Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Please Note: The linked video below is graphic.
By now you have heard the officer charged in the Philando Castile shooting, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted on the charges of second-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. Back in July of last year I had armchair quarterbacked the situation while believing Philando had told the officer he had a concealed firearm and permit. After reviewing the video below, there was no mention of a permit in the conversation only that he had a firearm and then the officer immediately grabs the grip of his gun and tells him not to reach for it. I believe the officer acted too fast and as a result Philando is dead. I also believe Philando had a duty to obey the officer’s command and when he went reaching he escalated the situation.
After hearing the news the officer was acquitted I immediately felt the jury got it wrong despite deliberating for four days. After watching the video I am not so sure. For certain any officer that fearful and quick to action should rethink their chosen profession. A trained professional should exercise caution and restraint until the situation call for the use of deadly force. In this case we have a driver with a broken tail light who has impairment from use of marijuana and his decision to not obey the officer’s commands in conjunction with an officer making a poor decision led to his demise. In my mind the officer is guilty of something, but I am no longer convinced it is manslaughter.
As a concealed carry permit holder I strongly feel anyone who announces they have a permit and firearm to the officer should never be shot. In the case of Philando Castile he never mentioned the permit, only the firearm, and then reached when he was instructed not to do so. It is a tragedy which could have been prevented if Philando had obeyed the officer and if the officer had exercised a bit more restraint instead of fear, especially considering there was a child in the vehicle.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I opened up the paper and saw the caption on a photo said, “Bullets from an assault rifle travel three times the speed of handgun bullets. Once they enter the body, they fragment and explode.” This came from an opinion piece by Dr. Leana S. Wen who is an emergency physician and the Health Commissioner of Baltimore City. One would think a Doctor would be able to do simple math and also understand how bullets function. So let’s explore her statements. I’ll choose a 9mm bullet because it is probably the most common round one will find today in semi-automatic firearms. The muzzle velocity of a 9mm varies, but if we select a middle of the road round it will travel at least 1,200 ft/s. Now let’s compare that with the muzzle velocity of a .223 which is the round most commonly associated with a modern sporting rifle. Again a middle of the road number would be 3,000 ft/s with some being faster and some being slower. Let’s apply a little mathematics to determine 3 / 1.2 = 2.5 which I suppose one could round to three, but should people with advanced degrees round? Suppose Dr. Wen was administering a drug to a patient in the ER. Should she say 2.5 cc is the exact amount, but let’s round that to 3 cc? I think not. Now she could choose an exact manufactured round which has a muzzle velocity of 3,600 ft/s, but by the same token we could choose one with a muzzle velocity of 2,500 ft/s which in Dr. Wen’s world would round down to 2. The patient requires 2.083 cc of the drug, but let’s just round down to 2, no worries.
Now let’s hit on what really caught my eye. She said, “once they enter the body, they fragment and explode.” No, no they do not. They do fragment, that much is true, but there is no explosion which happens from a rifle bullet hitting a target. The .223 bullet is unstable once it contacts a target and it begins to tumble and fragment, but it NEVER explodes. I despise when people who should know better choose to represent statements as fact when they are actually false. Dr. Wen should know better (or at least Google it) and The News & Observer should not print opinions such as this with statements which are so easily fact checked for validity. Perhaps there are words of wisdom in Dr. Wen’s opinion piece, but sensationalizing the photo in the print edition is yet another example of poor journalism standards from the N&O. Maybe Ned is hitting the bottle again?
Oh Ruger, you are a cruel mistress. You roll out yet another new firearm which temps even the most resolute of us to add it to the collection. The new SR1911 in 10mm is already receiving great reviews. Luckily I am not in the market for another 1911, but if I was this one would certainly be under consideration.
Ruger just announced a recall for Mark IV pistols manufactured before June 1, 2017. If you own a Mark IV which was manufactured prior to June 1, please visit their website to determine the appropriate steps to return the firearm and have it updated.
Never forget the reason for Memorial Day and all those who fought and died to give you the freedom you enjoy today in America! If you know a Veteran, tell them thank you for your service, if you are a Veteran, I thank you for your service.
If you plan to travel with firearms, please pay attention to this recent article from the NRA. It is important to follow the TSA rules, the airline rules for the particular airline on which you will be checking luggage, and also the suggestions in the article. Something I found interesting was the requirement to have a lock in every padlock hole as opposed to just a single lock. I checked on of my cases which has two locks on it and also found it had two padlock location so to fly with that case would require me to put two additional padlocks on the case. Not a big deal, but something which would certainly ruin your day if you showed up at the airport without the additional locks.
Back in September we posted about an officer who shot a man with his hands up. Reports at the time were the officer could not see the man’s hands, but all video of the incident clearly showed his hands were visible. Since the story emerged more information became available including interviews by 60 Minutes of the officer and the family of the man who was killed. Also toxicology reports were released showing the man had PCP in his system.
The charge against the officer was first degree manslaughter. Reports indicate the jury was charged to decide if Officer Shelby “acted in a manner that was inexcusable or unjustified, or whether the motorist, Terence Crutcher, died as a result of his own actions.” The jury asked to explain their verdict, but was denied by the judge. Officer Shelby mentioned on 60 Minutes (linked below) she was in fear for her life. While this may be unpopular, I suggest she may want to rethink her chosen profession as a police officer. Non-lethal force was available and she had backup at the time of the shooting. While Mr. Crutcher could have potentially entered his vehicle and retrieved a weapon (none was actually found in the vehicle), in my opinion he was not demonstrating a threat at the time he was shot. There can be no doubt Officer Shelby was in fear for her life based on her comments, but if she fears every person who walks away with their hands up this is not the profession for her long term. Mr. Crutcher failed to follow commands and that ultimately caused his demise. It’s easy to play armchair quarterback after an event, but what should have happened in this situation is the taser should have been used by the second officer before deadly force was instigated. The jury has decided the fate of Officer Shelby based on the evidence and testimony presented. Hopefully the Tulsa Police Department will work on training their officers so the next time deadly force is applied it will clearly be necessary and not require the officer and the family of the deceased to relive the event to determine guilt.
Ran into this video of Rob Leatham explaining why aiming is useless. Take a few minutes to watch it and you might learn something along the way.
Longtime readers of the blog may recall in 2012 a database of concealed handgun permit holders in North Carolina was published. It contained streets and some house numbers to alert residents who had a permit in their area. Mark Binker was one of the people behind that database and he caught some heat from the public for it and was mentioned in this blog several times until the database was taken down in 2013 because House Bill 937 made the information private.
Mark passed away unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 43. He leaves behind his wife and two young sons. While many disagreed with his publishing of the concealed handgun permit database, no one wanted to see any harm come to Mark or his family.
There is a YouCaring fund which has been set up to received donations for Mark’s family. Please keep the Binker family in your thoughts.