TRAGEDY STRIKES  by the Webmeister Al Jacobson

Al Jacobson is our webmeister, photographer, writer, a political junkie, and consumer advocate in the Tampa Bay area. Nothing is sacred to him on a myriad of subjects.  He goes after anyone, anything. 

He is from NY and occasionally speaks English, preferring Brooklyn based meta-phonetic syllabication known as “plain street talk”.  

His high school English teacher, enamored with Shakespeare once commented to his parents, "He should try learning a foreign language like English... but learn it in a foreign country".   He retorted, “Shakespeare doth not a genius make, for he spake in terms reminiscent of a flake".  She threw him out of the class…twice. Brought new meaning to the Deans list and detention had a directors chair with his name on it.

He and Bob Cogan have been friends for over thirty years and don’t always agree on all things but what they do agree on is gun safety, love of firearms, 2nd amendment freedom of ownership, the shooting sports, love of country and family.  Period.  

Gun safety is the key here, innocent children, injured or killed by ignorance, negligence, thoughtlessness and stupidity.  Justice, one errant nut slips through the safety net and a seventeen year old is dead.  A case that shocked the nation and just another example of getting away with it…

It’s been a tough few years with all the shootings that have taken place. It’s sad when politics take over the sporting industry.  Don’t blame the guns.  But we will eventually have to do something about who can pull the trigger. Good honest folks don’t fall for some of the rhetoric out there.  

I hope no one ever again gets the phone call from school that there was a shooting and your child was injured or worse, it’s a game changer.  But if we all agree to better legislation and take the politics out, with the right to bear arms not infringed upon… that would be a giant step.

This week 11-15-2013, a nine year old was arrested by local police in Tampa Bay when the bus driver saw a gun in his pocket and radioed law enforcement. It was a two shot Derringer loaded for bear. The kid went to juvenile hall and under Florida law the parent will be charged.  By rights the child can even be taken away from the parents.


• Saylor Martine, of Oklahoma, fifteen, died after she was shot in the head while toying with a firearm.  She was with her sister.  The culprit, according to the police, a semi-auto owned by her parents. It was purchased by Mom for her own protection.  So the story goes, she and her sister had been handling the gun when they placed it down on a counter, where it discharged.  

Fifty years in this game and I haven’t seen one go off by itself except in a fire. Bob agrees, I’m not buying that, but I’m sure there is enough grief to go around, and the Sheriff is hesitant is doing anything about it.  An accident means no one is charged, especially the only one who knows the truth. The sister or possibly the mother, but a child is dead and someone was negligent.

• A family man goes to a gun show in his small New England town of Westfield, MA with his son and a camera. It was co-sponsored by the local traffic ticketing Sheriff who had a financial consideration in the show. With an instructor watching, (uncertified, the son of, recently recruited, 14 year old)  the 8-year-old boy at the gun fair aimed an Uzi submachine gun at a pumpkin and pulled the trigger as his dad reached for a camera. 

It was his first time shooting a fully automatic gun, and the recoil (muzzle rise) of the weapon was too much for him and literally shot his head off with Dad filming.

Now gun safety experts — and some gun enthusiasts at the club where the shooting happened — are wondering why such a young child was allowed to fire a weapon used in war. Local, state and federal authorities are also investigating whether everyone involved had proper licenses or if anyone committed a criminal act.

More on this story and the conclusionhttp://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/01/14/massachusetts.gun.show.verdict/index.html


 In Kentucky, a five year old, just given a rifle, a sort of rite of passage in some families, left out in the open in a corner of the room, loaded and he proceeded to shoot his sister who was four.

•  3-year-old Jad Speights, accidentally shot and killed himself last month with his uncle’s handgun, which he found in a backpack.

•  Jarvis Jackson (1) was accidentally shot and killed by a boy (4) last month after their baby sitter brought a handgun to the house for personal protection and then fell asleep after leaving the gun loaded and unsecured on the kitchen table.

•  4-year-old Cody Ryan Hall, who accidentally shot and killed himself in April with a family-owned handgun he found in an unlocked gun case.

• A six-year-old Toms River New Jersey boy accidentally shot by Brandon Holt, 4-year-old neighbor on Monday night, has died. Police said Holt was shot in the head by his friend after the younger boy went into his home on McCormick Avenue and somehow got his hands on a .22-caliber rifle. the boy found the rifle under a bed.  Police said the 4-year-old then went outside and accidentally shot the 6-year-old, who was sitting in a quad nearby.

The boy’s father, Anthony Senatore, was arrested and charged.
 Five counts of second-degree child endangerment one count of third-degree child endangerment. Each second-degree count could potentially bring 5 to 10 years in prison, which means that if Senatore is convicted, he could theoretically face up to 50 years in prison. 

• Texas: Johnson County Austin McCord, “forgot he had a loaded magazine in the AK-47” when he pulled the trigger, shooting the girl in the stomach, on her 13th birthday, in a gun-cleaning accident must not watch much news.

•  I guess the Dallas man who rushed his bloody grandson to the hospital pays more attention.  He is  fortunate as his 4-year-old grandson, who was visiting his home Wednesday, found a loaded handgun beneath a pillow. The little boy shot himself in the shoulder — but he’ll recover.

It’s a social issue, the Guns are not the problems, as the expression goes, it’s the idiot behind the wheel, the finger on the trigger, and gross neglect.  Weapons don’t have brains, children don't know consequence, and neither do some of the parents. They don’t “go off” of their own accord.

Responsible people do not “forget”. In the days before the NRA went total political there were classes and training as their forefront to hunting and the shooting sports. And we pounded safety, we pounded it in classes and at the range.  That’s why I joined and became an R.O and worked in the industry.  Not the same group of people today.

A large local match. And I got the (honor) job of scoring, the runner with the club champ. And I caught a lot of flack when I DQ’ed the local “A” shooter in a large match when he did an over the horizon reload and slammed the slide forward.  His friends were appalled.  I got called names. I almost felt threatened. 

Being a real champ, he shook my hand and thanked me, he knew he had done a  wrong.  He was a class act.  He said, “ Boy, imagine had I done that in a National Competition”.  You can get lazy.  The Competitive IPSC and other groups, the real competitors heartily endorse and enforced gun safety. 


Always expect that there is a live round in a weapon. 

Never allow a weapon, loaded or otherwise, to be pointed at another person. 

They don’t keep a loaded gun under the bed, or beneath a pillow, or in a drawer or any other place that a child is physically capable of touching it.

Some states have  laws about gun storage, a few really severe. But they are not often enforced. It is illegal to keep a gun where a child may have access to it, unless it is disabled with a trigger lock or locked in a secure box or environment.

•  Children die in accidental shootings because inattentive parents leave their guns lying around, with ammunition chambered, in unsecured places where untrained shooters can access them. 

*  Only 27 states and Washington, D.C. have child access prevention laws on the books, and those laws vary. widely in scope and strength. It should be made universal, standardized, enforced, period.

When it comes to gun safety, ignorance is negligence, and negligence is too often fatal. 

Its time to start thinking about a highly concealable self-defense carry firearm, the bad guys already have thought of it.  But it is a tremendous responsibility and for some, even good intentions can turn afoul.  

Unless you live in a cave… this incident has gone national and we all know what happens during an election year. Even when two theoretical good guys get together, the end result can be a tragedy.  Fate and mayhem have no boundaries.  Politicians wake up and start thinking gun bans. The NRA wakes up and starts pouring money into political campaigns.  Something is wrong here as 84% of the NRA members want restrictions like the background checks.  I guess the 2% of the staff at the NRA who already has your money decided differently.  

The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States. Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed-race Hispanic, was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place.

Following an earlier call from Zimmerman, police arrived within two minutes of a gunshot during an altercation in which Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, who did not have any weapons. Zimmerman was taken into custody, treated for head injuries, then questioned for five hours. The police chief said that Zimmerman was released because there was no evidence to refute Zimmerman's claim of having acted in self-defense, and that under Florida's Stand Your Ground statute, the police were prohibited by law from making an arrest.

A good guy with a weapon thinks he sees a bad guy doing something wrong. Unfortunately the youngster was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the good guy makes a judgement to confront himafter being told specifically not to engage by 911.   Officers were already on the way, he confronts the seventeen year old. 

The seventeen year old thinking he is being attacked defends himself and dies during the confrontation by a single fatal wound at zero point blank range.  He was outgunned, he had no weapon. He was fighting for his life being outweighed by the other good guy.  Tragedy, a single shot and a 17 year old is dead.  

Bob, who has appeared as an expert witness many times, hit it on the head, this whole case is based on who is the aggressor.  As  predicted there is plenty of conjecture, opinions by those who weren’t there, witnesses who heard but did not see, more opinions, slants, spins,  public outcry, those who will use it for political reasons, but the bottom line is two good guys entered the arena of life and only one came out.  The case is on fast track and will come to fruition sooner rather then later as this is a no nonsense judge and this case has national following.

6/24/2013 - This week the case went to trial in Sanford, Florida, about 100 miles from my home. I attended one day, a circus, media, protestors, gun rights, the whole three tent circus.

Already it is TV reality show played hour after hour on HLN, political with opinions, slants, fake juries, 24/7 BS, and those talking heads who know little but have great hair and get paychecks for telling you what they think…many times undocumented, filled with, usually a large dose of lawn fertilizer.  

The bottom line is someone is dead, in the bottom of a hole, thats about as bottom as you can get. And someone might have overstepped their bounds.

I keep thinking of what I call  “The Titanic Syndrome”.  Thousand plus lives lost and they blamed the iceberg. The iceberg was doing its thing, just floating along, and along comes the Titanic running on all eight boilers by an over-exuberant Captain trying to break the record after being coached by the designer looking for glory.  The iceberg didn’t hit the ship, the ship hit the iceberg.

A seventeen year old, still basically and legally a child, was having an Arizona iced tea, carrying a loaded bag of Skittle’s, he was bringing home for his dad.   He was confronted by block captain of their sub-division, the eyes of law enforcement. Not a certified member of any police organization. Zimmerman Warned by the 911 officer to stand back and wait for the police.  He disobeyed and confronted the child.

A slick lawyer got George Zimmerman off.  He was acquitted by one of the slickest manipulators I have ever seen in the courtroom.  It was all drama, drama, drama. Zimmerman walked out the door after killing a child.  He claimed self defense, it should have been an open and shut case but they (the prosecution) botched it.  

Several weeks later after his rights were restored he was almost arrested again on domestic violence, by the time the police got there, his wife recanted and did not charge him.  He had his gun with him.  Later he was twice stopped for speeding tickets in two states and as recently as 11/18/2013 another charge of felonious assault waving his new Kel-Tec Shotgun in the face of another woman (his wife left him saying something about him being crazy).

Marking his third appearance in public since being acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman showed up at a gun manufacturer in Cocoa Beach, Florida. TMZ released a photo of Zimmerman shaking hands with an unidentified employee of Kel-Tec where he was allegedly looking into purchasing a Kel-Tec KSG pump-action tactical shotgun.

The 12-round, 12-gauge shotgun, which retails for just under $1,200, is manufactured by the same company that made the PF-9 gun that Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin. The Kel-Tec pistol was returned to him and he made a personal, looked like a publicity appearance at Kel-Tec, we call it a photo op, when the best thing he could of done was make like a worm and go really deep underground.

His latest arrest for allegedly pointing and cocking a shotgun at his new girlfriend is raising  questions about whether Zimmerman has deeper issues around judgment and violence that the Florida justice system ultimately overlooked in acquitting him of murdering Trayvon Martin.

Appearing at the same Seminole County courthouse where he was tried this summer, Mr. Zimmerman on Tuesday posted $9,000 bail, agreeing to wear an electronic monitoring anklet and give up his four guns. 

In court, prosecutors also alleged that Zimmerman choked his girlfriend a week earlier, an incident she didn't report at the time.

Instead, much of the post-verdict news-media focus has been on Zimmerman’s troubled journey from obscurity to national poster boy – and whether, given his subsequent domestic violence problems, the jury might of really missed the boat and put a potential killer back on the street.

A central question of the trial, after all, was the extent to which Zimmerman precipitated the encounter by confronting Trayvon on a rainy night in a Sanford, Fla., condo complex.

This arrest Monday 11/18/2013  indicates a lesson to those who went willingly to the side that Zimmerman was not an aggressive actor, given that it’s uncommon to have revealed repeatedly that someone is a sort of serially aggressive person with anger management issues after they’ve been acquitted of a murder charge,” says George Ciccariello-Maher, a political science professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia.


We are good friends with Kel-Tec, we like their products, we do a lot of work for them and their customers and this in no way reflects anything about their company. This is all about a loose cannon out on the streets that justice slid right past, and now he continues to endanger people.


With legislature in the works once again, and with lots of heat coming from the "Stand your ground laws" which went many states have adopted and already some lawyers have abused, this all comes at the wrong time. 

Florida now has a "Stand Your Ground Commission looking at the law". It is composed of community leaders, law officials and legal authorities. It has only one, call it a representative of the NRA on board.  

The Florida Congressmen and Senators fostered this bill a couple years ago with heavy FINANCIAL campaign donations and support of the NRA and not that much is expected to change.  Mrs. Hammer who is the Florida Rep of the NRA is very strong here politically. She carries the checkbook.

Maybe as the Vegas odds-makers have it,  a change in wordage by amendment, not much more.  The bottom line, political as usual, nothing will happen.  The head of the committee, the Lieutenant Governor resigned because of another scandal she got involved with.  Florida is possibly one of the most politically corrupt states. 

The Florida Legislature voted and since many of the fine folks we stuffed into Tallahassee have already received their yearly bribes nothing was ratified on the “Stand you ground law” as predicted.    


By a bipartisan vote of 272-154, the House passed a measure that will enable non-resident gun owners to carry a concealed firearm across state borders.  Forty-three Democrats joined 229 Republicans in supporting the measure, which had 245 co-sponsors. Just seven Republicans joined 147 Democrats in voting against the bill.  H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, allows gun owners with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits to carry a concealed firearm in other states that also allow concealed carry.

“The Second Amendment is a fundamental right to bear arms that should not be constrained by state boundary lines,” said the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. “This legislation enhances public safety and protects the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.


Currently, Illinois is the only state that bans individuals from carrying concealed firearms, while 49 states allow concealed carry permits. Forty of those that do allow it extend some degree of reciprocity to permit holders from other states.  This bill simply applies the states’ reciprocal agreements nationwide.

The bill is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where companion legislation has not yet been introduced.

Brian Malte, the federal legislation director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill would create a “race to the bottom,” where people would flock to states with the most lax requirements in order to obtain a concealed handgun license.

“This bill says, ‘Forget states rights, forget the ability of states to determine which states you want to have a reciprocal agreement with,’” Malte said. “It’s a one-size-fits-all that tramples states rights, that allows dangerous and untrained people to carry in any state.”.

A bill passed last week would require any state that allows the carrying of concealed weapons to honor permits that other states issue to their citizens. A traveler from Texas, say, would be entitled to pack his pistol on a visit to California — regardless of the preferences of Californians. (Because it doesn't issue such permits, Illinois would not be affected.)

Advocates compare these permits to driver's license's, which are recognized across state lines. But Northwestern University law professor Andrew Koppelman points out this reciprocity came about by mutual consent of the states, not by federal decree.

States are free to do the same on guns. Most right-to-carry states, as it happens, already honor permits from some or all other states. California and New York, by contrast, restrict concealed weapons to licensed residents of their states.

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