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Newslinks for 11/19/2022

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NJ: Bruen-Buster Bill Is Back
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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On Monday, November 21, the full Assembly is expected to vote on A.4769. This legislation started out as a “copy-cat” strategy, mimicking what New York did to lash out at the Supreme Court post-Bruen. The bill arbitrarily and drastically expands the number of places labeled as “sensitive places” where concealed carry is prohibited.

Over the last month, the bill has been assigned to multiple committees and has been amended several times to clean up drafting errors, among other things. Incredibly, this bill is so deeply flawed that all of this time and effort has been spent in vain. Anti-gun Majority Democrats deny that the United States Supreme Court affirmed the right to carry. The court spoke resolutely and was unambiguous.
 

OR: Man Stabs and Kills Landlord With Sword, Police Say It Was Self-Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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A horror film-esque confrontation with a Portland, Oregon, landlord resulting in his death has been deemed self-defense by police.

In November, police determined the killing of landlord Justin Valdivia to be self-defense after Valdivia unlawfully entered a former renter's home and charged at him while wearing a slasher mask and brandishing a hammer and pellet gun in the middle of the night.
 

MI: 15-year-old accused of shooting mother's boyfriend in Eastpointe; self-defense suspected
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Police say they believe a 15-year-old boy pulled the trigger, killing his mother's boyfriend during a fight Wednesday in Eastpointe.

Just before 10 p.m., the boy's mother called 911 and said her boyfriend had jumped on her at her home in the 18000 block of Holland Street.

"Upon arrival there was one deceased male found in that area," said Det. Brian Showers, with the Eastpointe Police Department.
 

DC: Conviction Thrown Out For Woman Who Said She Shot Husband In Self-Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Now, after Diana has served more than three years of a 7.5-year sentence in federal prison, her conviction has been overturned, and she has been freed. The D.C. Court of Appeals determined that “the judge overseeing her trial failed to adequately instruct jurors on the lingering effects of a particular legal defense once referred to as battered wife syndrome,” according to The Washington Post.

The appeals court granted her a new trial, but that won’t need to happen. Prosecutors dismissed all charges against her in early November 2022.
 

NY: Manhattan DA Bragg will not prosecute Tracy McCarter, a nurse charged with her husband’s murder
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Friday told a judge he would not move forward with the prosecution of Tracy McCarter, a nurse charged with murdering her husband in a case that touched off a broad debate over criminalizing domestic violence victims.

In a letter to state Supreme Court Judge Diane Kiesel, Bragg said a review of the evidence in McCarter’s case gave him reasonable doubt she fatally stabbed her husband, James Murray, on March 2, 2020, with the requisite intent to support a murder conviction.
 

MD: Maryland gun rights group takes aim at county’s wear and carry bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Maryland Shall Issue, a guns rights group in Annapolis, plans to sue Montgomery County for passing a bill that prohibits wear and carry permit holders from carrying firearms within 100 yards of multiple public places.

Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, said it should come “as no surprise” that the group will be challenging the new law, which is effective as soon as County Executive Marc Elrich (D) signs legislation the council passed in a 8-0 vote earlier this week.
 

One year after acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the battle to define his public image rages on
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of murder charges in Kenosha one year ago, but that hasn’t kept him from being called a murderer on social media.

The former Antioch resident has vowed to sue celebrities and media figures who have used such language to describe him, but his attorney, Todd McMurtry, told the Tribune a larger goal is to change the discourse about Rittenhouse.

“That’s the whole point of a lot of the litigation I’m involved in, to tamp down the way people conduct themselves online,” said McMurtry, who specializes in high-profile defamation lawsuits. “When you start making statements that are provably false, you’ve crossed the line.”
 

OH: Ohio state senator’s new gun bill drops red flag provisions, adds new restraints
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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The measure now hinges on “behavioral risk assessments.” Those reviews consider behaviors like suicidal tendencies, grievance collecting, or making threats. It also weighs contextual factors like whether a person has been through a “personal catalyst event.”

“The idea is we want to make sure that we create a system where they have an assessment done, so we get to the person help,” Dolan said. “And if that assessment reveals that there they are a violent threat, that they are prohibited from getting firearms.”
 

DRGO Study Finds No Association Between Increased Legal Firearm Sales and Crime Rates
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership—a project of the Second Amendment Foundation—has released a new study showing there is “no association between increased lawful firearm sales and rates of crime or homicide.”

The study, by DRGO member Mark Hamill, MD, FACS, FCCM, is titled “Legal Firearm Sales at State Level and Rates of Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Homicides” and is published in the Journal of Surgical Research. Dr. Hamill worked with a team of nine other doctors to reach their conclusions.
 

Open Iron Sights vs. Reflex Sights: Which is Better?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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When it comes to the modern defensive handgun, the current trend is ultra-compact pistols with optics compatibility. There’s no question that the more compact the handgun, the easier it is to carry and conceal. But what about modern defensive handgun optics like the miniature reflex sight? Do these make a defensive handgun easier to shoot faster or more accurately? The general consensus is yes, but is that a matter of fact?
 

How judges and state legislatures are making police officers and civilians less safe
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Earlier this month, a federal judge in Texas declared that it was unconstitutional to prohibit domestic abusers under a protective order from having a gun.

It’s one of the latest examples in a troubling trend initiated by the Supreme Court’s June ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which signaled the potential for a wave of court-mandated rollbacks of gun regulations. An oft-overlooked consequence of this is how relaxing gun laws prevents police officers from doing their jobs properly.
 

Iowa, Oregon Voters Go Opposite Direction on Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Voters in Iowa and Oregon made their voices heard at the ballot box on election day with vastly different outcomes.

One state reaffirmed its support for the Second Amendment while the other imposed crippling gun control laws on law-abiding citizens.
Iowa’s “Freedom Amendment”

Voters in the Hawkeye state approved a ballot measure to add state-level Second Amendment guarantees to the Iowa Constitution, protecting gun rights from possible future questionable gun restrictions. After garnering more than 65 percent of the vote, Iowans left little doubt that they believe in the Second Amendment.
 

Kyle Rittenhouse Teases Future Congressional Run as He Meets with House Republicans in DC
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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One year later, Rittenhouse was posting a photo of the U.S. Capitol and suggesting that when he gets old enough, he might make it there.

Rittenhouse had his photo taken outside the Capitol and shared it on Twitter on Thursday with the caption, “T-minus 5 years until I call this place my office?” He also shared a photo of himself at the Lincoln Memorial.

The minimum age for a member of Congress is 25. Rittenhouse, who was born in 2003, would be eligible to run for Congress in 2028.
 

OR: Number of Oregonians trying to buy a gun is soaring, report says
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Warren Lacasse has strong feelings about Oregon ballot Measure 114, the new, tighter gun law slated to take effect in December.

“Anytime you threaten people’s rights you’re going to have a problem,” said Lacasse, who owns The Gun Room Inc. in Southeast Portland. “I can’t believe that people are so stupid that they would give away their Second Amendment rights.”
 

OR: Sheriff views Measure 114 as unconstitutional
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Law enforcement agencies have been left with many unanswered questions in the wake of Oregon’s gun-control Measure 114 narrowly passing.

Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton posted on Facebook today that he has received many inquiries about the measure and its impact. He said he simply doesn’t have answers yet, which adds to uncertainty and angst in the community. However, he unequivocally feels the measure is unconstitutional based on other court rulings within the 9th Circuit Court of appeals.
 

CA: Maker of ‘Ghost Gunner’ machines drops challenge to California gun laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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A Texas maker of software and milling machines that allow people to build their own firearms, including AK-47 assault riffles, dropped its challenge to two recent California laws that criminalize the use of its equipment to make so-called ghost guns and make lawsuits to fight the state's gun laws potentially more costly.

Defense Distributed, a nonprofit business that sells the "Ghost Gunner" milling machine, filed a stipulation Friday to dismiss its case claiming California's restrictions on its products violate the Second Amendment. The company claims the Second Amendment implicitly includes the right to acquire and manufacture firearms.
 

NY: Urging a nationwide gun buyback effort
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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All others should be permitted bolt- and lever-action rifles, shotguns, muzzle-loaders, and revolvers; weapons sufficient for home-defense and hunting, but insufficient for mowing down hundreds of people easily.

In order to reduce the number on firearms on the streets, and in the hands of criminals, I would recommend a series of nationwide gun-buyback efforts, as have proven wildly successful in reducing violent crime throughout Europe and Australia.
 

IL: Pro-Gun Group Lacks Standing To Sue Highland Park, City Argues
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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The pro-gun group that sued Highland Park in an effort to overturn the city's assault weapons ban lacks standing and should be removed from the case, according to attorneys for the city.

Highland Park's local ordinance defining assault weapons and forbidding their possession in town has been in place for nearly 10 years.

The local gun prohibitions were upheld by a federal appellate court in 2015, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review them later that year. Since then, about a dozen people have been cited for violations of the municipal assault weapons ban, records show.
 

Ownership of Firearms without Serial Numbers Case Appealed
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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The ground-breaking case of USA v. Randy Price has been appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The notice of appeal was filed on October 24, 2022. The appointment of a federal public defender was made on October 26, 2022.

The Fourth Circuit appointed the Federal Defender for the Southern District of West Virginia to represent Randy Price in this case.

Presumably, this is the same attorney who represented Price in the District Court, Wesley P. Page, Federal Public Defender s/Lex A Coleman, WV Bar No. 10484.
 

Red Dot Sights for Self-Defense and Concealed Carry: Pros, Cons, and Considerations
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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I just looked on two popular websites that offer red dot sights for handguns. I was surprised to see the width, depth, and extent of the various product lines and options offered for these handgun sights. There are many related and involved decisions necessary for those who decide to use red dots for concealed carry and self-defense. When I searched, there were at least 85 different categories related to handgun red dot sights, options, and accessories, with 161 different brands priced from about $125 to over $1,000. The buyer must decide what they specifically want to buy and their preferred features and options. So a red dot user and/or a concealed carrier must do their research, shop around, and be especially informed.
 

CA: Wendy Howard hearing postponed
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Last month, a jury decided that Howard, was not guilty of first-degree murder. However, on one charge the jury was hung and the District Attorney’s office was expected to make a decision whether or not to retry Howard.

After attorneys and the judge met in chambers, though, no decision was reached and the court decided to postpone the hearing until December 2nd.

Howard was charged in the 2019 shooting death of Kelly Rees Pitts in Tehachapi. Howard said the shooting was in self-defense and in October, the jury found her not guilty on a count of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary self-defense, and involuntary manslaughter.
 

The (Latest) Moderate [Anti]-Gun Group
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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The idea of a centrist version of the National Rifle Association—a group for gun owners that would be open to at least some gun-control legislation—is not new. It’s also not been particularly successful. Have you heard of the Independent Firearm Owners Association? Did you know Gabby Giffords’s gun-control group has a Gun Owners for Safety spinoff?

The latest iteration of this concept is 97Percent, which seeks common ground between gun owners and the rest of the country. It doesn’t purport to be a grassroots organization, but it uses polls and focus groups to guide its policy recommendations, giving special attention to gun restrictions that even gun owners support.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
I do believe that where there is a choice only between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Thus when my eldest son asked me what he should have done had he been present when I was almost fatally assaulted in 1908 [by an Indian extremist opposed to Gandhi's agreement with Smuts], whether he should have run away and seen me killed or whether he should have used his physical force which he could and wanted to use, and defend me, I told him it was his duty to defend me even by using violence. Hence it was that I took part in the Boer War, the so-called Zulu Rebellion and [World War I]. Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor. — Mohandas K. Gandhi, Young India, August 11, 1920 from Fischer, Louis ed.,The Essential Gandhi, 1962

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