Elite Baltimore police unit robbed with impunity, sold guns and drugs, loaned guns and armor to civilians sent to commit robberies

Detectives Marcus Taylor and Daniel Hersl of Baltimore's elite, seven-member Gun Trace Task Force are on trial for years of robbery, home invasions, drug dealing, gun dealing, and worse -- their defense is that they were not the primary participants in these activities, not that the crimes did not take place. Read the rest

Be sure not to hold your sawed-off shotgun at the end of the barrel

It's just like using a camera! But instead of your finger turning the shot into a dark blot, your shot turns your finger into a dark blot. [via] Read the rest

Nerf's new blasters are pretty danged badass

Nerf has unveiled six new blasters that will ship in fall of 2018, with some pretty amazing features, as detailed in Josie Colt's Wired roundup: the N-Strike Elite Infinius has a funnel you pour ammo into and it automagically slots them into a 30-dart magazine; the Modulus Ghost Ops Evader has a how-it-works-style transparent housing that lights up; the Zombie Strike Survival System Scravenger has twin dart-clips and a breakaway secondary blaster with two holdout shots; while the Nitro Doubleclutch Inferno fires little foam rolling cars around a tracked obstacle course. Read the rest

FBI launches investigation of NRA over pro-Trump Russia money

McClatchy DC reports that the FBI is investigating whether a Kremlin-tied Russian banker illegally funded money to the National Rifle Association to help Trump win the presidency.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said. It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

AKs for everyone!

Last year, WaPo wrote about the gun-toting end of American conservatism palling around with Putin. Read the rest

Don't carry a gun with Punisher logo on it

Derek DeBrosse, a lawyer specializing in defending gun owners who get in trouble, has interesting advice for those who bear arms: don't carry a pink gun, and definitely don't carry a gun with the Punisher logo on it. Why? Because "the jury is going to see it."

Kind of obvious, when you think about it. Read the rest

Gentleman accidentally shoots wife and himself in church during gun-violence talk

An 81-year-old gentleman from Tennessee was showing off his gun in a Tennessee church during a "gun-violence at houses of worship" chat, when he accidentally shot himself and his wife. A woman in the church kitchen heard the gunshot and called the police thinking they were under attack, causing local schools nearby to go into lockdown.

According to Reuters:

The man removed the magazine and cleared the chamber to show the pistol to the others. He then reloaded it, put a round in the chamber and put it back in his pocket, Parks said.

When another person asked to see the pistol, the man took it out of his pocket and his finger accidentally hit the trigger. The bullet struck his right hand and then went through his 80-year-old wife's abdomen and right forearm, according to the police chief.

Fortunately for the gun-toting man, who had told the other churchgoers, "I carry a weapon with me everywhere," he and his wife got lucky and are in stable condition at the hospital.

Image: Max Pixel Read the rest

Texas attorney general demands more armed church-goers

More guns is clearly the answer! Texas attorney general Ken Paxton appeared on FoxNews to urge folks to carry guns in church. Regardless how odd or uncomfortable it might feel, someone has to be there to stop the next attacker!

Via ThinkProgress:

“All I can say is, you know, in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have concealed-carry, And so if it’s a place where somebody has the ability to carry, there’s always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people,” Paxton replied.

Shawn pressed Paxton on this point, noting that carrying a gun while “praying to the Lord” are two “diametrically opposite concepts.” Paxton was unswayed.

He agreed that carrying a gun to church can seem unnatural and that’s why many people don’t do it. (Some faith communities in Texas have also actively resisted efforts to allow guns in places of worship.) But, Paxton argued, we need to be “arming some of the parishioners or the congregation so that they can respond if something like this, when something like this happens again.”

Read the rest

Puerto Rico's streets crawl with heavily armed, masked mercenaries bearing no insignia or nametags

Though Puerto Rican law prohibits ownership and bearing of most long-guns and especially semiautomatic weapons, the streets of the stricken US colony now throng with mercenaries in tactical gear bearing such arms, their faces masked. They wear no insignia or nametags and won't say who they work for, apart from vague statements in broken Spanish: "We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico." Read the rest

"Good guy" with a gun shoots woman in the leg

A Detroit firearms enthusiast scared off an attacking pitbull by shooting its victim in the leg! Apparently the force of the impact caused ol' Cujo to run away.

The mauling/shooting victim was taken to a local hospital where the 53 year-old woman was pronounced dead.

The shooting is under investigation.

The dog is still on the loose.

Via CBS:

Police say a woman who was being attacked by a stray dog in Detroit has been fatally shot after a man fired a gun at the dog and hit her instead.

CBS Detroit cites police as saying the woman, 53, was mauled by a pit bull while walking on Monday evening, was shot in the hip and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her name wasn't immediately released.

Police responded and searched for the dog, but it wasn't immediately found.

Detroit police Captain Darin Szilagy says the man lived in the area. Szilagy says he was trying to be a "good Samaritan" and had a license to carry a concealed weapon. Szilagy says it's a tragic story, but notes "we're responsible for every round we fire."

The shooting is under investigation and prosecutors likely will review the case.

Read the rest

The first mass shooting in US history

On September 6, 1949, Howard Unruh murdered 13 people in downtown Philadelphia. It's considered the first mass shooting in US history. Tragically, it wasn't the last. From a 2015 article about Unruh in Smithsonian:

In a few hours, on the morning of Tuesday, September 6, Unruh would embark upon his “Walk of Death,” murdering 13 people and wounding three others in a 20-minute rampage before being hauled off by police after a dangerous firefight. A somewhat forgotten man outside of criminology circles and local old-timers, Unruh was an early chapter in the tragically-all-too-familiar American story of an angry man with a gun, inflicting carnage...

“There have been notorious killers since America was founded, but you didn’t have the mass shooting phenomenon before Unruh’s time because people didn’t have access to semi-automatic weaponry,” says Harold Schechter, a true crime novelist who has written about infamous murderers going back to the 19th-century.

While the terminology is a bit fungible, Unruh is generally regarded as the first of the “lone wolf” type of modern mass murderers, the template for the school and workplace shooters who have dominated the coverage of the more than 1,000 victims since 2013. Unruh was a distinctive personality type, one that has also come to define those who have followed in his bloody footsteps.

“Unruh really matches the mass murder profile. He had a rigid temperament, an inability to accept frustration or people not treating him as well as he wanted, and a feeling of isolation, all things people accept and move on from,” says Katherine Ramsland, a professor of forensic psychology and the director of the master of arts in criminal justice at DeSales University, as well as the author of some 60 nonfiction books including Inside the Mind of Mass Murderers: Why They Kill.

Read the rest

Gun company stocks soar after Vegas massacre

When there's a mass shooting in America, a pattern repeats itself. Some people remind themselves that nothing will ever change...

... and others assume that this time it will, and go out and buy guns before it's too late.

Shares of Sturm Ruger (RGR) were up 6%, while American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), the company formerly known as Smith & Wesson, gained nearly 7%. Both stocks have tended to rally in the immediate aftermath of mass killings, which sadly have become more routine.

The Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016. San Bernardino in December 2015. The Aurora, Colorado movie theater and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in 2012. Investors had bet that these massacres would lead to tougher gun control laws, especially because of tough talk from President Obama.

The stricter laws never materialized. Instead, gun sales climbed during the Obama administration's two terms as gun aficionados bought more firearms just in case rules changed at a national level or in individual states controlled by Democrats.

The presumption is that liberals tend to be fatalistic, while conservatives expect gun control. The business's been depressed since Trump won the election, so both beliefs now benefit the gun lobby in the wake of an attack. Read the rest

58 killed and at least 515 injured by gunman in Vegas

58 are dead and hundreds more injured after 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock began shooting into a concert crowd on the Las Vegas strip. Taking aim from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he killed himself as officers charged into his room, was killed by officers reports the BBC.

The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a "lone wolf" attack. He added that police were now confident they had located a woman, earlier named as Marilou Danley, who was suspected of travelling with the gunman before the attack.

Sheriff Lombardo said he was unable to give accurate details of dead and wounded, but confirmed two off-duty police officers were among those killed.

A video taken by a concertgoer shows the moment automatic gunfire erupted. No victims are depicted in this footage.

Extended footage here show the first minutes of the attack. Three bouts of gunfire, each 10-20 seconds long with about 30 seconds between, into the crowd, followed by more shots and muffled automatic fire about a minute later. If that was the end of it, it was all over in 2 minutes.

This is more harrowing footage illustrating the view of the crowd that Paddock had from the Mandalay Bay and the helpless panic as more shots were fired. Read the rest

Awesome-but-bad ideas

r/TFABAARBI, as in That's Fucking Awesome But Also A Really Bad Idea, is my new favorite subreddit, featuring all sorts of cool things that are, nonetheless, serious mistakes. I have selected a few here for your context-free enjoyment.

Last, but not least, quicksand fun!

Read the rest

Shopper brandishes gun in Walmart fight

Shopping tip of the day!1 If you need to end an argument over who gets to buy the last item on the shelf, try whipping out your concealed-carry firearm and threatening other shoppers with it. According to reports, it worked a treat in this example from Walmart, where a gun-toting woman won her prize and was free to check it out after the confrontation.

1. Tip recommended only for white shoppers.

Here's video from another shopper, apparently showing the aftermath: Read the rest

Why did this man pull a gun on someone else in a snack bar?

This footage, dated to August 19, 2017, shows a man (in a white tee) in line with his family at a snack bar in Brazil. There's another man (in a blue hooded sweatshirt) next in line. The family appears to be ordering their food. The man waiting in line behind them is tinkering around on his phone, as one does. All of a sudden, the man in the white tee whips out a gun and threatens the man in the blue sweatshirt.

The footage is low-res and there's no sound. What was the man in the white shirt afraid of? Perhaps they know each other and are sworn enemies?

Well, you'd never guess, but it turns out that it's a cop who thought the guy in the hooded sweatshirt looked suspicious.

At least we can take comfort in the fact this sort of thing doesn't happen in America! Read the rest

Jury would not convict white militiamen who aimed guns at federal law enforcement officers

Less than a year after Ammon Bundy and his terrorist pals were found not guilty for their takeover of Oregon's Malheur Federal Wildlife Reserve (which included a fatal shootout four terrorist pals of Cliven Bundy have been exonerated by a Nevada jury for their 2014 standoff in which they insisted -- at gunpoint -- on the right to graze their private cattle on public lands.

Read the rest

UPDATED: Walmart says "back-to-school" gun sign is “regrettable situation" but still can't confirm it's gone

UPDATE BELOW: Walmart says it was a "prank" but doesn't say what evidence they have or identify the prankster.

Someone snapped this astounding photo at a Walmart where one of their "Own the school year like a hero" marketing campaign signs was displayed on a case of rifles.

Walmart's Charles Crowson told CNNMoney that they're "not happy" about this and is "working diligently" to make sure the sign is gone.

The company initially stated that they identified the store location and removed the sign but according to Crowson, they were mistaken and actually still trying to find it.

UPDATE from the Associated Press:

“We have definite proof it was a prank,” Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson told The Associated Press on Friday evening...

Crowson wouldn’t say what proof the company had: Was an image manipulated? Did a customer move a sign for a joke? Did an employee deliberately or inadvertently place the “Own the School Year” sign on the wrong display?

Read the rest

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