Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pro-Gun Extremist Hero Jailed For Gun Crime

Yesterday I got another anonymous threat posted as a comment to this blog, this time threatening to hunt me down at home.  Yawn.  This dufus didn't even know what city I live in.  To Mr. Anonymous, please note that, like all comments sent to me, I now have your IP address.  This is yet another example to me that people who spend their time and mental energy preparing themselves to kill people are all too often only a shade away from being criminals themselves.

The pro-gun crowd likes to pretend that only hardened criminals and gangbangers are shooting up our communities, insisting that those who have concealed weapons permits don't murder people.  They portray themselves as absolutely law-abiding, patriotic, and only interested in self-protection. 

And yet, all the time, I see reports of previously law-abiding gun owners who commit gun-related crimes, including murder, with those guns they supposedly purchased for self protection.  This includes concealed carry permit holders

According to the Violence Policy Center, more than 100 people have been killed by holders of handgun-carry permits since 2007, including nine law enforcement officers. "They shoot each other over parking spaces, at football games and at family events," says the center's Kristin Rand. "The idea that you're making any place safer by injecting more guns is just completely contradicted by the facts."

It doesn't help the pro-gun extremists' case when one of their own is arrested for a gun crime.  Representative Curry Todd was arrested this week for driving drunk while carrying a loaded handgun in his car.  This is particularly interesting since Todd was the sponsor of a bill to allow concealed carry guns in bars in Tennessee.  He swore that those who have concealed firearms would never be the sort to get drunk while carrying.  'Cuz, you know, people wouldn't drink in bars!  What could possibly go wrong when you combine guns and alcohol in bars?

Adam Dread, a Nashville attorney who formed a coalition to fight Todd on the law, called the arrest "poetic justice."

"He spent all his time arguing that as a permit holder that we don't violate the law, we're responsible and of course we would never drink when we had our guns, and then be arrested for the very thing that he was out there clamoring about is a little bit of poetic justice if you will," Dread said in an interview on

And, gee, wouldn't you know that Todd is also the chairman of the newly-formed House Firearms Taskforce?  He promptly resigned from that position.  Apparently the taskforce has now been cancelled.  Hmm. 

"This is only the latest example of the dangers of guns carried in public and underscores the futility of trying to predict who will act responsibly and who will ultimately endanger public safety,” says Kristen Rand of the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center.

If one of the heroes of the pro-gun movement can't keep himself clean of gun crimes, what does it say for the others? 

Image taken from HERE.


  1. More about this story:

    Tourism to TN Up Following ‘Guns-in-Bars’ Law

  2. It is rare that gun rights supporters say "permit holders never screw up". Permit holders do screw up--but at a small fraction of the rate of everyone else, based on any statistic available. There are 6 million of us--is there any city of a million or more with fewer violent crimes? How about police misuse--even though a policeman is given the benefit of the doubt more often, their conviction rate is still higher than ours.

    I would be fascinated to study the crime rate of anti-gun activists--Mayors Against Illegal Guns has had an awful record.

  3. These are the same guys who comment on my blog. They give the same tired old platitudes. You know- guns don't kill people, blah,blah,blah. Jay here sent me the same article. Of course there is no cause and effect between gun carrying in bars and tourism. Actually when the TN law first passed, people from out sf state and country made inquiries about visiting TN after the law passed.

    Great post Baldr. Keep up the good work. We stand together with the 98% of Americans who don't care a whit about carrying loaded guns around in public. These gun guys are a desperate dying breed trying to hang on to some world that only they occupy. The rest of us understand that too many people die every day from bullets and we simply don't want more. We will notbe intimidated by their bullying tactics and threats. Threats are serious business however. If we can find out who they are they will no longer threaten anyone. Is it because they have guns that they feel powerful enough to issue threats? Shame on them. Notice that few gun rights commenters comment about their fellow travelers who are threatening. Why is that? Do they defend the right to threaten and intimidate?

  4. @ JayF: I'm glad the TN tourism hasn't suffered, but I don't think it's linked in any way to the bars-in-guns issue. People don't visit a state to be patrons of bars.

    I'm glad there haven't been any bar shootouts in TN. However, the absence of tragedy doesn't make it a good idea. You could just as easily say that there haven't been any examples of people NEEDING to have a gun in a bar; no one has had to defend themselves either. Guns and alcohol never mix, and it's only a matter of time when someone, feeling justified in bringing a concealed weapon into a bar because of this bill, gets drunk and violent and kills someone with their gun.

  5. japete: "Of course there is no cause and effect between gun carrying in bars and tourism."

    Baldr: "I'm glad the TN tourism hasn't suffered, but I don't think it's linked in any way to the bars-in-guns issue."

    I agree -- so all three of us agree. It turns out that those who claimed that the TN law would hurt tourism were raising a bogus issue. Might opponents of the TN law have raised other bogus issues?

  6. From the article:

    In fact, abiding by the law appears to be just what the vast majority of Tennessee’s licensed gun-carriers are doing when they’re packing heat in establishments that serve alcohol. According to the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security, not one person with a handgun permit has been convicted of brandishing their weapon while drinking in a bar.

  7. I have already pointed out to you that it was not bogus but you guys are so incredibly eager to find fault and badger that you chose to ignore it. The artilce I found said that there were legitimate concerns on the part of tourists. Phone calls came from other countries even. It didn't turn out to be as some had feared but there were legitimate initial concerns. And, as Baldr says, though there hasn't been a problem yet, aside from the sleazy legislator who thinks drinking and carrying a loaded gun are a good idea, does not mean there won't be. Remember that in the first weeks of the Ohio law, a permit holder already violated that law and was drinking in a bar with his loaded gun on display. We don't need or want guns in bars. It is only you 2%ers who insist on having your way.

  8. "I would be fascinated to study the crime rate of anti-gun activists--Mayors Against Illegal Guns has had an awful record."

    @Sevesteen - As often as they try to link every conceal carry person a criminal because "some" have been fond to commit crime, the fact that more than several mayors of MAIG have been found to be criminals doesn't even bear mention. Japete won't even comment on it.

    "People don't visit a state to be patrons of bars."

    @Baldr - Actually many of my friends on the Ohio border would go into Indiana to enjoy a nice restaurant because they didn't have to disarm because alcohol was served there. Now that Ohio allows us to enjoy a restaurant without disarming, they tend to state in state.

    @Japete - That's odd that you talk about dead and dying breeds and that the majority of people don't want guns in the public. My conceal carry classes are up and so are the licenses in Ohio. We are enjoying a 20% growth rate each year, I think.

    I'm not sure what threats you are speaking of, but you don't post yours so I'm not sure how we can denounce them. I, for one, don't support anyone threatening you or anyone else, regardless of your politics or ideology. Regardless, there are extremists in every group and I'm not responsible for their actions, only my own. As a Democrat, do you feel responsible for the violence that is threatened by many in the "Occupy " groups? If you aren't responsible, why would you think we are responsible?

  9. I'd point out Nikki Goeser as a license holder who needed a gun in a Tennessee bar--but I'm sure you've got lots of excuses why that doesn't count.

    As for bogus issues, we see them all the time--mostly variations on a theme "if we allow this gun right, there will be more gun injuries". Often this is when a gun right is recognized in the 35th or 45th state, when previous states have not had problems

  10. This guy isn't any pro-gun hero. I had never even heard of him until this incident. Even a lot of the pro-gun politicians in Pennsylvania who vote our way aren't people I would classify as Heros. A few of them even offend me on many (and some most) other issues.

  11. So there were "legitimate" concerns...which turned out to be false? Then those concerns were more "bogus" than "legitimate."

    Perhaps the fearmongers who stirred up such concerns should show more restraint?

  12. But, Sevesteen, there have been problems, to say "when previous states have not had problems" is worse spinning than you accuse us of.

    There are problems, we're just haggling over what constitutes "too much."

    The 100 murders in 2007 that Baldr mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition you've got a certain number wounded and all those incidents in which no one was hurt or even the ones where no shots were fired. All those count as "problems."

    Then, since we're trying to be so comprehensive here, let's examine the so-called legitimate DGUs for that period, many of which were performed by CCW holders. My contention is many of them are bogus. Think about it, with a bad guy fled from the scene or dead on the floor, the "lawful" gun owner has no trouble explaining how he was justified.

    Every once in a while the video surveillance catches him at the lie, but just imagine what really goes on out there.

    So, about the real question here, is it too much, I say yes.

  13. When you are talking about millions of people, 'cause problems' pretty much has to be shorthand for 'cause an increase in problems'. It takes astounding intolerance to take a drastically better rate of gun violence among license holders compared to others as evidence of a problem because it isn't zero.

  14. The best that you and the Violence Policy Center can do is show a hundred (or is it three hundred?) deaths since 2007? No one's happy about innocents dying, but out of some six million concealed carry license holders and however many others in constitutional carry states, that's all? Please name a safer group of people than those of us who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

  15. @ Greg and MikeB30200: The 100 conceal carriers who committed homicide is only for those who are reported in the media as being carriers. Most often, the media doesn't report on whether shooters have permits, or even if they are previously law-abiding. I'm not sure the police even always look into it, much less release it. So this is certainly a low number. Then, as Mike points out, there are all the uncounted injuries, crimes without injuries, and plain accidents, not included in that number, many of which are also not reported on.

  16. "Most often, the media doesn't report on whether shooters have permits, or even if they are previously law-abiding. I'm not sure the police even always look into it, much less release it"

    This pretty much answers my earlier question about falsifiability. If the data doesn't support your position, then the data must be wrong.

    The available data showing license holders as being better than average is so overwhelming that for your theory to be true more than 80% of the time, police, prosecutors AND the court system would have to fail to deal with a license, just to bring us down to average.

  17. Sevesteen, lack of good data collection makes the data less than reliable. I would also argue that the presence of regulation also decreases the availability of concealed weapons to those who would abuse them. Deregulation, or complete removal of regulation (in the case of Arizona) will certainly lead to increased crime by permit holders and carriers.

    Now, my argument isn't that those who carry concealed are bad people, or even worse than non-permit-holders. My argument is that allowing guns in bars increases the potential for the dangerous mixing of alcohol and gun possession, and that removing or reducing regulation on permits(such as training requirements or exclusions based on past violent behavior or mental problems) will also lead to increased abuse and violence.

  18. " Permit holders do screw up--but at a small fraction of the rate of everyone else, based on any statistic available."

    Umm no.

    This is a common trick employed by gunloons when discussing statistics. THat is, they are comparing two, separate and distinct, populations. The general population contains felons, criminals, the mentally ill, the infirm and every other group of people. Permit are "supposed" to exclude felons and the mentally ill and the infirm. The fact that we see permit holders "screwing up" means they aren't better than the general population--it means the permit process doesn't work as advertised.

  19. Jadegold, for once you have a bit of a point about the validity of the statistic. However, the same data also shows that we compare more than favorably with cops. Real world is probably better, since cops don't like to arrest cops.