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Newslinks for 11/28/2007

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Nicki F: Pro-gun scholars twist Constitution
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Second Amendment has always been about empowering state militias, opines Kenneth Lasson of the Baltimore Sun. Its meaning has just been perverted by pro-gun scholars, that's all." ...

"Every once in a while I like to pull up this excellent essay by J. Neil Schulman to remind gun grabbers who try to twist the meaning of the Second Amendment. Schulman spoke with a language expert - that's right, not a pro-gun lawyer, but a LANGUAGE EXPERT about the plain meaning of the Second Amendment." ...
 

Nicki F: No need to choose meaning of Second Amendment
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The idea in this commentary by Erwin Chemerinsky is that even if the Supreme Court decides the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, there is still room for local governments to regulate said right." ...

"I actually had hope for this piece, because the author ... wrote the Second Amendment PROTECTED a right ..."

"Yet there is no need for the court to face that divisive question because it should hold that even if there is such a right, the government can adopt reasonable regulations on firearms."
"Reasonable by whose standards? ... The Second Amendment protects an existing right, and 'shall not be infringed' is a pretty clear indication of what the Founders intended it to mean." ...
 

Just common sense
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"After reading the gun-ownership commentaries on Sunday's op-ed page, I feel compelled to offer my 2 cents on this subject."

"I guess, because we are a nation of courts and laws, we have to go through all the legal mumbo-jumbo about the Second Amendment. However, to my simple way of thinking, it is really a matter of common sense."

"Because we cannot wave a magic wand and make all the guns in the world disappear, we should let every citizen who wants to own one do so. This approach makes it better for pro- and anti-gun people alike. For example, not knowing if there is a gun in a house is a deterrent in itself." ...
 

Beware promises of safety at liberty's expense
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Second Amendment to the Constitution does not use the word 'people' until the 16th word. Some pundits and polemicists take that to mean that the Founding Fathers did not actually mean that the people had the right to keep and bear arms. I assume that these same pundits never read the actual Constitution beyond the Preamble and the first two amendments. It might be helpful for these individuals to get hold of a copy of the Federalist Papers or listen to Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams or William Henry Lee." ...

"The Second Amendment was not written for hunters or target shooters. It was written for responsible people to protect their country, their communities, their families and themselves ..."
 

Total gun ban won't work in U.S.
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A lot has been written and said about the Virginia Tech shooting, so much that it has caused otherwise sensible people to want to throw out the Constitution by pretending the Second Amendment doesn't exist. But a couple of other incidents occurred at the same time that should make sensible people think twice."

"The first happened at the Uptown Tavern ... where an Eliezer Encarnacio took offense at being thrown out of the place by bouncer Chad Ryan. Encarnacio came back into the club branishing a gun and opened fire ... The unnamed customer, a better shot, put an end to the melee by hitting Encarnacio twice, once in the arm and the leg, forcing the instigator to flee the club where he was quickly apprehended." ...
 

Rosie O’Donnell, Political Activist
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"They call her the 'Queen of Nice,' but she didn't ask for the title, and she refuses to wear the crown. 'I am not the Queen of Nice,' she says emphatically, indeed, angrily. She likes her TV talk show to be sweet and light, but 'I have serious and strong views' ... In fact, Rosie O’Donnell has become the celebrity who most inflames the Right. She has surpassed Barbra Streisand, the Baldwin brothers, and even Jane Fonda, who has apparently found religion. Whether she's plumping for the Clintons, socking it to Rudy Giuliani, or leading the cry for gun control, Rosie is making conservatives choke. She is using the bully pulpit of her stardom with a vengeance. And, in some ways, she is the perfect expression of modern liberalism." ...
 

Paul Helmke: One Court's Second Amendment Fantasy
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Last Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court accepted the District of Columbia's appeal in DC v. Heller, in what could be the most significant Second Amendment case in history. Since then, scores of articles and editorials have discussed the scope and ultimate effect that this case may soon have ..."

"Much less analysis, however, has met the lower-court decision that sparked this debate in ... Two judges on the District of Columbia circuit wrote the decision in Parker v. DC [pdf], the first case in American history to strike down any gun law on Second Amendment grounds."

"That decision was clearly erroneous for several reasons. Their opinion was an example of judicial activism at its worst ..." ...
 

Second Amendment on trial -- again
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The significance of the Supreme Court's decision last week to hear a case that 'could' give Americans a bright-line ruling on what the Second Amendment means can't be overstated."

"'Could' because no one on either side of the gun rights/gun control debate should try to predict how this court will rule in District of Columbia vs. Heller. And regardless of what the justices decide, both camps in this battle are so entrenched, it's doubtful anything the court says will dissuade them from believing that only they know what the founders meant back in 1789 when the concept of the Bill of Rights was first introduced."

"That said, this case could set a crucial precedent." ...
 

Guns, Cowboys and manners
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Re: Nov. 21 article 'High court will decide gun rights case.'"

"The Second Amendment states: '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.'"

"Some think that the words 'well regulated militia' restrict guns to the Army or police. If so, why would an amendment be necessary to give only the Army and police the right to have guns? That they would have guns would be obvious in civilized society."

"Why would moral, freedom-loving leaders of a free nation have a fear of people having guns? Leaders who desire the power to take away the freedoms of the citizens would not want the subjects to be armed." ...
 

'Right to bear arms' stands up to scrutiny
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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the Supreme Court heard a case that dealt with the right to keep and bear arms was before World War II. Even then, as Chief Justice John Roberts said in his confirmation hearings, the Court 'sidestepped' the real question posed by the Second Amendment."

"Now, with the decision to hear an appeal that overturned Washington D.C.'s three decade-old gun ban, the Supreme Court could finally rule on whether or not the Second Amendment guarantees a personal right to bear arms, or a collective right ... Unlike First Amendment jurisprudence, cases that hinge on the Second Amendment are few and far between. Never before has the Supreme Court actually addressed the issue of what rights — if any — are contained in the Amendment." ...
 

Drawing a Bead on the Founders' Intentions
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The opening sentence of your article 'Court Sets Its Scope on Handgun Ban,' ... suggests a misunderstanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment does not 'grant' any right to own firearms. It affirms and guarantees the pre-existing right to keep and bear arms. ..."

"Colin G. Haza"
"Austin, Texas"

"I've always thought that the argument over the right of the individual to possess a handgun for self-defense is misplaced in the Second Amendment."

"The primary purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the individual from a tyrannical central government; what more positive defense from such an outcome is there than an armed populace? ..." ...
 

Guns under the turkey?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Did I feel safer at Thanksgiving or less safe? You see, I spent the day in the Commonwealth of Virginia - just across the Potomac river, but light years from Washington DC in one particular respect. In Virginia I was in a home where the owner could carry a concealed weapon. In DC - even in my own home/castle - I cannot."

"I am not sure whether my host exercises his right under Virginia law ... but he has the option and I do not. But change is in the air and it's a change the Democrats might well view with trepidation."

"There is so much else going on ... that the Supreme Court's decision to hear its first gun rights case for a generation has somehow slipped under the radar. But is gun control a new 'wedge issue' ..." ...
 

Court steps into gunfight over meaning of amendment
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"In case you haven't heard, there's going to be a gunfight at the D.C. corral next year."

"The U.S. Supreme Court has stepped into the middle of the street between the Earps and Doc Holliday (as played by the District of Columbia officials and gun-control advocates) and the Clantons and the cowboys (as portrayed by a security guard who was denied an application to keep a handgun and gun-rights proponents)."

"The court has agreed to decide whether the Second Amendment prohibits the District of Columbia (and other cities that have adopted gun-control rules) from banning private ownership of handguns or whether it grants [sic] individuals the right to own those weapons." ...
 

VA: Gun Ruling Will Be Far Reaching
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The decision of the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of the District of Columbia law banning hand guns in D.C. homes will have far reaching implications concerning gun ownership throughout America. Although D.C. police and government officials strongly support the ban, the right of law abiding citizens to have a weapon in their homes may prevail."

"If the court decides that gun ownership is an individual rather than a collective right, it will, in effect, merge the Second Amendment with the First ..."

"Convicted felons, people under restraining orders, and the mentally ill cannot legally purchase fire arms Can they be legally denied a gun if having one is declared a right? ..." ...
 

IA: 2nd Amendment isn't absolute: Allow reasonable gun-control laws
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The Supreme Court's choice last week to hear the challenge to the District of Columbia's ban on handguns is expected to lead to its deciding an issue that long has divided constitutional scholars and society: Does the Second Amendment protect a right of individuals to have guns?"

"Yet, there is no need for the Supreme Court to face that divisive question because it should hold that even if there is such a right, the government can adopt reasonable regulations of firearms." ...
 

AR: McDaniel to Join Brief Supporting Gun Rights for Individuals
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

Arkansas' attorney general says he will join a brief to be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court saying the constitutional right to bear arms extends to individuals, not just members of a state militia.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit challenging gun laws enacted by the District of Columbia. McDaniel said Tuesday he would join a Texas brief declaring support for an individual's gun rights.

At issue in the District of Columbia case is to whom gun rights were extended by the Constitution.

"I believe the Second Amendment confers a Constitutional right to bear arms on individuals, not just on militia members," Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said.
 

Sean Taylor: Death By Gun Control?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Taylor... pleaded no contest last year to two misdemeanor charges in connection with the 2005 incident and was in the final days of 18 months on probation."
"Typically, people on probation are prohibited from possessing firearms. But then again, his assailant probably was, too. But the fact that he was not in custody means the legal system did not deem him a danger to others. The fact that he was a big, strong guy with access to machetes, and other potentially lethal objects just makes the firearm prohibition even more absurd. And the fact that a big, strong guy with a machete was no match for someone with a gun ought to be an object lesson for anyone who would find themselves outmatched without one." ...
 

CA: Man Shot Dead Following Indio Home Break-In
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

Police believe a man trying to break into an Indio home was shot dead after a struggle for a gun with the home's owner.

Authorities said the break-in happened just after 1:30 Monday morning at a home in the Indian Palms Country Club on Hamilton Court.

Officers believe 31-year-old Genaro Munoz broke into the home. That was when the homeowner inside was awakened by the intruder.

He confronted Munoz but was shot in the foot.

After a struggle, the homeowner got control of the gun and shot Munoz several times killing him.

Police believe other suspects may have been involved and fled the scene.

The homeowner was treated at JFK Hospital. No charges have been filed against him for the shooting death.
 

GA: Mall Shooting Causes Panic
Submitted by: Clell Adams

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"A gunman tried to rob a security guard at a shopping mall Monday, and both men were shot as a panicked lunchtime crowd ran and ducked for cover ..."

"The guard's injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, said Bill Ball, general manager of the Arbor Place Mall. Police said the suspect's wounds were more severe." ...

"The Brinks guard was in the mall to service ATM machines, Ball said. The guard was on the second floor when the robber approached and put a gun to his head, police said."

"They scuffled and both men fired, with the guard hit in the leg and suspect in the mouth ..." ...
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Submitter's Note: What is a gunman? A man made out of guns?

KABA Note: From another story: "... the guard reacted to the threat and was able to pull his own weapon and fire." [emphasis added]
 

FL: Redskins' Taylor Dies Day After Shooting
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died early Tuesday, a day after the Pro Bowl player was shot at home by what police say was an intruder. ..." ...

"Taylor ... was shot early Monday in the upper leg, damaging the key femoral artery and causing significant blood loss." ...

"Sharpstein said Taylor's girlfriend told him the couple was awakened by loud noises, and Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection. Someone then broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor, Sharpstein said. ..." ...
 

WA: Teen shot by Yakima homeowner in burglary case linked to killing
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A teenager who was shot by a homeowner in an apparent burglary is linked to a gang-related killing, and a man the homeowner held at bay was being sought in a methamphetamine case, police said."

"Jason Moore ... said he pulled into his drivewayon Nov. 19, noticed a strange car parked outside the house and the back door kicked open, got a .45-caliber handgun for which he had a concealed weapons license and found two strangers in his bedroom."

"Out of the corner of his eye, he said, he could see one holding his own 12-gauge shotgun."

"'I fired one round and he went down,' Moore said. 'I immediately dialed 911 and told them not to move.'"

"The one he shot turned out to be a 17-year-old who was arrested last month for investigation in the shooting death of Esteban Robles." ...
 

Mitt and Rudy: Why War Broke Out
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"By mid-day Monday, officials at both the Romney and Giuliani campaigns were tired of the questions: Was there something in the turkey and dressing? Why had Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani suddenly started pummeling each other over the Thanksgiving weekend?" ...

"Nearly everywhere he has gone in recent weeks, Romney has hit Giuliani for having a 'sanctuary state of mind.' Over the course of the campaign, he has often said Giuliani is unacceptable to conservatives — 'He is pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage, and anti-gun, and that's a tough combination in a Republican primary.' ... He has blamed Giuliani for 'the most significant attack on the Second Amendment in the last 50 years.' He has compared Giuliani to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats." ...
 

PA: Chipping away (second letter)
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Editor: One of Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposed gun-control proposals would restrict state handgun sales to one per month."

"This may sound reasonable to most people, unless one understands how gun control zealots like Mr. Rendell work. It’s called incrementalism. They chip away at the citizen’s rights a little at a time until they’re all gone."

"To consider Mr. Rendell’s proposal, one has to assume that law-abiding gun owners take bags of cash to gun shops, buy several handguns legally, then drive to Philadelphia and sell them on the streets to criminals."

"This is ludicrous. Who in their right mind would sell a gun, which is registered to them, to a complete stranger who plans on committing a crime with it?" ...
 

RI: Advocating a new tool against crime
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Sgt. Robert Boehm knelt down and squeezed off four shots from a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol ..."

"As he did so, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Mayor David N. Cicilline, other officials and news reporters watched ..."

"When the sergeant was done, he fished out of an attached heavy-duty plastic box the shell casings ... And he handed them off for examination of their distinctive markings by the officials and reporters under a stereomicroscope ..." ...

"On view in the demonstration yesterday was what Reed called the “very exciting new technology” of microstamping, which has opened another front in the long-running national political battle over gun control." ...
 

WI: Lawmakers headed in wrong direction
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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... "Recently, the governor twice vetoed a concealed handgun bill, that was originally sponsored by a local legislator who did not vote to override his veto. I heard that shortly thereafter he was given the chairmanship of a committee?"

"These 'carry' permits are not given out to just anyone. You have to take a class to show proficiency with a handgun, undergo a background check and pay a fee to local law enforcement agencies. I have heard that a certain lady running for president would even ban the use of a gun to defend oneself in their own home." ...
 

IL: Gun control not a partisan issue for some lawmakers
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Illinois gun-control advocates handed out their 2007 awards Monday in Chicago, aware that the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court may make the biggest impact on gun control when they hand down a decision next year on the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.'s gun ban."

"'Nearly every gun-control law in the country will hang in the balance of what will likely be a 5-4 court decision…,' said U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, who was awarded the 2007 Abraham Lincoln Award from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (www.ichv.org). 'That makes (the council's) work even more important in Springfield and in Washington.'" ...
 

NY: Change in hunting law could be worth renewing
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"One week's worth of hunting does not equal a trend. However, the move by Chemung, Steuben and Yates counties to allow rifles for deer season this year seems to have had a safe start. If the rest of the season goes as safely as the first week, state legislators from this region should go back to Albany and ask for the law to be renewed for at least another year." ...
 

PA: 2nd Amendment is not the one under fire
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The debate over gun control is so toxic — especially to Democratic politicians — that I was frankly surprised to see Gov. Ed Rendell lend the prestige of his office to a personal appeal on the issue last week."

"Not that I expected his appeal would move any legislators. Second Amendment absolutism is one of the few bedrock conservative tenets that has significant Democratic support in the commonwealth, thanks to the efforts of sportsmen’s groups and, not incidentally, the National Rifle Association." ...
-------

KABA Note: It couldn't possibly be that the proposed laws have never been shown to have any effect on the criminal misuse of guns, could it?
 

Red's Trading Post Attorney House Judiciary Committee testimony regarding ATF practices
Submitted by: ChareltonHest
Website: http://www.atfabuse.com

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"That demand for perfection is an impossible burden for anyone, including federal firearms licensees, to meet. If ATF continues to enforce the law in the current manner, few licensees will remain in business. Congress should make clear that licensees should only face serious penalties for serious, material violations that could result in sales to prohibited persons or that could impede legitimate investigations." ...
 

Feds lose round in cover-up case
Submitted by: Tdoff

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... "The government has sought to keep Trentadue from obtaining a copy of a federal report that may show that Department of Justice officials conducted a cover-up surrounding the death of Trentadue's brother in a federal prison in Oklahoma. The report reviews allegations of misconduct in the investigation into the August 1995 death of Kenneth Trentadue."

"Jesse Trentadue contends that his brother was killed during an FBI interrogation as part of the investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing in a case of mistaken identity. The death was officially ruled a suicide." ...
 

NJ: Hoboken cops' grand jury date
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Four Latino Hoboken cops who have accused their former SWAT team commander of ordering them to perform manual labor at his house or the home of the police chief now have a date with a grand jury, officials involved in the case said yesterday."

"The officers have been subpoenaed to testify on Dec. 18, said Luis Zayas, the police officers' attorney."

"Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said yesterday he's taking the unusual step of hauling the officers before a grand jury because they haven't been willing to be interviewed by his office without Zayas present." ...

"DeFazio wants to interview the cops individually without their attorney present, calling this 'the general protocol in conducting an investigation.'" ...
 

ID: Sheriff Speaks Out About Dog Shooting
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Teton County Sheriff Kim Cooke is speaking about one of his deputies shooting a dog in the yard of a county resident." ...

"Gutierrez has been suspended and the Tri-County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. Sheriff Cooke ... said Bobby the dog was shot in accordance with county ordinances." ...

"Cooke says Bobby was considered vicious after the sheriff's office received three complaints within five days about the dog."

"Cooke: 'Each of these calls consisted of this animal attacking a mentally disabled woman and ripping the clothing on her body ... and chasing her ..."

"The dog's owner, Leo Barboza, says he's very familiar with the accuser. He says she often reports false stories about dogs in their neighborhood." ...
 

WA: Guns can be regulated to protect public
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"In this space on Monday, we laid out the arguments that have been used to define the Second Amendment. We also looked at the historical background surrounding the writing of the amendment." ...

"The absolutists on either side of the issue are bound to be disappointed in the Supreme Court's final decision because no right is absolute. Limits and regulations can be applied."

"For example, it has long been accepted that freedom of the press and speech doesn't give a person the right to yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater or for knowingly publishing falsehoods that discredit someone and hold the person up to public scorn." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: The classic spurious argument which ignores the fact that these actions either directly cause or have a high likelihood of causing harm to individuals.
 

PA: Gun controls
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Regarding Robert A. Levy's Sunday Opinion and Commentary piece on the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms ..." ...

"Obviously, the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard, whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded."

"The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm is for hunting and/or defense of the household from intruders. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun or rifle is more than adequate to satisfy these purposes. There is absolutely no need for any U.S. civilian to own any weapon more powerful or sophisticated than these." ...
 

OH: Gun buybacks – what do they really accomplish?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Recently the city of Cleveland gave out $100 gas and grocery gift cards to anyone turning in a handgun. The anti-gun people (including the media) act like this is a great thing. The pro-gun people generally claim it is worthless."

"I'll explain why it is dangerous." ...

"The story notes than guns will be destroyed after entering their serial numbers to determine if they were stolen. It does not say if stolen guns will be returned ..." ...

"What a great deal for a murderer. To avoid getting caught with that murder weapon, turn it in for a $100 gift card. The gun will not be subject to ballistic testing ... And better yet, the gun (read evidence) will be destroyed for you, so that it can NEVER be used as evidence at your trial." ...
 

OH: Revealed: Media planned to defy General Assembly on private records AGAIN
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"It has been interesting to watch the Ohio media's reaction to Attorney General Marc Dann's issuance of an opinion reiterating that a new state law does not allow journalists to copy the confidential, non-public information of concealed handgun license (CHL) -holders by any means." ...

"Yet aside from a few angry op-eds, and other than coverage in two regional newspapers (the opinion was issued in response to an inquiry about the law from Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins), the Ohio media was almost totally silent on this important development." ...
 

Japan: Two gangsters killed in southern Japan; government presses tighter gun law
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A reputed organized crime leader was shot to death and his driver was fatally stabbed Tuesday in a brazen attack in southern Japan, police said, even as the country moved to toughen firearms laws."

"The men are thought to have been killed minutes apart on a street in Fukuoka prefecture, according to Naokazu Ikenaga, a local police official." ...

"The attacks come amid an apparent turf war among underground groups on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. Earlier this month, a patient at a hospital in Kyushu was fatally shot in his room after being mistaken for a gang member."

"They also follow moves to toughen punishment for owning guns in a country that has long prided itself on crime-free streets." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: As Nicki F. says: What's the definition of insanity?
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void. — Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (2 Cranch) 137 (1803)

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