Americans: Are You Willing to Defend Yourself and Those You Love?

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By Chris Wagoner:

When did it stop being cool or hip or whatever word you want to use in our society to be self-reliant and able to take care of yourself and your family? When did our ability to defend ourselves and defend those that we love become something that was considered wrong, or evil?

How in the world did we raise so many people in these United States to be afraid to defend themselves, even to the point of not fighting back when they know there is no other recourse but to die groveling in front of some lunatic or a madman with a gun?

I had a discussion, just the other day, with someone in an internet group who asked what they could have in their home other than a gun to defend their home and their family from an intruder. The conversation went on and I was informed that the person asking the question was doing so for a family member who was “very liberal” and scared of firearms. I thought to myself, how did this person who is afraid of firearms and “does not want to hurt the intruder” make it to this point? What possibly could have caused them to be this way?

Not hurt the intruder? Are you serious?

Read the rest here…

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When Should a Police Officer Confiscate Your Firearm?

20160201_140207(0)-1-1By Chris Wagoner:

The recent shooting of a suspect, who was attacking a Florida Deputy, occurred when a law abiding, lawfully carrying, outstanding citizen shot and killed the attacker, quite possibly saving the deputy’s life. While no one wants to have to shoot someone, that is what happened.

The difference between this shooting and most self-defense shootings is the fact that it was witnessed (to some even directed by) the deputy. There is no question as to the justifiability of this shooting. By Florida law it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense and defense of another. Florida law permits you to not only defend yourself but also others if they are being attacked and you think they may be killed or suffer great bodily harm. (F.S.S. 776.012 Use or threatened use of force in defense of person.)

That said, there is no doubt that it was a lawful shooting. It was surprising when I saw another article which stated a local gun shop had to provide the citizen with another firearm to carry because his was taken into custody by the police. This was the point where I started to think as a cop. I am on the scene of a shooting that I know for a fact is not a crime because no criminal act was committed by the citizen. So I am looking at this particular case and wondered to myself, “What justification would I have to take the shooter’s firearm into evidence if I was there at the scene?”

Read the rest here:The rest of the story…

It Happened Again – Wake Up America

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By Chris Wagoner:

It happened again! Another attack on a college campus. This time it was Ohio State University, and it was not a gun being used, but a knife that wounded 11 people. The suspect (I will not dignify or promote the terrorists name) is dead of a gunshot wound from a campus police officer who just happened to be in the area at the time of the attack. What in the world are we doing America? Why can we not stop these attacks on our college campuses and other places where we gather in large numbers? Why can’t we just pass a law? Maybe more gun control laws would help. Take away all the guns and the attacks would stop right? If guns were harder to get, then these attacks would stop right? I forgot, this one was with a knife and it was a gun that saved more people from being injured or killed. Yes, I know that it was a police officer that shot and killed the suspect, but what if that officer had not been in the area at the time of the incident? What if it had taken them the normal 3-5 minutes to respond like it does everywhere in the country (and that is being kind and conservative in response times, they are much longer in many places).

What can we do to lessen the impact or to stop these kinds of terrorist attacks when they happen? Let’s look at this realistically and not emotionally like the large majority of the anti-gun crowd. Put away your fear and your hate for all things gun-related for just a few minutes as you read this. Since this was a knife attack and had nothing to do with guns, with the exception that a gun, in fact, saved everyone’s lives, consider the facts that gun laws would have done nothing to change the outcome of this. Or could they have?

Read the Rest here: http://bit.ly/2opV9vI

Stand Your Ground Florida: Why JAMA Study is Misleading

By Chris Wagoner:

4189169360_1842ffe274_bIt isn’t often I get to take on such a prestigious (I use the term very loosely here) source as The Journal of the American Medical Association, but I feel obligation when they publish purposefully misleading statements, attempting to further their obvious agenda against a law that makes Florida safer and has reduced crime overall.

On November 14th, the journal published a study by several doctors titled, “Evaluating the Impact of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Self-Defense Law on Homicide and Suicide by Firearm – An Interrupted Time Series Study”. This so-called study was picked up immediately by the anti-gun press and others as a landmark study that proved Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law (by the way, there is no such law) caused an increase in homicides in just one day! This of course is completely and utterly false and misleading information.

First, there is no such law as “stand your ground” despite Americans hearing the catch phrase over and over. It’s like anything else the media tries to push, if they repeat it often enough it will magically become true. Sorry media, the law you keep mislabeling is Florida law (F.S.S. 776.012 (1)) referring to “Use of Force in Defense of a Person”. Sounds a lot different, doesn’t it? Yes, the words “stand his or her ground” appear in the law, but like anything else, it must be used appropriately in all context. Here is what it actually says,  Read the rest here: the rest of the story…

Gun Rights Under President-Elect Trump

This article was originally posted on OpsLens.com on Nov 21st, 2016.

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By Chris Wagoner:

As the country begins to breathe again after the election night sweats, from a very close, yet definite win by now President Elect Donald Trump, what does it mean for all of us that voted based on the loss of our rights over the last several presidencies and our fear of sanctions and laws banning our Second Amendment rights in some form or fashion?

During his campaign, President Elect Trump, at various times, voiced differing opinions on what he thought about our Second Amendment rights. He did, however, always stick by the fact that he was in support of the Second Amendment and the right of the people to defend themselves. Well he should, since he is a concealed firearms license holder. I wonder if he will be carrying during the next 4 years at all. I highly doubt it, why bother when you have some of the best personal protection professionals in the world (the Secret Service) protecting you and your family. But will that make him change his views on the 2nd Amendment? I doubt that as well it.

What I do know is during the weeks and months leading up to the inauguration President Elect Trump said that he was interested in pushing for a National Concealed Carry Reciprocity in all states. It’s easy to do. See cops around the nation enjoy the privilege of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) which allows police officers or retired police officers to carry concealed firearms in any state anywhere that the law allows officers in that same state. Which is pretty much everywhere not prohibited by federal law. You have to requalify yearly, and have an ID or letter from your retired agency stating you are in good standing. But nothing else is required and the qualification course is not standard throughout the US. It depends on the state you are in.

In Florida, it’s a very easy course of fire (meaning qualification test) and you get issued a card that is maintained by the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) Instructor that qualified you, and it’s good for one year from the date issued. But it’s not the same as a Concealed Carry License in Florida which requires minimal training, and is good for seven years from issue. So the Florida Concealed Carry License is actually better than a LEOSA carry card for cops in Florida.

So, what about this national reciprocity and how easy would it be to do? Just fashion it after the LEOSA as far as rules and details go, and you could institute it in your first 100 days as President Mr. Trump! Require that the person have a state-issued valid concealed firearms license and that by doing so they are entitled to carry in all 50 states where not prohibited by federal law. Simple.

If President Elect Trump wanted to make things even simpler, he could ask Congress to pass a pre-emption law that bans states from regulating firearms at all based on the Constitution guarantee of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” meaning that States may pass no laws regulating the possession of firearms and that Federal Laws must be within that simple framing of the Second Amendment. This could then guarantee that any adult has the right to own and possess a firearm and carry either openly or concealed if they so choose.

But wait! Oh the horror that would ensue if he did that! Think of all the shootouts and the blood in the streets that would follow “constitutional carry”! Well in reality that is not what would happen. No shoot outs, no blood in the streets, none of the other dire predictions would come true. How do I know? Simple, look at history and the states that already have it. Ten of our fifty states already have “constitutional carry” including: Vermont (since 1791!), Montana, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kansas, West Virginia, Idaho, and Mississippi all have it. With another twenty-two states planning on introducing the bills in the coming year according to gunlaws.com. So, why not just make it the law of the land?

It’s very hard to understand how we got so far off track. What other right do we have to buy back from the government to exercise? None.

So, as President Elect Trump meets with President Obama he should begin to formulate his plan for the first 100 days of his presidency. And in doing so he could make a huge leap in the right direction by giving the American people back something that they lost some time ago in many states, the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” as promised and made into the supreme law of the land by our founding fathers! Let’s make America great again and give us our freedoms back!!

Is There a Gun Violence Problem in America?

The following article was originally published on OpsLens.com on Nov 13th, 2016.

By Chris Wagoner:

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After being a cop for over 35 years now teaching police recruits full time at a police academy and having been involved in several OIS (officer involved shootings) you would think that if anyone had seen all the violence that guns have caused in America and how bad the gun violence problem is, it would be me. You would think as a cop I should be against citizens having firearms, especially on their person, because it will make me more unsafe as a cop, right? If you thought along the lines of what the media keeps on shoving at us, I should be the number one advocate for more gun laws and stricter “gun control” to stop the rampant “gun violence sweeping America” as one paper put it. But there seems to be a problem, and it’s not “gun violence”.

The problem remains, if you start to look at the research, the numbers and the incidents of firearms being used in murders and crimes over the years are just not the numbers to support the claim by most media outlets that gun violence is a huge problem. In fact, it’s on a steep decline! The numbers and the claims just don’t add up. In addition to that, my experience on the streets of Broward County Florida beg to say different than the media. When you look at the numbers and really look at what is happening over the last say 20 years or so, you will come to realize that the gun violence problem in America is actually a made-up problem that does not exist and has been created by the anti-gun crowds to try and remove guns from America. It has actually been declining year after year for decades! So what are they talking about and why do they push the news on gun violence so much? What could possibly be the reason?

Well let’s look at the FACTS first and make sure to get them from a reputable, unbiased source like the Department of Justice (DOJ), where crime and gun violence is intensely studied. I read over several reports and what I found did not surprise me.  Yet, if you tell this to someone who is in the “gun violence is a problem” group, they will try and tell you that you are crazy and a liar. I know, that’s what I was told, along with other things they called me. But you can’t argue with cold hard facts. So here are a few that you can use to talk to your uninformed anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment friends (if you have any).

First and foremost, firearm homicides make up a very small, even tiny part of firearms related crimes. According to the DOJ report titled, “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011”, firearm homicides make up about 2% of all-firearm related crimes. You got that right, about 2%. In fact they say in the report “There were 11,101 firearm homicides in 2011, down by 39% from a high of 18,253 in 1993.” Now, the first thing an anti-gun person may say is “Ah ha! But that’s just the murders, what about all those who were shot but didn’t die? They are still victims!” Of course you simply continue on with your facts, “Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.” Those declined even more than the murders have.

But what about those big black scary “assault weapons” we keep hearing they want to ban. Surly you can’t argue that they are not a huge problem in America with all the mass shootings. Well again, we should read and look at the numbers. The use of rifles are a very small part of crimes committed with a firearm and according to DOJ, “About 70% to 80% of firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun from 1993 to 2011.” What? You mean that those assault weapons are not the ones that are killing everyone? Well of the ever declining number of murders committed by firearm, they are the smallest section, yet seem to garner the largest cry for banning. Kind of makes you wonder why, doesn’t it?

The next point to make is that not all firearm related crimes resulted in someone being injured. Even when a firearm is used in a crime only 23% of the victims were injured. But remember that the big bad assault rifles are the real problem in America. Isn’t that what you have been told over and over? Really? According to the DOJ report, “A handgun was used in about 83% of all firearm homicides in 1994, compared to 73% in 2011. Other types of firearms, such as shotguns and rifles, accounted for the remainder of firearm homicides. For nonfatal firearm violence, about 9 in 10 were committed with a handgun, and this remained stable from 1994 to 2011.”

What about the argument that guns are just too easy to get and that anyone can buy a gun in from a gun shop, flea market, and of course, the dreaded “Gun Show”. Well we know that is not the case either, the same report debunks that myth, “In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 10% purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37% obtained it from family or friends, and another 40% obtained it from an illegal source”.

What about citizens with firearms? We know they NEVER really stop crime with their own guns so why does the average citizen need to carry or even have a firearm for that matter? First and foremost because it’s a Constitutional right. What other rights do you have that were hated as much as this one and then taken from you and sold back in the form of a license for a fee? Do we have to buy a “Freedom to Speak” card to talk in public? Purchase a license to write or publish something freely? No of course not. It’s a Constitutional right, just as it is to bear arms. Yet that right has been overly litigated, legislated, and licensed to the point that it is no longer a right as it should be and has become more of a privilege. If our founders could only see us now, they would probably wonder why we have not had a second revolution. The Supreme Court of the United States is not supposed to decide if the Constitution itself is Constitutional rather, laws that are made that conflict with it are. The first law to regulate firearms in America should have been struck down as it violated that right. All we have to do is go back to the same report and guess what we find, the fact that Americans DO AND HAVE used firearms to defend themselves, and not just a few hundred but hundreds of thousands! According to the report, “In 2007-11, there were 235,700 victimizations where the victim used a firearm to threaten or attack an offender.” That’s right, almost a quarter of a million people defended themselves from criminals with a firearm! Look at the states in the US that have Constitutional carry of firearms and see what problems with gun violence they have. I think you may be surprised.

So where is all that “gun violence” we hear about in the media? They make it seem like it’s the number one cause of death for Americans. They make it seem like crime with guns is on the rise and at all-time highs. Firearm violence in America is an “epidemic” that must be stopped! The only problem I see is that not one of those statements is true or even close to being true. Murder by firearm (or any other way for that matter) is at an all-time low and still declining. Gun violence has been declining for years and continues to do so. Victims continue to defend themselves from attackers with lawfully obtained firearms.

So the next time someone tells you that “gun violence” is a problem in America, you can politely tell them they are uninformed, unread, uneducated, brainwashed by the media and do not know what the hell they are talking about. Introduce them to the facts and then drop the microphone and walk away. In my next piece, I will be talking about what has caused this drop in violent firearm related murders and the likely reason for all the good news. Until then, carry your lawfully concealed or open-carried firearm wherever permitted by law and be safe.

Fact or Fiction: The Gun Show Loophole

The following article was originally published on OpsLens.com on Nov 7th, 2016.

By Chris Wagoner:

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Well, I was asked on one of the Facebook pages I like to read why I was against “Common Sense Gun Control” and I must confess I was a little shocked. Why did this person think I was against any kind of gun control and what in the heck was this common sense gun control they were talking about all the time?

So I asked one of the people in the group (I will reveal what group in a bit…) “why you are against closing the deadly loopholes in our background check system?”

Again I sat there and was stymied. What loophole were they talking about? Were they talking about the “Gun Show Loophole” that so many people talk about but when asked what it is they can’t tell you for sure? Then, they went on to say that the loophole allows “minors and dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers easy access to guns.”

I almost fell out of my chair! What?! There are loopholes that allow this to happen? Of course I am against those types of people getting firearms illegally, I am against anyone getting a firearm illegally, key word being… illegally! But wait, it’s already illegal for them to buy firearms by law, so what loophole? A loophole is something that allows one to legally skirt the spirit of a law is it not? Not doing something that is already illegal, right? I was confused.

I responded to the now wound up member of this group, “what loophole are you talking about?” Then it came out, they replied “the gun show loophole”.

“What is that?” I asked.

“The gun show loophole allows anyone to walk into a gun show and buy a firearm without a background check, none, no checks at all.” They said, thinking they had me now. I would have to agree with them now, right?

“But it’s already illegal for someone who is not eligible to buy a firearm, like “minors and dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers” as they cited before, I said. “So it is a loophole that something is already illegal?” I went on to explain there is no such thing as a gun show loophole. The laws that apply outside the gun show, apply inside the gun show also. At most gun shows I have been to, most of the sellers in the show are Federal Firearms License holders. There are a few private sellers, but not all that many. All sales by a FFL dealer, regardless of location (in their store, gun show, or in a home) requires they do a background check on the buyer before selling the firearm. No exceptions (loopholes), even cops have to go through the background checks, and rightfully so.

So what they are really talking about is private sales. The transaction of selling a firearm from one private party to another. But if they had bothered to check, it is already a law (and a Federal Law to boot!) that even during a private sale of a firearm, it is illegal for a prohibited person to buy a firearm and for someone to sell them a firearm. Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922[g] [1-9]) prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives. The penalty for violating this law is ten years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine. And guess who is on that list! Felons, Fugitives, drug or alcohol abusers, people adjudicated as mentally defective, dishonorably discharged former military, domestic abusers, even people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. So there is already a very stiff Federal Law that prohibits these people from buying and selling firearms.

So in reality, there is no such thing as the “gun show loophole”. That is simply not true and does not exist.

Then, I wondered why so many people have taken up that mantra of “common sense gun control” and what do they know about current gun control laws? Well, if the above incident (which is fictitious but based on several conversations I have had with gun control advocates, the quoted text above is actually from the Mission statement of the group called “Mom’s Demand Action”. Their mission statement is already reality and illegal and they don’t even know it!

So in reality, how many of these prohibited people actually buy firearms from gun shows? How big of a problem is it? And what about other places? Well it just so happens that information is available from none other than the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. In their “Special Report, Firearm Violence, 1993-2011” published May of 2013, Report number NCJ 241730, they have some very interesting numbers they talk about. And remember this is the US Department of Justice, not some gun nut support group.

Here are just a couple of interesting quotes from this report:

In 2010, the rate of firearm homicide was 10.7 per 100,000 for persons ages 18 to 24, compared to 8.1 for persons ages 25 to 34 and 0.3 for persons age 11 or younger.” &From 1993 to 2010, the rate of homicides for persons ages 18 to 24 declined 51%, compared to a 35% decline for persons ages 25 to 34 and 50% for persons age 11 or younger.”

Really? Homicides are down that much? Then what is the problem? What about those darn Gun Shows that sell guns to just anyone (remember that’s false!) Well I went on to read this:

In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 10% purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37% obtained it from family or friends, and another 40% obtained it from an illegal source (table 14). This was similar to the percentage distribution in 1997.”

And what Table 14 shows is that of the criminals interviewed (that’s how they got all this information) LESS THAN 0.8% bought their firearms at a gun show. What? You mean that all this noise about the “gun show loophole” aside from the fact it is not even real, the statistics show gun shows are not even a large problem? Did you catch the fact that most criminals get their guns illegally? 40% got their firearms illegally, either theft or burglary, drug deals, or black market. So why are these groups not focusing on the real problems? The ones that are really causing the issues? Because they do not want to listen to the facts, figures and logic.

So why not actually concentrate on the real problems that result in these guns getting into the wrong hands? Why not have universal background checks? Because you are only going to get law abiding citizens to do them, criminals are called criminals because they do not follow the law and will not follow UBC’s. Remember they do not get their guns from legitimate sources, they get them from other illegal sources.

And what about how simple it is to buy a firearm on the internet? You know, like a lot of the politicians have said, you can go online and buy a firearm and have it sent to your home. Well again I have to inform our good intended, but poorly informed politicians, no you can’t as a rule. Again where do they get these false ideas, and doesn’t anyone research anything anymore? If you buy a firearm from a Licensed Firearms dealer the firearm must be sent to another licensed firearms dealer near you where you go and pay a transfer fee and wait for it while a background check is performed! After that, you may take your firearm home. But what about buying one from a private person? Well those same Federal Laws I mentioned before still apply, regardless of how you buy a firearm or where you buy it from. If you are a prohibited person, it doesn’t matter where or how you try to get the firearm, you are breaking the Federal Law! Those darn pesky facts again, always getting in the way of things.

You know the old saying, if you repeat something often enough it will be believed as fact? Guess who constantly repeats these false statements about buying firearms? The anti-gun groups like “Everytown USA” & “Mom’s Demand Action” among a few. The mainstream media is also at fault for spreading false information on these issues.

So, the next time you discuss with someone the topic of “Common Sense Gun Control” or that pesky “Gun Show Loophole” your BS meter should be pegged at high! There are already stiff laws on the books to prevent prohibited people from buying or even someone selling to these people. So what other laws do they want to put in place that are already not on the books? Ask them that and see where the conversation goes.

Oh and as a side note, you know what happens when you tell someone that their mission statement for their group is flawed and based on a non-existent problem? They ban you from talking to them on social media. Truly a mature way to discuss issues, but hey, I have been banned from better groups than these. Obviously, perpetuating the truth in this case is harder than perpetuating the lie.