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Woman faces gunman during Menlo Park stroll

Original post made on Oct 5, 2011

A nighttime stroll turned terrifying for a woman on Sharon Road in Menlo Park on Monday night when she was confronted by a man with a gun.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 10:56 PM

Comments (35)

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Posted by Alan
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:56 am

Let's see:

"Woman robbed at gunpoint while jogging at Stanford on Saturday"
Web Link

"Man robbed at gunpoint on Saturday in Mountain View"
Web Link

"Woman robbed by man with gun on Monday in Menlo Park"
Web Link

Three armed street robberies in three days. Anyone see a pattern developing here?


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:06 am

People should apply for a concealed weapon permit. Article 3 of the 2008 Dangerous Weapons Control Law allows for people to have concealed weapons under certain conditions. This permit can be issued by the Sheriff of the County or the City Police Chief.

Please refer to this link
Web Link


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

Hank:

neither the San Mateo County Sheriff nor the Sheriff of Santa Clara County will issue concealed weapons permits.


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Posted by John
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

I'm with Hank. It's about time we demanded a restoration of our 2nd Amendment rights. I realize that, as a practical matter, you have to be politically connected with $$$ to get a permit but we need to start fighting back against those criminals who carry guns...


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:53 am

I agree with you Hank and John.

Excuse my ignorance, but is there a difference between concealed and unconcealed permits?

I remember visiting Louisiana and encountering several people with pistol holsters on their belts in plain view.

If there is a difference, would getting an unconcealed permit be easier in this town?


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Posted by John
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Unloaded open carry is (as of today) legal in California. However, a bill is sitting on Gov. Brown's desk that would criminalize this practice (effectively openly carrying an unloaded firearm, most often with loaded magazines carried on an opposite hip). Loaded open carry requires, under the penal code, a concealed weapons permit for most incorporated cities, etc. (the rules for unincorporated areas, BLM, National Parks and the like are different).

The reality is that the San Mateo County Sheriff will not issue concealed carry permits to ordinary citizens. In my opinion, they don't trust law abiding citizens.

Eventually, there will be legal challenges in California to overturn this and other anti-2A laws. With the recent US Supreme Court decisions in Heller and McDonald, it's just a matter of time.


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Posted by Central Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I'm not against carrying a gun (with permit), but you can bet that if someone had a gun pointed at my chest, I'd think real careful before reaching for mine. Giving up my purse? that's something I'd do.


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Posted by Hold Your Fire
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Really??? You're advocating shoot-outs on the streets of Atherton and Menlo Park? You're more likely to shoot yourself in the foot or accidentally harm a loved one, and even if you did manage to pull the gun out of its place of concealment it would just escalate the violence. How about better neighborhood patrols instead? Keep kids motivated and give them half a chance in school? Provide coummunity jobs programs? Unfortunately, this type of crime goes up when the economy goes down and people feel desperate. Not excusing it, but we tend to live in our own little tidy world and sometimes don't get the wider implications. Carrying a six-shooter when you go jogging is not the answer, Rick Perry.


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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

My guess is that staying put is a bad idea even if I pull a gun. Even if I am not hurt, the legal fall-out of using a gun in public or hurting someone has to be expensive because it is not as though I can walk away. The police will investigate and I will need a lawyer no matter what the final outcome. Another thought: what could the police find if they search my house and my life? What interpretations would police or lawyers believe? No gun for me, thanks. It sounds good at first but does not stand the common sense test.


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Posted by John
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

No one is advocating "shoot-outs on the streets of Atherton and Menlo Park."

However, as our society becomes more and more coarse over the years (and, yes, it is clear that it has escalated as people become more desperate), I do not begrudge a single individual who would like the opportunity to defend themselves. There is nothing wrong with that and it is in fact a moral imperative from my perspective.

If that means carrying a concealed weapon through legal means, so be it. If they choose to use pepper spray, that is fine too. If you want to be a sheep and allow yourself to be a victim, that is similarly your choice.

It's about personal freedom and liberty.

What I find amusing is the typical reaction of "You're more likely to shoot yourself in the foot or accidentally harm a loved one, and even if you did manage to pull the gun out of its place of concealment it would just escalate the violence."

The first is a knee-jerk reaction that is not supported by statistics or common sense. The second is similarly absurd: if violence is foisted upon you, you have the absolute right to meet that violence by appropriate means.


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Posted by Sandy Brundage, Almanac Staff Writer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

According to Menlo Park police, they've looked at the other recent armed robberies and concluded there's no connection.


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Posted by Annabelle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I like the idea of neighborhood patrols.
I do not like the idea of additional guns on the streets, for obvious reasons.
What if there were neighborhood patrols - groups of people who walked together on a given evening - would the bad guys get wind of this and go to some other neighborhood?
what if all neighborhoods had patrols by residents, then there would be no neighborhoods for the bad guys to visit?
Adding guns to the equation is not the answer, obviously.
I think we need a greater presence through volunteer patrols - and yes I would volunteer.
Better exercise that sitting on the couch watching TV.


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Posted by John
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm

An armed society is a polite society. It has been statistically proven in cities where gun permits increase, crime decreases. This is obvious. Vice versa for cities like Washington DC where guns ere limited, crime soared. Why do you think professors in AZ and Virginia Tech are allowed to carry concealed weapons if they choose? Because when a numbskull goes wild, there are armed people to stop them. Look at every tragedy where a dope went unchallenged until far too late. It may not be for everyone, but anyone with proper training has the right to protect their own life when necessary.


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Posted by pv rez
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm

The POLICE should SPEAK TO the PEOPLE IN THIS VIDEO:

Web Link

It's an amateur GANGSTER RAP VIDEO SHOT AT SHARON PARK. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this guy flashing gang signs with the park in the background.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I am so glad to hear that the victim is okay. It's easy to believe that we're safe at night in areas w/low violent crime, but of course, it's not always the case.

Perhaps the victim will now get & walk a dog (not a purse dog) - an excellent crime deterrent. I have a medium-sized lovely foster dog who's housetrained, adorable & loves her walks - & she's available for adoption!

Seriously, this crime could've been an even worse nightmare - I am so glad that she's okay.


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

The Democratic Party is the party of Gun Control (with the exception of Blue Dogs who, for the most part, are the only office holders in the Democratic Party with common sense). The Republican Party is the Party of 2nd Amendment Rights.

Most Democrats feel that the common citizenry can not be trusted to own guns -- That they will engage in acts of violence and cause deaths. While this may occur in extremely rare instances the reality is that criminals carry concealed weapons and use them on a frequent basis to kill, maim, terrorize, threaten, or steal from law abiding citizens.

It is a fact that States that don't unnecessarily restrict the issuance of concealed carry permits have a much lower rate of crime than states that do unnecessarily restrict the issuance of concealed carry permits.


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Posted by Gern Blanston
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

"It is a fact that States that don't unnecessarily restrict the issuance of concealed carry permits have a much lower rate of crime than states that do unnecessarily restrict the issuance of concealed carry permits."

Can you cite a reliable, non-NRA-funded source of this assertion, Hank? Taken to its (il)logical extreme, if every law-abiding citizen were issued a permit for, and a large percentage were presumed to be carrying a concealed firearm, all the time, our world would be a far safer place to live. Just, sadly, not the place where I want my children and grandchildren to live. I wonder how many more generations will come and go before Americans move beyond the John Wayne mindset? I grew up with guns, I understand their visceral appeal, but as an adult I no longer have any interest in them, and irrational fears about a police state or rationalizations about increased personal safety don't make me wish to carry a concealed firearm.

Gern


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

It would be nice to hear from someone who has applied for and received a permit.

On another note, I did some research and found a group called the Guardian Angels. They are like a neighborhood watch on steroids.

Web Link

On another note, I don't think we have enough of a police presence in our neighborhood. I see the parking enforcer all of the time and everywhere I go... but no real police to stop suspicious characters that I see.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Gern:

I don't have the links at hand, but there are numerous non-NRA studies that have shown a decrease in crime in areas in which the concealed carry laws are very unrestricted. The fact is, criminals take no head of concealed carry laws. They don't care if it's illegal. Law abiding citizens do care. If there is a chance a law abiding citizen might be in possesion of a fire arm, crooks will look elsewhere. The fact is that if people are allowed to carry concealed weapons they rarely have to use them, let alone pull them. This is because most crooks are opportunists and cowards. I know of what I speak. I am ex-law enforcement.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

It's not a big sample size or necessarily representative of the rest of the country, but it's not an NRA study, either.

Of course, the reduction in crime could be due to the economy, too. People always find fault with surveys that disprove their point!

Web Link


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Joanna - the Guardian Angels don't carry guns or weapons. They can be like a pack of wild dogs, though ;-)


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Someone mentioned Pepper Spray. This sounds like a much more reasonable idea. Or, how about a stun gun? It seems like both of these would work in this situation and neither would produce lasting damage - be it intentional or not. Does anyone know what the laws are regarding stun guns?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm

How about just handing over the purse?

Using a stun gun or pepper spray - both take some practice & dexterity, believe it or not - unlikely when taken by surprise in the dark on your cell phone. Pepper spray can easily blow back in your face.

Best ideas: don't gab on your cell phone when walking alone, don't carry your purse. Don't walk alone at night if you can avoid it. Get a dog.

The one time I used pepper spray on a person, I was very calm, focused & able to aim properly at her, out of the wind. I was lucky.


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Seems to me the problem has more to do with better protection and monitoring of very porous borders rather than carrying a loaded pistol while walking our dogs on Sharon Park Drive.


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Posted by Tsk tsk
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Thomas, although the article identifies the assailant as being Hispanic, that does not automatically make him an illegal immigrant. That is a unfortunate comment on your part, though I agree our borders should be tightened up. While we all (should) have the right to bear arms based on the constitution, I agree with your statement about brandishing guns since for me at least, if someone pointed one at me, it wouldn't matter whether I was carrying one or not. I think I'd probably be dead if I tried to use it in such a situation.


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Posted by dog walker
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I just thought Thomas was referring to all the easy access in and out of Sharon - onto 280--any direction off Sand Hill or several back onto the Alameda.
This is why the bank gets held up there so often.
I've seen quick drug deals in the parking lot by the lake


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Posted by narnia
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2011 at 8:26 am

I too saw quick drug deals in the parking lot, by lilly white young men. Some in front of safeways also... same type of people. Well off (judging by their cars) young local college students... So much for stereotypes....


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Posted by Kenny K
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

I see a lot of Electric Kool Aid drinking in the Willows by the Move-on.org crowd.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

Narnia - having lived in EPA for a number of years, I'm not surprised by what you described. Most of the drug buyers I've seen here are not what many might think of as drug users.


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Posted by Downtown John
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Gern,
No one is advocating everyone arm themselves. But unless robbers and thugs are shown they can not oppress other law abiding citizens, they will continue to prey on sheepish people. Follow the boaters rule, avoid trouble before you have to get out of it. Self defense can come in many forms. What's next, ban the Karate Chop?


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Posted by karen robinson
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Interesting comments. Years ago, when Diane Feinstein was Mayor of SF, she wanted guns banned, controlled in the City. But guess who got to "carry"? Diane Feinstein! I can, but you can't.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

That is no fair.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

Great subject, and really good comments from all who have posted, regardless of whether pro or anti the right to carry. Usually such a thread brings out the fringe on both sides of the question. Let me say that I am a gun owner and I do believe non-felons should be able to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon or to openly carry. Having said that, I would put an important caveat on the permit process. First and foremost, the requirement to take and pass a gun use and safety program-not just how to carry it safely, but prove you can use it properly (shoot straight). While I realize using Arizona as a good example is not very popular in this area, it does have a very responsible set of laws and requirements to enable law abiding citizens to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. It can be done in a responsible and equitable way


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Posted by Downtown John
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Well put WhoRU. Nevada is a also good example as well where fully automatic weapons, fireworks etc are legal. However, if you misuse the privilege, severe penalties are in place and your rights are taken away. Just ask OJ.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 8, 2011 at 8:12 am

I found a summary of Nevada gun laws:

NSRPA.US: Web Link

Gun Laws By State: Web Link


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