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Newslinks for 3/17/2008

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TX: Prosecutors fear castle law's 'presumption' will allow real murderers to go free
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For many Texas legislators, last year's castle law seemed like a no-brainer. Anyone breaking into your home, car or business poses a grave threat; you should have the right to shoot first – and ask questions later.

The new law has yet to see its day in court, but that day is coming. Homicide cases that pivot upon it could emerge by the middle of this year.

Meanwhile, some prosecutors worry the law will cause more confusion than clarity in the courtroom.
 

ID: Measure to restrict stun guns dies in ID committee
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Lawmakers concerned about self-defense rights narrowly killed a proposal on Thursday that would have required a concealed weapon permit to carry stun guns in Idaho.

The House State Affairs Committee split 7-7 on the bill, which would also have restricted the sale of Tasers and similar devices to minors. A bill requires a majority vote in committee to advance.

"I'm concerned about taking a tool away from law-abiding citizens," said Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise. "I think our citizens need to have some options."
 

NY: N.Y. Gun Laws in Balance as High Court Weighs D.C. Case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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New York's gun control laws will hang in the balance when the Supreme Court this week takes up the question of whether Americans have a constitutional right to own guns.

At oral arguments on Tuesday, the nine justices will, for the first time in nearly 70 years, try to interpret whether the Second Amendment provides an individual right to own firearms or only the right of a state to keep a militia without federal interference.
 

The Age of Criminalizing Children
Submitted by: MTrcic

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Two 4-year-old boys were removed from a preschool class and handcuffed by the school safety officer for refusing to take a nap.

A 6-year-old girl was arrested on charges of disruption of a school function, battery on school employees (a felony), and resisting arrest for throwing a temper tantrum in class.

A 5-year-old boy with speech problems and asthma was handcuffed by a school safety officer for throwing a temper tantrum in class. School officials refused to turn the child over to his baby sitter who had rushed to the scene and sent the boy to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
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Comment: And it goes on and on and....
 

CA: Ricker melts guns, turns metal into art
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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After Heath Maddox's father died unexpectedly in 2006, Maddox was clearing out his dad's belongings when he found a surprise: a U.S. military-issued .45-caliber handgun wrapped in a towel and tucked into a kitchen drawer. Maddox vaguely recalled a story about his grandfather owning the gun, but he wasn't sure why, or how, it turned up in his father's kitchen. Yet on a recent Friday evening, two years after the discovery, Maddox stood inside artist John Ricker's San Francisco studio, ready to smash the gun flat with a sledgehammer.
 

AK: Nanooks claim 10th NCAA rifle crown
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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The Alaska Nanooks came through with golden colors on Saturday to claim the 10th NCAA Rifle championship for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Trailing Army by six points after Friday’s smallbore competition, the Nanooks blew the Black Knights out of the water in the air rifle portion of the match to claim the overall NCAA title by a 10-point margin. “They all did amazingly well today,” third-year coach Dan Jordan said in telephone interview after Saturday night’s awards banquet where six different Nanooks earned All-American honors from the National Rifle Association. “It was pretty neat to watch.”
 

Gun-toting is central part of American identity
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Guns were an essential tool in frontier life when the United States was formed hundreds of years ago, and even today the right to carry them remains a fundamental part of the country's identity. Hence the heated emotions surrounding an issue that comes before the Supreme Court this week -- how modern society should interpret gun rights that were written into the Second Amendment of the Constitution during a very different era.
 

Ted Kennedy On Firearms Information Use Act
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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It’s a privilege to join my colleagues in supporting the “Firearms Information Use Act” to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment and lift the veil of secrecy that currently surrounds the flow of guns in our country. The Act will give law enforcement agencies the support they need to do their job, while protecting information about undercover officers, confidential informants, ongoing investigations, and lawful firearms purchasers. It’s a basic open-government measure that is critical for the public safety of communities across America.
 

UT: Intruder Shot During A Frightening Home Invasion
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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A man shot an intruder in the stomach after the suspect attacked his girlfriend in her South Salt Lake home.
 

"you will be ready in arms to defend your country, your liberty, your wives, your children and possessions, from rapine, abuse, and destruction"
Submitted by: GunShowOnTheNet.com
Website: http://GunShowOnTheNet.com/

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"...WHEN a people within reach of the highest temporal happiness human nature is capable of, are in danger of having it wrested from them by an enemy whose paths are marked with blood, and an insupportable load of misery . . . and possessed by a banditti whom no laws can controul, and whose aim is to trample upon all the rights of humanity, would be sufficient to give the coward courage, and animate to the greatest feats in arms the most supine and indolent.--Surely then . . . you will be ready in arms to defend your country, your liberty, your wives, your children and possessions, from rapine, abuse, and destruction..."
 

DC: Gun-rights ruling could ricochet across nation
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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It's a shooting war, for certain. Democrats versus Republicans, cities versus states, cops versus cops, scholars versus scholars, and most bizarrely, the Bush administration against itself. The root of the conflict lies in a case that will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, one as dramatic as any in recent memory. For the first time in almost 70 years, the court will consider whether the 2nd Amendment grants an individual the right to own a gun. It's a day long awaited by gun-rights activists, and long feared by those who favor gun control.
 

DC: Gun control should be a hot topic among U.S. presidential aspirants
Submitted by: Paul Shoemaker

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The Democratic candidates, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, and, less surprisingly, the likely Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, are ducking the issue. There is minimal attention to guns on any of their Web sites.

 

Rate My Cop?
Submitted by: motoboy

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Police agencies from coast to coast are furious with a new website on the internet. RateMyCop.com has the names of thousands of officers, and many believe it is putting them in danger.

Officer Hector Basurto, the vice president of the Latino Police Officers Association, recently learned about the site. "I'd like to see it gone," he said.

"Having a website like this out there puts a lot of law enforcement in danger," he said. "It exposes us out there."
 

WY: Wyoming argues against federal agency in gun case
Submitted by: motoboy

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The state of Wyoming this week will ask a federal appeals court in Denver to uphold a state law that allows people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to regain their firearms rights.

Federal law specifies that those convicted of domestic violence can't own guns. But it also says that states have authority to restore gun rights to people whose convictions are expunged or set aside.

In the Wyoming dispute, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has balked at accepting a state law that seeks to allow people convicted of domestic violence charges to regain their firearms rights through a state court proceeding.
 

DC: D.C.'s Gun Ban Gets Day in Court
Submitted by: Paul Shoemaker

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"This may be one of the only cases in our lifetime when the Supreme Court is going to be interpreting the meaning of an important provision of the Constitution unencumbered by precedent,' said Randy E. Barnett, a constitutional scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center. "And that's why there's so much discussion on the original meaning of the Second Amendment.'

The outcome could roil the 2008 political campaigns, send a national message about what kinds of gun control are constitutional and finally settle the question of whether the 27-word amendment, with its odd structure and antiquated punctuation, provides an individual right to gun ownership or simply pertains to militia service.



 

OK: College presidents rally against campus concealed weapons bill
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Some state lawmakers believe that putting more guns on college and university campuses will make them safer. But college presidents in Oklahoma think the Legislature has been too quick on the trigger with legislation that would authorize concealed weapons on college and university campuses. A proposed bill was prompted in part by the kinds of gunmen who have taken the lives of dozens of people at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University over the past year. The Council of Presidents composed of the presidents of the state's 25 public colleges and universities unanimously passed a resolution earlier this month opposing the bill.
 

AL: Constitutional right to bear arms includes students
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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By George Oldroyd

The problem with Hank Erwin's bill seeking to arm academics and ROTC students on Alabama campuses isn't that it goes too far. It doesn't go far enough, and it fails to ask the fundamental question: Why do we allow boards of trustees in state-funded institutions to violate the constitutional rights of its students? Every eligible student who can obtain a concealed carry permit in the state of Alabama should be able to carry on campus, without exception, and without harassment by their educational institution.
 

UK: Gun injuries soar as police 'experts' blast themselves and colleagues by mistake
Submitted by: Steven Brown

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"The number of armed police officers accidentally shooting themselves – and other colleagues – has soared in the past five years."

"Now, nearly half of all injuries caused by police shootings are the result of officers blasting themselves or a colleague, often during bungled training and demonstrations."

In the UK, people use news items like this to support the idea that guns are inherently dangerous, because even the "experts" can't handle them safely. In America, however, responsible gun owners handle firearms safely by default. Following a few simple rules can make occurrences like those listed in the article a virtual impossibility.
 

DC: Safety in defenselessness?
Submitted by: Paul Shoemaker

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In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed article, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the District of Columbia's gun restrictions.

Conceding that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms, Mr. Tribe said that right does not rule out a decision to ban handguns while allowing "rifles, shotguns and other weapons less likely to augment urban violence."

But even if Mr. Tribe is right that the Second Amendment allows the District of Columbia to ban handguns, he is wrong to assume D.C. residents are free to use long guns instead.


 

PA: NRA tipped on gun law in W. Lampeter
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Lloyd Smucker would rather talk about tax reform. Maybe education. There are a lot of topics the next state senator from the 13th District will need to address, said Smucker, one of four Republican candidates for that post. But instead, Smucker, a West Lampeter Township supervisor, has found himself talking about guns. A sportsman himself, Smucker says he is a staunch supporter of gun rights. One of his opponents, Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds Steve McDonald, wonders if he supports them enough. And now, it seems, so does the National Rifle Association.
 

NY: Gun advocates take issue with phrase ‘gun freaks’
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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I must take issue with Carl Strock’s disdainful reference to American firearms owners as “gun freaks” in his March 2 column regarding the death of William F. Buckley. There’s a clear relationship between the private ownership of firearms and long-term political freedom, even if that relationship is not recognized by Mr. Strock. Even though it’s not well known, it is nonetheless true, that the Battle of Lexington and Concord was fought over British government gun control and civilian disarmament efforts. The “shot heard round the world” was fired in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, because British soldiers were attempting to confiscate the cannon and musket powder belonging to the colonial militia: armed private citizens.
 

Russia: Mother avoids jail after burglar killing [video]
Submitted by: none

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"A Russian mother who shot two armed burglars, killing one of them, will not face any charges. Police in the Sverdlovsk region have decided she was acting in self defence, protecting her three children."



2 knife wielding burglars beat her husband, she fetches rifle And Ends The Fight.
 

CA: Microstamping calls the shots
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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A 14-year-old boy and his 18-year-old brother are shot and killed in a mini-mart down the street from their home. Police find four shell casings in the parking lot, but no leads. A man driving home from work is summoned to the side of the road by a woman apparently needing help. After he stops, he discovers the trap. Two men attempt to rob him. When he runs, they shoot him. He dies. Three shell casings are found, but no leads. These incidents are neither hypothetical nor isolated. And it is unlikely the killers will ever be apprehended. No arrests are ever made in 45 percent of homicides in California, leaving criminals to roam free, to put other citizens and police at risk. California lawmakers have had enough.
 

OK: Boren asks legislators to rethink gun bill
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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University of Oklahoma President David Boren called on lawmakers Friday to reconsider the passage of a bill that would allow certain people to carry guns on college campuses. "If it would help for me to get down on my knees to plead with the Legislature for the safety of our students, I would do so," Boren said in a prepared statement.
 

Ukraine: 10+ years for three high ranking Ukrainian cops
Submitted by: none

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Three former high ranking Ukrainian police officers, who confessed to the murder of the opposition journalist, Georgy Gongadze, have been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. Hearings have been going for more than two years.

The case of a beheaded opposition journalist shocked the nation and exposed the ugly side of power circles in Ukraine.

Three former policemen have been convicted of murder. Their chief, Oleksey Pukach, is still at large. Discrediting the police force, defendants used violence against Gongandze. Keeping him in a back seat of their car, Protasov and Kostenko assaulted him physically.
Georgy Gongadze used to openly criticize Ukraine's government under former president Leonid Kuchma. He wrote a number of da
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." --Col. Jeff Cooper

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