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Belatedly Released and Revealing Fast & Furious Docs
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The Department of Justice improperly withheld public documents related to Fast and Furious after the first Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for them several years ago. The agency was recently forced to produce some of the materials to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which filed a FOI lawsuit to obtain the information. (To date, the Justice Department still has not complied with FOI law in providing the same public documents to me as a FOI requestor.)

Fortunately, Judicial Watch has posted the documents for public review.
 

CA: Anaheim Hills resident shoots burglary suspect
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Nathanael Blair and his wife were opening presents in their condo on Country Glen Way as their 3-year-old daughter slept early Christmas morning.

When Blair realized he left some stocking stuffers in his truck and went out to grab them, he left the front door to the home open. It was then, Blair thinks, that a burglar clad in a ski mask slipped into the home and waited in the garage, until Blair discovered him a couple of hours later.
 

OK: Pastor was justified in fatal shooting of a 14-year-old
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Prosecutors say an Oklahoma City pastor was justified in fatally shooting a 14-year-old would-be burglar who hid in a bedroom's closet and attacked him.

The Oklahoman reports 48-year-old Tom Vineyard won't face charges in the shooting of Keontre Reese over the weekend.
 

NH: Do we really need our legislators to be armed in the State House?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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On Dec. 19, the Monitor reported that a House Committee voted to allow legislators to carry concealed weapons on the House Floor. It looks very likely concealed carry will pass when the legislative session opens next month.

The gun vote is a replay of 2010 when the Republican-controlled House voted to allow concealed carry in the House Chamber, cloakroom anteroom, and adjacent areas including the visitors’ gallery.

Concealed carry stayed in effect until the Democrats regained control of the House in the 2012 election. On the first day of the session in 2013, the House banned concealed carry.
 

IL: Second Amendment as relevant today as in 1789
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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I just finished reading Mr. Henry Piper’s letter, “Guns are only good for violence,” in Monday’s State Journal-Register.

Such an absurd point of view cannot be left unchallenged. Mr. Piper reasons that the Second Amendment is no longer relevant because we buy our food in stores, the “wild frontier” has been tamed and “we need no weapons to protect us against ourselves.”

 

MO: Our hearts are broken
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Chelsea Harris, a 16-year-old junior in high school, was gunned down and murdered on a residential street last week in south St. Louis. Yes, the police have caught the gunman. The case has already become yesterday’s news.

Has justice been served? Well, I guess as much justice as we can expect in a state and country that refuses to get guns off the streets. The police risk their lives every day tracking down assailants and packing them into prisons. And our children risk their lives every day, walking home from school and sitting on their front porches because Americans and our legislative representatives value the right to bear arms over the lives of our children.
 

IA: Culture of guns should be part of discussion
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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With firearms seemingly more pervasive than ever before, it is understandable police worry that many of those they come in contact with will be carrying guns. Probably as a result, many police departments now resemble and sometimes act like occupying forces. They wear body armor, carry assault weapons, and tragically all too often “shoot first and ask questions later.”

Of course, this culture will not soon change. But, for me, our distressing current state of affairs is in great part on the NRA.
 

PSA Encourages Kids to Steal Parents’ Guns, Take Them to School
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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On December 13, Sleeper 13 Productions released a PSA titled “Stop Gun Violence.” It encourages kids to steal their parents’ guns and take them to school.

The PSA was originally posted to YouTube, and has since been pulled. But it is still available on Sleeper 13 Productions’ Facebook page.
 

UK: Hacksaw and knives among weapons brandished by pupils in schools
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are committed to educating young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying dangerous weapons, and have invested heavily in various violence reduction measures with young people across Scotland through schools, stakeholders and local authorities.

"This includes the delivery of educational programmes such as No Knives Better Lives, Medics Against Violence and Mentors in Violence Prevention, all of which aim to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of getting involved in violence and which help shape positive attitudes and life choices.
 

A toy or a weapon? It’s hard to tell.
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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The Dec. 23 Style article “Once treasured, now troubling” included a picture of the same kind of toy gun that Tamir Rice, 12, held when he was killed by a police officer in Cleveland. That “toy” pistol (shown on what appears to be a target paper with projectile holes in it) looks so much like a cartridge-firing pistol that I much better understand why the police officer involved feared injury. The article said that the pistol fired BBs; no such pistol is a “toy.”
 

CO: High On Freedom! Colorado May Allow Pot Smokers To Carry Concealed Weapons
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: www.marktaff.com

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Members of a group in Colorado called the Colorado Campaign for Equal Gun Rights hope to obtain enough signatures to put an initiative on the November 2016 ballot that would allow the state’s voters to decide whether admitted marijuana users can obtain licenses to carry concealed firearms.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. — Thomas Jefferson

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