Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bring your guns

This article has been updated since first posted.

Here's one way to bring your guns to where you intend to use them. The link to this photo was sent to me by a friend. Actually, "tactical baby strollers" are available on-line and at stores like Cabelas. "Tactical baby strollers"? In what world are we living anyway? A stroller to cart your guns and ammunition around with you? How many guns do you need anyway? Isn't one enough? Isn't a stroller better used to cart children around instead of guns. Of course, I did link once to an article about a man who carried his gun in his child's baby stroller. Whatever. Get those kids started early. They can go right from their own stroller to pushing the stroller with guns in it to the range or wherever people go with all of their guns and ammunition. We know that people bring their young children to these places and let them shoot guns they shouldn't be shooting.

And, of course, the ultimate extreme NRA Board member Ted Nugent has other ideas of how and where you can bring your guns and ammunition. He has a cable show now. Here is a link to it. From the article:
"His Discovery Channel show is literally going to be a celebration of life with guns.  His wife and children will all be featured with various firearms, reflecting what Nugent says is a "very serious, very sincere relationship all of them share with firearms." His show will cover  hunting and shooting for recreation, and will also shine the spotlight on new firearms and firearm products."
I wonder if he and his family will use the above linked gun stroller to carry their guns around? There's more here. Nugent is pushing for ammunition he is selling, of course. It's always about the money:
The state of art ammunition right now, off the shelves, rivals the custom hand loads of the ballistic craftsmen going back many years. So when the Pierce ammo guys, masters of the craft by any measure, approached me to see if I'd be interested in starting a line of Ted Nugent Ammunition, I said, "I'm always shooting and I'm always testing ammunition, so send me some ammo to test." 
I know I have always dreamed about the perfect ammunition for my gun. It's great stuff. How will this ammunition be used again? We don't know. We can only hope it won't end up being used to shoot someone. But we know that James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter, purchased 10,000 rounds of ammunition on-line. We know that Andrew Engeldinger who shot up a workplace in Minneapolis a few weeks ago, most likely ordered thousands of rounds of ammunition on-line. The same ammunition is also readily available at local stores who sell guns and ammunition.

And last, but never least, is this terrible tragic shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona recently. It turns out that the shooting was actually border agents shooting at each other in the dark. One of them is now dead and one injured. From the article:
"It was dark, very, very rugged terrain, and what they could see of each other was further obscured by the fact that there was brush and cacti and stuff like that between them," Rothrock said. "I have no doubt that these agents were in as heightened a state of alert as you can get due to the proximity to the border and the history of trafficking in that area."
Rothrock said that when the agents spotted each other in the dark, "they apparently took defensive postures, which was probably interpreted as aggressive postures. Like readying your weapons, for example."
Ivie, 30, died at the scene, and one of the other agents was wounded but has since been released from the hospital.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the Border Patrol and other federal and local agencies flooded the area with personnel looking for who they believed were assailants who had attacked the agents.
There was reason to believe someone who wasn't supposed to be there was in the area because of the sensor. But it's dark. People are scared. Guns are at the ready and someone makes a false move. Bullets fly and someone dies. Tragic. How many times do we hear about this happening in shoot-outs involving law enforcement officers? Sometimes it's hard to be sure who is in the shadows or who is who and you feel endangered so you shoot.

In yet another article there is a report on shootings in Erie, PA area which raises a question about the difference in the shooters and shooting circumstances:
Investigators say they aren't seeing a lot of drug-related shootings and killings, or any gang connection in them. Many of the cases also aren't leading police to anyone on their list of "chronically violent offenders," who were identified last fall and targeted since then to curb gun crime that had spiked in 2011.
Many of the killings do have a common theme, Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri said. In many of the instances, one person is angry at another for some reason and decides to settle the score with a gun.
"They are just pulling out the guns and shooting at people because they are ticked off," Daneri said.
This bears repeating: "...one person is angry at another for some reason and decides to settle the score with a gun." Bad stuff, that. But it's happening every day. And speaking of anger, guns and settling scores, here's a man who decided to point a gun at someone in heavy traffic on the New Jersey turnpike because... well er, just because. The man at whom the gun was pointed wrote about it on his Facebook page:
This was after sitting in two hours of traffic from the deadly truck accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. It was definitely one of the scariest moments of my life. The best part is, I didn’t do anything to warrant this behavior. The man driving in the SUV decided that pointing a gun at me would be a better way to ask me if he cut could in front of me instead of simply asking.
Was he a "law abiding" permit holder? Most likely. Why use a gun? Why threaten someone with your gun while in your car? If you didn't have a gun along, maybe you would have "flipped him off" which isn't threatening to someone's life. And then, in case my readers want to know why I am concerned about so many people carrying loaded guns around with them in public places, check out this story as a prime example:
Investigators say the relative was assisting a Plaza Towers Elementary teacher in repairing a computer at the school at 852 Southwest 11th Street in Moore over the weekend. The relative, who is licensed to carry the gun, told police he did not realize it had fallen out of his pocket until he saw reports on the news. 
Police say the owner of the gun contacted them. No one has been arrested, but officers say they will turn their investigation over to the district attorney. 
The elementary school was locked down Monday morning when a teacher found the gun on a chair in a classroom. All the students were taken to the school's cafeteria while police searched the building for other weapons. 
Good grief. This was in a school, remember. Schools are gun free zones. It's illegal to carry a gun into a school in Oklahoma. What was this guy thinking? Who was he afraid of that he had to have that gun on his person? Instead of him needing a gun for self defense, he endangered the whole school, causing a lock down. Where is common sense? And as if that isn't enough, check out this law abiding gun owner who was cleaning her gun in her apartment, endangering the lives of the tenants one floor below:
25-year-old Amy Walter, of Colorado Springs, Colorado picked up a handgun and unintentionally discharged it. The bullet went through the floor of her apartment and into the apartment below.
Shirae Hines, who lives in the apartment below Walter, had just settled down with her kids to watch television when the bullet came ripping through the ceiling and hit her flat screen TV. Hines called the police who questioned the three people in the apartment above.
Misdemeanors? Is that all? I would say this woman was lucky. She could have been charged with homicide if the trajectory of the bullet was a few inches different. Surely we are better than this. Oh, and I'm not done yet. For all those folks who like to think law abiding gun owners are safe with their guns and don't do stupid and dangerous things, why are there so many incidents of just that? Some parents are in trouble in California. How did these seventh grade boys get hold of a gun and bring it to school with them?
Stockton Unified Police Chief Jim West said one round fired from the 22-caliber semi-automatic handgun into the floor of the classroom as one boy was passing it to the other at around 9 a.m.
Both students were subsequently arrested and the gun was secured by officials, said West.
Neither boy cooperated with officers and both refused to answer any questions, said West.
No injuries were reported in the incident and school was scheduled to continue as usual for the day, West said.
As we say on the Kid Shootings blog: "Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult." The parents have some explaining to do. The boys sound like they do, too. What were they thinking? Were they mimicking behavior of their parents? Surely we are better than this.

UPDATE:

It only took about an hour after I posted this for an article to appear about a Florida permit holder exhibiting stupid and dangerous behavior with a gun:
Borum said he learned his son-in-law, Matthew Gammons, was in the truck with at least one other person and were at a nearby Gate gas station about the same time as the other driver.
Both vehicles left the station at the same time and traveled down Acme where they got into some sort of dispute.
Borum said the vehicles stopped and when the other driver approached Gammons, a passenger in the truck grabbed the gun and it went off, wounding Gammons in the leg.
Good grief.

UPDATE #2:

And yet another supposed "law abiding" citizen with a gun makes a serious mistake with his weapon. This Colorado father of 5 children, expecting a sixth, was drinking and playing around with his friends in a hotel room:
A man drinking beer and watching football with friends in a hotel room Sunday night was showing off a revolver when it accidentally went off, wounding a stranger in an adjoining room, according to an arrest affidavit.
Zachariah James McCullough, 26, 541 E. Valley Drive, was jailed early Monday on suspicion of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and prohibited use of weapons.
Grand Junction police were called to Mesa Inn, 704 Horizon Drive, around 9:26 p.m., on a report of a shooting. Juan Lara, 20, ran to the front desk and was bleeding from his right shoulder, saying he was hit after hearing a loud bang. The bullet pierced the north wall of room 136, blasting through a mirror.
Lara’s injury was described as minor, consistent with a shrapnel wound.
A witness told police McCullough was among three friends who were in room 152, the affidavit said.
But did he care that he injured someone in the next room? No. He forgot that with rights come responsibilities. But he found out how that worked ( from the article):
McCullough fled in a sport-utility vehicle, the affidavit said.
Tracked down at his home, McCullough initially denied involvement, telling officers he “had no idea” about the incident.
“I told him,” an officer wrote in the affidavit, “that in a hypothetical situation where one discharged a firearm into a neighboring room in a motel, a reasonable human reaction to such a mishap would be that of concern that someone might have been hit. I left Zach to his thoughts.”
Sometime later, McCullough admitted mishandling the handgun, a .41-caliber Ruger revolver he said belonged to his grandfather, and told officers where to find the weapon, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit said McCullough is serving probation for an unspecified conviction. A public defender who spoke on McCullough’s behalf during a first court appearance Monday said McCullough is the father of five children, while his wife is expecting a sixth child. He was ordered jailed on $3,000 bond.
There is no common sense among some gun owners. Luckily for this young father, the man in the next room was not killed by the stray bullet.



28 comments:

  1. Good morning,
    You’re correct, Mr. Holmes bought a lot of ammo and Mr. Engledinger may have bought of ammo, but ammo you don’t have with you doesn’t count.
    You’re also correct that the incident in Arizona involving the border patrol agents is tragic. Tactical operations at night always hold the potential for this to happen, and I’m not going to try to second guess the agents because we don’t really know much yet. I’m not seeing how it’s relevant to the personal ownership of firearms.
    I can assure you that the odds are good that the guy on the Jersey Turnpike likely didn’t have a permit. New Jersey has a VERY discretionary permit system. As for the Oklahoma yo-yo who is a relative of the teacher who’s classroom the gun was left in, I’m betting that he’ll be getting some much needed attention from the judicial system. I wonder if Oklahoma has a safe storage law like Minnesota does. That would give them two charges.
    You are also correct that somewhere in the chain of possession, pass through the hands of an adult. I’m sure the parents will be talked to, though the gun might not belong to them. We don’t know much about that. Though both boys went into “don’t snitch” mode, which might indicate they got it elsewhere. I watched the video in the article and the school had the fortress look schools get when there are crime issues. I will give kudos to the Kids Shooting blog for supplying a neutral link to their source of information.

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    1. Wrong.

      In many cases the shooter is demonstrating a seige mentality and is planning a stand off with law enforcement.

      In the case of Holmes, it appears that he may have intended to use some of the ammo as part of his plan to rig his apartment to blow up.

      It is a strong characteristic, along with expanded capacity magazines and assault-style weapons among those who plan mass shootings; as such, it IS significant. It is an indicator of a distinctive mindset.

      Further, if you look at the copycat would-be shooters who were arrested after the Aurora shooting - I can think of several off the top of my head, but lets go with the mentally ill man in Maryland, who threatened to shoot up HIS co-workers, on the phone, those kinds of rounds of ammo, the assault style weapon, and the expanded capacity magazines, and some two dozen weapons, along with wearing a t-shirt when he was taken into custody that said 'guns don't kill people, I kill people', were involved.

      That has also been true of the militia nut jobs who plan insurrections, like the FEAR group, and any number of others.

      If I recall correctly I believe the Sikh temple shooter had thousands of rounds of ammo as well.

      Thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammo is not a good sign of a desirable mental health status.

      Most states do not have a safe storage system like Minnesota, and Minnesota's if not enforced nearly as well as it could be.

      The heck with the 'parents being talked to'; time to take away the firearms after it has been demonstrated they didn't handle them or secure them properly. Or at the least, require them to post a substantial bond in the tens of thousands of dollars.

      They need some serious skin in the game, not a slap on the wrist, or a cozy comfy caution.

      Better safe than shot.

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    2. So what I'm understanding is that you believe that owning military style weapons and over some amount of ammunition is an indication of a mental issue?

      Why do you believe that the Minnesote safe storage law isnt properly enforced? You're suggesting that adults who violate the safe storage law lose their firearms? And in the future have to post a bond?

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    3. Thanks Japete for giving me the heads up that there was a comment addressed to me.

      Yes, it isn't an opinion; it has been established that there are serious problems with people who are attracted to both large amounts of ammo, military style weapons, and expanded capacity magazines. That is from treating shootings as a public health issue, and applying statistical analysis - it's not simply an opinion I thought up. A significant number of problem shootings have those things in common. Not all people who own one or more of those items/quantity of items are mentally ill, but often they do have a dubious obsession with lethal violence.

      I suggest you google the research for yourself.

      Conversely there are adequate less dangerous alternatives to all of those items. In particular, for the general public NOT to have access to military style weapons keeps our law enforcement safer, as does a ban on the expanded magazines.

      The dangers, including the dangers of lethal force in the hands of the dangerously mentally ill, is not adequately offset by any constructive benefit to any of those items being available.

      Just looking at the incidents of gun problems in home daycare proves that we don't enforce adequately the safe storage laws in MN.

      I'm suggesting that depending on the violation, YES, that those who violate safe storage or transport lose their firearms, and are only allowed to acquire new ones after an extended period of time has passed - lets say 10 years. I would add to that they be subject to spot checks on their compliance, that they have to post a bond, and that any second offense with a firearm - storage, an accident, property damage, etc., result in permanent loss of firearms, including possession by anyone else in the same residence.

      If someone is injured or killed due to negligent storage or security -- permanent loss of firearms. That would include someone in the home who uses their firearm to harm someone else, including suicides.

      If we want firearms to be safe, then we need to get far more serious about it than we are currently.

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    4. "Yes, it isn't an opinion; it has been established that there are serious problems with people who are attracted to both large amounts of ammo, military style weapons, and expanded capacity magazines. That is from treating shootings as a public health issue, and applying statistical analysis - it's not simply an opinion I thought up. A significant number of problem shootings have those things in common. Not all people who own one or more of those items/quantity of items are mentally ill, but often they do have a dubious obsession with lethal violence."

      Dog gone, I'm afraid I'm not having any luck finding anything suggesting that people that are attracted to military style weapons are a risk factor. Could you possibly suppy a link to either this or the statistical analysis you mention?

      Can you share what you believe would be an adequate constructive benefit to having the items you mentioned available?

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  2. You asked "Was he a "law abiding" permit holder? Most likely." Actually, no. New Jersey is a may issue state and for all practical purposes a "no issue" state.

    "New Jersey law limits the issuance of concealed-carry permits to persons employed as security personnel and to others who can satisfy a judge that they have an urgent need to carry guns for self-protection. Applicants must prove their familiarity with the use of handguns and provide a description, including serial number, of every weapon they intend to carry. When a court determines that a permit is justified, it sets the specific conditions under which it can be used." http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2011/11/amick_gun_laws_in_the_garden_s.html

    Out of an estimated population of 8,821,155 there are 32,000 issued permits or a little of 1/3 of a percent. However since there hasn't been a violent crime or murder in New Jersey since the late 1950's the citizens there have no need of protection. It is so safe that Camden, NJ has decided they no longer need a police department. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/24/camden-nj-to-reboot-police-department-by-new-year/

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    1. We don't know if the driver was from New Jersey. Maybe Virginia? Maybe Pennsylvania?

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    2. Then he still wasn't a law abiding permit holder since New Jersey barely recognizes their own permits and definitely doesn't recognize anyone elses

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    3. I write often enough on this blog about stupid and dangeous gun owners and permit holders. If someone is driving from one state to another, he/she may not pay attention to the gun laws. That happens often in the state of New York. People ignore the laws and carry anyway. That is the point of my blog. Many permit holders are not following the rules. I don't know in this case and neither do you. I was making a supposition. It seems to me that I would have good reason to assume so based on the many incidents I write about here, wouldn't you say?

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    4. I did visit the site with videos of kids shooting machine guns. I watched the one video that works and if you look closely you'll see an adult in close attendance. This is called adult supervision. So it's likely about as dangerous as the parents who took their kids to the Occupy wherever demonstrations.

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    5. YOu can see most of them if you click on YouTube in the box. Yes, indeed. Under close supervision, a Massachusetts doctor watched his 5 year old be shot to death while he was trying out a machine gun at an exposition. Little kids should not be shooting machine guns under any circumstances. Anyone who thinks they should is irresponsible. We are not at war. This is crazy stuff and part of the ludicrous gun culture in this country.

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    6. Robin said,"However since there hasn't been a violent crime or murder in New Jersey since the late 1950's the citizens there have no need of protection. It is so safe that Camden, NJ has decided they no longer need a police department."

      Robin, I suggest you check your statistics about New Jersey. The link you included on your post was for an article thar started with:
      Crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey - often referred to as the most dangerous city in the United States—is getting rid of its police department. I've been to Camden, and that assessment is accurate. Made me wishing I had my body armor with me.
      New Jersey ranks 26th in the nation for violent crime in the nation, as documented here.
      http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank21.html

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    7. Robin clearly doesn't have the current information about New Jersey. To suggest there has been no violent crime or murder in N.J. since the 1950s is an absolute lie, of course. Check this out- http://www.vpc.org/press/1110gundeath.htm gun deaths per 100,000 - 4.95. Clearly people are killed by guns in New Jersey and are every year in spite of fewer owned guns and strict gun laws. Guns come in from neighboring states with looser gun laws but it's instructive that in a state with fewer people owning guns and stricter gun laws, gun deaths are far below those in other states.

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    8. Japete,
      I looked at the article you mentioned and somehow Washington DC got left out. It is actually ranked number one in gun deaths. Maryland ranks 20th in the nation despite strict gun laws that are quite similar to New Jersey. http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000
      You have recently told me that the rise in firearm ownership and concealed carry cant be linked to the overall drop in violent crime. If you claim that, then you cant claim the opposite.

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    9. Seriously, Mark. YOu have come in late to these discussion. I am not going to re argue every point again and again and again. Sorry. You are relentless and need fo find something else to do or do your own research.

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    10. Your speculating Robin; this was an individual, not a statistic.

      That means this person acquired a firearm somewhere. It doesn't really matter if it was at a gun show through a loophole, or a legal permitted weapon, or not.

      Guns are too easily available, too often badly used.

      That needs to change, and more and better regulation and enforcement are essential to that. States which DO regulate firearms well, or even specific localities, are hampered by the lax laws of surrounding jurisdictions which provide the problem firearms and the problem firearms users.

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  3. I can understand the gun guys wanting a good cart to safely move their guns, ammo, and clay pigeons around on the shooting range. Using a modified baby stroller seems sorta handy, but twisted at the same time.

    I knew Nugent was going to have this show. It's just a front for selling his ammo. Follow the money, just like with the NRA. Shame on Discovery Channel for pushing such glorified violence. That channel has really gone downhill in recent years. I remember when it was more focused on educational programming.

    There's a big push by the gun extremists here in Oregon to allow guns on grade school campuses. Cases like the moron who left his gun in the elementary school class are prime example of why this is a horrible and dangerous idea. Almost every day I see articles about gun owners who leave their weapons in public places, discharge their guns unintentionally, or act out violently. I shudder to think about these things happening where my kids learn and play!

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    1. Baldr, Can you give a source regarding proposed legislation to allow permit holders to carry in elementary schools?

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    2. Here in Oregon, there technically isn't a law to prevent the carrying of concealed weapons into grade schools. The schools themselves have policies against it, but that doesn't make it illegal; it only allows them to ask the individuals to leave the property.

      The extremist gun lobby here (Oregon Firearms Federation) and their supporter in the Oregon legislator, Thatcher, forced the Newberg, OR school system to remove language against guns by non-staff visitors, under threat of lawsuit. They have signaled in their communications to their members that they will do more of this in the near future.

      An attempt by them to force another school system to allow carrying by staff and faculty failed when the OR supreme court ruled that the schools have the right to regulate their own staff. Using this ruling, Oregon state-funded universities have also re-imposed a ban on guns in their buildings by students and staff or anyone contracted with the universities. O.F.F. has asked its members to purposely ignore this ban and carry anyways, no doubt hoping for another challenge to the law.

      For these reasons, we need the Oregon legislature to pass a bill to outright ban the carry of guns on school and university property, putting to rest these gray areas.

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    3. Baldr, While you're free to advocate legislative changes of any kind, have there been any documented cases of permit holders misbehaving in any of these schools?
      I did just read an article commenting on your permit system complaining that now personal listings of permit holders are no longer public.
      It also mentioned that there isnt any recordkeeping on how permits are processed and what happens to them. I think a reasonable compromise on that subject would be to set up a reporting system similar to what Minnesota does. It publishes a yearly report that details permits applied for and what the outcome of the application was. It also documents permits revoked, and crimes comitted by permit holders.

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    4. I will let Baldr respond. But the obvious answer is that we can't wait until somebody misbehaves with his/her gun in a school. The example, above, is enough to raise major concerns about carrying guns in schools. One child picks up the gun and shoots him/herself or someone else by accident ( this is an elementary school) or on purpose and it's one too many. Leaving a gun sitting around is not the same thing as leaving a screw driver or something else. There are no excuses and there are obvious reasons not to allow guns in schools. I just don't get why any of you try to excuse it or think it's O.K. The majority of Americans understand that guns in schools is a terrible idea.

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    5. Japete, I never said I objected to keeping guns out of K-12 schools, not counting those used for educational purposes. And I believe I commented on the man in Oklahoma who dropped his gun in a chair and left without it. It's also a ding on the teacher since he was her guest.
      I'll be happy to debate the issue of permit holders in post secondary schools. Minnesota has some really funny rules on that.

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    6. Baldr brings up an excellent point. OFF asked its membership to ignore OSU rules because they are illegal. This behavior is similar to the countless women who sought abortion when it was illegal. I oppose this form of anarchy, but I fear it may become the new norm if governments start passing laws that violate an individual's inalienable rights, like abortion, and go further by yielding more power to criminals than to those who wish to live under the rule of law.

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    7. I will let Baldr respond to this one. We won't be getting into an abortion discussion here, though.

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    8. I suspect that in order for someone to challenge it in court, someone has to become the "interested" party. For example, the Mall Of America has illegally posted that guns are banned there. Until someone is willing to get ticketed for trespassing for disobeying the sign and refusing to leave, they cant be challenged in court.

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    9. Ok, I explain it since this is my sport.

      There is a class of shooting competition called "three gun" (google "three gun competition") where you shoot rifle, pistol and shotgun.

      Just like golf has a series of holes, three gun has a series of 'stages'. At each stage you will likely shoot all three guns so you need a way haul a bunch of ammunition and all three guns all over the place for a days shooting.

      The "strollers" were never meant for kids, they are custom designed for this sport. Some people use large garden wagons.

      I use a converted appliance dolly with a couple of ATV rifle racks. There is nothing going on besides guys figuring out the easiest way to move stuff around a range.

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    10. Good Evening,
      Here's an update on the happenings in Oklahoma.
      http://newsok.com/man-who-admitted-to-leaving-loaded-gun-at-school-arrested/article/3717581

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    11. Thank you. His license to carry this gun had expired in addition to his carrying in a school which is illegal. I'd say he's in a more than a bit of trouble.

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