Category Archives: Gun rights philosophy

Five years in prison for felons in possession?

I got a nice email today from a reader.

I read your blog regularly. I’d like your thoughts on trying to pass legislation for a mandatory 5 year prison sentence for the charge of convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

I’d like to see it with no pleading out or dropping the charge for a plea to other crime/charge. Basically, if your a felon and you’re in possession of a firearm, guaranteed 5 years in the big house…

Do you think this would get traction in the legislature? Especially with the shooting of the soccer player in his hotel room by a felon in possession of a firearm in the next room.

I’m tired of seeing in the police blotter of my local Goldsboro paper, felons getting probation for this charge or it being dropped completely for a plea deal. Let me know.

Oh, keep up the good work that your doing.

Thank You
Reader *G*  (Name redacted for privacy)

I feel your pain, Reader *G*. This is the response I sent him.

Reader *G*,
Thanks for your kind words.

Here’s the problem. There already is a law that mandates 5 years, no parole, for Felon in Possession. It’s a Federal law. And it’s not really that common to see it prosecuted.

I have a couple of problems with this approach. If we are going to make it a crime for people convicted of most felonies (which are defined at the Federal level as “a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year”) we should set and enforce strict penalties. I am tired of it being dropped as plea bargains and treated as a fairly minor crime. If we plan on continuing to treat convicted people as criminals for the rest of their lives, then we should set and maintain extremely strict punishments.

Here’s the issue with that. I don’t think we should continue to punish criminals beyond the term of their sentence. If someone has been ruled “safe enough to release into the public,” then we should release them entirely. Let them vote, buy guns, serve on juries, whatever they like. I am very concerned that we keep punishing people far beyond the term for which they were sentenced. We should look very seriously into some sort of legal “rehabilitation” to steal a Soviet word and use it. We need a mechanism where we look at former criminals and restore full citizenship rights to as many of them as we can. Either that, or we need to set strict time limits on how long convicts can have their citizenship rights suspended.

I am not a fan of “background checks” for possession or carry of a firearm. I resent the fact that I have to prove my fitness to exercise a fundamental Constitutional right. I am not in jail, nor prison, nor in a mental ward. By definition I am a free man. I should not have to seek a permit from the government to speak, print a newspaper, go to church, buy or carry a gun, or any other civil right. But we have a system where it is considered normal that someone will call the FBI to make sure I’m not a criminal or a crazy before I buy a gun. That’s wrong.

Any person who cannot be trusted with a gun cannot be trusted without a custodian. If he cannot be trusted with a gun, he cannot be trusted with a kitchen knife, gasoline, matches, or the contents of the cupboard under the sink. All those items are dangerous yet freely available to anyone who wants to buy them without a background check or really, questions of any kind. And no one bats an eye. A person released from prison for the worst possible violent crimes can go down to a car dealership, hand them money, and climb into a supercharged sportscar and blast down the highway at triple digit speeds and at no time will anyone check his criminal history. He’s far more dangerous doing something like that than mere possession of a firearm. Yet only my gun excites any consternation? That’s insane.

We need to, as best we can, determine who is a dangerous person and lock them up. If they commit crimes, put them in prison. If they are just insane, put them in mental hospitals. And we need to leave everyone else alone.

I hope that you listen to my podcast, Gunblog VarietyCast. I do a Felons Behaving Badly segment each week during the podcast, same as I do on the blog. This coming podcast, Episode 14, I will be talking about the killing of Nathan Clark, the 13 year old soccer player just last week. I will have some very pointed things to say about a “justice” system that frees a man who has 28 felony convictions.

I hope you’ll check it out.


We need to reform our criminal justice system. We treat criminals too leniently which makes more honest citizens into victims. We treat honest citizens like possible criminals because we aren’t willing to lock up the dangerous people permanently. And the resulting carnage is used by the anti-liberty forces to take away all of our rights.

Sometimes the good guy with a gun uses has baton instead

A 14 year old with a butcher’s knife and a clown mask inside a middle school cafeteria is not something to be taken lightly. But one School Resource Officer stopped the threat.

A school resource officer is speaking out for the first time after he was deemed a hero for stopping a middle school student armed with a clown mask and two butcher knifes.

“It didn’t really sink in until it was over with,” Deputy Danny Lindley told WBTV.

The incident happened Tuesday morning at West Rowan Middle School in Salisbury.

Investigators say the student started waving a butcher knife ‘wildly in the air’ while wearing a clown mask. It happened in the school’s cafeteria.

That’s when Lindley found the 14-year-old student waving a 12-inch butcher knife.

I find it interesting what the deputy said about his choice in weapons.

Wednesday morning, Lindley said he could have shot the teen, but decided to use a less lethal method to stop him.

“A person with a knife, we’re basically trained that we can use up to and including deadly force,” Lindley added. “I felt that since there were no other children around him and no one was in immediate danger that I would start at the lower end of the use of force continuum which would be the asp baton.”

A gutsy choice, as a butcher knife is just as sharp in the hands of a 14 year old as it is in the hands of an adult.

This deputy showed up with several choices. He had his fists, his baton, and his gun. He might have had pepper spray as well. He had a choice and he selected the baton and won. What would you have been allowed to use? What choices would you have been permitted? What choices would the staff of that school been allowed had there been no School Resource Officer available to take the risk for them?

Sadly, that’s not a rhetorical question.

School officials say it shows the importance of the School Resource Officer program in middle schools. Those positions had been eliminated in Rowan County, but were brought back after grant money was found to fund the positions.

Resource Officers in Rowan-Salisbury middle schools were restored in March of this year.

Anyone want to bet that the elementary schools don’t have School Resource Officers? Who would be there to stop an adult from taking a knife to any one of the elementary schools and carving up the staff and students until the police showed up?

We need a better system than one that expects school staff to die as human shields until the authorized forcible response unit manages to arrive.

When you announce that all fairgoers are disarmed…

When you announce that all fairgoers are disarmed, you should not be surprised when that attracts criminals.

Raleigh police are searching for two armed men who robbed two people at gunpoint late Saturday…

Police say the victims were walking to their vehicles after returning from the North Carolina State Fair around 11:30 p.m. when the armed men approached them and stole their wallets. 

Well what did Troxler expect? He made absolutely sure that everyone and their criminal brother knew that anyone coming out of the fair gates was disarmed for the robbers’ convenience.

How would it have been different if the announcement was “Any fairgoer might be carrying a gun…”? Would criminals be so quick to rob a group of people they knew had a possibility of being concealed carriers?

Disarming people makes them easier targets. Disarming them and then telling the whole world that they are unable to defend themselves attracts criminals. This is why I demanded my free armed escort to my car on the day I visited the fair.

For background on the State Fair Gun Ban, check out GRNC’s alerts on the subject.


GRNC Alert 10-13-14: Judge in State Fair Case Legislates From Bench

GRNC Alert 10-24-14: Troxler Lies about Fair Security

And here’s a short video I took showing the Security Theater at the State Fair.

They deny your right to defend yourself and then don’t even do a good job pretending to provide security.

What’s driving Durham crime increase?

Gang warfare, says the police.

The shootings that drove early numbers up were largely due to a feud between two factions of the same gang, according to police: likely a power struggle that led to a series of retaliatory shootings.

“What I think most people would be shocked to hear is that this violence, most of it, was Bloods shooting at Bloods and fighting amongst themselves,” Smith said.

The story says that “gang involved incidents” account for just 7% of overall violent crime in Durham, which is odd since the FBI reports that

Gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90 percent in several others, according to NGIC analysis

I think this results from a difference in definitions. If one limits “Gang Related Activity” to just incidents of one gang going after another, or intra-gang conflicts, then the lower number makes sense. The real death toll comes from drug related killings which are certainly gang related, but not necessarily gang warfare.

An important note. It’s clearly not the increase in Concealed Handgun Permits causing the problem. It’s the same people that were always causing the problem, the criminals.

And he’ll be back on the street in no time at all

Police charged him with Trespassing on School Property, Possession of a Weapon on School Property, and Disorderly Conduct.

“I wanted to do something for all the children that have ever been sold into sex slavery and get out on a stage with a motherf***ing ax and a f***ing toothpick of a f***ing knife, my katana, and just lay everything down,” Kirk Cowart told in a rambling jailhouse interview hours after police arrested him for sneaking into a Virginia Beach high school with a hatchet.

Workers at Salem High School discovered Cowart on the auditorium stage. Police said he likely entered the school while the cafeteria was accepting an early-morning delivery on Thursday.

Watch the video Click through and watch the video and you can see that he’s completely nuts. (Video removed because it autoplays, go to link)

Here’s the thing. His charges are all misdemeanors in North Carolina and are probably misdemeanors in Virginia as well. They might get him a bit of help, but the minute he’s determined to be no longer an immediate threat to himself or others, he’s back out on the street.

Cowart’s father told WTKR his son suffers from mental illness and lives in his own imaginary world.

The problem is that his imaginary world intersects with our real world, and no matter how loony tunes this guy is, smacking someone upside the head with a hatchet is going to cause real effects in the real world.

There is no earthly reason that this guy should be free to roam the world. He should be in a nice safe place where he’s carefully monitored. It isn’t fair to us and it isn’t fair to him to ignore his problem and hope that he never kills someone or himself.

This guy is a prime example of why David Codrea is right about background checks. A person who shouldn’t have a gun shouldn’t have a hatchet either. Nor gasoline, matches, kitchen knives, or the contents of the cupboard under the sink. Anyone who cannot be trusted WITH a firearm cannot be trusted WITHOUT a custodian.

The anti-gun fanatics will congratulate themselves for making sure that Virginia bans him from having guns yet they will ignore the fact he has access to many other dangerous items. They won’t care that in 6 months this guy will be roaming around free, with deadly weapons as close as the nearest kitchen knife block. They won’t object to him wandering down to the local Wal-Mart to pick up a 5 gallon gas can. But they’ll cheerfully support a law that makes it illegal for me to loan my gun to a friend.

That should tell you what their real agenda is.

#NRA’s Billy Johnson imagines a world where guns were treated like other rights Gun control fanatics freak out

I’ve long thought that the bulk of anti-gun activists are emotionally challenged individuals. It appears that they are mentally challenged as well. How else do you explain the virulent reaction to what is really an innocuous video?





Oh dear! What did the NRA say now? Are children going to be forced to carry AR-15s in class? Are we finally becoming Margaret Atwood’s totalitarian Christianist theocracy, with children being forced to be the revolutionary vanguard?

Well, not exactly. It seems that Billy Johnson, of NRA News and Amidst The Noise has asked us a simple question. Why does US “gun policy” start from the  strange position of assuming that it is a good government position to limit access to a fundamental Constitutional right? Billy asks why guns aren’t treated like every other thing our government calls a right.

Watch the video and see for yourself.

You see the part where he says we should force all children to carry guns at school? Me neither.

Billy asks some good questions. Whenever something is considered a “Right” by our government, the Left goes out of their way to insist that the government not only allow people that right, but pay for it. Or force others to pay for it. Education? It’s a “Right” and so schools are free. We’ll leave aside for now the discussion of what is and is not a right. Go talk with Kevin Baker if you want to know the difference between a “Right” and “something that people have decided is important and so try to call a ‘Right’ but actually isn’t.”

Billy is correct. Since gun ownership is a fundamental Constitutional right, why is the government going out of its way to make it as difficult as possible to exercise that right? Why does the Federal government tolerate some states in their attempt to make it extremely difficult to “keep” arms and almost impossible to “bear” them? Would they tolerate a state which treated your right to free speech the same way?

If the Left was consistent, they would insist that the Second Amendment be treated just like the First. But no one actually expects the Left to be consistent. So instead of acknowledging the arguments made by Billy, they misrepresent his statements, freak out publicly, and insist that he is some sort of crazy lunatic for even opening his mouth. You can always tell who the Left thinks is a danger. The ones they attack the loudest are the ones they know are hurting them.

Well, Billy, you’re taking flak. That means you’re over the target.

Andrew Branca: on Trayvon shooting “Do it exactly like George [Zimmerman] did”

Friend and Podcaster Luke Apps of Triangle Tactical Podcast interviewed Andrew Branca, lawyer and author of “The Law of Self Defense.” Andrew throws out a little red meat. Here’s a sample.

Check out the whole interview at Triangle Tactical Podcast, episode 86.

‘Gun Free’ restaurant robbery makes ‘The Five’ with Greg Gutfeld (*Video*)

‘Gun Free’ zones attract robbers. Naturally, Bob doesn’t agree.

We are winning.

I especially like that they left my blog logo on the photo.

Original story HERE.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Follow the signs.

In the aftermath of the Durham restaurant that posted ‘No Guns Allowed’ sign, getting robbed at gunpoint I’m hearing the siren song of “Just ignore the sign!” There’s even a blog post up at Wizbang saying exactly that.

Why CC Holders Should Ignore Anti-Gun Signs Posted in Stores

They are popping up all across the country, little stickers on the front doors of businesses, restaurants and retail outlets informing concealed carry holders that they are not welcome to carry their legal firearm inside. But if you are a concealed carry holder you should ignore these attempts to curtail your rights. If you are legally armed, feel absolutely free to enter and patronize those stores with your firearm no matter what these anti-Constitution store owners want.

Are you an idiot?

He makes two points

[I]t is perfectly logical to state that if a store cannot refuse to serve a gay or a person of a particular race or religion because this refusal violates their Constitutional rights, then a store owner cannot act to prevent a patron from observing their Second Amendment rights, either.


These signs do not hold any legal restrictions over your right to carry.

The second is just plain wrong. Here in North Carolina it is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of “as much of the court deems appropriate.” This is not a joke, it’s literally up to the judge to decide how much money he’s going to take from you. And that’s on top of the fat cash you’re going to shovel at your lawyer trying to get him to convince the judge that probation is a much better option than a lengthy stay in the Iron Bar Motel. And right after the arrest, while you’re making bail, you’re not working. Whoops, there went your job. And with your job, your house. No job = no money. No money = no rent or mortgage payments. Hope you like living with your mom. Or your wife’s mom.

So by all means, if you’re independently wealthy and can pay all your bills from savings while you sit in jail after you get convicted, go right ahead and break the law.

The first argument is also pretty stupid. As a matter of logic, it might make sense to the more logic oriented pro gun folks. But it isn’t going to fly in the real world. However much you think owning and carrying a gun is a natural right, and that infringing that natural right is akin to discriminating against gay people who want a wedding cake, they will tell you that you can take the gun off and not be gun gay any time you like.

It’s because they hate you. And if you’re so stupid that you don’t understand that there are people out there who hate you down to the core of their being because you’ve decided that your life is so valuable that you’re willing to carry a gun to protect it, I can’t possibly help you. You think that because your position is logical, consistent, and Constitutional, that people have to accept it and move on with their lives. You’re wrong. You’re judging people by looking in the mirror and calibrating your expectations based upon the person you see there.

They hate you. They will always hate you. They will use whatever tool they have at their disposal in order to destroy you. Getting on the wrong side of the law hands them the full weight of the government with which to destroy your life. And your argument is “hey, let’s just ignore that sign, what’s the worst that can happen?” Ask me again from your jail cell.

Finally, why would you give your money to someone so stupid that they think a sign stops criminal acts? Newsflash: They know the sign doesn’t stop crime. They want the sign to stop YOU. They don’t give a damn about what happens to you. Let’s look at it logically.

  • You’d have to be completely stupid to believe that a “no guns” sign would stop criminals from robbing the place.
  • They aren’t completely stupid. If they were they’d be out of business.

Conclusion: It’s not the criminals that they are trying to deter. It’s you, the concealed carrier. They don’t give a damn about someone coming in and blowing your head off. They just want to make sure that you “crazy people who carry guns for no good reason” stay as far away from them as possible. Because potato.

Guns are bad potato

And what do you do? You march in there, risk jail, and you hand that asshole your hard earned cash. You help him make his rent payment. You help him buy a new car. You fund his lifestyle. Why would you give money to someone who is perfectly happy to see you end up dead rather than permit you to lawfully and safely carry a gun?

It’s not a theory and it’s not an idle consideration with me. I have a friend who came home from dinner, after the night in a hospital, wearing hospital scrub pants because he didn’t ever want to wear his own pants again. They were stained with the blood and brains of his dining companions. He still has the shotgun pellets in the back of his head 20+ years later.

I will not set foot into a place run by someone who is more concerned with his prejudices than he is with my right to defend my own life. I will not fund the lifestyle of someone who’d rather see me dead than see me shoot a mass murderer inside his restaurant. And I certainly won’t go to jail, lose my job, and lose my home just to give money to a person like that.

If you’re that dumb, go right ahead. But stop making it sound like high principle when it’s just giving money to a person to your enemy.

Restaurant posts ‘No Guns Allowed’ sign, gets robbed at gunpoint

Update: If you’d like to know why I’m so adamant about restaurant carry, and why I won’t enter a restaurant that bans guns, listen to this 10 minute snippet of a podcast interview I did with Luke at Triangle Tactical Podcast. You see, I have a friend who survived a restaurant mass murder.


Sunday night at about 9pm the restaurant “The Pit Authentic Barbecue” in Durham was robbed by armed and masked men.

Police are searching for three suspects involved in an armed robbery at Durham’s newly-opened barbecue restaurant, The Pit, at 321 W. Geer Street.

Authorities said just before 9 p.m. Sunday, three men wearing hoodies entered the restaurant through the back doors with pistols, and forced several staff members to lie on the floor.

The bandits assaulted two employees during the crime, but they were not seriously injured.

Make sure to click over and watch the security cam video. Put yourself in the place of those workers.

I am very glad that no one was seriously injured. But everyone involved needs to face one very important fact. They were not murdered only because the robbers did not decide to kill them. The robbers had all the power. No one could resist them. Why? Because the owner of The Pit Authentic Barbecue has banned guns in his restaurant.

Here’s a photo of The Pit Authentic Barbecue, Durham, from the street.

The Pit Posted 2

And here’s a close up of the door, showing the sign.

The Pit Posted 1

Photos used by permission of an anonymous blog reader

Take a close look at the anti-gun sign. See how it’s not just some generic “No Guns” sign the owner, Greg Hatem picked up down at the local sign emporium. No, these are custom jobs. He went out of his way to make custom signs to make sure we gun owners felt unwelcome.

For those who can’t make it out behind the reflection, let me describe it. The three pictograms are labeled “NC State Capitol,” “NC Legislative Building,” and “The Pit.” Above the pictograms it says, “No Weapons” and below, “No Concealed Firearms.”

This isn’t just a simple case of some unthinking restauranteur slapping up an anti-gun sign. This is a political statement. He’s very clearly saying “The Legislature bans guns in their workplace, why are they allowing them in mine?” He’s trying to make the case for it being hypocrisy. Well I have three questions for him

  • Does The Pit Authentic Barbecue offer the same level of armed security that the NC Legislature and the NC State Capitol offer?
  • Are there armed police officers hired to stand guard patrolling The Pit Authentic Barbecue the same way there are armed police officers hired to stand guard on the NC Legislative Building and the NC State Capitol?
  • How does your insurance company feel about you assuming the responsibility for the safety of your patrons by prohibiting lawful self defense and banning ALL weapons in your restaurant?

I’m going to send a link to this blog post to the owner’s “Media Inquiries” address,

Samantha Hatem at [email protected]

133 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

and ask them. What do you think their response will be? Feel free to email them yourselves.

UPDATED to add: This is just one of the several restaurants that Greg Hatem owns. His company “Empire Eats” also owns several other places.

Also, his original “The Pit Authentic Barbecue” in Raleigh was the host restaurant for Gabby Giffords’ anti-gun carpetbagger tour last July. They lied to us back then and said “We host all sorts of political functions. We don’t mean to take sides.” Yeah, right.