Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I carried in a tavern

So, yesterday at lunch I carried and ate my lunch in a tavern legally. It was a great meal, and, my gun never shot anyone while I was there, take that Toby! Still waiting on my giftcards from the whole Arby's ordeal. NRA processed my certs so I can officially say "I'm an NRA Certified Instructor". Nothing else eventful to blog about really other than the fact that Ohioans can now carry in establishments that serve alcohol. No consumption and you can't go out intoxicated, but I don't drink so that's fine by me. I hope we can get the legislation pertaining to the notification law rolling soon, as this has been a pain to many ohioans.

Stay armed, stay alert, stay safe! -Gun Guy
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why do I carry a 9mm?

The past few months I have talked to and shot with people who are carrying .40S&W or .45ACP handguns for self-defense, but for me my carry gun is the Glock 19 9mm. I have had quite a few people say something like “9mm, why don’t you carry a more powerful stopping round like I do?”


So why do I carry a 9mm, and why, as a firearms instructor, do I think you should too?

I don’t believe that it is likely to take only one shot to stop any threat. With this in mind, the data about the difference in potential performance from one bullet to the next or the relatively few examples of a single pistol round regardless of caliber, resulting in a threat being stopped, suggests to me that I should plan on multiple shots being fired. If I plan on needing more than one shot and I know that I want to stop the threat as soon as possible, then it makes sense that I should seek the fastest string of fire possible. Right? Physics shows that 9mm is going to be a more easily managed round (lower recoil) than the .40S&W or .45ACP out of any particular firearm. So, no matter how much you train or practice, everyone should be able to shoot a string of effective 9mm rounds faster than they can fire a string of .40S&W or .45ACP. If you stick with a probable target size(center chest) at a plausible distance (10-15’), it shouldn’t be hard to notice at a reasonable number of rounds (3-6).

If I’m ever involved in a self-defense situation, I have a feeling the threat is not going to be standing still like a target at my range. Most likely it's likely going to take at least a few hits to stop the threat. In other words, If the criminal is moving my hits might end up any number of places, other than center mass.

A 9mm allows for a quicker burst of shots due to lower recoil enabling me to get back on target quicker. If you believe that all you need is your .40 or .45 and one bullet to stop an attacker, what if that round hits the attacker's arm? By the time you’ve fired one round, I have fired 3-4 with my 9mm and the threat, hopefully should be stopped by then.

Aside from allowing me to shoot more quickly, the 9mm also lets me carry more rounds. Keep in mind that I am counting on needing more than one round. In any given size package, 9mm firearms hold more rounds than their counterparts chambered in .40S&W or .45ACP. Let's use my Glock for example, My G19(9mm) holds 17+1, the The Glock 23 is a .40S&W version of the compact Glock 19. It is dimensionally identical to the Glock 19 but is slightly heavier and has a standard magazine capacity of 13 rounds. There is no .45ACP equivalent. This gives me a greater potential for defense against one or more targets for the same practical cost in size & weight. I know that the majority of self-defense shootings are under 6 rounds, but I prefer having a 17 round magazine over an 8 round magazine. The way luck works my encounter will probably be the ~1% that requires more rounds. Don’t forget about the possibility of multiple attackers or the “flash mobs” that are so popular lately as either would probably require more ammunition.

Pistol rounds really aren’t great stoppers. I have several friends that are ER doctors and nurses who see gunshot wounds regularly. They have told me that most people survive gunshot wounds because a handgun round really isn’t that powerful. There is a reason that hospital emergency rooms successfully treat gun shot wound patients on a regular basis. There is a negligible difference between the wounding capacity of the 9mm and the .40 S&W. The idea of energy transfer is misplaced in regard to wounding potential because the amount of energy contained in a pistol bullet is pretty low when we think about really having dramatic effect on a human body. The damage is created through cutting and crushing. The difference of a few grains of weight, a few feet per second of speed or a millimeter of diameter, to me is not worth giving up on the faster strings of fire or the higher capacity mentioned above. Shot placement is key, due to this fact you'll need multiple accurate hits to stop a threat.


I am not arguing that a single .40S&W or .45ACP round doesn’t hold more potential to stop, but I believe that this small increase in potential is not worth the known shortcomings in recoil or magazine capacity. For all shooters, at some point, there will be a moment when they can fire one more round of 9mm in any given period of time. That extra round’s capacity to wound will far outweigh the miniscule difference in potential for any individual bullet.

It is significantly less expensive to shoot 9mm than it is to shoot .40 or .45 this means more training, in general, for any given budget. There is no doubt that it is a factor in favor of choosing the 9mm. As a firearms instructor I always recommend training with your actual carry gun as often and as realistically as possible.

The bottom line is, I’m very comfortable carrying my 9mm Glock and if the day ever comes where I have to defend a life I know the 9mm will serve me well. How comfortable and confident are you with your gun and choice of round?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Open Carry @ Arby's update

Went to Arby's yesterday around dinner with 2 other OCers since the owner made things right. Gotta show support when people show they are pro 2A.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Silly girl, good guys have guns too!

Had an iffy OC experience at Arby's today. The employees were going to call 911. I went to refill my beverage, right next to 2 uniformed officers who didn't seem not notice my Glock. Once I returned to my seat I heard the girl at the counter very loudly say "That Guy has a gun!" Another employee said "is he robbing us?" She said "no it's just on his hip" Someone suggested calling 911 so I just left.

Things to ponder on:
1. I have open carried here many times with Law Enforcement present (This seems to be a preferred lunch stop for LEO)
2. I was OCing when I ordered and this same girl didn't notice.
3. If I was going to do something criminal why would I refill my beverage less than 5 feet from two officers while open carrying?

Sent an email to the GM and Arby's Corporate. I really did not feel welcomed and will be reluctant to return.

I got a voicemail from the Franchise owner.
I called him back.
It turns out that he has his CHL, as does the general manager. The owner was very nice and apologized repeatedly for the employees actions. He asked me a few questions about open carry and is sending me gift cards. If you are ever in Chardon Ohio stop in and open carry at Arby's.

How safe are your children while they are in school?

How safe are your children while at school? I do not feel that my local school is safe enough. I will be contacting the principal to see if I can do something to make it safer. The following was written by A firearms trainer and police officer who I have a ton of respect for. It all makes sense and should get you thinking more about your local school's safety and emergency management.

The Prevention, Response and Mitigation of School Shootings
by Greg Ellifritz on Friday, September 16, 2011 at 5:44am

These are my notes from a class was taught by Kenneth Hughes, a retired police chief from Forest Park, Ohio and an expert in school shootings. It was a 3-day class hosted by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy and was very well done. Most of the learning points below are from this class, but have been supplemented by my personal experiences and knowledge from other resources when appropriate.

- School shooters are influenced by past events. They study and learn from the successes and failures of past shooters. Parents, teachers, and students should also be familiar with past shooting events so that they can better prepare for future incidents.

- School shooters generally choose times when people are moving to start shooting. They shoot at the beginning of the day, during open lunch periods, at the end of the day and between classes. Most schools don’t practice lockdown or evacuation drills between classes or during lunch periods because they are difficult to coordinate. Schools should challenge themselves by conducting lockdown drills during these chaotic times.

- Infamy has become a prime motivator for school shooters. Many shooters recognize that they will be captured or killed and want to “live on” through their body count. They will create written “manifestos” and YouTube “training videos”. Occasionally those publications and videos will be released before the shooting actually happens and should be something that police, parents, and school officials must be aware of.

- School shooters are mostly white, non-urban, and victims of bullying, assault, or intimidation. There is no other useful physical “profile”. Most school shooters were known to have difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Most also had easy access to weapons.

- Children are not taught about how to use cover and concealment. In school shootings, children will often run to the police in search of assistance. Unfortunately, the police are the ones drawing gunfire from the shooter(s). There have also been shootings (Norway is one example) where the shooters have impersonated police officers.

Police need to learn techniques to distance themselves from students and draw fire away from them. Students need to learn what materials can stop bullets and how to seek cover. They also need to be trained to stay away from the police in a shooting situation.

Let your children know that a backpack loaded with school books is likely to stop handgun bullets. If your child has a backpack loaded with a couple of books, instruct him to put it on (in front of the body if necessary) between himself and the shooter as improvised body armor. Better yet, outfit your child’s backpack with armor panels from old bullet resistant vests purchased cheaply on EBay. Even if the vest panel is expired, I’ve never had one fail to stop a bullet that it’s rated to stop despite the panel’s age. I’ve shot vest panels as old as 25 years and they still work. As long as the panel has not been submerged in water or left out in the sun for extensive time periods, it will still work.

- People who haven’t thought about safe areas run AWAY from danger during shootings. They end up in sub-optimal positions like hiding under beds or locking themselves in bathroom stalls. In the event of gunfire, people should run TOWARD safety, preferably pre-identified hard cover.

- Precursor homicides are not unusual with school shootings. The shooters will occasionally kill a family member before going to the school for the attack. The shootings in Bethel, AK and Thurston, OR; and Red Lake, MN are some of the more famous examples. If homicides are discovered by police and teenage family members are not accounted for, the school that the teenager attends should be secured.

- Many school shooters use rifles to commit their crimes. The general public doesn’t understand the range of an average rifle and won’t understand how far they need to evacuate. The instructor suggests that when training the non-shooting public, we should inform them that a scope sighted rifle is dangerous out to 1000 yards and a non-scoped rifle is dangerous out to 300 yards. The information may not be 100% accurate but is a good guideline to start with. Do you know how far away 1000 yards is from any side of your child's school?

- Kip Kinkel had over 1100 rounds on his person during his shooting at Thurston High School. Cho had over 800 unfired rounds on his person when he died at Virginia Tech. Thomas Hamilton had 743 rounds on his person when he shot up a school in Dunblane Scotland. School shooters are researching past shootings and planning to exceed the body counts of their predecessors. They are doing better jobs planning their assaults than schools and police are doing planning their responses.

- One opportunity for school shootings (that hasn’t occurred yet) is during a planned fire drill. Every school has fire drills once a month and they are often pre-planned. Does your child’s school have a plan to deal with a shooter who is shooting at students who have amassed outside waiting for the “all clear” signal during a fire drill?

- Several shootings have been stopped when the shooter has been calmly confronted by another student or teacher telling him to stop shooting. While it probably shouldn’t be a person’s first choice of tactics (escaping or fighting will generally have better results), it can work when potential victims have no other options. Some teachers and students don’t have the temperament to fight back or lack the physical ability to escape. Train those people to talk. Telling the shooter: “Stop shooting. That’s enough for today. Put the gun down” may work and is a better strategy than hiding under a desk.

- Many school shooters are physically stopped by their potential victims while the shooter has a gun malfunction or is in the act of reloading. Students and teachers should be trained in basic firearms operation specifically how to recognize when a shooter has a malfunction or is in the act of reloading.

- With the increase in numbers of School Resource Officers (police officers assigned to a school, also called SROs), most recent school shooters are taking their presence into account. School shooters are wearing body armor and helmets (anticipating armed resistance), scheduling their attacks when the officers are on a lunch break, or targeting the officer as their first act. School resource officers do not operate in a “safe” environment when they are forced to respond to killers armed with long guns, body armor and explosives. SROs must be armed, trained, and have access to rifles.

- The recent school shootings at the Platte Canyon High School, the West Nickel Mine Amish School, and Virginia Tech all involved the shooter using some method to barricade doors. This both slows law enforcement response and limits the victims’ opportunities for escape. This should be a warning sign that teachers, students and cops should look for. If you see a student carrying chains, locks, zip ties, handcuffs or any type of lumber at school, you should immediately call the police and trigger a lockdown or evacuation procedure. Patrol officers should be trained to breech barricades and have the equipment needed to do that.

- In most active shooter events, the paramedics and EMS will not make entry, even after the incident is over. Police and uninjured victims will need to carry the victims to a casualty collection point outside of the building. Most gunshot injuries will not be aggravated by moving the victim. The leading cause of preventable death in a battlefield environment is uncontrolled bleeding. BE PREPARED TO CARRY THE VICTIMS OUT! Don’t allow victims to bleed to death waiting for the paramedics to respond.

- In Virginia Tech, the student victims of the shooting used vastly different survival strategies. Students in room 206 were quiet and played dead. This initially (after the first wave of shooting) worked, until Cho figured out that people were still alive and went back and shot all the people laying on the floor. He made two additional trips back into the room to shoot the students laying on the floor. Everyone was shot. All but three died.

In room 204, a professor (a former Israeli soldier) held the door closed and ordered the students to jump out of the second story window. All of the students who jumped survived (although 6 out of the 10 were injured). The professor was eventually killed and all the students who didn’t jump were shot.

In room 205, the students barricaded the door securely with tables (the doors opened inward). Cho could not get in. Even though Cho shot through the door, no one was hit. Not a single person was injured in that room.

Two students were shot, fled downstairs and entered an empty classroom. They wrote the word “Wounded” on a piece of paper and taped it up over the classroom window, waiting for help. Even though it was the first floor and they could have escaped out a door or window, they didn’t. They hid and waited for help. Luckily they weren’t shot again. Two other students hid in an unlocked bathroom stall. If the police hadn’t arrived as soon as they did (forcing Cho to kill himself), both of these groups of students would have likely been killed. Unless one has preplanned a response, irrational actions like this are common.

- Hiding under desks does not keep people safe. It didn’t work in Columbine and it didn’t work at Virginia Tech. Desks generally don’t stop bullets. If your active shooter plan involves hiding under desks for protection, you need to reconsider your options.

- In Virginia Tech, students rationalized the sounds of gunfire as construction noises. Students in Columbine initially thought the gunfire was caused by firecrackers being lit as a student prank. The students at Beslan thought balloons were popping. Students and teachers in shooting events universally express the thought that “I couldn’t believe it was happening”. This denial and rationalization leads to a paralysis. The waiting for verification of actual gunfire takes time that can better be used doing other things.

If you are in a school and think you hear gunfire, don’t wait. Don’t delay while trying to figure out what’s happening. If you think it’s gunfire, ACT! Immediately barricade the doors or escape. The people in active shooter events who wait around to be sure that the noises they are hearing are actually gunfire typically delay so long that they no longer have any viable options.

- “Playing dead is not an option unless there are NO other options.”

- 99.5% of school shooters told at least on other student about their plans for the attack before they acted. Harvard University did a study to determine why the students who knew about the shooting plans didn’t tell the authorities. The students reported that they didn’t believe that the shooter would actually follow through with the plan. Teach your children to report anyone who talks about planning a school shooting.

- Communication is one key to successful resolution of a school shooting event. It has been a serious problem in the past. The instructor suggested giving select school officials a police radio and teaching them how to use it so that they can have direct communication with the police in an emergency. He also suggested that police and fire dispatchers be given a direct call number to school officials so that the dispatcher doesn’t have to go through secretaries or “phone trees” in an emergency.

Another important communication technique is the police/fire “Reverse 911” system. During a school shooting, reverse 911 calls should be made to the community instructing parents how and where to respond. Parents will want to do something and if they aren’t given logical alternatives, they will respond to the scene and complicate emergency response. Schools should create an alternate emergency release plan that involves transporting unaffected students to a safe location for release. The parents need to know where this location is and how to pick up their children.

- Check on your school’s utility access. Make sure students don’t have access to power controls. There have been several averted school shootings where shooters had planned to initiate the attack by cutting off power and phones to the school. This would limit communication, deactivate alarms, and alter the function of electrically controlled doors. In addition it will cause great confusion among the shooters victims and make emergency response much more difficult.

- Many school doors cannot be locked from the inside. If they have commercial door handles that are move downward on both the inside and outside simultaneously, they can be blocked on the inside which prevents someone outside from opening the door. A 2x4 with one end cut into a “u-shape” and wedged under the inside door latch can cheaply and easily secure the door from the inside.

- Schools should have better door and window numbering systems. Numbers should be on the outside AND INSIDE of every classroom door and window. All exterior doors should also be numbered. If students are locked down in a certain room, they need to be able to easily see the room number (from the inside), so they can better direct emergency responders to help them. Cops and firemen can also use room numbers written outside of windows to identify alternate entry/exit points.

- Every school classroom should have a survival kit. The kit needs to have different supplies depending on the age and needs of the students. All kits should contain resources to barricade doors (wedges, ropes, etc), paper and writing instruments to communicate silently both within the classroom and with emergency responders outside, medical supplies suitable for treating gunshot wounds (bandages and tourniquets), and alternate communication devices (cell phones or radios). Having food, water, and entertainment options (for younger children) are also useful. A strong flashlight and dust masks are also useful items to have in the kit in case of a power outage or if the shooter is also using explosives. Smoke, dust and darkness are very common in more extended school shootings.

If the classroom has a drywall wall separating it from another classroom or hallway, consider adding a razor knife, hammer, or small hatchet to the emergency kit. These items will allow you to cut through the drywall to create an alternate escape route. Have a method to break window glass to facilitate escape as well. Glass breaking window punches are available for sale online for around $5.

If the classroom is on the second or third floor and has a window, adding ropes, rope ladders or some alternate method of safely lowering students from the window to the survival kit is essential.

- On lockdowns, students and teachers should place desks, chairs and furniture in the pathway of the potential shooter to slow his entry into the room

- The idea that school shooters are always trying to “get even” with people that have bullied them is not accurate. Killers have initiated shooting events by targeting certain individuals, but generally they generally soon move on to the school’s population as a whole. In Columbine, one of the first victims was a student with Down’s syndrome who had never bullied anyone.

- The Beslan school massacres ended with over 700 injured people (not counting the 331 dead). What American police or fire department has the ability to handle a mass casualty event of this size? If terrorists conduct a similar takeover here, we likely wouldn’t be any better able to respond than the Russians were.

- Lockdowns are generally helpful if the school is located in an area with a rapidly responding police force. It provides temporary marginal protection and denies some areas to potential shooters. Lockdown, however, is not the only answer. Some shooters will exploit lockdowns to facilitate their aims. The shooter in Red Lake MN killed a security guard purposely to trigger a lockdown. He wanted the lockdown so that he could easily find and target the victims he wanted to kill. After the lockdown was triggered, he went to the classroom where he knew his victim would be hiding, shot a hole in the glass window of the door and entered the locked down room. He then killed the teacher and 5 students before he was shot by police.

The lockdown does have a deterrent and area denial effect, but it will not stop a determined shooter.

- Upon review of many school shooting events, I noticed that the majority of school shooters carry extra firearms, ammunition, or explosives in backpacks or duffle bags. This seems to happen over and over again. Although backpacks are a common sight in schools, people should pay attention to students or other people carrying backpacks that don’t fit the environment. If the packs seem larger than normal, much heavier than average, or carried in a manner inconsistent with the way other students are carrying them, it might be a valuable early warning sign. A school policy that limits the carrying of backpacks between classes would help to more easily identify students who are carrying weapons and ammunition.

- In longer term school shooter events (lasting several hours like Case Western or Beslan), the closed circuit TV cameras in the schools will be incredibly valuable in terms of locating the shooter. Oftentimes police don’t think about utilizing this resource. It is a good idea to pre- identify the location where the video monitors are located and who can show officers how to monitor the cameras in any school and have that information available to responding officers.

If teachers or administrators can see the shooter via closed circuit TV before police arrival, they can use the school PA system to direct police to the shooter’s location. They can also yell verbal commands to the shooter using the same PA system. Imagine the impact a voice over the PA system could have on a shooter if the voice is saying “We know where you are. We can see you in front of room 242. It’s over. Set the gun down. The police are here, etc.” The use of the building PA system is an underutilized resource in school shootings.

- In early school shootings, the shooter would kill himself after shooting a number of people. More recent shootings haven’t followed this trend. The most recent trend is that shooters plan to engage police or citizens in gunfights and continue to kill people until they are wounded. It is only after they are wounded that they kill themselves.

- Active shooter events in schools are not isolated to the United States. In fact, Canadian police were the first worldwide to develop an active shooter response strategy. In addition to Canada, school shooting incidents have been reported in Israel, Germany, Finland, Scotland, and Brazil. Even Chinese schools have experienced school violence with multiple knife homicides.

- With few exceptions, the shooters don’t have an escape plan. They will continue to kill until they encounter effective resistance.

- The latest trends of active shooters worldwide involve the use of explosives, both as distractions and as methods to enhance body counts. Cops, students, and educators need to be better prepared to recognize and deal with bombs.

- Technology will be an increasing factor in future active shooter events. Besides the increasing use of the internet as a training tool to research past events and weapon construction, terrorists are employing cell phones and media outlets to stay one step ahead of the police while the shooting incidents are taking place.

- Resources the instructor suggests you should study in order to better understand the phenomenon of school shootings:

- “Shooter Down”- a book about the Virginia Tech shootings by John Giduck

- “Terror at Beslan”- a book about the Beslan Russia school terrorist massacre by John Giduck

-“The Children of Beslan”- a BBC news documentary of the Beslan event

- “Elephant”- a fictional movie about the planning of a school shooting

- “I Choose to be Happy”- a book about the Paducah Kentucky shooting written by Missy Jenkins

- “Nineteen Minutes”- a fictional account of the planning of a school shooting by Jodi Picoult

- “Zero Day”- a fictional movie based on the details of several actual school shootings

- “A Columbine Survivor’s Story” by Marjorie and Peggy Lindholm

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them here or via email at Greg1095@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Now we can carry in LA

Your Ohio License to Carry a Concealed Handgun is now recognized in the State of Louisiana, thanks to an agreement signed between the two states. Ohioans now have reciprocity with twenty one states. We need to get PA next.

The agreement is effective immediately. You should remember that the laws of the state you are in is the law that you must follow when armed or you must use deadly force. You must know the law and obey the law of the jurisdiction that you're in.

You can read the signed agreement on the Ohio Attorney General's Website

Something just doesn't seem right.

The following is an e-mail that I will not name the place, other than it happened in East Cleveland.

Security has notified us of the following information:

At approximately 8:45 AM this morning, two REMOVED employees were robbed at gunpoint. The employees left the REMOVED campus on their break and were sitting in an SUV, which was parked off-campus along a side street, approximately two blocks away. While on their break, a young man in his twenties approached the car, robbed them at gunpoint and then fled. The employees returned to campus and reported the incident. No one was physically injured. The REMOVED Police and REMOVED Police Departments are investigating the crime.

The Department of Protective Services would like to remind all employees to always observe the following safety practices:

Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
If for some reason you find that you need to park/stop off-campus, always try to stop in a busy, well-lit area with clear lines of sight.
Take advantage of the secure and convenient parking provided at all REMOVED locations.
If you see something that seems suspicious or out of place, immediately move to a safe area and report it, whether it is on or off-campus.

The REMOVED Police Department is available to help 24 x 7

Had the employees that were robbed been armed and stopped the robbery or ended the robbers career early, would have been fired. They would have been fired for having a firearm in the vehicle while on the employers property. See related story here.

Aside from the facts stated above, something just doesn't seem right. I think these employees may have been up to no good. Why would you drive 2 blocks away from work and park on the side of the road during your break?? This facility has free parking so it's not that. Hmmmm... maybe they were looking for narcotics? East Cleveland Aint the safest place to park and take a break.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I am now an NRA Certified Instructor

I passed all the exams on Sunday August, 28th 2011. I will soon be able to teach the requirement for you to get your Concealed Handgun License in Ohio. I just need to wait until my certification arrives in the mail from the NRA. I will be offering other classes at that time as well. The exams were 50 questions each. I scored 100% and 95%. I am very excited. Thank you Dan, your course was fun and informative and I look forward to being able to pass proper knowledge,skill,and attitude for safely handling and shooting firearms on to others.

If you are looking to get your CHL or just some basic training let me know, I'll get you trained.

Stay Safe, Stay Alert, Stay Armed

Monday, August 22, 2011

xpd54's guide to traffic stop legal issues


Original Forum Post HERE

by xpd54 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:50 am
Ok, so when I first talked about a flow chart (in this thread: http://www.ohioccwforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=54723) I didn’t realize the magnitude of what I was going to do. So the flow chart is out. What I am going to do is break down the legalities of traffic stops and what cops can legally do into sections and post each section.

But first, I AM NOT A LAWYER. I am a cop. I have a BA in Criminal Justice, 15 years on the job and 10 years of experience training cops in traffic stops, use of force, firearms and other topics. I will try to give as much case law as possible so you can read for yourself what the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has to say about what law enforcement is allowed to do. I am going to write this assuming the reader has absolutely no idea about the legalities of traffic stops, so if you know a bunch of this already, I apologize. We are dealing specifically with traffic stops, but many of the legal principles pertain to other encounters as well. Most of the court cases I am going to reference are SCOTUS cases, since they pertain to the whole country. I tried to be as accurate as possible, so if I made any mistakes, I will apologize up front.

So let’s get started.

Before we go too far, let me explain binding precedent. Court decisions are only binding within the jurisdiction of the court. Obviously, SCOTUS decisions are binding throughout the US and its territories. However, if the SCOTUS has not ruled on a particular case or topic, the legalities of a particular set of circumstances may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, in Ohio we have the following court jurisdictions (dealing with criminal matters, there are other civil courts) which may affect the legality of a particular action performed by a police officer:
- local municipal courts (misdemeanor courts)
- Courts of Common Pleas (the number in each county depends on the population of the county in question)
- 12 different District Courts of Appeals (each covers roughly 4-8 counties)
- Supreme Court of Ohio (SCO)
- Several different US District Courts
- 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

Where I work, my actions are going to be judged by the Xenia Municipal Court or one of the Greene County Courts of Common Pleas, the Second District Court of Appeals, SCO, possibly the US District Court – Southern District of Ohio (Dayton), the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals and the SCOTUS. In that order. A ruling from a court that is not one of those courts does not have a DIRECT bearing on what I can or cannot do. One of those courts that judge my actions may use another courts decision as part of their own decision, but that other decision does not affect me directly. So what is legal for me to do may not be allowed in Cleveland, or Georgia, or California or vice versa.


First let’s talk about the LEGAL reasons for which a police officer may stop you while you are driving a car. There are 2 main reasons (there are others, but these are the main two): reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS) and probable cause (PC). The MINIMUM legal requirement necessary to stop a car is RAS, NOT PC. U.S. v. Cortez, 1981. http://supreme.justia.com/us/449/411/case.html Many people (including many cops) are confused by this.
So what is RAS? In the Cortez decision, the court said this:
“In determining what cause is sufficient to authorize police to stop a person, the totality of the circumstances -- the whole picture -- must be taken into account. Based upon that whole picture, the detaining officers must have a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of criminal activity. The process of assessing all of the circumstances does not deal with hard certainties, but with probabilities, and the evidence collected must be weighed as understood by those versed in the field of law enforcement. Also, the process must raise suspicion that the particular individual being stopped is engaged in wrongdoing.”

What can be confusing about RAS is that it is not always an exact science, for lack of a better term, like an obvious traffic violation. RAS can take many forms. I’ll list a few.
- a radio “be on the look out” (BOLO) concerning a suspect vehicle in which the vehicle stopped matches the suspect vehicle. Usually this would be a partial description – approximate year, color, type, etc.
- a caller who calls the police about a suspicious vehicle or a vehicle being operated recklessly. The caller MAY give enough information to justify a stop. Otherwise, the LEO who responds may need to develop their own RAS. An anonymous call, BY ITSELF, does not justify a stop based on RAS. Alabama v. White, (1990) http://supreme.justia.com/us/496/325/case.html If the Officer corroborates the information, it may be good enough for a stop.
- Officers can develop RAS based on their observations of specific articulable facts and circumstances that they observe. Their training and experience may make the difference between being legally justified or not. For example, I spent four years working narcotics. During that time, I videotaped, witnessed or participated in thousands of drug deals. Based on that experience, the courts will look at my education and experience when it comes to drug dealing in a different light than they would a rookie office 2 weeks out of the academy. So if I’m driving down the street and I witness what I recognize from my training and experience as a hand to hand drug deal, I may be justified in making a stop based on RAS. A rookie who saw the same thing could not draw on that same experience to articulate the facts necessary to make the stop justified.

Other than RAS, PC is the most common legal justification for a traffic stop. PC in its most common form would probably be the traffic law violation.
So what is PC? In the landmark case Carroll v. United States (1925), SCOTUS defined PC as: "If the facts and circumstances before the officer are such as to warrant a man of prudence and caution in believing that the offense has been committed, it is sufficient." http://supreme.justia.com/us/267/132/case.html Clear as mud, huh?

Other types of PC could be:
- a radio “be on the look out” (BOLO) concerning a suspect vehicle in which the vehicle stopped matches the suspect vehicle. This description would have more detail that the RAS version. A license plate, or an Officer may be familiar with the vehicle because he’s dealt with the person/vehicle before.
- After an officer watches an obvious crime in progress


Once the Officer has stopped the vehicle, the SCOTUS has said that certain actions on the part of the police are permissible under the 4th Amendment.

- Pennsylvania v. Mimms (1977) – SCOTUS said that an Officer can order a driver out of the vehicle without any other justification other than the concern for the Officer’s safety: “The order to get out of the car, issued after the respondent was lawfully detained, was reasonable, and thus permissible under the Fourth Amendment. The State's proffered justification for such order -- the officer's safety -- is both legitimate and weighty, and the intrusion into respondent's personal liberty occasioned by the order, being, at most, a mere inconvenience, cannot prevail when balanced against legitimate concerns for the officer's safety.” http://supreme.justia.com/us/434/106/case.html Now, you may wonder why I would want to order someone out of a vehicle that I stopped for a license plate light being out or some other simple violation. Well, there are a couple of reasons. I’ve almost been hit while I was standing at somebody’s drivers’ window. If I can’t get to the passenger side window, I may very well order the driver to come back to someplace that’s safer for me. OR, if I stop a vehicle that has seriously darkened window tint, I may order the driver to come back and talk to me.

- Maryland v. Wilson (1997) – the SCOTUS extended Mimms to the passengers of the vehicle as well. They said: “On the public interest side, the same weighty interest in officer safety is present regardless of whether the occupant of the stopped car is a driver, as in Mimms, or a passenger, as here. Indeed, the danger to an officer from a traffic stop is likely to be greater when there are passengers in addition to the driver in the stopped car. On the personal liberty side, the case for passengers is stronger than that for the driver in the sense that there is probable cause to believe that the driver has committed a minor vehicular offense, but there is no such reason to stop or detain passengers. But as a practical matter, passengers are already stopped by virtue of the stop of the vehicle, so that the additional intrusion upon them is minimal.” http://supreme.justia.com/us/519/408/


Now, this is the area which most people want to know about and have the most questions and concerns. The SCOTUS over the course of the last 2+ centuries has determined that there are 13 exceptions to the search warrant requirement afforded by the 4th Amendment. Several apply to traffic stops. They are:
- Stop and frisk
- Vehicle searched based on probable cause
- Consent
- Administrative
- Probation/Parole
- Incident to arrest


Many people are under the misconception that a “search” of a vehicle requires PC. That not exactly correct. A limited search or “frisk” is permissible without PC under certain circumstances. In the case Michigan v. Long (1983) http://supreme.justia.com/us/463/1032/case.html, the SCOTUS stated that an officer could search the lunge area of the vehicle (passenger compartment) for weapons if there is RAS that there is a weapon readily accessible in it. This decision goes hand in hand with the landmark Terry v. Ohio (1968) http://supreme.justia.com/us/392/1/case.html decision which allows the frisk of a person for weapons based on RAS. The requirements set forth in Terry apply to the Long decision. The Officer must:
- Have articulable facts that the person could be armed
- Limit the search to areas in the vehicle which could readily conceal a weapon (i.e., they couldn’t search a film canister – which is commonly used to carry narcotics)

The Long decision also went on to say that if an Officer finds contraband during a legal “frisk” of the vehicle, they are not required to ignore the contraband (drugs in that case) and that the “frisk” then evolved into a search based on probable cause.


A warrantless search of the vehicle based on probable cause is permissible under the Carroll decision referenced earlier. It is considered an exigent circumstance. In it’s US v. Ross decision http://supreme.justia.com/us/456/798/case.html, the SCOTUS said that a search of a vehicle based on PC can be as thorough as a search conducted with a search warrant. Probable cause can be established by numerous means. Items observed in plain sight, odors sniffed by “plain smell”, the list goes on and on. PC for a stop does not automatically mean there is PC for a search. Like RAS, it can be extremely situation dependent on what equals PC.


A driver who is stopped for a valid reason can give consent to search the vehicle. Consent can be revoked at any time, which means that the person granting consent needs to be in a position to revoke that consent. For example, if the driver of a vehicle grants consent to search the vehicle, then is placed in the back of a patrol car with no Officers staying with him and is not in a position to tell any of the officers that he is withdrawing consent and the officers find something after he tries to revoke the consent, the evidence located should be excluded as “fruit from the poisonous tree”. However, if consent is granted and the Officer finds something that develops probable cause of his own, he no longer needs the consent to search the vehicle. The search has evolved from a consent search to a search based on probable cause.


In it’s decision in the case South Dakota v. Opperman, the SCOTUS said that the administrative inventory of a vehicle prior to towing is not unreasonable: “When vehicles are impounded, police routinely follow caretaking procedures by securing and inventorying the cars' contents. These procedures have been widely sustained as reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” Most agencies have policies in place regarding the inventorying of a towed vehicle because of this decision. Items found during this inventory can be used against the owner. http://supreme.justia.com/us/428/364/case.html Also see it’s Michigan v. Thomas decision. http://supreme.justia.com/us/458/259/case.html


People on probation or parole give up their 4th Amendment rights most of the time. Probation/parole Officers can search the residence or vehicle of their probationer anytime they wish. Be careful if you have a family member in that situation that wants to live with you. Probation/Parole Officers can search the common areas of a house along with the living quarters of their parolee/probationer. Police Officers do not automatically have permission to search a probationer’s vehicle. We can assist a probation or parole Officer with their search, but we cannot do so of our own accord.


In a 2009 decision the SCOTUS drastically changed the rules when it comes to the search of a vehicle incident to the arrest of the driver or occupant. The decision is Arizona v. Gant http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-542.ZO.html. Prior to Gant, Officers could search a vehicle incident to the arrest of the driver or passenger, regardless of what the arrest was for (arrested for driving under suspension, search car, find marijuana, charge driver for marijuana). After Gant (I’m making this as simplistic as I can and not going into all the nitty gritty details), an Officer can really only search the vehicle if they can articulate that the vehicle may contain evidence of the crime for which the driver/occupant was arrested. There are some other issues at stake, but they are less important.

I have obviously condensed this topic to its most basic form. I had to, otherwise I’d have to write a whole book on the subject.

So there you go, xpd54’s guide to traffic stop legalities. I’m sure I’ve created as many questions and I have given answers.

About the Author:
Username: xpd54
Location: Dayton Area
Occupation: LEO, firearms instructor
Interests: 3 gun

Packing Heat: More Women Shooting And Buying Guns

More women are packing heat these days. I think this is great. ALL WOMEN, should pack heat as far as I'm concerned. The rapists / thugs will have a harder time picking victims. Plus, to me there's almost nothing hotter than a woman with a gun on her hip, well, I can think of a few things. If you have not taken your wife/girlfriend/fiance to the range you better do it now. You protect yourself she should learn to protect you both.

Watch this video of a young lady teaching you how to field strip your Glock.

Sunday, August 14, 2011



Why Carry a Gun?

My old grandpa said to me ‘Son, there comes a time in every man’s life when
he stops bustin’ knuckles and starts bustin’ caps and
usually it’s when he becomes too old or smart enough not to take an ass whoopin.’

I don’t carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry.
I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating
myself for failing to be prepared.

I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on
a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones
they love.

I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to

Police protection is an oxymoron.
Free citizens must protect themselves.
Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the
crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old to take
an ass whoopin’…..author unknown (but obviously brilliant)


In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about
20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million
Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of
13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded
up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million
political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan
Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
—- ————- ————-

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000
Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million
educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because
of gun control: 56 million.

You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians
disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes,
gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of
this history lesson.

With guns, we are ‘citizens’. Without them, we are ‘subjects’.

During WW II the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew
most Americans were ARMED!

If you value your freedom, please spread this anti gun-control message to
all of your friends.



Reason or force?

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly civilized society, people interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the firearm, as crazy as it may sound to some.

When I carry my gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

- Author Unknown

Friday, August 12, 2011

Most people meander through life, oblivious to the world around them.

Most people meander through life, oblivious to the world around them. They are mentally taken up with thoughts of work, personal problems, the hot red-head they just passed, or other trivial things, paying no mind to their immediate surroundings. By being unaware of their surroundings, they place themselves in needless danger.

People typically operate on distinct levels of awareness. There are many ways to describe the levels. Perhaps the most effective way to illustrate the differences between the levels of awareness is to compare them to the degrees of attention we practice while driving. I will refer to the five levels of awareness as “tuned out,” “relaxed awareness,” “focused awareness,” “high alert” and “comatose.”

The first , tuned out, is the state of awareness most exercises when driving in a very familiar area or is enamored in thought, a daydream, music or even their children in the backseat. More and more, cellphones and texting are also causing tune outs while driving. Have you ever gotten in you car and arrived at your destination without even really thinking about your drive? If yes, you’ve tuned out.

The second level, relaxed awareness, is similar to defensive driving. This is a mindset in which you are relaxed but watching the other cars on the road and are looking ahead for potential hazards. If another driver looks like they may not stop at the approaching intersection, you may tap your brakes to slow your car in case he does not. This type of driving should not make you weary, and you should be able to maintain this way for a long while if you have the control to keep yourself at this level, but it is extremely easy to slip back into the tuned-out mode. While practicing defensive driving you still enjoy the trip, the scenery, and the radio, but you do not allow yourself to get so drawn into those distractions that they exclude everything else. You should be relaxed and enjoying your drive, but you still watching for hazards,and keeping an eye on the behavior of the drivers around you.

The next level, focused awareness, is equivalent to driving in hazardous conditions. You use this level of awareness when you are driving on icy or snow-covered roads, or roads that are filled with potholes. When you are driving in such conditions, you keep both hands on the wheel and you need to have your attention focused on the road and the other drivers. You can't take your eyes off the road or let your attention wander. This is no time for cellphone calls or any other distractions. The level of attention required for this type of driving is extremely tiring and stressful. This can turn a drive that you normally would not think twice about into a totally exhausting drive because it demands your undivided concentration for an extended period of time.

The next level is high alert. This level induces an adrenaline rush, a pair of striped undies, and a deep breath of air all at the same time — “Watch out! There’s a deer in the road! Punch the brakes!” High alert may be scary, but you are still able to function and immediately respond to hazards. You punch the brakes and keep control of your car. The adrenaline dump may even enhance your reflexes. But your body can sustain only short stretches of high alert before become totally exhausted.

The final level, comatose, is what happens when you cannot respond to stimuli, either because you have fallen asleep or, because you are paralyzed with panic. It is this paralysis that is the most concerning in response to situational awareness. This level of awareness — or more accurately, lack of awareness — occurs when a person's brain fails to process information and they simply cannot react to the stimuli. Often after this occurs, a person may go into denial, thinking that “this isn't happening to me,” or they may feel as though they are observing as opposed to actually being involved in the event. Frequently, time will appear to stand still. Victims commonly report this feeling as well as being unable to act or react during the crime.

Now that the different levels of awareness have been explained, let’s identify what level is required at a specific time. Body and mind can both become fatigued, so we must spend several hours each day comatosed while asleep. When sitting at home watching TV, surfing the net, or reading, it is acceptable to be in the tuned-out mode. Some people attempt to maintain this mode in the most inappropriate places (e.g., when they are out at night walking down the sidewalk in an unknown neighborhood, or they will maintain a belief that criminals can make them a victim. Others are completely tuned out as they stroll through their lives that they miss even conspicuous signs of victimization targeted directly at them. They can also be tuned-out due to fatigue or intoxication. It is not unusual to see some tuned-out people pour from airports after long flights. Thugs also frequently prey on intoxicated people.

If you're tuned-out while driving and something happens (e.g., a deer runs into the road or a car slams on the brakes front of you) you will not see the hazard. This means that you will not see the hazard in time causing you to hit it, or you totally panic and freeze, neither is good. This reaction or lack of reaction occurs because it is nearly impossible to change your mental state quickly, especially when going from tuned out to high alert. It is like trying to shift from first gear into fifth and you shudder and stall.

When people are forced to make this mental jump and they panic, they go comatose. This can happen not only when driving but when a criminal attacks someone totally unaware and unprepared. Training can help people move up and down the awareness scale, it is often hard for highly trained persons to jump from tuned-out to high alert. This is why police, federal agents and military receive extensive training on situational awareness.

It is imperative to note that situational awareness does not mean being paranoid or being obsessive about your safety. It does not mean having the thought process expectation that there is a dangerous criminal lurking behind every shrub and in every dark alley. People cannot operate in a state of focused awareness for extended periods, and high alert can be maintained for very short periods before exhaustion occurs. The “fight or flight” reflex can be very helpful if it can be controlled. When it's out of control, a constant flow of adrenaline is not healthy for the body or the mind. When constantly paranoid, one will become mentally and physically drained. This is dangerous and safety suffers because it is difficult to remain aware of your environment when you are a complete nut-job. Operating continuously in high alert is not the answer,neither is being in prolonged periods of focused alert, that can be overly demanding and completely incapacitating. This process causes alert fatigue, even highly skilled professionals, require time to reset.

The basic level of situational awareness that should be practiced most of the time is relaxed awareness, a frame of mind that can be easily maintained infinitely without stress and fatigue found with focused awareness or high alert. Relaxed awareness allows you to enjoy life while maintaining a level of personal security. When you are in an area where there may be danger (which can be anywhere), go through your day in relaxed awareness. Then if your "spidey senses" start to tingle, you can shift easily to focused awareness and examine a potential threat or other threats in the area.

If a potential threat is simply a false alarm, you can down-shift to relaxed awareness and carry on. If you determine that the potential threat is a real threat, watching it allows you to take preventative actions to avoid it. You may never need to shift to high alert, because avoided the threat early on. But, once in focused awareness you'll find it easier to shift to high alert if the thugs guys lurking in the alley start coming toward you and look as if they are reaching for weapons. The chance of you going comatose will be greatly reduced when you shift from focused awareness into high alert rather than being caught by surprise and your brain is forced to shift to high alert from tuned-out.

If you must go into an area that is known to be dangerous, you should gear yourself up to focused awareness when you are in that area. An increased level of awareness is prudent when engaging in common tasks, such as visiting an ATM or walking to your car in a dark parking lot. The relatively simple nature of these routine tasks can make it easy to tune out and expose you to easily avoidable hazards. When the potential danger zone has been passed, you should shift back to a state of relaxed awareness.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almost a year since my first Open Carry.

For the uninitiated, "Open Carry" is the peaceable, unconcealed carry of a firearm by a law abiding citizen. For example, in a holster, on a belt in plain view.

As I look back on how scared I was to Open Carry that first time, I now realize it's no big deal. Every time I see Law Enforcement, I can't help but still think in the back of my mind that there is going to be some kind of confrontation.
I've open carried in almost every business I regularly patronize, except my bank, I just feel weird about open carrying there. It's the one place I mentally can't bring myself to OC.

My main goal when I’m out and about (besides whatever I went out and about to do) is to go about my business and not be the victim of a violent crime. And thusly, I carry my firearm everytime I go out, and I also try to follow all the other standard safety practices like having good situational awareness, staying out of known high crime areas, and avoiding confrontation. I also have an overall goal of going through my whole life without being forced to shoot anyone because I don’t want to be responsible, legally or morally, for an idiot's death.

Carrying a concealed firearm says almost to anyone that I am unarmed. Every study I’ve ever read, says that criminals admit they will avoid an armed person or home during the victim selection process. That only makes sense, right? Criminals might be dumb and opportunistic, but they have the same instinct of self preservation we all have.

Yesterday while OCing at my favorite locally owned hardware store, one of the employees asked me about the law pertaining to OC. I explained it to him and he said cool, and then uncovered a nice shiny 1911 and said "I hate covering this thing up." I told him to stop by the forum for more information, and my house for some shooting!

I just got done talking to the electrician that was here, giving an estimate for a whole house generator, about OCing and CCing, he asked me who teaches classes for cc in this area and was going to go take a class soon.

This is a big part of why I OC, the positive encounters I have with people. I also feel that back in the day, a gentlemen wore his firearm on the outside visible to all, and it was the scoundrels who concealed it.

show that criminals simply do not use holsters for their weapons, and they prefer to conceal their weapons. If you think about it, this makes sense, as criminals generally will not want to draw attention in any way before or after they commit a crime.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I like free stuff.

If you would like a free sample of this product, just email your name and address to
gcfennell@steelshieldtech.com and ask for a free sample.

From the MFR. website:
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I like free stuff.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Yesterday was great!

Yesterday was a great day. I had a few friends over to do some shooting and my wife and son came out to shoot. Nothing I can think of makes me happier than my family shooting with me. My son really liked shooting the AR-15 pistol.

7yrs old and he already loves firearms!

My wife enjoyed it as well!

Stay armed, stay alert, stay safe... Piece be with you!

A positive OC day

Today I ate lunch at Arby's in Chardon while open carrying of course. When we arrived a County Deputy was just getting his order, he looked at my glock and left. A few minutes later a different deputy walked in and got his lunch as well nothing was said no issues nothing.

Kudos to the Geauga County SO for knowing I was doing nothing wrong. I hope all OC encouters are like this in the future.
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Stay armed, stay alert, stay safe... Piece be with you!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Canton Ohio Officer Daniel Harless should be fired!

A Canton, Ohio police officer in the cross-hairs for his obscenity-riddled discharge at a legally armed citizen that now has the Second Amendment community from sea to shining sea, up in arms, the Ohio law that requires citizens to notify an officer "PROMPTLY" if they are armed is being blamed for what happened during the dash cam video that has shot around the world over the past few days.

If Law Enforcement is going to threaten to arbitrarily kill legally armed American citizens, is this not what the right to self-protection is all about? Many American see the Second Amendment as the founding father's way to ensure the citizens always had the ability to resist a tyrannical government. And isn't an officer threatening to kill any citizen a clear-cut example of tyranny?"

If it wasn't bad enough for Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm and the now-off-the-streets but still employed Officer, Daniel Harless when the video became big news on Ohio television stations, now the story has made national news.

Currently, Canton Ohio Officer Daniel Harless seems to be exercising his right to remain silent; something he probably should have done on that fateful night of June 8 2011, when he and his partner rolled up behind the car in which Mr. Bartlett was the driver. It is not clear what Mr. Bartlett was doing that night, nor is it relevant, but on the video, while he is being threatened with execution multiple times, he displays a monumental amount of grace under fire.

But what about Ohio's law to promptly notify an officer if you are legally armed? In this case, the video shows Bartlett apparently trying to do that at least a few time, only to be told to “shut up” or ignored by the officer. Bartlett can be seen holding both his driver’s license and his concealed handgun license, trying to inform Harless of his armed status while “shut up”.

According to Ohioans for a Concealed Carry the officer was way out of line. Philip Mulivor, an OFCC coordinator said in a news interview:
The notification law fails everybody. Ohio should follow the lead of some other states and require officers to ask if there is a legal gun in the car, rather than requiring the driver to say it first.

After talking to quite a few of my friends who are in Law enforcement, I've been told most were trained to approach every vehicle as if the occupant(s) were armed. That’s some good advice if you ask me.

As OCers have found, depending upon the officer, encounters can vary from non-issues, to shit hitting the proverbial fan. If Bartlett was OCing he would probably have been shot to death by Harless,who would probably have over-reacted at the sight of a holstered firearm.

Currently only a few states require legally armed citizens to notify an officer if they are armed. Why should they? Second Amendment supporters believe that if a legally armed citizen is minding their own business, it's nobody else’s business.

This "duty to inform" has caused other issues in the past. It happened to my friend Bryan.

Officer Harless is on “administrative leave” and went on sick leave earlier this week. Gun owners reacting to the horrid actions in the video are calling for him to be fired and prosecuted. Chief McKimm has promised a full investigation, but many predict that Harless will get a “slap on the hand” followed by some additional training, and a return to “his beat”.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gun "Accidentally" Goes Off, Shoots Man In Leg

This news story Police: Gun Accidentally Goes Off, Shoots Man In Leg is another perfect example of not following the basic rules of gun safety and carelessness causing an injury.


If rule #3 had been followed as well as not mixing alcohol and firearms, the poor drunk redneck would not have been injured.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shocking Failure To Notify Dash Cam Footage

Ohioans For Concealed Carry has acquired footage from an Ohio Police Department dash board camera recorded during a recent traffic stop where the driver was charged with failure to notify.

This is appalling that law enforcement is acting this way. This officer needs to be fired and forced to publicly apologize to the CHL holder. He should also have to pay a huge settlement to the CHL holder.

This is from a friend of mine in law enforcement:
"It was incredibly stupid of the guy to be picking up strange people at night in the hood, its not illegal by any law I've heard of, cops were fishing hoping to get drugs off the known prostitute and pimp and or get someone to admit to soliciting which by itself is only a misdemeanor 4. Driver should have ignored commands to shut up and told about permit regardless but I can see how he would be intimidated into not. Now pissed off or not there is no reason for the actions of the officer and IMHO he should at minimum be suspended w/o pay for 1-2 months or just fired as he can obviously not control his emotions in the street.. This is the kinda guy that beats cuffed suspects, both of them have piss poor officer safety as well. Arresting officer has obviously never heard of professionalism or the mantra of always acting if one is being recorded at all times. Finally I don't know what revision of the ORC he's been reading but no felony was committed there and he's just being a dick talking about said made up felony. A fun note is if the officers had known about his CCW status from dispatch before making contact and he failed to inform its not even an arrestable offense then, In short f--- those guys their actions would not have been appropriate if the armed citizen had instead been a felon with a huge bag of crack and a stolen gun with the same demeanor."

The story is now on the local fox affiliate:

And Fox News:

And Talk Radio:

And a local newspaper:

From the now removed Canton PD FB page:
Chief Dean McKimm
General Information:
Officers of the Canton Police Department abide by six major guiding principles. They are as follows:

1.To be a progressive, proactive organization, dedicated to safety and serving the needs of the community.
2.To be responsive and accountable to the citizens of Canton through the chain of command and the city's administration.
3.To promote the professional and personal growth of each employee throug...h strong, fair, flexible leadership.
4.To create an environment in which employees can attain the highest degree of creativity, productivity and sense of morale.
5.To maintain a spirit of cooperation within the department and between Labor Unions and other representative organizations.
6.To be fair, honest and display common sense in all actions.See More
The mission of the Canton Police Department is to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of Canton, enforce all city, state, and federal laws, prevent crime, and educate the public.

We, the men and women of the Canton Police Department, shall perform these duties with honesty and fairness through strong leadership and continuous training. We will strive to serve as role models for the community, applying professional standards and commitment to integrity, sensitivity and compassion to those we serve.

How an Imaginary Gun Saved A Life

GOProud's executive director, Jimmy LaSalvia, says he was violently attacked for being gay and that the experience has only strengthened his pro-gun beliefs.

In 2009, the federal .gov passed a law that is supposed to be preventing violent hate crimes against LGBT people. This law is called The Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

In 1791, the founding fathers added an amendment to the United States Constitution which protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense. This is know as The Second Amendment.

Unfortunately for Jimmy LaSalvia concealed carry is not legal in the District of Columbia. He was attacked while riding his bike home from the office, by a group of "black men" he estimates there were eight of them. LaSalvia goes on to say:
Just as I got up to them, the assailant lunged off the sidewalk toward me and delivered a punch across my chest. The momentum of my bicycling drove me into his fist and arm, causing a shocking pain like I’ve never felt before. Just as I began to realize what was happening, I heard it. The words are still ringing in my ears as I write this — “Fucking faggot!”

The wind was knocked out of him, he caught himself before he was knocked to the ground and was now crouching sort of under his bike. At this point he could do was dig in his backpack looking for his phone when he heard one of the thugs say, “Does he have a gun?”

So I kept my hand in my backpack, allowing them to wonder whether I was reaching for a gun. Then a couple of them started to run away, and the others soon followed. I got back on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could out of there.

When I got home, I began to reflect on what had happened, and more disturbingly what could have happened. I am in contact with the LGBT unit of the police department to file a report. But I’ve thought a lot about the turning point of the situation — the fact that one of them thought that I might have a gun. None of them said, “There’s a law against antigay hate crimes!” That wasn’t the deterrent. It was the possibility that I might have had a gun that saved my life Friday night.

The author says he was raised around hunting and hasn't hunted in years, but will be buying a firearm to protect him while at home. He also no realizes the power of a gun in the hands of a law-abiding citizen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More people should OC more often.

This story is a very positive account from a person who was afraid to OC but did it anyways.

Bruh Bruh is at it again!

Booked by Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
on Jul. 17, 2011
for Weapons
23 (on date of arrest)


Tracking #:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Heading back to the Keystone Commonwealth...

So I'm heading back to PA with my wife and son. Packing my Glock in the Serpa and my Bersa in the schoulder holster. I will OC when I get to PA and will have my wife take a pic to post here.

Have a great independence day!

Stay armed, stay alert, stay safe... Piece be with you!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Lake County OC Meet and Greet!

An OC Meet and Greet has been created!

Facebook Event Link

Saturday, July 16 · 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Headlands Beach State Park
9601 Headlands Road
Mentor, Ohio
Created By:
Tom Glassburner, Scott Phillips
More Info:
Come show your support for open carry at this family-friendly cookout at gorgeous Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor on July 16th! Open / concealed carry are optional though encouraged, and remember that open carry does not require a license in Ohio. So come have fun at the beach for a day and hang out with like-minded, liberty-conscious friends and their families!

We all had a lot of fun at the open carry picnic in Lorain la...st month, so it's time we show those lightweight westies how it's done on the East side! I'll be supplying burgers and dogs, so please speak up on the following necessities and feel free to add your own!

o Plates / cups
o Napkins
o Plastic-ware
o Chips (and the kids love pretzels!)
o Condiments
o Trash bags
o Charcoal and lighting materials (*cough*Greg*cough cough*)
o Potato salad
o Fruit salad
o Cookies / cupcakes / other desserts
o Whatever else you think of!

This is not a political or sales event and is not associated with any organization. This is a polite gathering of respectful friends and neighbors who wish to show their support for Article I Section 1.04 of Ohio's State Constitution, guaranteeing all Ohio citizens the right to openly display and carry a weapon for defense of themselves, their families, and others.

Handguns only please.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Open carried in Lancaster Pa.

So I went to Lancaster to move my sister in law and mother in law and enjoyed open carrying while there. This photo was taken at the hotel room by my wife. I enjoyed eating in armed in a restaurant that served alcohol. Did not see one CPZ sign the whole time I was in PA. This was a nice change as I see them too often around home. Can't wait to come back for the holiday and enjoy such a pro 2A state open carrying of course!

Stay alert, stay armed, stay safe. Piece be with you!
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Mark your calendar for October 3rd...

October 3rd, unless this gets vetoed, will be the day we can actually celebrate... hopefully before that if Kasich actually signs. Here is the Status Report for SB17.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't ever let them get close.

On the OFCC Forum a member posted "had to shoot someone on friday" which he posts 2 links to video of the event taken from the gas station's cctv system:

I'm glad he is ok and no charges have been filed against him.
There were 2 aggressors and they are Brandon Turner (the guy that got shot)
and Billy Blackburn Jr.

I could not find a Facebook profile for Brandon but did find one for Billy. and on it he says Photobucket and shows a photo of the wound. I could barely understand his language but he admits he is going to seek vengence.


I'm glad my situation did not call for shots to be fired. I know how this guy was feeling up until the physical attack. Just don't ever let them get close.

Be careful out there - even when you think you are safe, you might not be... Piece be with you!

They would not have needed video.......

Couple’s camera leads to arrest of suspected burglar.

This happened not far from where I live. They would not have needed video if this was my house he came to. They would have had a body or at least a blood trail to follow. "The couple contacted deputies around 2:22 a.m. to report they had been startled awake by a man who entered their bedroom." This would have read much differently had this been my house, it would have read: The couple, who live in Windsor Township, contacted deputies around 2:22 a.m. to report the husband had shot an unknown man who entered their bedroom. There is obviously more to the story, it appears they knew the suspect, as they identified him easily and when questioned the suspect "admitted going to the house but at the invitation of the couple and only to get money he was owed." I will almost bet you somehow drugs are involved, and that the drug was either meth or pot. I doubt there will be much more onthis in the media bu if there is, I will update you.

Be careful out there - even when you think you are safe, you might not be... Piece be with you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Glad it wasn't me...

I was not suprised when I read this online this morning.

It happened really close to where I had to draw my weapon.I'm just glad it wasn't me.


I did not realize how bad this area was until after I had to draw. I have since talked to LEOs and people familiar with the neighborhood. This area is pretty bad.

Glad I was armed that night.

Be careful out there - even when you think you are safe, you might not be... Piece be with you!