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Newslinks for 12/23/2008

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Killer Robots
Submitted by: Larry

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Think about all the steps necessary to use a simple handgun. Assuming the weapon is holstered and already loaded: you would remove the gun from the holster; bring your arm up to point the weapon at the target – then aim and fire.

For a robot to replicate these actions would require thousands of instructions. Consider all of the calculations not described which are easily performed by humans – including identifying and classifying the target, and the calculations necessary for aiming with some accuracy (which must take into account weather conditions, terrain, wind speed, the movement speed of the target, distance to the target, etc.). Replicating this with software is not a trivial exercise.

Ed.: As a programmer, drawing, aiming and firing a weapon *is* a trivial programming exercise. Identifying and classifying targets is, however, decidedly non-trivial.
 

AZ: David Spade helps Phoenix police buy rifles
Submitted by: Larry

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***Complete Text***

The Phoenix Police Department has gotten some high-powered goodies courtesy of actor David Spade.

The one-time Phoenix resident donated $100,000 so that the department can buy approximately 50 AR-15 rifles.

Spade said he wanted to make the donation after seeing a TV news report about Phoenix officers having to buy their own rifles. Spade grew up in the Phoenix area and graduated from Arizona State University.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Alan Hill says the rifles will be given to patrol officers and that the agency was grateful for the gifts.

"These guys need to be able to do their jobs and I am just happy I could help," Spade said in a statement released by his publicist.
 

PA: Official Wanted On Rape Charges Kills Self
Submitted by: jac

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YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- A township official wanted on rape charges shot and killed himself in New York state on Monday, York police said.

Michael Johnson, the former president of the Penn Township commissioners and a former York City police officer, is wanted on rape charges in York and Baltimore.
 

GA: Airport battle moves to U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Submitted by: Mark McCullough
Website: http://www.georgiacarry.org/

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GeorgiaCarry.Org is seeking to establish that Atlanta violates the civil rights of people by threatening to arrest them for carrying a firearm in the Atlanta Airport when no law prohibits carry by license holders on "public transportation". The city is claiming that the recently passed HB89 does not apply to airports because airports are not "public transportation". This is the latest battle of a nearly year-long war against the city of Atlanta to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.
 

GA: Gun-free zones a favorite of terrorists
Submitted by: Mark McCullough
Website: http://www.georgiacarry.org/

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"The favorite hunting grounds of terrorists are gun-free zones where law-abiding people are rendered defenseless by gun control. The Mumbai attacks demonstrate this and should be a wakeup call to our political leaders. Gun control kills. For three days, 10 men terrorized Mumbai, a city of 13 million. No place was safe or sacred."

"Could similar attacks happen in Georgia? Yes, especially in our gun-free zones: schools and churches. Law-abiding citizens carrying firearms are not a threat to public safety; they are a deterrent and protection from the unthinkable, a terrorist attack."

Ed.: 3rd letter on page.
 

MA: Mass. police chief pleads not guilty in Uzi death
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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A police chief in western Massachusetts pleaded not guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 8-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself with an Uzi at a gun show. Pelham Chief Edward Fleury owns COPS Firearms & Training, which promoted the October show where Christopher Bizilj (bah-SEEL') shot himself in the head. Fleury's lawyer, David Kuzmeski, also entered not guilty pleas on Fleury's behalf to four counts of furnishing a machine gun to a person under 18. Fleury did not appear at the arraignment in Hampden Superior Court.
 

PA: Reward offered after machine guns stolen from dealer
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Federal investigators are offering a $10,000 reward for help in finding thieves who took more than 20 firearms, including machine guns, from a Pittsburgh-area based gun dealer near King of Prussia in Eastern Pennsylvania last night. The firearms, with a value of $200,000, were stolen from the gun dealer's vehicle in the parking lot of a restaurant, according to Upper Merion Township Police. The dealer, who authorities haven't identified, was traveling back to Pittsburgh after participating in a gun show at the Valley Forge Convention Center.
 

CA: Nearly 160 weapons turned in for Gifts for Guns
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Nearly 160 guns have been turned in so far to Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs and Indio police as part of a program that allows residents to surrender guns to police in exchange for a gift card, police said today. Nearly 90 guns, including five sawed-off shotguns, were surrendered to Cathedral City police, while 40 guns were turned into Indio police and 28 firearms were brought to Desert Hot Springs police over the weekend.
 

The Men Behind the Wire: A David Olofson Update
Submitted by: Mike Vanderboegh
Website: http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com

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"A True Soldier"

Everyone knows how tough it is to be away from loved ones at Christmas. How much tougher is it to be forcibly kept away from your family and everything else you hold dear -- imprisoned by a lying, law-breaking tyrannical agency on false charges? That is where David Olofson finds himself this Christmas.

I have this update on David from Larry Pratt:

"David is tough and seems to be holding up well. He is a true soldier, and not one who thinks that all he has to do is 'follow orders.' The Relief Fund is OK, but some have had to drop off. Right now, that has only slowed our ability to prepay on the car loan. The trend will eventually be negative . . .
 

Personnel IS Policy: Put a Hold on Eric Holder
Submitted by: Mike Vanderboegh
Website: http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com

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They say that personnel is policy. If so, and I believe it to be true, then we Three Percenters are really not going to like the Obama administration. Of course this comes as no surprise to anyone, but of all the people BHO seeks to surround himself with in DC, Eric Holder as the nominee for Attorney General has to be the most offensive stench in the nostrils of free men and women.

Now everyone knows about Holder's assistance to Clinton in the pardon of Marc Rich. Likewise they are well aware of his "service" to the Clintonista regime in the Elian Gonzalez federal kidnapping, where he famously denied taking the little boy at the point of a gun. . .

 

And Then...
Submitted by: mindful musings

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An Open Letter to Remington's Tommy Millner
by Russ Howard.

I was a long-time customer of Remington, but I won't be again until you dump H-S Precision. Your unconvincing statement below criticizes H-S, not for flaunting the endorsement of an unrepentant and unpunished murderer who shot a mother's face off, but rather for choosing a "controversial spokesman" contrary to "business common sense".

Russ Howard
NRA Board Member 1995-97
 

ND: Gun Sales - Higher After Election
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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(Dan Erdmann, KX News) It's become one of the most controversial topics today, and it always seems to be a hot issue in the world of politics. During his campaign, President Elect, Barack Obama voiced his opinion on gun control, once saying he respected the second amendment but believed local bans on gun ownership were OK. His election seems to have sparked an interesting trend for some firearm retailers.

(Erik Lehner, Sportsman's Loft Employee) "We're just trying to keep the product in stock, you know, as long as it is selling. So, that's actually been the hard part."
 

Gun of Choice
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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"When it comes to killing, semi-automatic handguns appear to be the weapon of choice in Chicago."

Nice unbiased lead there, "Authorized Journalist" Frank Main. I guess we can't talk about "When it comes to self defense," because you and the politicians you service pretty much make sure the equation can't include that.

Funny thing about weapons of choice, though. Depending on which anti's doing the yacking, they keep changing...
 

It's time for a cease-fire on guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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Gun owners represent at least 4 million of the nation's most dedicated voters, and in election after election, they affect the outcome. Sometimes they elect politicians who are corrupt or unabashed lackeys of corporate interests — people whose only appeal to gun owners is that they promise to leave the Second Amendment alone.

Now, however, the Second Amendment is more resistant to any politician who might want to mess with it. The Supreme Court's recent Heller decision declared Washington, D.C.'s restrictive firearms laws unconstitutional, thus weakening the power of state and local politicians to control guns or limit gun ownership.
 

Australia: A lot of value in Bill of Rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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Some of the arguments raised in opposition to constitutionally guaranteed rights are red herrings at best. One of the favourites to raise the second amendment of the US Constitution which speaks of rights concerning firearms. This is a silly argument because no one has ever said that an Australian charter should have something like the second amendment. Besides, the US Supreme Court has interpreted the second amendment to permit extremely restrictive state gun laws. On the other hand, the US first amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech, the press, religion and of assembly is something to which many nations aspire.
 

CA: Big Bang Theorists
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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Gun politics make strange bedfellows -- ask the Fullerton-based California Rifle and Pistol Association. CRPA strictly monitors all perceived threats to Californians' right to bear arms -- and sometimes finds itself cheering on court case whose litigants it might otherwise cross the street to avoid. Take CRPA's reaction to the California State Court of Appeals' ruling last week, in which it upheld a state law banning individuals from carrying concealed weapons in a public place -- like someone's driveway.

CRPA bristled at the ruling, claiming that under the appellate court's interpretation of the state law, virtually any space can be considered public, meaning there's no place where it's safe to secretly pack a gun.
 

Obama & Pentagon Shred Constitution
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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For nearly 150 years our forefathers recognized the dangers of deploying active duty troops within our own borders. This fear - and understanding - was formed into law in the Posse Comitatus act, which banned this type of deployment. It is very easy to pass such developments off through the justification of "protecting the homeland," and "limited supporting roles," etc. In fact, it is more like Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon. For centuries under the Republic, Roman generals were banned under penalty of high treason from bringing their legions into Italy. The ancients knew the dangers of encamping troops inside their cities, because they had lived under the tyranny of kings and generals.
 

Caveat Emptor, Particularly if Unarmed
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://waronguns.blogspot.com

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"I discussed two incidents last week over at The War on Guns, one in Arizona and one in Georgia, where rules at malls prohibit citizens from bearing arms...

"We know, of course, it's ridiculous and counterproductive, and more than that, it's offensive."
 

TX: Steve Chapman: Why the park gun law makes sense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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Some opponents of guns in our parks argue along the lines of this New York Times editorial: "If Americans want to feel safer in their national parks, the proper solution is to increase park funding, which has decayed steadily since the Bush administration took office." Maybe that would help, but we can't put a park ranger at every bend in the trail. And if you run into a thug deep in the backcountry, you can't expect the police or anyone else to come to the rescue.

For some people – solitary women in particular – having the means of self-defense in the woods can be not only a comfort but a lifesaver. It's fine to trust in one's fellow man. That doesn't mean it's paranoid to have a Plan B.
 

MI: Student group urging concealed weapons on Grand Rapids Community College campus
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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A new student group at Grand Rapids Community College has formed to push the debate on the issue of carrying concealed weapons on college campuses, according to the Grand Rapids Press.

GRCC student Josh Eberly formed the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, as a chapter of a national organization by the same name. The national organization was formed after the Virginia Tech shootings.

Eberly told the Grand Rapids Press that weapons on campus will help make the space safer.

“Why wait for the police to show up when your life is in danger?” he told the Press.
 

Price of Lax Gun Laws
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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For years, the gun lobby has defeated new gun control laws partly by arguing that stronger laws do not deter crime. A study prepared by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group headed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, should finally put that myth to rest.
 

TX: Tudor found not guilty in murder trial
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.cafepress.com/taff

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After deliberating for just less than an hour, a jury came back with a verdict Monday afternoon in the murder trial of Kurtis Glover of Livingston.

Wesley Tudor, 27, was found not guilty and acquitted on all charges of murder for the September 2007 shooting death of Glover at a house party just south of Huntington off U.S. 69.

Glover, 23, was shot point blank between the eyes with a .25-caliber handgun after he allegedly tried to pull Tudor from his vehicle during a confrontation. Tudor has maintained that he feared for his life when he fired his gun at Glover and acted in self-defense. As the verdict was read tears were shed on both sides of the courtroom, while Tudor embraced his attorney and exchanged smiles with his family.
 

KY: Guard shoots man in store robbery
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A security guard shot the alleged would-be robber of a grocery store Sunday night, Irvine police said.

Police would not identify the two men, but Officer Brian Brooks said the wounded man was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital for treatment.

Brooks responded to a call at 7:17 p.m. Sunday at Priceless Foods, 1012 Winchester Road in Irvine. Upon entering, he found a man, armed with a small-caliber revolver, slumped over the cash register. The man, in his 20s, then fell to the floor.

The guard had shot the man with a .357 Magnum, Brooks said.

Submitter's note: Notice how the story is slanted to make the guard out to be the bad guy.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.— Benjamin Franklin Historical Review of Pennsylvania. [Note: This sentence was often quoted in the Revolutionary period. It occurs even so early as November, 1755, in an answer by the Assembly of Pennsylvania to the Governor, and forms the motto of Franklin's "Historical Review," 1759, appearing also in the body of the work. — Frothingham: Rise of the Republic of the United States, p. 413. ]

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