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Republicans Keep Missing the Point About Gun Violence—Even When They’re the Targets
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun rights activists for years have fought for the free proliferation of firearms throughout the U.S., perhaps subconsciously imagining they were only arming themselves. But a shooting incident in Virginia on Wednesday, in which a 66-year-old white man named James T. Hodgkinson fired a rifle multiple times on a baseball field and seriously injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others, illustrated this point: Liberals, who traditionally support gun control, also may use gun violence when they feel helpless.
 

NYTimes Runs Shockingly Tone Deaf Editorial About Gun Politics Following VA Shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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To the fury of gun rights advocates nation-wide, the liberal New York Times seized on this opportunity to write an editorial criticizing calls for allowing more responsible Americans to protect themselves through less restrictive gun laws.

In it, they seemingly acknowledge the reasoning from those on the right, then issue a stark warning about the scary “type of society,” that these rights would create.

This comes as Republican members of Congress seized on the brazen daytime shooting of their colleagues on Wednesday to demand that existing restrictions on gun access be loosened so that people facing similar attacks are able to defend themselves.
 

Sean Hannity exploits congressional shooting to shill for US Concealed Carry Association
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I'm sure you know by now that I am a proud member of the USCCA. (US Concealed Carry Association).

By the way, perfect example yesterday, that god forbid -- if you believe in the Second Amendment, your Second Amendment rights, given to us, celebrated this 4th of July by our forefathers, if -- god forbid, what do you do if like those two Capitol Police officers, one day, you have to, you know, prepare yourself in a self-defense incident? Well, you want the USCCA on your side. They'll be there before, during and after any such attempt on your life or your family's life.
 

CA: Another shooting — close to home — and still no change in Washington's gun debate. Here's why
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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And even though members of Congress were attacked Wednesday by a gunman on a ball field just outside the capital, nothing is likely to change in the Washington debate over gun control, save the addition of Alexandria to the list of blood-soaked postmarks.

The two sides of the debate are simply too dug in, the political forces too firmly entrenched, the worldview of opposing sides so vastly different it is impossible to see how the gulf narrows even slightly, however close to home the latest attack.

Underscoring that notion, the one thing both sides shared after the latest mass shooting was the capacity to look at precisely the same event and see it in a way that buttressed diametrically opposing views.
 

Don't blame the left for violence in America
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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TWO CONTRADICTORY messages emerged following Wednesday's mass shooting in Alexandria, Virginia: One, the left and right need to come together in the spirit of bipartisanship. And two, this is all the left's fault.

James Hodgkinson's rampage against Republican members of Congress and staffers practicing for an annual Congressional baseball game left four of the victims wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. There could have easily been many more dead beyond Hodgkinson himself.
 

ATF: Congressional shooter used 9 mm handgun, 7.62 caliber rifle
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Federal officials said the man who shot a congressman and four others this week at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia used a 7.62 caliber rifle, according to a statement released Thursday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the shooter, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, of Belleville, Illinois, bought the rifle and a 9mm handgun found at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park from a federally-licensed firearms dealer.

“We currently have no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful,” the agency said in the joint statement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 

MA: Enforce Second Amendment as it is written
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Please note, in order to have the right to keep and bear arms and not have it be infringed, a person must (1) be part of a well-regulated militia, that is (2) helping to secure and keep free the state.

If we enforced the Second Amendment as it is written, we might be well on our way to solving the daily slaughter that occurs in our country.
 

TN: Listening to gun owners brings new understanding
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Firearms owners and Tennessean journalists recently talked and listened to each other, finding common ground about coverage of gun rights and crimes involving guns.

In short, it comes down to the issue of responsibility: Responsible gun ownership and responsible media coverage.

The Tennessean Diversity and Inclusion Task Force held its second quarterly community conversation on Wednesday.
 

SC: How often are guns used to stop crimes?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After a massive manhunt for two escaped convicts ended when they were held at gunpoint by a homeowner, many are saying it’s another example that makes a case for owning a gun for self-defense.

But others continue to say that despite anecdotal evidence like the incident in Tennessee, there are too many guns in the U.S.

The National Rifle Association reported in 2013: “Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances.”
 

MN: Yanez found not guilty in Philando Castile shooting death
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A jury has found St. Anthony Police officer Jeromino Yanez was reasonable in his decision to shoot and kill Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last summer.

The jury reached its verdict of not guilty on the manslaughter charge as well as the two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm Friday afternoon after about 30 hours of deliberations.

It was delivered in a Ramsey County District Court courtroom packed with family members and friends of both Yanez and Castile.
 

London Bridge is falling down
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The latest radical Islamic terror strike on the people of London was shocking enough. But to think that the victims had no chance to defend themselves was even more shocking. The innocent victims were sitting ducks.

The terrorists drove a rented van on the roadway of London Bridge, mowing down countless innocents. Then after achieving as much mayhem as they could with that mode of destruction, the monsters left the van and entered nearby businesses, stabbing people at random. None of the killed and injured ever had a chance.
 

CA: Customs & Border Protection Officer Jumped In Robbery by Teens, 1 Suspect Dead
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In Arcadia, California a male individual was walking along the sidewalk on First Avenue, just south of Colorado Boulevard, when he was attacked from behind by the three teenage boys, the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department reported.

The incident happened just after 8 in the evening. One of the suspects hit the victim in the head several times while another pointed a handgun and demanded his property. Turns out the chosen victim was an off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer.
 

NE: Brewer Wants Lawmakers And Staff To have Self-Defense and Gun Training
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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43rd District State Senator and retired Army colonel Tom Brewer of Gordon says he'll introduce a bill next year to provide special self-defense and weapons training to lawmakers and staffers who want to carry concealed weapons outside the state Capitol.

Brewer says it's prompted by yesterday's shootings at a GOP congressional baseball practice near Washington, D-C. that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise critically wounded.
 

UK: British Police Chief Slammed For Saying Armed Brits Could Help Fight Terrorism
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A southern England police chief’s modest support for civilian self-defense has become the latest lightning rod for what remains of the gun control debate in England.

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall (rural counties on the island’s southwest tip), appeared on BBC Radio Cornwall with host Lawrence Reed to discuss the police force, budget concerns and terrorism.
 

Alexandria Shooter Holding Sign With Rand Paul Tweet About Right To Bear Arms Is A Fake Image
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Alexandria shooter James Hodgkinson seen in an image protesting with a sign that features a tweet by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a fake.

The doctored image attempts to show Hodgkinson holding a sign with a tweet about the Second Amendment or the right to bear arms. The fake image clearly intends to draw a line between the gun control debate and Hodgkinson’s recent attack.
 

CT: Connecticut Reacts to Va. Gun Attack as SCOTUS Confers Over Restrictions
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Whether Peruta will share the same fate as the Connecticut case is difficult to predict. The California case has been listed for the justices' private conference 11 times and rescheduled four times since the petition, brought by Kirkland & Ellis partner Paul Clement, was filed on Jan. 12.

What is clear, however, is that the justices have been reluctant to step back into the Second Amendment debate over gun regulation. They have turned away at least 10 challenges to state and local gun regulations since their two landmark decisions in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller and, two years later, in McDonald v. City of Chicago.
 

ME: Maine Slaps Back Against a National Gun Registry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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And one of the important things that distinguishes the Second Amendment from the First, is that the First specifies that Congress shall make no law infringing the freedom of speech, the press, or religion. As much as a freedom-lover like me dislikes it, in the United States, states and localities could “constitutionally” pass and enforce speech and religious laws -- which they did, until the end of the 19th Century.

But the same was not the intent of the rule-writers at the Constitutional Convention when they wrote the Second Amendment, which prohibits any government in the U.S. from infringing on the procurement or bearing of arms.
 

WA: Charge dropped against Coulee City teen in death of twin
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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With evidence pointing toward self-defense, the Grant County Prosecutor’s Office decided to not prosecute a Coulee City teenager who stabbed and killed his twin brother.

Shawn Wachter, 18, of Coulee City, was charged with first-degree manslaughter in connection with the stabbing death of his twin brother, 17-year-old Shane Wachter, Feb. 19 in Coulee City. Shawn Wachter was 17 when the incident occurred, but state law required prosecutors to charge him as an adult because of the severity of the crime.

Since he was first arrested, Shawn Wachter has maintained his claim of self-defense.
 

More guns is not the answer to mass shootings — or violence against women
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In light of this, it would seem that the smart move would be to tighten laws making it harder for abusive men to get their hands on guns they use to terrorize women and, in some cases, escalate by terrorizing the public at large. Unfortunately, many conservatives are trying to invert this logic to argue that instead of tightening gun laws, the focus should be on selling more guns — to women, who would then expected to use those guns to protect themselves against rape and domestic violence.
 

AZ: Ward hopes congressman’s shooting sparks reflection
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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James T. Hodgkinson is responsible for the actions he took Wednesday in shooting U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and three others, former state Sen. Kelli Ward said Thursday.

However, she said, the possibility is there that his rage may have been fueled by harsh online rhetoric. The shooter’s social media posts contained political rants critical of Republicans and calling President Donald Trump a “traitor” and stating that “it’s time to destroy Trump & Co.”
 

This Is a Turning Point
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Eric Trump saying of Democrats “they’re not even people” is no more a call to condone violence than Barack Obama telling his supporters to take guns to knife fights. We have nasty political rhetoric in this country and we have had it consistently for more than 240 years. There is something different now though and this is a turning point.

Several times since the election I have noted that Democrat rhetoric, if they really believed it, would lead to violence. One cannot continually say Republicans repealing Obamacare will kill people without taking action to stop them or inspiring others to stop them.
 

Armed Homeowners Capture Suspected Georgia Cop Killers
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Inmates suspected of killing two Georgia correctional officers were captured on Thursday after two armed homeowners cornered them and held them for police.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the two correctional officers were shot Tuesday morning. The suspects, 24-year-old Ricky Dubose and 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe, were prison inmates who overpowered the officers, then allegedly shot them to death.

A national manhunt followed.

 

CA: Trump restored gun access for some accused criminals. California wants to take it away
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Opponents criticized the policy for punishing the accused before their day in court. They also denounced Democrats for amending it into a budget-related bill late last week, circumventing a hearing process where they could have raised concerns over how the ban will be carried out: Must a person knowingly have a warrant to be prosecuted? Will they receive a notification to give up possession of their guns? Do they have time to get rid of their firearms before they become guilty?

“You are talking about stripping someone’s constitutional rights,” Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said. “Since when are you guilty before you’ve even been convicted in this state?”
 

DC: GOP Congressmen Demand Right to Defend Themselves in D.C.
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that it is “imperative” that members of Congress have the right to carry weapons to defend themselves following the shooting rampage at the baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. During the attack, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, and three others were shot by an angry left-wing activist who’d volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“The fact that we should be able to have an opportunity to practice our Second Amendment right to be able to arm ourselves in a concealed way, I think, is certainly common sense at this point,” Walker said.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The gun gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks. — Thomas Jefferson

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