gun

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Magnus ErikssonApril 4, 20198min42190

By Magnus Eriksson

 

The intent with this column is to discuss general legal principles to make you aware of some commonly encountered realities and myths in regarding self-defense laws.  Before we get any further:  DO NOT FIRE WARNING SHOTS!!! You will be charged with (a) crime(s), potentially very serious ones.  Here in Arizona, a gun friendly state, you will GO TO PRISON if convicted of the LEAST serious crime you will have committed by firing warning shots.  It is called Disorderly Conduct with a Weapon, designated as a dangerous offense, which is committed simply by discharging a firearm within city limits.   You could potentially be charged with Aggravated Assault (referred to as battery in many states) with a Deadly Weapon-a dangerous offense with a prison sentence to the tune of half a decade to a decade and a half to follow upon conviction. Not to mention attempted murder, which will land you in prison for couple of decades or more.  I go to jails and prisons all the time to visit clients, but I am free to leave after the visit.  Believe me, you do not want to spend any time in any jail, detention center or prison for following bad advise in good faith.  Other states may treat warning shots somewhat differently, but I doubt that they are condoned anywhere in the US.

Secondly, please familiarize yourself with the self-defense and weapons laws in your state.  The devil is in the details as it were and even a well intended mistake or misunderstanding could result in a living and legal nightmare.  Here in Arizona, and I suspect in other states with similar requirements, perhaps the best way to learn the details of this part of the law is to take a Concealed Weapons class.  These classes offer more detail on this area of the law than most law school curriculums.  Of course, consulting an attorney familiar with the specific laws in your state is highly recommended.

Self-defense is an affirmative defense, meaning one admits to an action that normally would be a crime, but one did it out of necessity and therefore was justified in taking the otherwise illegal action.  The reasoning would sound something like this; “Yes officer, I shot the person, because if I hadn’t, he would have killed or seriously injured me with the gun he pointed at me.”  Generally, the law permits a victim of an attack to use “reasonable force” in order to protect herself by communicating the following general principles.

A victim of an attack, can use that amount of force, which a reasonable and prudent person would use, under the same circumstances up to and including deadly force in order to avoid imminent (serious) injury or death.

A person must be engaged in a lawful activity in order to be justified in the use of force.  For instance, a person who is packaging heroin for sale on the street is not justified in using deadly force when “the wholesaler” of that heroin comes to steal the drugs back at gunpoint. Many jurisdictions allow force to be used in the defense of a third person under the same reasonableness standard.  Here in Arizona, the law allows the use of deadly force in the defense of another who is being sexually assaulted; against an arsonist who is setting fire to an occupied structure, armed robbery, kidnapping, or any other scenario where the third party is threatened with imminent death or serious bodily injury.

Some states have a Retreat Requirement before self-defense can be successfully claimed.  Usually, this requirement applies unless it is not practicable to accomplish.   Keep in mind, some retreat requirement states require retreat if attacked, even in one’s own home.  The opposite of the Retreat Requirement is the Stand Your Ground principle.  Stand Your Ground laws simply get rid of any retreat requirement.  In one recent highly publicized case in a large south-eastern state, much was said about this principle.  Ironically, the principle was not invoked in that trial at all.  Contrary to some claims, the SYG laws do not legalize murder.  Remember the actions taken while using force must be reasonable.  Murder is not reasonable.

In many states the so-called Castle doctrine is law.  The Castle Doctrine presumes that ones’ home is ones’ castle and that if attacked there, there is no retreat requirement.  In some states use of force in this scenario is presumed justified. Please, note that this doctrine does not cover inviting someone over and upon tiring of their presence the invitees may legally be murdered.  That is not reasonable.  The doctrine only applies if a person threatens you with imminent deadly force in your home.  This doctrine extends to ones’ car in certain jurisdictions in cases of car jacking.  At the risk of sounding flippant, this is not a license to murder people who walk by your car minding their own business and posing no imminent threat to you or anyone else in the car.

The Disparity of Force doctrine allows use of up to deadly force in cases such as a wheel chair bound victim attacked by someone not physically challenged, a group of people attacking one lone person, a weak and sickly victim attacked by a master Mixed Martial Arts master etc.

You may still think that all this is clear as mud!  Not to worry, the whole concept is complex because it is highly dependent on all the specific facts of a situation.  Unfortunately, politics to a greater or lesser degree is always a factor in who gets charged and why and strange things happen as a result sometimes.  The best advice is to speak softly, carry a big stick be courteous and alert and aware of the surroundings.  If you are attacked and can get away without fighting, do it even it the law doesn’t require it (tactically sound but perhaps philosophically un-American).  If you can’t get away, fight to live and never quit!!!  If you are then charged with a crime or sued wrongly, continue to fight and never give in.


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One Shot DNovember 7, 20182min1880

Something I always run into at public ranges is the lack of weapons safety. I could be like a lot of other people and have the common opinion that these individuals are unsafe because they are “new to the rules of the range”. More times than not however,  I find out this is not the case. I was out shooting at a public range the other day. After witnessing several dangerous functions the shooters were doing, I found myself having a conversation with them to try to find out what their history with weapons were. After several minutes I found that 95 % of the people I spoke with, stated they have been handling weapons for years and quit a few had according to them “ been thru classes” to help them learn gun safety. After I politely made a few suggestions, I found the common response was that they felt they knew enough and didn’t need any guidance. Due to the nature of their unsafe acts and the fact there was no assigned staff to this facility, I moved to a different location. Safety should always be first and foremost in operating a firearm. This will make for a more enjoyable outing for you and those that might be around you.


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Kate KruegerOctober 18, 20182min1760

By Jim Krueger

While working a class a number of years ago we had a bonded couple. The female was a first time shooter and her other half, the more “knowledgeable” shooter, put the love of his life in a Smith & Wesson 2inch J-Frame. The first day went ok (or so we thought) but the second day not so much.  As we worked the shooting line we noticed her gun hand had a bandage on it and after further investigation we was discovered that a rather large blister had developed on her hand.

After some discussion is was decided that she should give a Browning Hi-Power a try as it would be a more comfortable firearm for her to continue the class. One of the instructors let her borrow her Hi-power and proceeded to instruct her on the workings of that fine gun.

The rest of the class that day continued without incident.  The next day low and behold she showed up at the class with her very own brand new Browning Hi-Power. She completed the rest of the week with great success and a lot less pain. And in the end she was awarded High Lady shooter in the class and third overall. Although the 2 inch revolver is a great little concealed gun for many in this case it was NOT the right gun for a first time shooter to take a week long course.


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One Shot DSeptember 22, 20181min1760

On my off time I teach kids how to competition shoot. Parents always ask what kind of firearm they should purchase to help their child be a better competition shooter. It’s not the firearm that makes a person a good or great competition shooter. It’s the person and the training. I am and always will be a huge advocate of talking parents into letting their kids try different models and brands so we can figure out what works best for them. Then once we figure out what they are comfortable with, we build on that. Everyone is different and handles firearms in different ways. The same is said for adults. There is not a “one type fits all”. There are several rental ranges out there that are in place for this purpose. In the long run you will be glad you tried a rental before you spend all that money on something you hate.


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Kate KruegerMarch 21, 20183min1970

By Jim Krueger

I’ve noted a lot of posts on the web and social media regarding folks interested in purchasing a firearm for defense. Hopefully this game plan may help with the process.

Do your research before rushing out and buying a gun. Revolvers are good as far as ease of operation, but limited in capacity. Semi autos have the capacity but operation can be somewhat difficult (not impossible but require more training in operation). Glock, S&W M&P, Ruger SR9 & Springfield XDM are four semi auto handguns in 9mm that I suggest. It is only a suggestion but they really top the market in ease of operation and reliability. Go to an indoor range that rents handguns, explain you’re a new shooter and ask for a basic introduction lesson to go along with your rental (some will, some will not). Rent the handgun, along with eye and ear protection and purchase your 9mm ammunition and a target from them.

Do NOT fall into the trap of buying a gun then and there. Ask if you can rent two guns on the same visit and have a note pad and pen to put down your likes and dislikes. Next visit do the same with the other two guns. Then go home and look at your notes and make your decision.

Along with the gun you’ll need a good gun belt, holster, mag pouch, (I like International Handgun Leather at IHLUSA.com) eyes and ears, a baseball cap, ammunition and cleaning supplies.

THEN most important go and get yourself some TRAINING from a qualified trainer in the basic handling of a firearm, most quality ranges and clubs will offer or know where to direct you.

After this you should START to learn how to shoot, moving on to how to tactically shoot, finally how to FIGHT with the gun. After doing all of this you are now ready to really learn more about your equipment and more importantly to have a warriors mind set.


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Kate KruegerMarch 15, 20185min1570

I’ve often watched my husband Jim Krueger, a natural lefty who can shoot ambidextrous (with either hand), and wished that I could do that too.  I mentioned it to him one day and the response I got back was “Well try it!!”   That chance came when we went back to Gunsite a number of years ago.

Due to an error in communication regarding pre-requisites we needed to start from the beginning with their 250 Tactical Pistol course.  “Well”, Jim says, “this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn how to shoot left handed!  Since we have to start from the beginning you may as well have them teach you the right way!”  There were other reasons voiced in favor of this as well:  “You’ve had lefty’s in your classes wouldn’t it be nice to know how to instruct them!” and “Think about tactics and how this will help overcome some of the day to day obstacles.”  Needless to say after a few more good reasons I went off to Gunsite with my Glock 19, a left handed rig and 1000 rounds of ammunition ready to learn.

At first it was a little confusing for me but after awhile it began to make sense.  Think about it!?!?  Normally you use your strong hand to hold the gun and pull the trigger then you use your weak hand to do all the dexterous tasks.  For example, racking the slide, handling the magazines during tactical and speed loads and in some cases working the safety. But when you work with your offhand you are now doing all the dexterous tasks with your strong hand and the only thing that you have to worry about doing with your offhand is holding the gun and squeezing the trigger.  Makes sense, huh??

Well it continued to make more sense after the first shots were fired.   From the leather, 2 shots to the center of mass … bang! bang!  Right in the middle and right next to each other.  Then again, and again… Results the same.  As we moved back I continued to be pretty impressed but of course I have to admit that this was not timed and my focus was pretty intense.  You see when you try something new like this you automatically go back to the basics:  front sight, trigger squeeze, breath control, grip, stance and safety… safety… safety!! Your focus is incredible.  If it isn’t it SHOULD BE!

As the week went along it became much harder but I never even considered switching over to my dominant hand to complete the course.  The challenge and the learning experience were awesome!  Through the week we ran speed drills and I was actually able to draw and fire 2 rounds from the leather faster with my left hand than my right… 1.6 seconds!  My tactics were slower but not bad and in tactics slow (cautious) should not be a bad thing.  Overall my performance wasn’t too bad and I was very pleased to have successfully completed this type of course.  One of my earlier instructors suggested that “…everyone striving to be an instructor should try taking an entire course with their offhand to put themselves in shoes of a new shooter … it can be a humbling learning experience”.

Besides realizing that I could shoot left handed I also learned how important good and patient instructors are.  With the right coaching, solid basics and a lot of patience this was one of the best training activities that I have put myself through.



Kate KruegerMay 1, 20164min1750

Recently I have stopped watching the “news” on any channel because they all sound alike. News used to be important events around the world, local accidents and other things out of the ordinary day to day activity. Now it’s the same stories over and over and over again until you can hardly stand it anymore. And when there are news worthy events occurring nothing ever comes of them.

For example: Fast and Furious one of the first of Obama’s scandals started in 2009 and “misplaced” more than 2,000 weapons across the Mexican border and cost the life of Border Agent Brian Terry… The Administration is still fighting in court today refusing to release documents from that fiasco. And so far the only ones who paid for that are the whistle blowers.

Then let’s not forget the IRS vs Tea Party Patriots where the IRS targeted conservative and TEA Party groups and businesses based on their political beliefs. This is also STILL being fought in the courts today. And Benghazi… what has happened to this country when no one comes to rescue a sitting US Ambassador and other Americans when they send out a call for help? But more than that what is wrong with a State Department refusing to add security when asked by a sitting US Ambassador? Who knows the lay of the land better than that Ambassador? Then not only did they refuse but they cut the security down to less reliable local (non-US) security. And I could go on…

Today we are watching the candidates for the highest position in America. For the first time Americans are getting a real glimpse of who REALLY selects the politicians who supposedly speak for you. I always thought I knew how that process worked but boy even I’m getting an education.

Hillary, in spite of Bernie Sanders amazing (and scary) run, has it all but sown up on the democratic side and as for the republicans… That should prove to be very interesting. Trump has it right it is a very crooked and nasty process. I’m not a fan of Trump but America is speaking and it doesn’t appear as if anyone is really listening.

HEY FOLKS… KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE END GAME… this is a serious situation and although he is not my first pick if he gets the nod I’m voting for him. I DO NOT WANT HILLARY IN OFFICE… I LIKE MY GUNS JUST THE WAY THEY ARE…which is in my hands. I DO NOT WANT HILLARY filling the SCOTUS position that is open or others that will open over the next few years…

If your guy is not the one chosen YOU MUST STILL VOTE!!! I don’t like this process but we need to change the team (dem vs rep) before we can make any other changes.

So no matter how dirty or nasty this crappy process is KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL AND VOTE.


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Kate KruegerMarch 9, 20166min1800

Elections are some of the most important times in this country’s history. They are a favorite time of mine because I get to see this country in action. Unfortunately it’s not always at its finest during elections because the “All Knowing” establishment (those who have made a career of politics, elitists who run the show) believes they have to control the results because “We the People” don’t know what we are doing.

Now let me say this before I really get going here… I’m not a fan of Donald Trump. I didn’t even watch his TV shows because I always thought he was a bit of an arrogant bloviator.  But with that said the American people are making a statement right now and voting in caucuses and primaries across this country and based on delegates there is only a small difference between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump with Mr. Trump in the lead.

It appears that the “Establishment” like Romney, McCain, Graham and others are making a fuss that the American people are being conned by a con man and they (us) don’t understand what this could mean to the country and the GRAND OLE PARTY… That if Trump gets the nod at the convention it is a slap in the face of Republican Values… WHAT VALUES?

You see the “Establishment” has been shoving moderate Republicans (AKA RINO or Republicans in Name Only) down our throats for so long that they are starting to believe THEY have CONSERVATIVE values…

What are Conservative values? Conservatives believe first and foremost in the building blocks the Founding Fathers left for us; the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They believed in small government; they believed in the people; they believed that the People were the “Sovereign” and that government should answer to them; they believed in very limited power for the Federal government; they believed in States Sovereignty as mandated by the People;  they believed in limited taxation, freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms and many more truly conservative ideas.

Through the years many of us have watched this amazing country change. Liberalism has overtaken our educational system and our large city governments like Boston, New York, Baltimore, Detroit and most of California. We all know how well those dens of socialism are working.

But I digress… These elections are being hijacked by the elite. The RNC is in a conundrum … they don’t want Trump but they really don’t want the next closest candidate to him either Ted Cruz. The chosen ones like Graham, Bush, Kasich and Rubio have either fallen or are falling by the wayside. Oh what to do what to do…

If the RNC decides to intervene at the convention and allow it to become a brokered convention and a candidate like Rubio or Kasich or even Romney wins I personally believe they will be making a huge mistake (especially if they give it to Romney).  The Republican Party that started with Lincoln and real conservative values will never be the same. The Grand Ole Party will end up being nothing but a bunch of Grand Old ‘Pharts’…

This election is more important to this country than taking over the White House and turning things around (especially Obamacare) but it is MOST important because the person who wins will most probably be picking at least 2 if not 4 Supreme Court Justices and that is a legacy that will live long past this election. This election could be a turning point and if the Republicans don’t get their act together and stand behind the People’s Choice then they will lose again.

But quite honestly I don’t believe they care about losing or about this country and most importantly about the people that put them there. I believe they only care about keeping the status quo, their cushy jobs and special benefits, their great pensions and all their little perks (like insider trading).

We the People need to let them know LOUD AND CLEAR that we will not stand for them stealing our election process from us. We need to tell Rubio and Kasich to step down and stop dividing the vote! We need to start writing on Romney, McCain, Graham, Ryan and all the other elites Twitter and Facebook pages and let them know NOW that we will not stand for it and they need to hold their proverbial nose and coalesce behind whatever candidate ends up with the most delegates! What the heck we’ve had to do that for the past few elections and now it’s their turn.

Speak out NOW before we have nothing left!


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Kate KruegerFebruary 14, 20163min1420


Saturday February 13, 2016 was a very sad day in America. It lost its greatest champion of interpreting the Constitution as it was understood at the time of its adoption, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who died at the age of 79. In today’s timeframe a relatively young man but the real loss is in his larger than life personality, his outspoken defense of conservatism and the US Constitution, and his “take no prisoners” dissents that left no one in doubt of his thoughts on the matters.

Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan and served this country for three decades, sadly leaving this earth at a turning point in this countries struggle to hold fast to the Founding Fathers intentions of freedom and liberty. And leaving many of us concerned over the continuation of their principles, our freedoms and the countries greatness.

For us as gun owners, his majority vote on District of Columbia vs Heller declared the 2nd Amendments rights of an individual to bear arms, turning the tide of gun laws. After Chicago vs McDonald reiterated the ruling declaring that Chicago’s handgun ban violated the 2nd Amendments right of the individual to bear arms, it locked in the DC vs Heller ruling for the States. But the big question now is how will his death impact these rulings and the longevity of the 2nd Amendment? Is this the death knell for our rights?

Its a frightening turn of events that leaves these decisions in the hands of the most Liberal Administration in the history of this country. Will the Conservatives in the Senate fight any liberal candidates to replace Scalia? Do they even want to?

RIP Justice Antonin Scalia; your voice of reason will be sorely missed.