Bad: Anti story CCP and bars about an incident 13 years ago

Bad: Anti story CCP and bars about an incident 13 years ago

This is a discussion on Bad: Anti story CCP and bars about an incident 13 years ago within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Bad story about an incident 13 years ago. This is what gets printed in our area paper. No stories about any grandfathers or husbands successfully ...

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Thread: Bad: Anti story CCP and bars about an incident 13 years ago

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Bad: Anti story CCP and bars about an incident 13 years ago

    Bad story about an incident 13 years ago. This is what gets printed in our area paper. No stories about any grandfathers or husbands successfully defending their families or how a single student at Virginia Tech could have saved lives if CC were allowed on capmus. The concealed carry permit did not allow them to legally carry in a bar at that time. In essence, the permit aspect was irrelevant since they did not abide by it. They did have to go back 13 years to find something bad in the area relative to CCP and bars.


    A case study of guns in bars - Roanoke.com

    Metro columnist Dan Casey: A case study of guns in bars
    By Dan Casey

    Dan Casey is The Roanoke Times' metro columnist.
    dan.casey
    @roanoke.com
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    Dan Casey
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    Gov. Bob McDonnell put his signature on a law Tuesday that has been long desired by the pro-handgun crowd.

    Starting July 1, concealed-carry permit holders may legally bring their hidden handguns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol (but they may not legally drink).

    Whether this prospect frightens you, excites you, or instantly makes you feel more secure, here's a true story.

    It's about a couple of Virginia concealed-carry permit holders, and another guy, and events that unfolded in a Blacksburg bar on Aug. 30, 1997.

    Those permit-holders' names are Terry and Kerry Scales and today they are 35 years old.

    They're identical twin brothers and they grew up as fine, upstanding, church-attending young men in Henry County.

    Their concealed handgun permits were approved by the Henry County Circuit Court on Aug. 28, 1997.

    The other guy's name is Richard Bullard.

    Though he was 6 feet 3 inches tall and 300 pounds, Bullard's friends and family described him as a gentle giant.

    He was 30, single and worked at a Sears store in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

    His aunt, Peggy Darden of Biloxi, Miss., said this about him:

    "He was not an aggressive person. He could have been a great football player if he'd have had the killer instinct. He had the size but not the disposition."

    His sister, Phyllis Bullard, of Waco, Texas, told this newspaper:

    "He was so gentle you would not believe. ... I'd start an argument and fuss with him, and he wouldn't even open his mouth. I always called him my big gentle giant."

    On Aug. 30, 1997, Bullard was visiting our region to be part of a wedding party. One of his best friends, Tim Shoemaker, was marrying a woman from Giles County, Christina Beasley.

    The ceremony took place at a church in Giles County. After a reception in the church's gym, the bride and groom left for their honeymoon.

    Later that night, Bullard and some others from the wedding group decided to continue the party in Blacksburg.

    They wound up at Arnold's Restaurant, a since-closed bar in downtown Blacksburg.

    The Scales twins and their older brother Leon and their uncle, Marlin Scales, were at Arnold's as well. And the twins had handguns in their pockets.

    The trouble started because one of the men in the Scales group flirted with one of the women in the wedding party.

    That launched an argument, which became a shoving match, which may or may not have caused Bullard to grab Kerry Scales' neck and begin choking him.

    What happened next is not in dispute.

    Kerry Scales pulled his .357-caliber revolver out of his pocket and fired five shots into Bullard's chest and abdomen. Bullard crumpled to the dance floor.

    Someone else threw Terry Scales down on the ground. He pulled his .38-caliber revolver and wildly fired two shots.

    One struck Bullard in the head. The other struck Paul Shoemaker, the groom's cousin, in the chest. He was critically wounded but later recovered.

    Bullard was dead on the spot.

    The Scales brothers and their uncle ran out the door. The twins hid their handguns in some nearby trash cans. Police arrested them later, and a grand jury charged them with second-degree murder.

    A jury convicted them and each got 24 years. They're incarcerated at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center.

    At his sentencing hearing, Terry Scales' lawyer asked him this question:

    "If you had this to do all over again, would you have taken that gun in there that night?"

    "No, sir," Terry Scales replied.

    There you have it. One man dead, two brothers serving long prison sentences. Three lives ruined. Because of two handguns in a bar.

    And now, nearly 13 years later, it will be legal for concealed handgun permit holders to take their hidden pistols into Virginia bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

    One argument you always hear from the gun lobby is this: Concealed guns are already in those bars, but they are being carried only by lawbreakers.

    The new law levels the playing field, they say.

    But this can only result in more guns in Virginia bars.

    That cannot be a good thing.

    Those permit-holding gun hiders will most likely be trained and sane (though not necessarily).

    And at least they will be law-abiding citizens with clean criminal records.

    Just as the Scales brothers were -- until Aug. 30, 1997.
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  2. #2
    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    Horrible story, but I fail to see what carry permits have to do with it. As you stated, they were already breaking the law by carrying in the bar. The one brother fired two carelessly negligent shots, something anyone with any sort of training or common sense knows not to do. The other brother may have acted in self defense, but I'm inclined to believe his being throttled is a fabrication to try and get him off of the charges. Having never been shot, especially not with a .357 I could be wrong (probably am) but I would think you'd release your grip after the first shot, let alone five.

    The thing that gets me most about this, is that they only received 24 years. People get longer sentences for dealing marijuana (which yes is illegal, but I feel is of a lesser degree than murder) and these two butt clowns get off with two decades (surprised they aren't already out) for breaking two laws (cc in a bar and murder) and shooting two people, murdering one.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Here's my post on Dan Casey's Blog with regard to his article:


    I've had guns my entire adult life. I've shot squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and targets. I hope and pray that I am never in a situation in which I need a gun for self defense. I've had my concealed carry permit for 2 years and I do carry only when and where it is legal and do so in a legal manner. I am a college graduate, a financial executive, a husband of 17 years and a father of an 8 year old and a 1 year old. The responsibility of carrying a firearm is awesome and it has given me cause to be more situationally aware, avoiding trouble, de-escalating in nature, more courteous when driving, and generally more cautious about how I conduct myself. I'm not afraid, I just watch the news. Reality is bad things happen to good people every day in places we frequent. I have an awesome responsibility to protect my family and this is simply one facet of my overall care plan for them. If restaurants that serve alcohol don't want guns there, they can simply post a sign and I will gladly comply...by spending my hard earned money somewhere that respects my need to defend myself and my family. No problem. I've been able to legally carry openly in places that serve alcohol, but have mostly chosen to patronize restaurants that do not serve alcohol...and with young kids, will most likely continue that trend even after July 1st. If I want a drink, I'll have one at home after the kids go to bed. If everyone else did that, we'd have no drunk drivers either...and drunk drivers kill more folks everyday than handguns but I don't see anyone screaming about banning the cars or alcohol. Laws only impact the law abiding citizens...bad guys do bad things with no regard for the laws.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Sad story!

  5. #5
    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Though he was 6 feet 3 inches tall and 300 pounds, Bullard's friends and family described him as a gentle giant.
    That launched an argument, which became a shoving match, which may or may not have caused Bullard to grab Kerry Scales' neck and begin choking him.
    If a 6 foot, 300lb gorilla starts choking me I don't care how his family describes him. Sounds like it was a clean shoot to me *if* the accusation of choking was true. Could have easily been proven via forensics, but stating so in the article would have undermined its agenda. Their mistake was running and the stray rounds.

    The thing that gets me most about this, is that they only received 24 years. People get longer sentences for dealing marijuana (which yes is illegal, but I feel is of a lesser degree than murder) and these two butt clowns get off with two decades (surprised they aren't already out) for breaking two laws (cc in a bar and murder) and shooting two people, murdering one.
    I completely disagree. From the little info in the article, I don't think it was murder. It sounds like a valid self defense shoot. They should have been charged with carrying in the bar and for the reckless shots in the air, but not murder.

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    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    I'd sign up for his blog, but for some reason it won't accept my information. I hit "Sign Me Up" but the page stays the same, not even an indicator it attempted to submit the data.

    I will certainly be writing him an email though. While it's certainly his right to write this article I think if he had any Journalistic Ethics he would present all the facts.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Under his picture on the online story, there is a section titled "RELATED" in which it says "what do you think.....click here to leave a comment on Dave's blog".

    There, scroll down to "LEAVE A COMMENT" and you just have to enter name (any name, not necessarily your first and last) and e-mail address and type away. It will let you post.
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  8. #8
    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KralBlbec View Post
    If a 6 foot, 300lb gorilla starts choking me I don't care how his family describes him. Sounds like it was a clean shoot to me *if* the accusation of choking was true. Could have easily been proven via forensics, but stating so in the article would have undermined its agenda. Their mistake was running and the stray rounds.



    I completely disagree. From the little info in the article, I don't think it was murder. It sounds like a valid self defense shoot. They should have been charged with carrying in the bar and for the reckless shots in the air, but not murder.
    It says nothing about who started the fight. If the "gorilla" was actually protecting himself after being attacked there's nothing justified about shooting a man because you can't take your just licks. Also, the only person claiming that there was any choking is the defendant, which 9/10 times means he's trying to save his own hide.

    Also, most states have laws stating that any killing that occurs while committing a crime will be charged as murder. If a man breaks into your house and kills you because you charged him with a baseball bat, that man is still going to be hit with murder even though he was trying to defend himself.


    Edit: After looking at my post I can see it could be assumed I'm using "You" the viewer as the case, and some might take this as a threat. I don't mean to infer any violence towards anyone on this forum.

    Double Edit: Those two negligent shots ending up hitting two people. One is the deceased man, the other was a person who posed no threat to either of them. That deserves more than just a slap on the wrist for 'reckless shots in the air'. If I were to shoot my gun in a random direction and it struck someone, even if they weren't an intended target I would be charged with a lot more than negligent handling of a firearm.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Yep, carry a gun where you're not supposed to and end up having to use it (whether otherwise justified or not) and you're likely going to face some serious stuff.

    Kind of like drunk driving. If you're in an accident and you've been drinking, it's automatically your fault (whether or not it really was). A buddy of mine was t-boned by a lady that was speeding and ran a stop sign. He had been drinking (over the limit) and she had not. He got the tickets, the fault for the wreck, etc. and she got no tickets. The police report accurately depicted the accident and the fact that she was speeding, ran a stop sign, and hit him square in the side of the door. Didn't matter in court, automatically his fault.
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  10. #10
    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    It does say who started the fight.
    The trouble started because one of the men in the Scales group flirted with one of the women in the wedding party.
    That means Bullard approached them for flirting with someone in his group. Wither it was vulgar/offensive is not mentioned, but not being mentioned indicates to me it was not. Seems more as if he (Bullard) just didnt like the others talking to his girls. Also note that Bullard had already been partying all day and was *likely* the drunker of them all. This is pure speculation of course, but it is logical based on the few facts at hand.

    The choking is the first indication of lethal force. You're right there is no proof that it happened (in this story) but it would have been pretty trivial to determine if it had actually happened at the time. If it had, that *should* have been a strong defense. If not, there is no reason to include it in the story.
    There are always more details that are given in news reports, but unless there was something pretty drastic that should have been reported, I would not convict them of murder.

  11. #11
    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    While I agree there is a serious lack of information in the article, the fact that those two men flirted with the women is not an indicator that they were the victims in the fight. Having been in situations similar to Bullards I can tell you from first hand experience that logically and rationally trying to dissuade someone from hitting on and flirting with your girlfriend rarely works. I have been in several fights (yes I had had a few drinks, but was not being a jerk) caused by men who refused to leave my girlfriend alone, after politely asking them to leave a few of them have even taken swings at me. Most people when put in a situation where a guy is flirting with either your girlfriend/wife/female freind that is unwanted very rarely resort to violence at first.

    I think the fact that the author says the two men were flirting and immediately jumps to the choking incident makes it seem that this is the exact order the events took place. It would seem to me, that the two men went up to the group and tried flirting with the women, the wedding party told them to go away (politely or rudely I can't say), they refused to leave and a fight followed. Perhaps Bollard did throw the first punch, but one has to keep in mind that if a person refuses to leave you alone and continues to sexually harass the females you're with that that's a good indication of malintent.

    Personally, if a man refused to leave my girlfriend alone after repeatedly asking him to leave I would fear for her well being. I'm not saying I would pull out my gun (not that I carry in bars, but it has happened other places) or start a fight. I would first try and leave the premise and get out of the situation, but if the harassment followed then things would turn ugly.

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Typical, and not amazing they had to go back quite a ways and really do some research to try to find something.

    We've had absolutely NO issues here in our state with it being legal.

    There's only one question they have to really ask (in my mind), why would a law-abiding citizen, suddenly do anything differently when they went into a bar or a restaurant that serves alcohol as well ? Are they suddenly going to lose all judgment, all common sense, and shoot up the place ???? Answer : NO.

  13. #13
    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeChuck View Post
    While I agree there is a serious lack of information in the article, the fact that those two men flirted with the women is not an indicator that they were the victims in the fight. Having been in situations similar to Bullards I can tell you from first hand experience that logically and rationally trying to dissuade someone from hitting on and flirting with your girlfriend rarely works. I have been in several fights (yes I had had a few drinks, but was not being a jerk) caused by men who refused to leave my girlfriend alone, after politely asking them to leave a few of them have even taken swings at me. Most people when put in a situation where a guy is flirting with either your girlfriend/wife/female freind that is unwanted very rarely resort to violence at first.

    I think the fact that the author says the two men were flirting and immediately jumps to the choking incident makes it seem that this is the exact order the events took place. It would seem to me, that the two men went up to the group and tried flirting with the women, the wedding party told them to go away (politely or rudely I can't say), they refused to leave and a fight followed. Perhaps Bollard did throw the first punch, but one has to keep in mind that if a person refuses to leave you alone and continues to sexually harass the females you're with that that's a good indication of malintent.

    Personally, if a man refused to leave my girlfriend alone after repeatedly asking him to leave I would fear for her well being. I'm not saying I would pull out my gun (not that I carry in bars, but it has happened other places) or start a fight. I would first try and leave the premise and get out of the situation, but if the harassment followed then things would turn ugly.
    Good point, but there still is the probability that Bollard was the drunker of them all due to partying all day (again something that would have been trivial to determine via forensics). Any lack of judgment I would lean towards him, ie rather than having two jerks come flirt with your girlfriend and not stopping, I see more one guy overreacting to a harmless advance.

    Typical, and not amazing they had to go back quite a ways and really do some research to try to find something.

    We've had absolutely NO issues here in our state with it being legal.

    There's only one question they have to really ask (in my mind), why would a law-abiding citizen, suddenly do anything differently when they went into a bar or a restaurant that serves alcohol as well ? Are they suddenly going to lose all judgment, all common sense, and shoot up the place ???? Answer : NO.
    I frankly see no point in banning carry in a bar (or as it is in WA, anyplace restricted to adults 21yr or older). It should be gauged on if you are actually drinking. I *never* drink, but I'm still restricted from going to Applebees with my friends because they often will opt for the bar side.

    One more note I thought about. It says that the second guy pulled his gun and fired randomly into the air twice. It also says one of those shots hit the guy in the head. That doesn't compute. For one, he had already been hit 5 times in the chest and I dont think he would be standing after that, so that means he was shooting downwards. It is also a rather small target and the simple probability of hitting someone in the head at random is very small. That indicates he was aiming somewhat. I suspect that more than two random shots in the air, it was probably two aimed shots at the guy, one of which happened to miss.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    The anti-gun shills will leave no stone unturned in their quest to find some tidbit that is vaguely adaptable to their agenda.

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    Moral of the story: Don't get drunk and assault a man for talking to a female. He might just be able to defend himself.

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