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Newslinks for 10/29/2005

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Congress tramples the Constitution in its rush to block frivolous lawsuits
Submitted by: News Director

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"As Paul explained in a 2003 speech, he is unambiguously opposed to lawsuits that demand compensation from the firearms industry for the damage caused by gun crimes. But he concluded that federal pre-emption of such suits cannot be reconciled with the Constitution's limits on congressional power, which leave the writing of tort law to the states."

"Paul seems to be the only member of Congress who took this position on the bill, which President Bush signed into law on Wednesday. In fact, it's so rare for legislators to draw a distinction between their personal policy preferences and their constitutional responsibilities that Paul's stand must seem quaint, if not downright puzzling, to most Americans."
 

John Lott: Don't blame American guns
Submitted by: News Director

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"With Canada's murder rate rising 12% last year and this year's high-profile rash of gang murders (six shootings just this week in Toronto), politicians are looking for someone to blame. The bogeyman, as usual, is America: On Monday night, during his dinner with Condoleezza Rice, Prime Minister Paul Martin claimed Canada's gun crime problem was being caused by weapons smuggled in from the United States."

"But Paul Martin doesn't have the facts to back up the claim. Despite the $2-billion committed to the Liberals' gun registry, the government does not even know the number of guns seized from criminals, let alone where those guns came from."
 

John Lott: Hype and reality
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Gun-control advocates seemed so certain. When the federal assault-weapons ban expired on Sept. 13, 2004, gun crimes would surge dramatically. Sarah Brady, a leading gun-control advocate, warned it would 'arm our kids with Uzis and AK-47s' and 'fill' our streets with the weapons. Sen. Charles Schumer ratcheted up the rhetoric, labeling the banned guns 'the weapons of choice for terrorists.'"

"Not only would murder rise, but especially firearm murders. Murder and robbery rates should have gone up faster than other violent-crime rates since they are the crimes in which guns are most frequently used. Only states with their own assault-weapon bans would escape some of the coming bloodshed."

"Well, what happened? On Oct. 18, the FBI released the final data for 2004. It shows clearly that in the months after the law sunset, crime went down. During 2004 the murder rate nationwide fell by 3 percent, the first drop since 2000, with firearm deaths dropping by 4.4 percent."
 

Brazil (Gun) Nuts?
Submitted by: News Director

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"So, what is the result of the referendum all about? I would argue it was a resounding condemnation of the failure of the Brazilian state to make true on the primary claim of any government -- i.e. that it will protect the people. The vote was essentially an indictment of the Brazilian authorities -- at all levels -- as the guarantors of social order. ...For too long the Brazilian government has done all sorts of things it should have left to private initiative -- to the detriment of its basic functions. What has the result been? Brazilians' everyday-life experience of their government spells meddlesome bureaucracy, abusive corruption, and the crowding out of opportunity -- and no effective protection against predation."
 

Larry Pratt: Brazilians Say No to Gun Ban
Submitted by: News Director

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"...One unhappy wannabe banner, a carpetbagger from California, Jessica Galeria, had this complaint: 'Now, a lot of Brazilians are insisting on their right to bear arms. They don't even have a pseudo right to bear arms. It's not in their Constitution.'"

"Notice what Ms. Galeria is saying about our own Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. By calling it a 'pseudo right,' she believes that the amendment does not apply to individuals. And to the extent that folks like her concede there is some sort of right that is being protected, they believe it is one established by the Constitution (read: the government) which means that it could be withdrawn by government."
 

Crime with immunity
Submitted by: News Director

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"No other industry, ever, has been armed with such a broad shield, the few exemptions making little difference. Consider the retroactive application. Lawsuits already filed would be thrown out of court, and not simply those pushed by gun control advocates. Defendants who have behaved negligently will walk."

"Often the influence of the National Rifle Association is cited. Don’t doubt the truth of its clout, Democrats and Republicans rallying to the cause, placing legal protection of the gun industry ahead of American families seeking justice."
 

AL: Indicted Former Alabama Governor Allowed To Carry Gun
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

Former Governor Don Siegelman is getting to do something that most people under indictment can't do -- carry a gun.

At Siegelman's arraignment Thursday on government corruption charges, U.S. Magistrate Charles Coody told Siegelman that his indictment would prevent him from carrying a firearm. Siegelman and his attorney, Doug Jones, asked Coody to reconsider.

Jones said Siegelman has carried a gun for many years. He explained that Siegleman helped put people in prison when he was Alabama's attorney general and there had been threats against Siegelman and his family.

Federal prosecutor Louis Franklin said he had no objection ... and Coody agreed to let Siegelman keep his gun.
 

CA: Self Defense Only For L.A.'s Elite
Submitted by: News Director

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"Chief Bratton needed a permit because when he became Chief of LAPD he was not a sworn California peace officer legally entitled to carry a firearm. Bratton got a CCW, despite the fact that his 'good cause' justification for needing a CCW was completely inadequate under LAPD's current standards as applied to ordinary citizens."

"It's true that California law gives complete discretion for issuing CCW permits to the local chief law enforcement officer. But many prominent or controversial Angelenos have been denied permits, not to mention regular citizens who live or drive through L.A.'s treacherous neighborhoods."
 

NC: Police chief faces drug, gun charges
Submitted by: News Director

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"Two top police officers in the Pitt County town of Bethel have been charged in a drug and gun probe by federal authorities."

"Police Chief Reginald Roberts and Lt. Jerome Cox were arrested Thursday following an undercover operation on charges of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. The chief also was charged with unlawfully selling a firearm to a convicted felon."
 

NY: Police officer found guilty in Zongo murder trial
Submitted by: News Director

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"New York City Police Officer Bryan A. Conroy was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the fatal shooting two years ago of Ousmane Zongo, an unarmed African immigrant."

"He was not convicted of more serious criminal charges wielding a potential sentence of 15 years, according to Barbara Thompson, a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office."

"The guilty verdict was announced last week in State Supreme Court in Manhattan at the conclusion of a ten-day non-juried trial before Justice Robert Strause. Sentencing is expected December 2nd."
 

Australia: WA Liberal MP in court after accidentally shooting son
Submitted by: News Director

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"The Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in Western Australia has resigned after being found guilty of a charge relating to the shooting of his own son."

"Paul Omodei had admitted that he accidentally shot his son while they were hunting rabbits and kangaroos at the family's property last year."

"Mr Omodei was charged with failing to ensure that his loaded rifle was safe."
 

LA: NRA right about guns in FEMA trailers (Letter)
Submitted by: News Director

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"Exception is taken to your position concerning guns in the Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer park. Prior to the American Revolution, King George III of England ordered the same restriction for the city of Philadelphia. He promised it was only a safety measure and the guns would be returned to the citizens if they left the city. Instead, he destroyed all the guns, leaving the people without protection."

"Disarming a city was another in a series of oppressive acts by the king of England, and our forefathers did not forget it when the Bill of Rights was written and incorporated in the U.S. Constitution. Reference is made to the Second Amendment."
 

Australia: A man of calibre
Submitted by: News Director

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"At my age it is time to step aside and let somebody new and younger see if they can do a better job, which they probably can. I am feeling a level of burnout, put it that way."

"It is becoming more difficult. Laws governing firearms - I say governing rather than controlling because laws do not control firearms; they control people - are getting more restrictive and more difficult to comply with. My attempts to make them more reasonable have been largely unsuccessful."

"I've told my wife that when I die I want just one word on my headstone: 'Frustration.' "
 

WI: Concealed Weapons Debate Brewing At Capitol
Submitted by: News Director

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"A shootout over concealed guns is brewing at the state Capitol. News 3’s Prema Chandrathil reported on why there's an argument over keeping the names secret of those who get concealed carry permits."

"News 3 reported capitol insiders say the concealed carry bill will likely be passed, and could have enough votes to override a promised veto by Gov. Jim Doyle."

"The bill keeps permit holders secret, but the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council says the public should know."
 

Canada: Police chief wants firing range regulations
Submitted by: News Director

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"Calgary's police chief wants to make it tougher for street gang members to use firing ranges to improve their gun skills."

"Jack Beaton says with gang-related violence rising across Alberta, criminals shouldn't be given a chance to practice their aim."

"Beaton says undercover officers recently arrested a gang member at a firing range who was under a 10-year firearms ban."
 

Philippines: Bring your own gun if you want to be a cop
Submitted by: News Director

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"Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said the Philippine National Police had informed his committee that some 21,204 policemen have no government-issued firearms."

"Many police officers had been forced to buy their own pistols rather than 'carry museum pieces,' said Andaya."
 

NV: Poll: Nevadans support limiting taking property for private use
Submitted by: News Director

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"Nevada voters would support an initiative limiting the ability of government to take private land by eminent domain, according to a new poll."

"Sixty-two percent of the 625 voters surveyed statewide for the Las Vegas Review-Journal said they would support a petition aiming to qualify an initiative for the November 2006 ballot."

"Twenty-four percent said they opposed the measure, called the People's Initiative to Stop the Taking of Our Land, or PISTOL. It aims to prohibit government from taking private property for use by another private person or company."
 

South Africa: Gun owners could sue Nqakula
Submitted by: News Director

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"The Black Gun Owners' Association (BGOA) has threatened to sue Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula for R3.2m."

"The government was unfairly denying blacks the right to own guns by turning down their applications, BGOA chairperson Abios Khoele said."
 

MA: Women - Shoot, Paddle, Rope & Cook in the Outdoors
Submitted by: News Director

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"The Lee Sportsman’s Club proved to be a beautiful setting for the Southern Berkshire Chapter of the Nation Wild Turkey Federations’ Women in the Outdoors event, held at the club on September 24th."

"Twenty women, all over the age of 14, gathered from throughout the tri-state region of MA, NY and CT to learn how to shoot, rope, paddle & cook as part of the NWTF Women in the Outdoors Event."
 

Australia: Gun laws fall short in war on crime
Submitted by: News Director

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"Gun ownership is rising and there is no definitive evidence that a decade of restrictive firearms laws has done anything to reduce weapon-related crime, according to NSW's top criminal statistician."

"The latest figures show a renaissance in firearm ownership in the state - a 25 per cent increase in three years. And the head of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Don Weatherburn, said falls in armed robberies and abductions in NSW in the past few years had more to do with the heroin drought and good policing than firearms legislation."
 

UK: Concern over gun rise
Submitted by: News Director

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"A senior Met police officer has warned the scourge of gun crime has spread to Wandsworth, despite the borough commander once dubbing the area one of the safest in London."

"The Met Police's assistant commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur, said guns were now spreading to parts of London such as Wandsworth and Putney."

"Gun crime has increased across Wandsworth by nearly 84 per cent over the past financial year."
 

Canada: Northumberland - MP votes against mandatory gun crime sentences
Submitted by: News Director

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"Rick Norlock, Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Northumberland Quinte West Electoral District, says he was totally dismayed and disappointed that Paul Macklin, Liberal MP for the area, voted against a private members' Bill, introduced by Conservative MP Daryl Kramp."

"Mr. Kramp’s Bill C-215 is an Act to amend the criminal code to provide mandatory minimum sentences for those using firearms for indictable gun offenses. The proposed Bill suggests minimum sentences from five to 15 years depending on the severity of the crime."
 

OH: Congresswoman Jean Schmidt completes CCW course, urges improvements to OH law
Submitted by: Buckeye Firearms Association
Website: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org

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"On October 15th, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt of Ohio's Second District attended and successfully completed a Concealed Handgun License training class held in the Clermont County town of Miamiville, near Cincinnati." ...

"Congresswoman Schmidt, who voted for the concealed carry reform legislation that is now law in Ohio, told Rink that she hopes the 126th General Assembly will 'amend the law to clear ambiguities and inconsistencies.'"
 

OH: Ohio Supremes hear promising case for ending municipal gun control...or IS it?
Submitted by: Buckeye Firearms Association
Website: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org

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"Newspapers throughout the state are reporting on arguments made before the Ohio Supreme Court this week regarding a Cincinnati man's challenge to municipal gun control laws."

"While at first this case may appear to bear resemblance to preemption arguments being made in suits against the City of Clyde, the City of Toledo and also as contemplated in House Bill 347, an attorney familiar with the cases tells Buckeye Firearms Association that City of Cincinnati v. Colt Lee Baskin is anything BUT similar to these other arguments..."
 

Canada: Reaction to gun violence is anger not fear
Submitted by: News Director

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"As the incidents of gun violence and death become a seemingly daily occurrence in Toronto and other large urban Canadian centres, there is no shortage of people who will push the mantra of 'don’t worry, be happy'."

"Leading the pack is Toronto mayor David Miller. While addressing a breakfast meeting of the Toronto Board of Trade on October 24; the day that saw five separate shootings in his city and will undoubtedly be referred to as 'Bloody Monday', Miller made the point of telling his audience that sexual assaults and armed robberies are down. It’s as if the fact that the commission of certain offences has decreased or violent crime in general is down make the increasing use of guns and gun deaths somehow acceptable. ..."
 

NJ: Posing as cops, 5 rob auto shop, guns blazing
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"The employees of a Dell Avenue autobody shop thought it was a police raid when a group of five men with badges around their necks and guns in their hands came through the door."

"But it turned out to be a robbery."

"'They said they were police officers and immediately went into the shop, starting shooting and throwing people to the ground,' North Bergen Detective Joseph Gener said."

-------
Submitter's comment: This article appeared a week after the event because North Bergen, (whose mayor is also anti-gun democratic State Senator Nick Sacco), does not make accessible to media outlets its police blotter.
 

AZ: Ariz. women pick guns - Say that citizens need weapons to defend themselves
Submitted by: Michael Lewis

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"Judy Dutko, Jane Anne Hulen and Christy Foote believe the Second Amendment guarantees people the right to defend themselves. And they exercise that right in their daily lives."

"To abide by Arizona gun laws, these women have obtained concealed-weapon permits to be able to carry their guns in their purses, for example."

"In 2003, more than 13,500 women had concealed weapons permits, 20 percent of the total, according to a 2004 Arizona Republic review of concealed-weapon permit data maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety."
 

New gun legislation stops only frivolous lawsuits (Letter)
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"The Oct. 21 News editorial, "Gunmakers' shield law a bad idea," was misleading at the very least. The law shields manufacturers only from lawsuits naming them as a party for the misuse of the firearm by a user. This is tantamount to suing the liquor industry for damages caused by alcohol abuse."

"This law does not shield dealers for improper sales or manufacturers from being sued for damages caused by defective products. The gun industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in America and all sales have a federal tracking process from manufacturer to gun dealers. Purchasers must submit to a background check in order to legally obtain a gun from a licensed dealer. ..."
 

VA: The transcript of Virginia's 2005 gubernatorial candidates answering questions about the outdoors
Submitted by: News Director

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Virginia's gubernatorial candidates answer questions about guns, sports, hunting and gun ownership.
 

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