Rambunctious third-graders filled a classroom in Seattle on a crisp autumn day. One of the students dropped his backpack, and horror ensued.
A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists.
Never mind that there are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in this country of 10 million people — gun purchases spiked. One shop owner in East Bohemia, a region in the northern center of the Czech Republic, told a local paper that people were scared of a “wave of Islamists.”
Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. Proponents say this could save lives if an attack occurs and police are delayed or unable to make their way to the scene. To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal; they’ll vote in the coming months.
The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.
This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures. In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. The European Commission’s initial proposal called for a complete ban on the sale of weapons like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s that are intended primarily for military use. Ammunition magazines would be limited to 20 rounds or less.
The Czech Republic came out hard against the directive. Officials warned — somewhat ominously — that the measure would limit the country’s ability to build “an internal security system” and make it nearly impossible to train army reservists. And a total ban on military-style rifles that can fire large numbers of rounds would make illegal thousands of weapons already owned by Czech citizens, potentially creating a black market for terrorists to exploit. Finland and Germany offered their own reservations; Europe’s pro-gun groups also mobilised against the bill with the support of politicians on the extreme right.
After months of contentious negotiations, the EU passed a compromise last month; the Council of Ministers will confirm the measure this spring. All member states will have 15 months to comply with the new gun restrictions. The final measure bans the sale of most military-style rifles and requires all potential buyers to go through a psychological check before they can buy a weapon. If someone fails a check in one E.U. state, that information will be shared in an international database so that the person can’t procure a gun somewhere else. Online sales are also severely curtailed. The Czech Republic was the only country to oppose the directive for being too strict. Luxembourg also voted against the measure, but on the grounds that it was too weak.
That means that regardless of how the Czech parliament votes on the terrorist-hunting measure, gun laws in the Czech Republic are going to get stricter. All gun purchasers will be required to pass the psychological checks, though it’s not yet clear if gun owners will have to turn in newly illegal weapons. That ambiguity has led one Czech newspaper to suggest that the Interior Ministry’s latest move is much more about political safety than safety from terrorism.
The Armatix iP1 pistol and its RFID watch, are sold as one of the most secure firearm systems available.
But a hacker, who goes by ‘Plore’, has found flaws in the Armatix that entirely defeat its security measures.
I have been guiding brown bear hunters and fishermen and bear photographers from our homestead within Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for 33 years and have had numerous close encounters with bears. Until now, I have never had to shoot an unwounded bear to protect either myself or clients, but the other week an event occurred and my good fortune changed.
When it happened, I was fully aware of what was going on and how big the bear was. I also managed to stay aware of where my clients were, even when the bear was directly between us. The woman I was guiding said that while she did not remember smelling the bear’s breath, it was close enough to her face that it could have bitten her!
I have killed enough bears to know how important shot placement can be, even with large-bore rifles. I was well aware of the limitations of my 9mm pistol, even with Buffalo Bore ammo. I was aiming for a vital area with each shot; because it all took place between 6 and 8 feet, they were not far off. But hitting the head and brain of a highly animated and agitated animal is a difficult shot.
The two photos shown here tell a pretty good story by themselves. The secondary photo (embedded at the bottom of this story) was taken from the point where the charging bear first erupted from the brush. I am on the left and Larry, my fishing client, is on the right. The bear was within 2 feet or less of Larry and his wife when I shot it. You can see the dead bear to the left of Larry. The main photo (embedded to the right) shows Larry and me with the dead bear and shows its size.
Larry and his wife were fishing with me, and because we were going to a small stream I had fished before, which had numerous large male brown bears, I decided to take my Smith & Wesson 3953 DAO 9mm, rather than the S&W 629 .44 Mag. Mountain Gun I have carried for the past 25 years, as the larger boars are usually less of a problem than sows with cubs.
Before we reached the stream, while we were walking through dense brush and tall grass, we heard a growl and deep “woof” of a bear approximately 6 feet to our right (behind me in the secondary photo). We had been talking loudly but must have startled a sleeping bear. It sounded like it made a movement toward us, and I shouted loudly and the bear ran back through the brush to the right in the photo. Within 15 seconds, we could hear it growling and charging through the dense brush from the opposite side.
I had my pistol out by then, and the bear first appeared from where the photographer in photo No. 2 was standing. It went straight for my clients; Larry and his wife fell backwards in the deep grass. She said the bear’s face was close enough to hers that it could have bitten her!
The bear was highly agitated and standing within 3 feet of my clients when I decided I could take a shot without endangering them.
My first shot was at its neck, and then it began growling and spinning toward the impact. I wanted to hit the head but the bear was moving so fast I simply began shooting each time I could hit a vital area. I hit it six times before it turned to run off, and my seventh shot was into its pelvis area as it ran. When it dropped within 6 feet of the last shot, I checked my pistol and found I had only a single round left in the chamber so decided against walking in and finishing it.
My pistol was loaded with Buffalo Bore 9mm +P Outdoorsman 147-grain FN hard-cast loads that have a muzzle velocity of 1100 fps. I had previously tested, compared and proven such loads with my .357 and .44 mags., and I was convinced they would work.
Not much information is available about this incident.
My guess would be a reloaded cartridge with a possible double charge.
Carelessness can really hurt always double check your work and your weapon before firing.
The video of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a public gun range has hit the internet this week. While graphic and upsetting, this tragedy teaches a lesson about the reality of unpredictable behavior on a public range.
Some people argue that the shooter was trying to holster the weapon and that the shot was a negligent discharge. One problem with this assessment, where’s the holster? Even if there was a shoulder rig, which there is not, the weapon was turned and placed against the center of the chest.
If you choose to watch the video below, try to think about these things:
- There was no warning — The shooter displays no signs of disturbed behavior. They fire one shot down range, then casually turn the weapon on themselves.
- FMJ rounds penetrate — Self defense instructors recommend hollow-points instead of FMJ target rounds for this very reason. If you are defending yourself with target rounds, your likelihood of hitting whatever lies beyond the threat increases dramatically. If the gunshot is considered intentional, the shooter could be charged with second-degree murder instead of involuntary manslaughter. Even if she didn’t know the penetration capabilities of her ammunition, “killing caused by dangerous conduct” is considered murder. That’s something to consider before loading your daily carry with FMJs.
- A shot to the chest didn’t drop them — In the movies, 9mm rounds send bad guys flying through doors and windows. In reality, a single gunshot wound from a handgun isn’t always going to stop the threat. This shooter took a point blank shot to the chest and barely stepped backward.
- Death was not instant — Soldiers and peace-keepers are trained to aim for center of mass. They’re also trained to keep firing until the threat stops. A point blank shot to the chest will likely result in death, but it’s not necessarily instantaneous. The shooter has plenty of time to assess their wound and address the injured instructor. The surveillance video shows them drop the weapon, hold their wound, and walk over to a nearby chair.
- Panic is overwhelming — The instructor was probably armed, but chose flight over fight. Adrenaline and fear can cripple you faster than a bullet.
Gun range suicides don’t happen every day, but they are more common than most people realize. It’s not easy to spot warning signs in the minutes before someone attempts to harm themselves. The instructor was wounded, but it’s doubtful that was the shooter’s intention. Even after taking a round to the chest, they could have easily shot the instructor multiple times as he lay on the ground suffering. The instructor’s injury was essentially collateral damage from the shooter’s desire to take their own life.
Always maintain situational awareness, especially when entering a public range.
Don’t worry, honey, I’ll take care of that snake for you. . . Oh (explicit!!!)
This funny clip shows what happens when A: you mess with snakes, and B: you’re not a very good shot. Before you try to pull off a stunt like this, make sure you at least hit the range first.
After watching this video, we decided to dig a little deeper and get some background info on sidewinder snakes.
The amazing video below explains the snakes infamous sidewinding motion and how it can reach speeds up to 18 mph!
Folks with ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) may want to turn away from this one:
“He was armed and dangerous but so is my mouth” – Jennifer Bail is a hero to her family of four after doing the unthinkable to save their life. A Texas woman is a hero to her family of four after giving a robber head long enough to distract him so that her husband could hit him in the back of the head with a chair while the children escaped.
“To say I’d do anything for my children would be an understatement at this point. Plus he wasn’t a minute man so it was a lot of work.” – Jennifer.
Jennifer’s husband Raymond only had one thing to say about the ordeal …
“She’s never gave me head like that, but we will talk about that later. For now I’m just glad our children our safe.”
These “Pradit” guns are illegal homemade 12 bore shotguns. They are made by taking existing gun frames. They are becoming more and more popular among broke Thailand gang bangers.
Here we have a picture gone viral of a “custom 1911 shotgun pistol.” This has been making the rounds on gun forums everywhere, and no one seems to know where it came from, but it’s being said that Thailand may be the country of origin, as along the sides there appears to be Thai character lettering. And the time stamp on the photo (if legit) would indicate that this has been in existence for at least 8 years!
Apparently these images turned up on a Thai forum, and the text has since been put through a translator app, but the following came out as pretty much nonsense:
“The Somchai ( HA ) – Love on March 09, 2012, 12:55:40 PM.
You probably have a few plants Short shotgun made a fine (not refined – often misspelled ) beautifully finished basements and … There are plenty of qualified people do not …
It Lokodd 12 gauge head 1 ounce equals 437.5 grain , fly about 1400 ft / sec of it … Certificate Force Unleashed certainly …
Interested custom made me wash my uncle.”
Now it is said that a video of one of these guns in action has been put out there.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – You ship packages and letters, but did you know the U.S. Post Office also has other cargo- guns? “No, I did not realize that. You can actually ship guns through the Post Office? I would have thought that would be illegal,” said postal customer Nelda Finn. Yes. Just like your regular mail, guns go through the postal system and are handled by the same workers.
Problems come when guns shipped through the mail never reach their destination.
They’re stolen, not from a truck in transit, but from the post office itself.
Scott Balfour, an Assistant Special Agent with the U.S. Post Office of Inspector General, talked with us via the internet, confirming gun shipments.
“Guns do go through the mail system. Mailers have to follow all postal regulations to send those guns through the mail, but there is no special handling procedure for guns in the mail system,” said Balfour.
That may be the problem.
WREG obtained a federal report that showed just how vulnerable guns shipped via USPS can be and what happened.
In May of 2013, firearms ended up missing from Memphis` Main Post Office on South Third.
The ATF report blocked us from seeing just how many guns thieves stole, but it happened over a months time.
During some of the thefts, the thieves swiped the weapons and shipped the empty firearm box on to its next destination.
The ATF documented 13 Post Office theft cases from February 2013 to May 2013.
They won’t say how many guns were stolen in those cases.
If you go back to 2012, there had been a total of 20 theft cases.
Some of the guns are still missing. The ATF couldn’t tell us how many.
“We just don’t keep statistics on that. We track how employees are arrested or indicted,” said Balfour.
While Balfour said there have been very few cases of employees stealing guns, our review of ATF files revealed the name of a Post Office employee, who investigators linked to gun thefts at the Main Post Office in Memphis.
Investigators were told the worker would hide the firearm packages that he came across while he was working and then open them later when he had a chance. Witnesses even said he sold AR-15s and Kel-Tec .380s from his house in South Memphis.
“He was a casual mail handler, part-time non-permanent employee that the postal service brings on during times of heavy mail volume,” said Balfour.
Yet, that part-time employee got his hands on guns.
“I am not going to comment about how employees would know what was in any sort of certain parcel. I’d prefer not to discuss that,” said Balfour.
It`s a bit disheartening for Operation Safe Community (OSC).
“Stolen guns or guns period play a major role in our violent crime,” said Harold Collins, who heads up the OSC group tasked with analyzing crime, finding out how many stolen guns are involved in crimes and from where those guns originate.
“One gun on the street can cause an awful lot of damage to our city. So we are concerned if it is just one gun,” said Collins. “Take better care of the storage. Be more watchful and make sure guns are stored properly and secured properly so they are not susceptible to being stolen.”
The Postal Service said there are surveillance systems in place to deter theft, and it conducts random searches and drug tests.
It’s still a bitter pill to swallow. At a place where you may least expect, firearms are being stolen by people trusted with so much.
That Third Street postal employee caught stealing the guns is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence.