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April 27, 2007

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An Echo of Virginia Tech

Yesterday, I was at a gun dealer in Connecticut and we were talking about Virginia Tech. He told me the following story.

“The other day we had a young man in here trying to buy a pistol. He was poorly dressed, acting strangely, and had no driver’s license. I said we couldn’t sell him anything without some real I.D. and him going through the regular handgun-purchase process. He asked if he could take a handgun instruction class. We said no. Then he started leaping up and slapping some of the displays hung from the ceiling.

“At this point we asked him go outside and have a little talk. We told him to take himself away and not come back, ever. He argued, but he left. Then we called the cops to report the incident. When the squad car got here, the cops said, ‘Oh yeah, we know about him. He’s a nut case, he’s on medications, and he’ll probably be back, so watch for him.’

“Just at this point they got a call that our friend was down the road tearing up someone’s property, so they had to roll. So now we have to watch out for this guy, and what do we do when he shows up the next time?”

I said that I didn’t have an answer.

And apparently no one else does, either.


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Ralph the Rifleman

This is an all to familar tale that is told with mentally, or emotionally,ill persons in our society. While working in health care, I saw too many cases like this that ended in diaster.I had seen enough and left that profession.
Taking care of people in such need is not an easy topic to define, but rest assured if that person does not get help from a medical stand point,he will most likely become a customer of the legal system once he commits a crime, or hurts some other innocent person in the process.

JA Demko

I worked in residential treatment with people like that young man. They often do okay in a closed environment with people to ensure they follow their treatment and take their meds. When free to wander to and fro in the world, sadly, they often do not do okay. Mental hospitals gained a not entirely undeserved reputation for being cesspits of patient abuse and neglect. I'm not at all convinced that letting the mentally ill run loose until they get cycled into the criminal legal system is any improvement.


From a cost standpoint, putting all the people (that should be) in mental health facilities isn't feasible. Like it or not, jail is cheaper for the taxpayer.

Black Rifle addict

My cousin attempted to commit suicide by running head first into a train. Luckily, he survived. Now he is on medications and has his ups and downs with life. To my knowledge, he has never been a threat to others and I feel comfortable being around him. I guess the worse part is having family that way and feeling powerless to help them out.
It's a sad situation to live with, and I have empathy to all that are living it.


I have never known a gun store owner to not have a couple of his own loaded behind the counter or on his hip. I am not saying that deadly force should be used with any trouble maker that walks through the door, but if he comes in with intent to harm, he won't get far.

I too have worked with individuals with mental illness and/or cognative delays. I worked in that field for about 16 months. I also worked for a short while in a local pawn shop that had more than a few firearms for sale in the case and on the wall. I have called in NICS checks, and had to deny potential buyers based on the answers that they provided on their 4473. Luckily, we never ran into any major trouble with customers. However, just in case, we kept a S&W .38 special under the front register, a loaded shotgun behind the mid wall, and the boss let me carry my pistol concealed as well.


Gunstore owner with problem customer?

In a store full of guns and ammo?

Does someone really see a problem?




Problemed people, I would recomend putting a restraining order on this individual. A court order to keep him away from your premises. Not only will it keep him away, he will be breaking the law if he returns. I also believe that if a person has a restraining order placed on them, they have no legal right to keep firearms, nor would they have the right to purchase one. So it's apparent the local authority aren't taking your problem very seriously. They have been made aware of the scituation. Get the report! If something should happen in the future, your recourse would not only involve the individual that is the "Gun Nut", but would involve the officers that investigated the incident for not taking propper actions and fullfilling their obligation as officers of the law. This person should have been taken into custody, charges should have been made (Your obligation.), and propper proceedings to either sentance, or mentally evaluate this individual should have been done.
There shouldn't be chances given to this troubled individual who has shown "Out of control" behavior. It's a felony waiting to happen.


Oh Boy! We have a live one.
Willard, how long have you been in law enforcement? When did you graduate the academy? Do you have a degree in Criminal Justice? Likely the answer to these are "I'm not", "I didn't", and "I don't". Before anyone should second guess any action or inaction taken by a law enforcement officer you should take a step back and ask yourself "Was I there?" and "What experience do I have in the profession? If the answers to these are "No" and "None", then you should not judge what the officer did or did not do, period. I have been in law enforcement for 10+ years, and too many times people do what the shop owners in this story did, call after the nut case has left. How does this benefit anyone, did the shop owner even get the guy's name, or just a description? In my town I can throw out a general description and it describes about 80% of the idiots that free roam the streets due to a soft and foolish justice system. Oh, and your "restraining order" is a legal document that is used to protect property in civil litigation, what you are referring to is a protective order. This is difficult to get due to the fact that to qualify for one the victim (an individual not a business) has to have already been or is in actual danger of being the victim of a crime. Oh and see if that piece of paper actually repels someone from the premises of another like a flea collar repels fleas from a dog, not likely. When the officer said call us back if he comes back, that means he did not commit a crime that we can make a case against him with; now if we are there and he acts an ass, then disorderly conduct works to put him in cuffs every time. So before anyone starts spouting off about the cops not doing their job and not fulfilling their obligations, at least know what our job is and the restrictions that come with it; in the old days cops could just jump out and beat a guy to a pulp and put him in jail cause they did not like how he looked, now we have this thing called civil liability to consider. Willard, also consider this; what would you do if an officer jumped out on you for no plausible reason and tossed you in the slam? Don't seem to fair when the shoe is on the other foot, just because you look like "a felony waiting to happen". We operate on probable cause, find a law book and look up the definition, then wade through case law like Tennessee vs. Gardner, and other use of force case law where the cop was doing fine until some slick s#*t lawyer found an obscure law dating back to the mid 1920's to appeal to the disgustingly liberal justice system. And typically in this day and age you feel the need to go after the cops as well for the actions of some fool, well that is the absolute essence of the attitude of the very justice system liberals today, don't punish the one responsible, find someone else, say that their responsible, and punish them; "It's not his fault, his mother didn't wipe his ass just right when he was a baby, that is why he murdered 32 people". Moral to the story, don't fight the cops (the bad guys do that enough) we are on your side, fight liberalism in the courts.

el pelon

The impersonality of our modern world, and the increasing likelihood that dealer and customer will no longer be familiar with (or even know) each other portends ever increasing problems dealing with strangers, strange-acting strangers, "de-rangers", and even the occasional well known nut case.

Most of my firearms purchases (with exception of ammo and the occasional "Look and Touch") occur at the now small (used and collector guns only) store of a merchant and friend with whose family business I've dealt since 1950. I suspect the about 98% of the customers who come and go are well known to the proprietor (and each other). A "First Timer" almost must arrive with references (good). There's a handful of crazies, but they've been carefully vetted over the decades to eliminate those subject to fits of violence or unsafe gun-handling.

My favorite "looking" place is one where I've been known sporadically by a succession of sales clerks and sons, now owners, since 1960. It's a veritable wonderland of "good, better and show stoppers" of the gunmakers' art, well worth the occasional hundred mile drive

Sadly, my stops are manifestations of a world now almost entirely forgotten (and unlikely to return). But I cling to them for the simplest of reasons, that gun ownership, hunting, shooting, collecting and even kids plinking should not be lonely pursuits, but group endeavors, built upon camaraderie. friendship and sharing experiences.

Somewhere in there is a message about solitary men, loners, among whom sadly are to be found the majority of the potentially dangerous, the psychopaths, sociopaths and the delusion-ally paranoid.


had a young feller who would roam around the town and beat on my door at midnight and once at 4am and ask for stuff and make up stories. He did this to most people here but i seemed to be his favorite. I asked his dad to keep him from doing this. His dad didnt impress me that he would. I asked the sheriff to respond one night and they refused to and laughed at me. Since the dad and the sheriff wouldnt do anything to help me, i got a no contact letter sent to him through the prosecutors office. That way i had some leverage. I never seen him again after that. I wish him all the best, but we can only put up with so much before the system has to do its part


to: Concerned Soldier. What an Idiot, you think to have all the gun's you should wipe out everyone that will creat material damage. Sure glad we don't live in your world


Mr. Petzal,
I'm still trying to decide if you are a writer who is also a gun nut or the other way around. In either event I enjoy what you do ,so keep it up.

Dave Petzal

To Pete: Damned if I know myself.

Dave Petzal

To Pete: Damned if I know myself.

Peter C

I've been on a number of on-line forums, and invariably the most hostile, paranoid and threatening individuals I've encountered are the anti-gun types. I suspect that they project their inner rage and potential violence on us gun owners; they know what they themselves would do if they had a gun, and they assume we'd do likewise. But why is it, if they're the ones who are sick, we have to take the medicine?

Been there-Done that

The Idiot in VT gave a long list of what he planned to do. Why did the Judge let him walk scott free. I have a Carry Permit, and that is the reason why I do, if ran into a guy like the shooter in VT, i plan to stop him if possible before he stops me or my family, friends. Too me, the legal system just let this guy slid thru the cracks. Hope they can explain to the families and loved ones why this guy was not in jail, grave or institution for mental retarded or better yet, shipped back to his homeland. Appears to me, we got too many bad-apples imported to the USA. As I;ve stated many tims, i'd rather be seated in a resturant beside or near a guy with a firearm in his belt, than a guy drinking what-ever.To me a Carry permit is just what it states, carry me and if necessary, use me. That I plan to do if need arrises.Too old now to run and too little $$ to part with, to a lame brain idiot who should have been put away or de-ported long ago.So lets open our borders further and allow more mis-fits to enter our good country. Who made the famous statement long ago, shoot first, then ask questions afterwards??????. Looks as if we gonna have to protct ourselves and family, even when in school. Too bad someone did not have firearms when the guy(shooter) chained the class-room doors and locked them inside.???? Sure feel for the affected families of the students who never made it out.Only good result to this mess, is, we as tax payers, want have to feed, cloth, defend the shooter for 20 yrs or as long as he lived due to a plea of insanity.Don;t forget to dble check your carry weapon and make sure its loaded.


With around 30,000 gun deaths a year, I think we should look elsewhere than the US for ideas on this subject. More legally-owned guns means more chances for accidental deaths in the home from guns, more teenagers finding their parents' guns and playing with them, more chances for legal guns to be stolen by criminals to be used by criminals.
I find this notion ludicrous. We do not need a nation of armed vigilantes (potential or otherwise) to ensure the peace, but rather active citizens who are willing to stand together against crime in their neighborhoods and cooperate with local authorities to apprehend criminals. This is the way to reduce crime. Allowing homeowners to arm themselves will simply encourage potential burglars to arm themselves, and I don't particularly want to get into a gunfight for a colour television.
Can you imagine the number of mistakes, accidents, acts of temporary insanity, etc. that would result from having guns freely available? I wonder what the police think of this crazy idea - what policeman would dare to investigate a "domestic quarrel" call, not knowing what firepower he might face?

JJ Goodtimes

ANOTHER Zumbo-esque gun writer....


This time it's not even an AR15 he's ragging about, but the (oh the humanity) CAMO FINISH on the new Savage Predator rifle:

"Savage Model 10 Predator Hunter and MK II Classic
The Model 10 Predator Hunter (top) appealed to me because it’s a varmint rifle that does not require a block and tackle and eight draft horses to lift. It’s just the right weight to carry around and still be very, very accurate. It comes in the usual varmint-shooting calibers. I find the camo to be unfortunate, and trust that Savage will have the good taste to make a version that doesn’t look like swamp grass."

It just saddens me to see supposedly knowledgable gun writers belittle firearms. I'll bet this twit hasn't done much if any serious coyote hunting.

Here's a link to the Savage page for the rifle:

JJ Goodtimes

What a fucking moronic ignorant Quisling. This son of a bitch sounds like a spokesman for Sarah Brady....

http://boards.pathfinder.com/cgi-bin/[email protected]@.ef1d283

Rivermandave - 07:58pm Apr 15, 2007 EST (#32 of 33)

I'll be the 1st to admit that I didn't like Jim's stand on some things, but in life there are ALWAYS going to differences of opinion, even among the best of friends. He CARES about hunters and shooters...period.

For the "black rifle" crowd to demand Zumbo's head was basically showing how narrow-minded / paranoid they really are about the Second Amendment issue.

Answer these questions for me if you will...

#1 What was this rifle designed to do?

It wasn't created to hunt with, that's for sure.

#2 If the average citizen was ANYWHERE on the planet, and they saw a person carrying either a bolt action / lever-action rifle, for the most part, they will NOT be as afraid as if they saw the same person carrying around an AR-15 or 16. Period.

#3 How many folks are aware that these rifles can be modified to fire automatic?

There were supposed modifications a few years back to prevent this...but to me the idea of "sportsmen" walking around with 30 round clips just doesn't cut it.

I served 7 1/2 years in the Army...I know what these rifles are capable of doing. And yes...they are relatively easy to shoot, but I cannot see them being available to the general public.

For the folks that have them, fess up and register them...show the country that you are willing to be open about your intentions.

And to Outdoor Life and those that dropped Jim...shame on you...and bring him back!

Thanks from me too Jim, for ALL you've done over the years for hunters and shooters.

God Bless you no matter what happens next in your life.

Peter C

Here we go again. Let's try to get this straight: there are no "bad guns." There are cosmetically challenged guns, but they are not inherently "bad." A metal and polymer contraption does not have moral values built into it. As soon as you try to push one segment of our gun-owning brotherhood under the bus, you are putting your own sacrosanct and Brady-exempt hobbyhorse in jeopardy. What will it take before gun owners understand that Sarah Brady et al don't give a rat's ass what kind of gun you own?


stop pm-ing me you nazi .45 COLT

as moeggs

Hi Dave. Iv'e been waiting for the appropriate blog topic to ask you this question, but I could be waiting awhile. Have you shot the T/C Icon in the .30 cal? If so, some info please!


Too bad folks can't express themselves without profanity. Ought to lock them up with the nut cases like the subject of this blog. Speaking of nut cases, I went to a local gun show Saturday to sell some reloading gear I no longer need. There apeared to be more than a fair share of wacked-out folks on both sides of the tables. I could hardly browse the goods in peace without smelling body odor or alcohol breath (10 AM). No wonder the Anti's think we are all a bunch of nuts. Sad.

Dave Petzal

To as moeggs: No. Have not shot it in any caliber. Am still waiting to see a gun from them.


Did I upset you? What I meant was, if something were to happen in a Gun Store, then the Gun store owner would be more then prepared to handle the incident.

Are you really a gun owner? Or are you just cruising the Internet bored at work on you lunch hour?

Come on Biged, you can tell us, we are your gun nut friends???


People say I am paranoid because I own a gun, what the hell do I have to be paranoid about I own a gun.



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