Latest from The Spokesman-Review
SHOOTING — A shooting range in Western Washington and a gun club in Lewiston, Idaho, are taking heat from neighbors, according to two stories just moving on the Associated Press.
Mom who lives near shooting range says stray bullet hit her
BRUSH PRAIRIE, Wash. (AP) — The family of a woman who was grazed in the head by a bullet says they can’t prove it came from the neighboring shooting range, but a metal detector turned up more than a pound of bullets in their yard.
Linda Sperling of Brush Prairie is still recovering from a concussion after she she was struck by a bullet Jan. 26 while in her yard.
The vice president of Clark Rifles shooting range, Dave Christie, says there’s no proof the bullet was a stray from the range, The Columbian reports. The sheriff’s office says it appears to be an “unintended, unfortunate incident.”
The Sperling family is considering legal action against the shooting range.
Brush Prairie is near Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.
Lewiston Gun Club range plan draws crowd, controversy
ASOTIN (Lewiston Tribune) — A standing-room-only crowd of shooting enthusiasts and landowners will have to wait at least another month before they know whether a controversial gun club will be built in rural Asotin County.
After listening to 90 minutes of passionate pleas from both sides Tuesday night, the Asotin County Planning Commission opted to table its decision, saying more details are needed on what is proposed by the Lewiston Gun Club at the site eight miles south of Asotin.
The advisory panel said the application for a conditional-use permit in an agricultural zone needs to be resubmitted, along with the state’s environmental review, before any decisions are made on the proposal.
Eric Kopczynski, who lives closest to the site, said the effects on his home have been downplayed. The tranquility will be destroyed, along with property values, he said.
"I live right across the highway," he said. "There is no way I can sell my house with a gun club next door. The nuisance and economic impact is huge for me."
Ken Wareham gave a 20-minute presentation on the history and benefits of the club, which has been without a home since 2008. The club’s former site was near the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.
Jake Weiss, who was raised on a farm one mile south of the proposed club, gave the commission a letter from seven contiguous landowners who oppose the location. The potential noise, safety issues, land values and negative effects on farming are among the concerns of neighbors in the area, he said.
A land-use attorney from Spokane, Todd Hume, said the testimony didn’t address why this site is worthy of a conditional-use permit, and the application can’t be a moving target that keeps changing. Hume is representing Joanne Bolick’s farm, which is next to the gun club.
"Gun clubs are constantly in conflict with their neighbors," said Todd Hume, a Spokane land-use attorney representing one of the nearby farms. "You will be inviting disaster if you site that gun club in that location. They do serve a purpose, but your job is to look at the code."
Victor Dalosto, who owns the property where the proposed gun club is located, said there is no money in this for him. He said he’s basically giving the land to the club because he believes it will be an asset to the community. He also said he’s donating $30,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project for shooting activities connected to the club.
Trap shooters said it would bring a fun, recreational sport to Asotin County, along with people who spend money on such things as food, gas, guns and ammunition.
The family of Veronica Rutledge has set up a memorial fund to pay for her funeral expenses and provide support for her husband and son. Rutledge was killed Tuesday at a Walmart in Hayden, Idaho after her two-year-old son accidentally shot her with a gun he pulled out of her purse. The gun was in a zippered pocket specifically designed to hold a concealed weapon/Rachel Alexander, SR. More here.
Also: The inside story of how an Idaho toddler shot his mother at Wal-Mart/Washington Post
Question: Would you consider donating to this fund?
The gun that a toddler used to shoot his mother at Wal-Mart Tuesday was in the zippered pocket of a purse designed to hold a concealed weapon, the woman’s father-in-law said today.
Veronica Rutledge was shopping with her 2-year-old-son and three nieces when the fatal accident occurred at the Hayden store.
“She was not an irresponsible mother, who just said, ‘Oh, I want a gun and went to the gun store and tossed it loosely into her purse.’ The purse was designed a built-in holster,” said Terry Rutledge, her father-in-law. “Unfortunately, an inquisitive 2-year-old boy unzipped the compartment while his mother was looking at clothing with her three young nieces, and accessed the gun.”
Veronica Rutledge, 29, was a hunter and target shooter, who had a concealed weapons permit. The purse with the holster was a Christmas gift from her husband, Colt. More here. Becky Kramer, SR
Does this new information change you initial reaction to the story at all?
Eighteen law enforcement officers searched two southwestern Idaho elementary schools for nearly two hours Tuesday morning after a second-grade student brought a toy gun to class, the AP reports. Canyon County Sheriff's spokesman Joe Decker said teachers called officers after a young student reported that another child riding the bus had what looked like a handgun. The bus had carried students to two Middleton elementary schools, and so both were placed on lockdown while officers searched for a weapon. Sheriff's Captain Dana Maxfield said the toy was found about two hours later in the possession of a boy who was around 8 years old, and who may have simply wanted to show his friends. Maxfield said that was a dangerous move, however, because the black-and-brown toy looked real except for a bright orange cap. Maxfield said school officials planned to talk to the child's parents.
Gov. Jay Inslee addresses an election night party for Initiative 594 on Tuesday in Seattle.
The alarming rate of school shootings across the country appears to have added an unsettling new item to parents' list of "back to school" items: bulletproof armor for their children. Among such items, the Bodyguard Blanket, a portable, bulletproof covering for children, has seen its sales exceed its manufacturer's expectations in less than two weeks on the market.
Stan Schone, managing partner at manufacturer ProTecht, told The Huffington Post that consumer response to the product has "far exceeded our wildest expectations" in the 10 days that the blanket has been available for purchase.
As reported first in the Oklahoman, the blanket was conceived to protect children during natural disasters. The blanket is made "with the same bullet resistant materials that shield our soldiers in battle," according to one advertisement. In the event of a tornado — or shooting — children can wrap themselves in the blanket in a duck-and-cover position to shield from bullets, debris or other projectiles. Read more. Huffington Post
If this doesn't make you sad, what will? Do you want local schools to stock up on bulletproof blankets?
SHOOTING — Amanda Furrer, 23, flew into town this week to be with family and celebrate her silver medal from last weekend — a performance that won her a berth on the U.S.Women's World Championship Shooting Team.
- Two years ago Furrer won a similar match at Fort Benning, Georgia, to make the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team.
Furrer's dad, Michael, who still coaches the Spokane Junior Rifle Team where Amanda got her start, snapped this photo of Amanda giving her niece and nephews a few pointers with the ol' Daisy BB gun in the family's back yard.
I'll bet that Michael has taken the little kids over to the garage in the background to show them the two dimples in the door where Amanda missed the target and backstop by two feet with her first two shots with a pellet gun when she was their age.
I'm also betting that Michael Furrer NEVER repairs those dents.
This ad from Montana congressional candidate Matt Rosendale suggests two truths about American politics:
Guns are popular.
Drones are not.
The ad also suggests that Rosendale considers himself a pretty good shot.
Friday night ABC airs a year-long look into what children do when they are taught not to touch guns when they find them. How do the children act when their curiosity encounters a firearm? What should parents do to protect their kids?
One in three homes in America has a firearm inside. Every other day a child is killed by a gun. The program – 20/20 – needs to be watched.
(S-R archive photo)
More than 7,000 children are hospitalized or killed by guns each year. Almost daily we hear of shootings at a mall, a college, an elementary school and most often a family’s home.
Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords will testify in Olympia on Tuesday in support of I-594, asking for universal background checks for gun buyers. Her husband, Mark Kelly, will also testify.
Sensible measures to protect our children as well as each other are needed. Why would anyone refuse to pass a law that promotes common sense when buying and selling guns? Spend one day in an emergency room and talk with the caregivers who see the result of our often careless and cavalier attitudes. Every year: 7,000 children. The madness has to stop.
(S-R archive photo: Former Rep. Gabby Giffords is helped as she arrives for a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, 2013)
SHOOTING — It's being touted as the perfect gun to carry in your backpack with the necessary stopping power to fend off attacks by pigs and bears.
Smith & Wesson on Monday touted its new .460-caliber revolver as an ideal firearm for your backpack in the backcountry.
Officials with the Springfield, Mass.-based company let selected members of the media fire the Performance Center Model .460 at a range in Boulder City, Nev., as part of the opening day of the annual SHOT Show.
It has not been reported if there were any survivors.
The SHOT Show, the country’s largest gun show, is underway in Las Vegas.
According to S&W:
Revolvers have long been replaced by high-capacity semi-auto for self defense, but they still make nice companions if you like camping where the critters are big enough to eat you.
The five-shooter features a three-inch barrel, high-visibility sights and a synthetic stock with a shock absorber on the rear of the handle. Chambered for the massive .460 round, it packs a wallop. Cost: $1,200.
By the way, research has shown that firearms are much less likely to be effective in fending off a bear attack than a large can of bear spray. Cost: $50.
SHOOTING — Dick Metcalf, one of the country’s preeminent gun journalists for decades, has been dropped from a firearms TV show and dismissed as a columnist for Guns & Ammo magazine — and gun companies have stopped wining, dining and flying him to exotic locations to shoot.
His violation? Telling the truth.
The New York Times recently reported on the man who has been blackballed despite devoting his life to the shooting sports and monitoring gun laws. He foolishly dared to stray the tiniest bit off the gun-lobby reservation.
In October, Metcalf wrote a column that the magazine titled “Let’s Talk Limits,” which debated gun laws.
“The fact is,” wrote Metcalf, who has taught history at Cornell and Yale, “all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”
He said that too many gun owners believed that the constitution prohibits any regulation of firearms. He noted that all rights are regulated, like freedom of speech. “You cannot falsely and deliberately shout, ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater,” he wrote.
“The question is, when does regulation become infringement?” he continued. Mr. Metcalf ended the column arguing that requiring 16 hours of training to qualify for a concealed carry license was not an infringement.
Guns & Ammo editors had approved the column before it went to press, but they reversed course after publication when firearms-related companies threatened to pull their advertising if Metcalf wasn't canned.
The viciousness of the gun crowd to their own kind isn't new. In 2007, Jim Zumbo, long-time hunting editor for Outdoor Life and author of 23 hunting books, wrote a blog post for Outdoor Life’s website suggesting that military-style rifles were “terrorist” weapons, best avoided by hunters. His writing, television and endorsement deals were quickly put on hiatus. The term "Zumboed" was coined and applied to anyone ostracized for saying anything counter to the party line on guns. He had to grovel and be rehabilitated by letting Ted Nugent show him the virtues of an AR-15.
In 2012, Jerry Tsai, the editor of Recoil magazine, wrote that the Heckler & Koch MP7A1 gun, designed for law enforcement, was “unavailable to civilians and for good reason.” He was pressured to step down, and despite apologizing, has not written since, the Times reported.
Colorado's elk, deer lure hunters despite new gun laws
After Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a trio of new gun bills into law earlier this year, there was a public outcry and a warning that hunters would shy away from the Centennial State, but preliminary numbers on nonresident and resident hunting permits for elk and deer indicate that thousands more were sold this year than last.
— Denver Post
HUNTING — The pressure on sportsmen applied by the NRA and other gun rights organizations to "vote their sport" is particularly troubling since in the past 25 years it’s strayed from the big picture of fish, wildlife and habitat conservation to the narrow premise that a candidate is viable only if he has an unblemished record of opposing gun control.
This narrow approach to voting in 1994 helped unseat former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, the last major Washington candidate, I believe, to pose in a duck blind with a shotgun for statewide campaign ads.
Sportsmen are distinguished for being politically savvy, but they got snookered in that election.
RIP Tom Foley. I hope sportsmen reflect on your service and ability to work with all parties to keep wildlife in the equation.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love our AI Overlords
Remember the movie Short Circuit, where a military robot short circuits and becomes self aware? I loved that movie. It had a good story about what it means to be "alive," but mostly I'm glad we learned our lesson from it about not arming autonomous robot things with shooty gun things.
What's that, you say? Someone HAS created robots for the US Army that carries lethal firepower and works semi-autonomously? And it looks like this?
That, puny fleshlings, is a robot with guns.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Watch the video, and read the full details courtesy of Computerworld
PARKS — A 3-year-old girl camping with her family in Yellowstone National Park died after shooting herself with a handgun on Saturday, the first gun-related death in park since 1978, according to the Associated Press.
The shooting, reported by the Casper Star Tribune, occurred four years after Congress approved the possession of handguns in National Parks and federal wildlife areas. The law, which was attached as an amendment to a credit card bill, allows concealed and loaded weapons in parks provided they are allowed by state law.
SHOOTING — The small but formidable percentage of pigs who wallow anonymously in the freedoms afforded by the Second Amendment continue to make a bad name for the sport of target shooting.
Worse, they are at an alarming rate reducing the number of places responsible gun owners can shoot.
A site on the Coeur d'Alene National Forest near Hayden Creek that's been used by shooters for decades is on the verge of being shut down by people who trash the place with target garbage, shell casings and litter, while blasting to pieces any sign posted to plead for responsibility.
Photos with this post show signs that had been posted for less than three months at the Hayden Creek site. This is the response to Forest Service emphasis patrols at the site and efforts by volunteers to get voluntary compliance with basic littering rules and shooting etiquette.
"Needless to say, we are beyond disgusted with this type of behavior, and I imagine every responsible shooter who uses the area is, too," said Jason Kirchner, Idaho Panhandle National Forests spokesman in Coeur d'Alene. "We really don’t want to shut down shooting in the area, but behavior like this moves us closer to that decision every day.
Two Washington Department of Natural Resources parcels were declared no-shooting zones by the Spokane County Commissioners this year following a petition by fed up landowners.
Regarding the Hayden Creek site, a clearly frustrated Kirchner added:
We've had abuse in the area going back decades, but it seems to be getting worse every year. You might recall that this spring, and the previous spring, we sent out pictures and a news release begging the public to report slobs at the shooting sites. We've gotten volunteers that have started helping to clean it up, but the slobs who trash these places and shoot up everything in sight have been relentless.
I don't think it's any secret that if the trend continues there will come a time when we will have to decide that the only way to clean it up is to close it to shooting, barricade the sites, and issue citations to anybody we find shooting in the area. It's a shame that a bunch of slobs will ruin it for the responsible sportsmen who use the area.
Troy fell for it. Why not Washington? The gun control lobby has introduced what is heralded as a "sensible" initiative that even gun owners should approve of. The problem is that it imposes a sneaky gun registration without keeping guns out of the wrong hands as it claims. The initiative's goals are concealed under the squid's ink of expanded background checks. We are told that these enhanced background checks will prevent criminals and the mentally insane from acquiring and using firearms. That's silly. What it will do is create a gun registry that will allow government to track legally owned firearms. The latest push for expanded background checks began immediately after the tragic mass killing of school children in Sandy Hook, Conn. The gun controllers always have legislation stored in the top drawers of their desks, just waiting for a tragedy to exploit/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you trust any form of gun registration?
In a letter in today's Cda Press, Adam Gregory writes:
I wanted to talk about a matter which I feel needs some attention. The Citylink Rider Policies and Regulations, available at http://www.idahocitylink.com/policies.php, state that: No firearms or weapons are allowed on the bus.
I feel this policy is in direct violation of Idaho Code 18-3302J: PREEMPTION OF FIREARMS REGULATION. In section 2 of the above code it states, “Except as expressly authorized by state statute, no county, city, agency, board or any other political subdivision of this state may adopt or enforce any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance which regulates in any manner the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, transportation, carrying or storage of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition.”
The Idaho code specifies that no government subdivision may make any policy which regulates, in this case, possession, transportation or carrying of firearms. As the Citylink program is a partnership of local and state government agencies, it falls under this code. Full letter here.
Agree or disagree?
Spokane Public Schools could have its own armed police force starting in January.
Thirteen district employees, already commissioned peace officers, are expected to start wearing .40-caliber Glock pistols at their sides.
Arming school resource officers is one of many safety measures the district approved in the wake of December’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. The district is also planning to add internal door locks, hire one more commissioned peace officer and add more patrols around schools.
Newtown triggered the recent changes, “but there have been other reasons for considering arming our resource officers,” said Jason Conley, the district’s safety, security and transportation director. “It’s those outside threats that are driving us to this next level of safety. In a criminal’s mind, a school resource officer would be the first target to eliminate to get into the school.” Read more. Jody Lawrence Turner, SR
Good idea or bad?
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Police in northern Idaho say a person waving what turned out to be a toy gun from a car window resulted in officers with weapons drawn stopping the vehicle at a fast food drive-thru and handcuffing the three males and one female inside. Police Lt. James Fry tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (http://bit.ly/147bGT7) that a report Wednesday afternoon of a person waving a gun resulted in the felony-style takedown of the vehicle's occupants. Fry says officers typically take emergency precautions when a gun is reported as part of an incident. Fry says a 20-year-old male passenger was taken into custody on an arrest warrant in Latah County for failing to appear in court on charges of minor in possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office detectives found several firearms inside a South Hill home where a man shot and killed himself Sunday.
Detectives seized five assault rifles and four hand guns from the 4500 block of East Sumac Drive where 62-year-old Warren C. Schrempp, Jr. was growing marijuana at a foreclosed home, according to recently filed court documents.
Detectives cataloged three of the weapons as loaded including an AK-47-style rifle, a Glock and Makarov pistol. They also found four adult marijuana plants and 10 starter plants. Schrempp had authorization to grow medical marijuana, court documents show.
Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office called Schrempp’s death a suicide. A real estate agent called police after a locksmith smelled marijuana at the property and saw a car in the garage, they told authorities.
Sheriff’s detectives found a sliding door open and announced their presence, but they heard a muffled gunshot and called a SWAT team, previous reports said.
As the nation is locked in debate over expanding background checks and other measures aimed at stemming gun violence, Idaho lawmakers this year debated nine gun bills and passed four – every one of them aimed at increasing protections for Idahoans’ gun rights. The bills that passed were mostly minor tweaks to Idaho’s existing gun laws; the most significant creates a new enhanced concealed weapons permit, allowing Idahoans to choose to go through more training and get a special concealed gun permit that will be recognized in more states than Idaho’s existing permit.
“There’s little doubt that Idahoans are very supportive of the 2ndAmendment,” said House Speaker Scott Bedke. “I think we made significant progress on that front.”
Some lawmakers expressed disappointment that the state didn’t go further; the House passed a bill, HB 219, to make it a misdemeanor for Idaho police officers to enforce any new federal gun laws, but the bill died without a hearing in the Senate amid constitutional questions. Idaho’s existing gun laws already are among the least restrictive in the nation. The NRA calls Idaho a “gun-friendly” state, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence rates it as tied for next to last among states in its gun-control laws, scoring only 2 out of 100 possible points.
“Since I’ve been in the Legislature, every year we work on gun laws, tightening up our gun laws and making sure we’re protecting people’s rights to own,” said Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, a retired Navy officer who’s sponsored lots of gun-rights legislation and is in his seventh year in the Legislature. “It’s getting hard for us - there’s no easy fixes any more.” That hasn’t stopped Idaho lawmakers from trying. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
SHOOTING — Just in case you'd planned to take your kid out target shooting with a small-caliber rifle this weekend, you'd better have your own hoarded supply of ammunition.
Dan Hansen had that in mind when he went shopping the other day.
The photo above indicates the lack of ammo he found on the .22 caliber shelf at Cabela's.
First, we have issues in Spokane with overuse of power; then the mayor says that police are not going to respond to personal property crimes; then we have to protect ourselves; then nutso people run rampage with guns and kill several children; then we start campaigning about the right to own firearms; then someone comes into our yard and steals our car (albeit, we enabled them by having the key in it and having it running); and finally, we shoot that person and kill them.
And at the same time, a former mayoral candidate of Tuscon, Arizona has launched a prifately funded program to provide residents of crime-prone areas with free shotguns to protect themselves. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/mar/28/program-would-provide-free-shotguns/
I have mixed emotions on this. We should never lose our right to protect ourselves nor lose the right to bear arms. Somehow, judgment needs to come into play.
My heart goes out to all the families impacted by the event here in Spokane.
What is the solution?
SHOOTING — The annual Muzzleloading Arms and Pioneer Craft Show —- sponsors say it's the largest show devoted to black-powder arms — will be held March 9-10 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.
Presented by the Cascade Mountain Men, the show will be a showcase for traditional (pre-1840) muzzle loading firearms.
Gun builders will be there giving tips on their crafts among 300 traders and exhibitors.
Even non-shooters might be interested in the leather and fur goods, Native American crafts, period clothing and camping gear, beads, art and more.
Trader info: (425) 890-7208.
SHOOTING — It's interesting if not disturbing that the discussion over guns has prompted some people among their group of circled wagons to excuse poor gun handling.
In my experience at the Spokane Gun Club or Spokane Rifle Club, somebody would quickly step forward to correct a person for poor muzzle control. What's wrong with doing same in the media?
This woman does not know where that gun is pointing because it's behind her and out of her control. Bolt is closed. End of point.
This obervation caused some commentors to cast aspersions from their narrowly defined and propagandized vision of the media, whatever "the media" are.
But back to the point:
Being a gun rights advocate doesn't mean you should slack off on offering reminders and enforcing points of safe gun handling with others around you, whether it's at home, in a hunting situation or at a 2nd Amendment rally.
SHOOTING — The Spokesman-Review photo above from Friday's gun rights rally in Olympia shows an appalling lack of muzzle control, with a firearm being carried in an unsafe manner.
That lady would be booted out of my elk camp, or forced to eat my cooking as punishment.
It's a reminder that under our current system, the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is not backed up by a requirement for responsibility or safety.
I see signs here of a poorly regulated militia.
OLYMPIA — This will likely be a short day around the Capitol as some legislators like to leave early to be home for the weekend and committees don't schedule late hearings.
The light agenda in both chambers includes resolutions honoring the state's National Guard, and members of the various Army and Air National Guard units are on duty in the halls of the Capitol, some in dress uniforms and some in camo.
Meanwhile, gun owners from around the state are holding a rally at the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol Campus, and many came armed for the "2nd Amendment Right Rally". The guns are visible, and thus legal, under the state's open-carry law, but the Department of Enterprise Services which manages the building and grounds sent out a memo earlier in the week, mentioning the rally in an attempt to allay any concerns about armed protesters.
Legislators needn't feel out-gunned, however. The National Guard has some examples of its weaponry on display in the hallway.