Monday, November 30, 2015

You brought a paintball gun to a gunfight?

I suppose it should come as no surprise that a month ago, over the Halloween weekend, a man was shot and killed in the Third World streets of Chicago. After all, on any given weekend in Chicago, the number of people killed or wounded by gunfire in the allegedly safe, gun-controlled Democratic Socialist Workers Paradise rival or surpass those of Kabul or Baghdad or Damascus. This past Halloween weekend was actually tame by most standards for the Windy City. Instead of the usual 10 or 12 dead and 30+/- wounded by gunfire, it was two dead and 28 wounded. You think I exaggerate? 

Memorial Day weekend this year saw 12 killed and 43 wounded. The weekend before this year’s Halloween festivities, it was six killed and 28 wounded. In comparison, last year’s Halloween weekend saw four killed and 14 wounded. In all, 2014 was another dangerous year in the peaceful Democrat Utopia of The Windy City. The total number of people shot & killed was 390. The total who were shot and merely wounded was a staggering 2,229, for a total of 2,619 people shot in 2014.

In 2014, a person was shot in Chicago every 3 hours and 19 minutes. 

The weekend after Halloween this year? Four killed, another 15 wounded. One of the four dead was one J-Quantae Riles, (yes, the letter J, a hyphen, and the made-up word Quantae) a 14-year old boy who had only recently moved to Chicago from Virginia. The Monday after the Halloween weekend saw the murder of 9-year old Tyshawn Lee, lured into an alley and shot multiple times in what police are saying is a gang-related retaliation murder. The boy’s father has known gang ties and refused to cooperate with police. Six weeks later an arrest has been made in the boy’s death. The arrested suspect grew up with the boy’s mother, no less, but is in a rival gang than the boy’s father and was allegedly part of a roving hit squad that had been combing the streets for a while looking for worthy victim for retaliation.

Hope. Change. Death.

The man who killed a 9 year old, and the 9-year old killed for no good reason
 But I digress. Back to the one man who was killed over Halloween. 

The fatal shooting happened Saturday night during an attempted armed robbery in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side, according to Chicago Police. Hmmm, same neighborhood where young J-Quantae was murdered a week later. Move along; nothing to see here.

A man walked into a neighborhood bodega that included a currency exchange in the 7200 block of West 51st Street about 7 p.m. and pulled out a gun, threatened the employee behind the counter and announced a robbery. Right after that, things went sideways.

A customer in the store withdrew his own weapon and fired at the suspect, hitting him multiple times. The would-be robber, 55-year old Reginald Gildersleeve was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:10 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Reginald Gildersleeve and the bodega he tried to rob.
  Gildersleeve had been arrested at least half a dozen times dating back to the 1980s. Several arrests had to do with narcotics, but most of the incidents involved theft or robbery. He was in and out of prison, with burglary convictions as recent as 2005. At 45 years of age, Mr. Gildersleeve was in his lifetime previously sentenced to a total of 35 years in prison for no less than 10 felonies. Wanna see his rap sheet? Go here. Coincidentally, he was also a former employee of the bodega and knew the owners well. This guy intended to rob people he knew, and knew well, who had employed him and trusted him. A pillar of the community, without a doubt.

Of note is the fact that Gildersleeve wasn’t shot by some random street thug packing heat. He was shot by a legal, licensed concealed-carry permit holder. In Illinois, and most particularly Chicago, that’s as rare as a leprechaun, unicorn, or honest politician. However, the Supreme Court finally forced Illinois, and more notably, Chicago, to accept the fact that the Second Amendment applies to its citizens.

What is even more extraordinary about this incident is that the gun Gildersleeve was brandishing in his robbery wasn’t even real. It was a paintball gun. Yes, a mother-effing paintball gun. However, it was authentic-looking enough for people to fear for their lives, and an armed citizen took decisive action to eliminate the threat. No charges will be filed against the armed citizen.

This is what most of us think a paintball gun looks like, which is NOTHING like a real gun.

This is a paintball gun that looks like a Sig P226

This actually is a Sig P226 used by Navy SEALs

A paintball gun that looks like a Glock 17

An actual Glock 17

A paintball rifle made to look like a tricked out M-4 carbine.
A tricked out M-4 carbine.

Paintball rifle made to look like an AK-47

An actual AK-47. See how easy it is to be confused by a paintball gun?

Nothing like a paintball version of a Russian RPK drum-fed machine gun.

Of course, the family of our deceased habitual felon thinks he was an innocent saint who didn’t deserve to die and that the aforementioned citizen should be crucified upside down from a tree. Igbinosa Oronsaye, Gildersleeve’s stepson, told The Chicago Tribune the shooter overreacted in shooting multiple times.

 “Some people don’t actually know how to use guns,” Oronsaye said. “They go to firing ranges, but it’s not the same as a bullet going into someone’s body, it’s not the same as a bullet going into flesh. They should be able to wound first, kill next. He didn’t deserve to get shot multiple times.”

I can’t speak for Illinois, but here in South By God Carolina in order to obtain your concealed carry permit you must attend a training class that covers laws and legalities as well as practical shooting exercises. In other words, you do have to prove that you know how to use your weapon. I’d say that the guy who shot Gildersleeve knew how to use his weapon, since he hit his target and eliminated the threat. Wait….what? Oh, the state of Illinois also mandates a class for concealed carry applicants that includes a handgun safety course and range time that proves to the state-certified and licensed instructor that you do, in fact, know how to use your weapon? 

Iggy is right, though, when he says range shooting to gain and maintain firearms proficiency isn’t the same as shooting a human target. It’s not quite the same as shooting at a target carrying what, for all intents and purposes and appearances, is a weapon and is threatening surrounding citizens with harm in the commission of a felony and you’re in fear for your life. Paper doesn’t shoot back. Paper stays still. Does Iggy suggest we should practice instead on cadavers to get a better feel for what it’s like to shoot at actual flesh? Not exactly a practical way to gain firearms proficiency. Not everyone is a member of the Black Chicago Hunting Club and gains proficiency shooting other members of the community every weekend.

You could always try to get a ballistic gel torso model to shoot at. A real eye-opener
In every firearms training scenario I have ever undertaken, the instructors drilled into us to aim center mass and you shoot to eliminate the threat, and if that takes more than one round so be it. You don’t aim to wound, you aim center mass, ie: the largest area of the target, to improve your odds of hitting it. Your adrenaline is going to flood your entire system. Your breathing is going to speed up and you might shake a bit. You’ll probably feel like you have to pee. Welcome to a life or death combat shooting situation. You try to get fancy and aim for the arm and you’ll likely miss, as the arm is a lot narrower. And only on TV or in a movie is some cool, calm, collected gunslinger going to shoot the gun out of a culprit’s hand. That, dear reader, is farcical and utter crap. The real world simply does not happen that way. Hate to ruin the illusion. As the marksmanship record of the New York Police Department shows, when you are shooting at an actual human and under duress you miss a lot. And besides, in addition to the difficulty in hitting the target, there are damned few places you can shoot a human being deliberately and be sure of just merely wounding them Hollywood-style. Anywhere in the head, neck and pretty much the entire major-organ-encasing torso would be off limits. Both arms and legs have major blood vessels that, if ruptured, more likely than not will result in death. A lot of people have exsanguinated from a simple wound to the thigh. The femoral artery, once severed, will bleed you out in about five minutes. 

But back to the oh-so-sage Iggy.

Oronsaye also said the shooter needed to be punished for killing a member of the community.

“You just took a brother, you just took a father from a lot of people. Somebody’s got to answer for that,” he said.

Um, someone did. Reginald Gildersleeve answered for it. He’s the one who took it upon himself to make the decision to rob that bodega. He was the one who took a paintball gun and brandished it to make his victims think it was an actual weapon. Member of the Community is a pretty simple title. Everyone who lives there is a member of the community. The people he chose to rob are members of the community. He answered for it and paid for his folly with his life. 

This is not an isolated incident, actually. People are stopped from committing crimes against peaceful law-abiding citizens all the time by armed citizens with concealed carry permits. The liberal leftist news media simply chooses not to make mention of it unless forced to.

Two weeks before Halloween, just down the road from my mom’s house in North Charleston, 19-year old Joshua Jermaine Davis decided it was in his best interest to cinch up his hoodie to conceal his face, pull out a gun, and rob a Waffle House at 4:30 in the morning. He was confronted by a licensed concealed carry holder as he exited the building and told to drop his weapon, and instead of doing so raised his weapon at the citizen. The restaurant’s cash drawer was laying on the ground next to his body when the police arrived moments later. He was said to be breathing, but unresponsive at the time. He was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina, where he later died. Of course, there were those close to him who got their faces in the news saying he didn’t deserve to die and was a great kid, yadda yadda. A great kid whose Facebook page was full of pictures of guns and drugs. Spare me.

Joshua Davis

The Chicago Police, to my knowledge, never released the name of the citizen who shot Gildersleeve. Most likely because of the fear of retaliation. Payback is king in peaceful Chicago. And, God forbid, if the shooter was white, then that gives the agitators of BLM to protest (ie: riot, loot, and destroy). In North Charleston, the names of everyone involved were available within 24 hours. And, since the armed citizen was also black, that gives BLM nothing to riot about. 

A couple weeks later, also here in South Carolina and 10 miles from the above-mentioned Waffle House, two guys decided to break into a home in Ladson to rob it. What they didn’t know was that a 13-year old boy was home inside the residence and he became suspicious when the two men parked behind his house. As they tried to break in, fearing for his life, the boy took his mother’s gun and opened fire through the door. One of the would-be thieves returned fire as they fled. Responding officers found a .45 caliber handgun behind the house that did not belong to the family. One of the men was hit three times, and their car was also hit several times. Upon arrival to the hospital the driver, Ira Bennett, told officials that someone had randomly shot at their car on the Interstate. His partner, Lamar Brown, died from his wounds. Both Bennett and Brown have extensive criminal histories, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. Bennett has been convicted of assault with intent to kill, pointing a firearm at a person and third-degree burglary. He has also been convicted of possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. He has now has been charged with first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Brown's convictions included six felony drug charges. He had also been convicted of unlawful carrying of a weapon, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Stellar citizens, indeed. 

Lamar Brown

Ira Bennett

Now, while I am a strong advocate for an armed citizenry and for concealed carry for personal protection, it does, indeed, come with a hefty responsibility. You can’t just go playing vigilante. You have to be in genuine fear for your life or the lives of those in close proximity before resorting to deadly force. The customer in that Chicago bodega saw a weapon that looked real and feared for the lives of the employees and himself. The man outside the Waffle House saw a weapon and told the thief to drop it, and fired when the thief raised his weapon to fire. That kid inside that house was terrified and justified.

Not every situation demands action.

A woman in Michigan, a licensed conceal-carry holder, was just brought up on criminal charges after she saw a shoplifter fleeing a security guard at a Home Depot store and get into a car, and she opened fire on the car in the parking lot in an attempt to shoot out the tires. Seriously. It was a shoplifter, not a serial killer. There was no evidence that the dude was armed. She wasn’t in immediate danger.  This was a no-go, a complete failure on the part of the citizen. 

In September, two men in the Houston area were in the process of carjacking an unarmed man’s truck at a gas station when a would-be hero rushed in to ostensibly save the day. He drew his weapon and began firing, and did NOT hit his intended target. Instead of hitting the carjackers, the citizen hit the victim in the head. Yes, he shot him in the head. 

After he realized what he did, the wannabe hero wasn’t so brave anymore. He quickly policed up the shell casings from his gun, and left the scene before the authorities could come and identify him and worse, without making sure the man he shot was okay. The bad guys got away, and the victim is recovering. The truck was found abandoned two blocks over, and a shattered driver’s side window and blood inside the vehicle suggests that the shooter may have hit one of the thieves after all, but so far neither they nor the shooter have been found. Another no-go failure.

Look, while it may indeed be our right as citizens to own and carry a firearm, it is also a tremendous responsibility. Know your laws. Know when you can and can’t shoot, and when you should and shouldn’t. And know your weapon. Know it by feel. Know your ability with it, and to draw and engage accurately. Know how to quickly reload if you have to. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, so tread carefully.