The Blaze: 2nd Amendment

Man pulls up to mobile home and opens fire. But Dad in home arms himself — and shooter pays dearly.

The son of a homeowner near Eatonville, Washington, told his father an individual threatened him, promising to  “shoot up the house,” the News Tribune reported.

With that, the father armed himself and went to the door of his mobile home, which is situated along a lengthy, dead-end driveway, the paper said.

Sure enough, a car pulled up to the trailer just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, and one of the car’s occupants opened fire at the bedroom area of the mobile home, Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, told the News Tribune.

What did the father do?

But Dad returned fire, hitting the gunman who died at the scene, authorities told the paper.

The homeowner called 911 to report the incident, Troyer told the News Tribune, adding that “at this point, it looks like a justifiable shooting.”

Troyer also said the suspect’s gun was found at the scene.

Image source: News Tribune video screenshot Was the shooter from the car identified?

The fatally shot man was identified as 18-year-old Bryson Smith, the paper reported in a follow-up article, noting that he opened fire on the mobile home in retaliation for an incident involving the homeowner’s son.

What happened after the gunman was shot?

The car’s remaining occupants fled in the vehicle, which was stopped by sheriff’s deputies about 20 minutes after the shooting, the paper said. A 31-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were arrested in the car, Troyer told the News Tribune, which added that a dog in the car was taken to animal control and the vehicle was towed.

The man was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, the paper reported, and the boy was booked into a juvenile detention center.

What are prosecutors debating?

Prosecutors are expected to decide Thursday whether to file criminal charges, the News Tribune said, adding that detectives are trying to determine the details of the earlier incident involving Smith and the homeowner’s son.

“The people that came up here we believe came up here with the intent to fire upon the people that were in the residence,” Troyer told the paper. “Fortunately, the people in the residence aren’t hurt, but the people that showed up suffered the brunt of the damage.”

Armed father sees intruder crouching outside his children’s bedroom window. Dad doesn’t hesitate.

A husband and wife were asleep inside their Spanaway, Washington, home after 2 a.m. Monday when they heard noises and footsteps outside and saw an exterior motion light turn on, police told KIRO-TV.

When the husband went inside the room where his children — an infant and toddler — were sleeping, he came face-to-face with a frightening sight, the station said: A man crouching in the window well.

“My wife and I are still kind of in shock,” the husband and father, who didn’t want his name released, told KIRO. “I opened a curtain and there was a threat immediately in my face.”

Image source: KIRO-TV video screenshot

In fact, the suspect was crouched down with his face just inches from the glass, detectives told the station.

After yelling at him to stop, the homeowner — who told deputies he feared for his family’s safety — fired four shots at the suspect, hitting him twice, KIRO reported.

“That’s just the primal instinct as a man to try to protect my family and my wife,” the homeowner told the station. “I’m willing to put my life out there to make sure my wife and my sons are protected from that threat.”

Image source: KIRO-TV video screenshot What happened to the suspect?

When deputies arrived, the intruder was laying in the grass suffering from two gunshots, KIRO said, adding that the 24-year-old is expected to be charged once he’s released from the hospital.

Do authorities know the suspect?

They sure do. Pierce County investigators immediately recognized the suspect who’d just been released from jail after serving nearly a month for car prowling, KIRO said.

What’s more, investigators told the station the suspect was caught on surveillance video a block away trying to break into another home prior to his painful encounter with the gun-toting dad.

Image source: KIRO-TV video screenshot

“The caller reported hearing the sound of his riding lawn mower start up then saw a man running away down a long gravel driveway,” detectives told KIRO.

What did the homeowner of the other incident have to say?

Dale Collins showed the station surveillance video of the incident at his home, which seems to show the same man trying to break into two cars. The man was seen walking into the camera frame covered in a blanket, which he left in a shed, KIRO said.

A screen also was torn off a bathroom window, the station reported, adding that Collins said it appears the suspect tried to break in.

“I mean if he wants to walk around fine,” Collins told KIRO, “but when you try to get into a house, you’re intentionally trying to hurt somebody.”

Image source: KIRO-TV video screenshot What else did the homeowner who shot the suspect have to say?

The dad who shot the suspect told KIRO that he hopes sharing what happened to his family will help others take steps to protect their loved ones.

Image source: KIRO-TV video screenshot

“It’s OK to have a weapon in your home and protect yourself and your family,” he told the station. “If I know that I can sway someone’s thoughts to help them protect their family better and they live, then my job here is successful.”

Here are the 3 new gun regulations Trump is reportedly considering

In the wake of last week’s tragic shooting at a Florida high school, the national narrative has centered on guns. Democrats mostly argue for increased gun control measures, while Second Amendment advocates mostly oppose any new restrictions.

The debate usually dies quickly after a shooting, but it has remained strong over the last week. Now, even President Donald Trump is reportedly considering new restrictions on firearms.

No. 1: Raising the purchase age for certain firearms

Axios reported Wednesday that Trump has privately discussed supporting a measure that would raise the purchase age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.

Currently, any 18-year-old who is lawfully able to purchase and possess a firearm can purchase a rifle or shotgun, including the controversial AR-15. Federal law requires a citizen to be 21 before purchasing a handgun.

According to the Washington Post, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday the option is “on the table for us to discuss.”

What’s not clear is if Trump would advocate for new age restrictions at the federal level or if he would encourage state legislators to make the change.

No. 2: Increased background checks

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted his support for “strengthening” the background check system.

Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2018

Currently, federal law stipulates that any person purchasing a weapon from a federally licensed firearms dealer must have their background checked through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which takes just minutes. The system merely checks a person’s legal eligibility to purchase a firearm and no mental health evaluation occurs.

However, for private transactions in most states, which are a small share of all gun sales, no background check is required for long guns or handguns. Still, many states like North Carolina require a pistol permit or concealed carry license for private handgun transactions.

It’s not clear what improvements would be made to the NICS system.

No. 3: Ban bump stocks

A bump stock is an inexpensive device that helps a shooter fire a standard semi-automatic rifle more rapidly, which makes the firearm behave more like a fully-automatic weapon. A bump stock was reportedly used in the Las Vegas massacre last year. The devices don’t actually make semi-automatic rifles fully-automatic, but they use recoil to increase the rate at which the trigger is pulled.

Trump said at the White House on Tuesday that he has instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to pursue legislation that outlaws the devices.

“We cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make a difference,” Trump said, according to the New York Times.

Why is this time different?

America has seen more than a dozen tragic mass shootings over the last few years and little has been done to prevent the next one. But this time appears to be different.

Most people are split over what to actually do and whether or not increased gun restrictions would prevent the next mass shooting remains to be seen. But the difference this time appears to lie with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who have been very outspoken about the need for gun control since the shooting.

Their dialogue has even sparked a CNN town hall, which will include the Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

Even Trump, seems to agree with the kids’ sentiment. “We have to do something. We’ve got kids dying,” he reportedly said during a private meeting on guns, according to Axios.

Ted Cruz defends Second Amendment, blasts ‘enormous hypocrisy’ of Hollywood liberals on gun control

Sen. Ted Cruz was asked by a TMZ reporter in Washington, D.C., last week if Hollywood, while touting overwhelming opposition to the Second Amendment, shares blame for gun violence due to its influence in American culture.

And the Republican from Texas shot straight from the hip.

I don’t think this is one too many movies with cowboys and Indians or [Arnold] Schwarzenegger, Quentin Tarantino, or what have you. I don’t think that’s the cause. Evil has always been with us. Now Hollywood does glorify violence, and I’ve got to say I wish we had a little bit less of that. But the truth of the matter is when Hollywood celebrities engage on issues like this, they’re almost inevitably reflecting enormous hypocrisy. Because a lot of these movie stars, they have armed security traveling with them, so they’re perfectly happy to say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. My armed security, he can keep me safe, but don’t let a law-abiding citizen.” The Second Amendment is about a single mom living in a tough neighborhood with a crack house down the street being able to defend herself and defend her kids.

Cruz then brought up Stephen Willeford, who used his own gun to stop the shooter behind the tragic massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November.

“It was the Second Amendment that saved a lot of lives that day,” Cruz said of Willeford’s actions. “Law enforcement lives and innocent men, women and children. The Second Amendment is about people protecting themselves.”

Cruz then offered a biting commentary on left-wingers from Tinseltown and their affections for the environment.

“Hollywood liberals on gun control is akin to Hollywood liberals on global warming,” Cruz said. “Which is they fly their private jets to a conference, step out and say, ‘Global warming is terrible. Let’s take away everything from the working men and women.’ And then they get back on their private jet and fly back. Same thing on gun control. If you have a bevy of armed security officers protecting you, maybe you shouldn’t be trying to strip Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens.”

(H/T: Louder With Crowder)

DEBUNKED: CBS News says it’s easier to buy an ‘assault rifle’ in Florida than cold medicine

CBS News tweeted a video Monday with accompanying text that stated, “In Florida, it’s easier to buy an assault rifle than it is to obtain cold medicine.”

In Florida, it's easier to buy an assault rifle than it is to obtain cold medicine

— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 19, 2018

In the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school last week, the CBS News video offered a series of screenshots with related statements. The clip noted that “some posts on social media are alleging that guns are easier to buy in Florida than some household products.”

The next line said, “Here’s what’s more difficult to purchase than a gun in Florida.”

The video noted the cold medicine, Sudafed, which — since it contains pseudoephedrine that can be used to manufacture methamphetamines — can be sold only from behind pharmacy counters to customers with identification proving they’re 18 and that there’s a limit to how much can be purchased per month.

The video followed with a screenshot saying, “In Florida, you can buy as many guns as you want at one time, according to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.”

Image source: Twitter screenshot

It added, “You also don’t need a permit to purchase a rifle or shotgun.”

Image source: Twitter screenshot

The clip went on to note the relatively strict regulations on purchasing fertilizer (because it contains ammonium nitrate, which can be mixed with other substances to create explosives) and even anti-diarrhea medication — the implication being that purchasing the latter is more difficult than buying an “assault rifle.”

So what’s this about it being easier to buy an ‘assault rifle’ in Florida than purchasing items like Sudafed?

First, if by “assault rifle” CBS News means an automatic rifle, such guns made after 1986 have been almost universally illegal to own for quite some time. Legal fully automatic weapons must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And private citizen wishing to obtain one must undergo extensive background checks. In contrast, the AR-15, which was used by the Florida school shooter, is a semi-automatic rifle, which can fire only one round per trigger pull. Such guns, because of their cosmetic features, are often called “assault weapons” — not “assault rifles.”

Further, the CBS News clip offered two sentences apparently to back up its “easier to buy” claim but failed to mention a host of requirements connected to purchasing a gun in Florida:

  • You need to prove you’re 18.
  • If you don’t already have a concealed carry license, there’s a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases.
  • You can’t be a convicted felon, drug addict, alcoholic, mental incompetent or a vagrant, the NRA notes.
  • And as you probably already know, you have to pass a background check via Federal Form 4473 and wait for your  name to run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

A related CBS News article with a decidedly broader headline (“5 things that are more complicated than buying a gun in Florida” — as opposed to “assault rifle”) also was posted Monday and included an editor’s note: “This piece was edited to add details about the waiting periods required for handgun purchases and some rifle purchases, which were absent in earlier versions.”

But the “easier to buy an assault rifle” tweet from CBS News? It was still active Tuesday afternoon.

CBS News on Tuesday afternoon didn’t immediately reply to TheBlaze’s request for comment on why the tweet in question was still active or unedited and why there was a disparity between the tweet and the CBS News article.

(H/T: Truth Revolt)

Florida man willingly surrenders AR-style rifle after school shooting. His reason why has gone viral

Less than two days after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a longtime, law-abiding gun owner surrendered his AR-style rifle to law enforcement.

A Facebook post describing the reason why has gone viral.

What happened?

The day after the shooting, Ben Dickmann vowed to surrender his AR-57 rifle, the same style of firearm used by the Florida shooter just of a different caliber. The AR-15 shoots a 5.56 mm round, while the AR-57 shoots a 5.7 mm round.

On Friday, he did just that, surrendering the firearm to his local Broward County Sheriff precinct.

“I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” Dickmann wrote. “This is an AR-FiveSeven, I own this rifle. It’s a caliber variant of the AR-15. I am a responsible, highly trained gun owner.”

“However, I do not need this rifle. No one without a law enforcement badge needs this rifle,” he explained. “I have surrendered this rifle to the Broward Sheriff at the Tamarac Post. I could have easily sold this rifle, but no person needs this. I will be the change I want to see in this world. If our lawmakers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example.”

Dickmann posted pictures of his rifle and a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy filling out paperwork to accept the surrendered firearm along with his message.

In his Thursday Facebook post, Dickmann vowed to not sit idly by and not act while more massacres take place. In that post, he offered three suggestions of steps to take to come to a reasonable solution to the problem.

First, he said the development and importation of “new military style semi-automatic weapons and replacement parts” needs to end. Second, he said the Second Amendment should be limited to “militias,” and finally, he said urged better “control and training requirements” for firearm ownership.

“We need to start, we need to act. We need to be the generation that says enough is enough and we are going to start the wheels to stop this,” Dickmann wrote. “I know this is not going to stop overnight, but, if we don’t start to actually DO SOMETHING it will NEVER STOP.”

The post of Dickmann’s rifle surrender has gone viral, receiving more than 550,000 reactions and nearly one-quarter million shares.

Do you agree with Dickmann surrendering his rifle? Yes  No  I appreciate his willingness to act, but surrendering arms won't fix the problem  Change Vote Total Votes: 7461

Sheriff offers free concealed carry classes for teachers in wake of deadly school shooting

Since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school last week, politicians and pundits have been calling for stronger gun control measures and casting blame for the tragedy on the NRA, Republicans, conservatives and President Donald Trump.

But others are fighting fire with fire.

TheBlaze noted Sunday that the owner of is offering a free concealed carry class for the state’s educators and students who are at least 18 years old.

And the same thing is happening in Ohio — but the difference is that the offer is coming courtesy of a law enforcement official.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones announced Sunday on Twitter that he’ll offer a free concealed carry class to teachers in the county — as well as training on school shootings.

I am going to offer free concealed and Carry class free 2 teachers in butler county. Limited number. Details coming soon on line. Also training on school shootings.

— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 18, 2018

The idea seemed to quickly elicit positive responses, as the sheriff’s office noted on Facebook:

“Over 50 emails in 20 minutes,” the post noted. “Keep them coming, we will find a plan. This community rocks! #kidscomefirst!!”

What did detractors have to say?

Not that everybody was on board. One Facebook commenter called the sheriff’s class to fight back against gun violence in schools “hillbilly logic.”

“If kids come first, why are you trying to expose them to MORE firearms?” the commenter wrote. “Why not just try to change the gun laws and make it harder for people to even obtain them?”

A commenter on Jones’ Twitter post replied, “I truly hope you’re not implying by this tweet that teachers should be bringing weapons onto school property? Training for everyone on an individual basis is fine and dandy, but if there is a teacher bringing a gun onto school grounds, I have BIG problems with that.”

What move did Ohio’s Republican governor just take in relation to guns?

Gov. John Kasich removed a pro-Second Amendment section from his political website Sunday after he called on Congress to enact stricter gun laws.

(H/T: Louder With Crowder)

Just-released inmate attacks prison guard in prison parking lot. But guard has a gun — and uses it.

Seems a former prison inmate started “his life of crime over again within minutes of being released,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI-TV.

In an incident Small called “somewhat bizarre,” 26-year-old Jamal Bennett didn’t make it off the property of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility when he attacked a prison guard — 27-year veteran Michael Maratea — who had just finished his shift around 11 p.m. Friday, the station said.

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

Bennett targeted Maratea about 45 minutes after his release, WCAU-TV reported, adding that the guard told Bennett to stop several times — but officials said the former inmate kept approaching his car.

Authorities told WPVI that Bennett was pummeling Maratea, 66, and trying to steal his car when the guard pulled the trigger of his personal weapon and hit Bennett in the chest.

Bennett also allegedly tried to grab Maratea’s gun and take his phone, correctional officers’ union representative Lorenzo North told WHYY-TV. Inmates are given bus fare when they’re discharged, prisons spokeswoman Shawn Hawes added to the station.

Bennett was in critical condition at a hospital but was expected to survive, the station said, adding that Maratea is expected to be OK.

What’s the story with the guard’s gun?

Correctional officers aren’t typically armed with guns in prison, WHYY reported, but they can check their personal weapons in a staff locker room before reporting for duty. Maratea retrieved his gun prior to the attack, Hawes added to the station.

What is Bennett’s criminal background?

Bennett — who had just been released from custody on a probation violation for a weapons charge — will be facing new charges, WPVI reported.

He has been in city prisons seven times since 2011, WHYY reported.

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot What issue has the incident brought to the forefront?

The incident has placed on the front burner the issue of inmates, their families and guests parking in the same lot as employees, the station said.

How did the union rep for correctional officers react?

“Sadly, the Commissioner of Prisons will put an inmate’s family and visitors first before the safety of employees,” North said in a statement Saturday, WPVI reported. “No other prison allows visitors to park with correctional staff, but the Philadelphia Department of Prisons does.”

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot How did a prison official respond?

“The parking arrangement in the shared parking with civilian and staff at the house of corrections has been in place over 20 years,” Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney said at a news briefing.

“I take all staff safety into account,” she added. “I’m responsible for them and when we see that there’s a situation that presents itself, and we’re able to correct it and address it, we do.”

Carney also told WPVI there will be a review of their procedures.

(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)

Armed intruder fires at homeowner four times and misses. Homeowner also has a gun—and a better aim.

Dennis Reif heard noises coming from his kitchen just before 3 a.m. Monday, KXII-TV reported — and the Francis, Oklahoma, homeowner knew just what to do.

“I got my gun out of the drawer because I heard someone smashing in here, and I saw a flashlight beam,” Reif told the station.

Image source: KXII-TV video screenshot

The homeowner said he got an eyeful of Chris Born, KXII reported, who fired four shots at Reif — and missed.

But it turns out Reif has a far better aim, hitting Born twice in the chest with his .38-caliber revolver, the station said.

Chris Born (Image source: KXII-TV video screenshot)

“I just quickly leveled at him and fired to protect myself, and he screamed and yelled he was hit,” the homeowner told KXII.

What happened next?

“When the shots were fired they dropped everything and left the residence,” Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian told the station, adding that Born likely assumed no one was inside Reif’s residence.

Image source: KXII-TV video screenshot

Born high-tailed it in a pickup truck with Dustin Hoots, investigators told KXII, adding that Born was caught after a short chase — but Hoots ran off.

He wasn’t at-large for long, though.

Hoots soon was found at Born’s house “hiding under a table,” Christian told the station, adding that Hoots is being held in county jail without bond.

Dustin Hoots (Image source: KXII-TV video screenshot) Who else was arrested?

Jeanette Matthews and Tara Whittecar — in a separate pickup at the time of the break-in and were believed to be lookouts, Christian told the station — also were arrested, KXII said.

From left: Jeanette Matthews and Tara Whittecar (Image source: KXII-TV video screenshot)

While looking for Hoots, Christian said authorities found several stolen guns at a shop building Born runs, along with stolen items connected to at least 10 burglaries, the station added.

Image source: KXII-TV video screenshot What else do we know about Born?

Born is hospitalized in critical condition, KXII said, and is a convicted felon.

Born’s son, Christopher Thomas Born, is in prison for murder, the station added.

Born’s other son Kalup is awaiting trial, also for murder, KXII reported.

Christian told the station that “this family we’ve dealt for almost as long as I can remember” and that it’s “no surprise to me that Christopher Born is in the situation he’s in today.”

Armed man confronts crook breaking into car in his driveway. Crook charges at him — a fatal error.

Robert Morton, 20, was upstairs in his Lawrenceville, Georgia, home just before 1 a.m. Friday when he heard a noise, Gwinnett police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“He grabbed his firearm and went to investigate,” Cpl. Wilbert Rundles told the paper.

Morton found 50-year-old James Brock breaking into a vehicle in the driveway and confronted him, police added to the Journal-Constitution.

“He verbally challenged the intruder,” Rundles told the paper, adding that the intruder then “charged at the resident.”

How did Morton react?

Police told the Journal-Constitution that Morton “fired more than one shot, striking the intruder.”

What happened to the intruder?

Brock died at the scene, the paper reported, adding that his body was found near the garage.

Image source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution video screenshot What will happen to Morton?

“Criminal charges are not expected against Morton,” Cpl. Michele Pihera told the Journal-Constitution.

Police told the paper that the resident was brought in for questioning and is cooperating with their investigation.

Image source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution video screenshot

There is no link between Brock and Morton, the paper said, adding that others in the home at the time of the shooting were not injured.