric, Mother Jones scribe  Stephanie Mencimer posts this entry,
Umm, no. What the law currently says is that any tin pot dictator of a town manager in North Carolina can, for basically any reason, declare a state of emergency that bans possession of a firearm outside the home. Remember those clowns in King, NC who banned guns (and alcohol sales) due to a snowstorm? Bateman v. Perdue is the case. And the litigator? Gura, Alan Gura. The same guy who beat both DC and Chicago like a drum.
If you want to read the Brady Campaign PDF, there’s a link to it on Mother Jones. I’m not linking to those clowns. I am looking forward to watching them cry when the slowly grinding wheels of justice catch up with their anti-rights agenda. Being on the wrong side of history is like that.

Hey wait a minute, he’s not allowed to have a gun!

Since we know that the NICS check and all the other gun control laws are vitally important in stopping gun crimes, this story can’t be true.
The Sheriff’s Office has a suspect, and a warrant has been issued for one count of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. There’s only one problem. The suspect? He’s a felon, and everyone knows that felons can’t buy guns! Check out his conviction on 7-17-07. He was convicted of “Inmate Possessing a Weapon.” Now if they can’t keep weapons away from prisoners, how exactly do they think they will keep them away from free people?
It’s almost like this elaborate gun control scheme doesn’t actually work!

What do I do then, Mommy?

There’s something uniquely horrifying about a person who will harm a child. Of all the things that a person can do, child sexual assault is considered so terrible that even hardened criminals will attack child molesters.
The person arrested appears to be this person. He’s a multiple felon who specializes in theft of one sort or another, though he was also convicted of Discharge of a Firearm.
The child asks a poignant question.
Well, I’d answer it like this.
Photo by Oleg Volk

Another stupid fix for a problem that is already solved

This is totally off the normal topic of guns, and North Carolina gun politics, but I read this story today and I have to offer my opinion.
The French are stupid. In addition to surrendering to basically everyone since Charles Martel defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours, they have conducted a long term campaign to cause numbness and pain to the nether regions of bicycle riders. Yes, it’s true. That stupid diamond shaped bicycle that should have been banned as unsafe at any speed in the early 20th Century has been retained as a torture device for your private parts solely to please the world cycling federation, the UCI.
Have you noticed that no matter how high tech the bikes are in the Tour de France, they still look basically like a standard diamond frame bike? That’s because the UCI bowed to the pressure of the manufacturers of “standard” bicycles in 1934 and banned a much better solution, a pedal powered two wheeled machine that was slaughtering them in bike races. To this day, these bikes have been banned in competition.
Now we have people who can point to scientific evidence that the standard seat on a diamond frame bike causes numbness, pain, and “performance issues.”
Robert Brown is an officer in the Seattle Police Department’s bicycle patrol, which lacks the sleek machines and tight jerseys of the Tour de France. But Mr. Brown has something that could be more important to both male and female cyclists: a no-nose saddle.
Like most cyclists, Mr. Brown at first didn’t see any need to switch from the traditional saddle on the mountain bike he’d been riding full time for five years on the force. When researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Safety offered new noseless saddles intended to prevent erectile dysfunction, he quickly told his supervisor, “No problems here!”
But then, after trying the new saddle, he felt the difference. His weight rested on his pelvic bones instead of the crotch area, which formerly pressed against the saddle’s nose. During his sleep, when he wore a monitor, the measure known as “percent of time erect” increased to 28 percent from 18 percent.
  
Oh, wow. So they took a bike seat and cut the nose off it. This is the latest in a long line of seat modifications touted to minimize the damage caused by the unnatural and unsafe position caused by sitting on a diamond frame bike. There is a much better solution available.
As soon as you guys decide that you aren’t going to be the next Lance Armstrong, maybe you should consider riding a bike that owes its design considerations to something other than a flawed ban from a European bicycle racing governing body. And yes, you can finally have a bicycle seat that has room for your entire butt.