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Newslinks for 12/28/2013

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PA: State trooper can't have gun while off duty due to mental health record, Pa. court rules
Submitted by: John Fansler

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Pennsylvania State Trooper Michael L. Keyes is in an odd situation.

When on duty, he can carry a gun.

Yet while off duty, he is barred by law from possessing any firearms, because seven years ago he suffered from deep depression, repeatedly tried to kill himself by taking drugs and was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.

Submitter's note: This is exactly why, using "mental illness" as a catch all to deny gun ownership is not OK.

Just as ex-military are being banned in very large numbers based on "PTSD" diagnosis.
 

ME: New England editorial roundup
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The push for increased restrictions on gun ownership, including a ban on assault weapons, was unsuccessful at the federal level this past year, even in the wake of the Newtown massacre — despite high-profile advocates that included shooting survivors and family members. This debate is sure to continue indefinitely as Second Amendment enthusiasts clash with gun control advocates, and in the meantime, at least the FBI is providing a clearing house for people to access with concerns before a tragedy occurs. Clearly, mental health is a more successful approach at this time than gun control, due to the politics of it all.
 

SC: Vincent Sheheen's pal fires back at Nikki Haley gun shot
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Let the South Carolina gubernatorial arms race begin.

More than 12 hours after Republican Gov. Nikki Haley posted a photo of the Beretta handgun she received for Christmas and received (mostly) social media admiration for her Second Amendment chops, Democratic operative Phil Bailey tweeted a photo of state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, with his shotgun.
 

CA: Gun Buyers, Sellers Brace for New Regulations in 2014
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For $271, Erik Gasca of Yuba City purchased his first gun Friday.

“It’s just something small for home security,” Gasca said.

But instead of walking out of Just Guns gun shop with a brand new .9 millimeter handgun, Gasca left the store with a receipt.

“I have to wait 10 days while they do background checks,” Gasca told FOX40.

In fact, this is just one example of a restriction in place meant to regulate guns and gun owners, and there are more regulations on the way in 2014.
 

IL: Just where will it be legal to carry a gun in Illinois?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After a hard-fought battle, Illinois residents next month can begin applying for permits to carry concealed guns in public. But those who do could face another challenge: figuring out where it's legal to carry a firearm and where having a gun could land them in jail.

While the Illinois statute lays out nearly two dozen places where guns are prohibited — including schools, public parks, government offices and hospitals — it also includes caveats that might seem confusing, even contradictory, particularly to novice gun carriers.
 

IL: Controversial state laws set to take effect
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Two of Illinois’ biggest and most controversial laws passed in 2013 – concealed-carry gun permits and medicinal marijuana – officially take effect Wednesday.

However, their impact won’t be seen for months, according to government agencies.

Illinois State Police will accept online applications to carry a concealed handgun starting Jan. 5, and recently announced the acceptance of paper applications beginning July 1....
 

Body count 2013: Cracking the code on criminal violence
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Seattle Times is reporting today that 2013 produced 29 homicides in the Jet City, six of which were officer-involved, and buried in the story are references to the same things gun rights advocates have been saying in the year since Sandy Hook while arguing against new feel-good, non-solution gun laws.

What the story, by veteran reporter Jennifer Sullivan, didn’t mention was that Seattle — in a state that has one of the highest per capita levels of licensed concealed carry and where open carry is legal — produced a fraction of the murders reported in comparably-sized cities: Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., and Milwaukee, Wis.
 

Bill seeks to allow medicinal marijuana users to legally purchase and possess firearms
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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However, HR 3483, also known as the Protecting Individual Liberties and States’ Rights Act, seeks to remove medicinal marijuana use out of the umbrella of “unlawful use” and to “provide exceptions from the firearm prohibitions otherwise applicable in relation to marijuana if its possession is lawful under State law.”
 

NJ: NJ2AS Carry License Application Submission Project
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If it is true that there is strength in numbers, then it is time to stand up and be counted.

By registering ( http://tiny.cc/3njr8w ) for this “event“, you are pledging to your fellow (and gal) rights activists that you are ready, willing and able to join with them in an effort to show the three branches of New Jersey Government that you are serious about overcoming their artificial and unconstitutional infringement of your right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) as protected by the Second Amendment (2A).
 

A grand bargain on guns is possible, and here’s how
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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So let’s come up with a system that requires checks for all gun sales but exempts transfers among family members, temporary transfers and a small set of other transactions. And let’s devise a uniform set of intelligent standards, including training and clean criminal records, for a national concealed-carry system.
 

VA: Gun rights advocates freak out over ‘No Guns’ sign at singer Toby Keith’s restaurant
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Conservatives and gun activists are in high dudgeon over a sign outside country singer Toby Keith’s new Virginia bar and grill that says “No Guns Permitted.”

According to Washington, DC’s WTOP, the sign has provoked an explosion of outrage online. Many gun rights advocates took to Twitter and other social media to denounce Keith as a “gun hating liberal,” a “fake,” and a “Republican In Name Only” or “RINO.”
 

PA: Analysis: Homeowner may be on shaky ground with stand-your-ground defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Some public dismay erupted after a Fayetteville man was charged with homicide after pursuing and shooting a stranger who earlier threatened him with an assault rifle in his home.

State police say Mickle Joe Shaffer, 54, of 1065 Mount Cydonia Road, shot and killed 21-year-old Janorris Hughes after the Christmas morning attempted robbery.
 

FL: This Man's Case Proves the Truth About Florida's Stand Your Ground Law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In 2010 Giles, who is black, was a 26-year-old father of three on active duty with the U.S. Air Force stationed in Tampa, Florida, about 100 miles from where Zimmerman would fatally shoot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin less than two years later. One night, shortly after Giles arrived at a nightclub in Tallahassee with some friends, a huge brawl broke out among 30 to 40 fraternity brothers from nearby Florida A&M University. Giles wasn't involved, but went to his car and retrieved his gun before going back to the club to find his friends. Randomly, someone from the crowd punched Giles, knocking him to the ground. Afraid for his life, Giles shot his attacker in the leg and wounded three men, none of whom died.
 

The philosophy of suicide
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A modern deontological argument can be based on the idea of “sanctity” of life, even when the term is to be understood in a secular, nor religious sense. The problem is that, if applied consistently, the argument would prohibit also — for instance — capital punishment, or death caused by self defense (remember, deontological systems are prone to make broad generalizations and are not friendly to nuanced distinctions). And of course one can reasonably argue that there is nothing inherently valuable about life, since its value comes from it being of a certain quality, as the Stoics argued.
 

The 7 most absurd things Harry Reid said in 2013
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“I will vote for assault weapons ban because maintaining law and order and saving lives is more important than preventing imagined tyranny.”
 

VA: Fans turn on country superstar Toby Keith for banning guns in new restaurant
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Country music superstar Toby Keith is feeling major backlash for a sign banning guns at his new restaurant.

Despite gun-friendly laws in Virginia, where “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill” is located, signs on the door read “no guns permitted.”

Keith hasn’t commented on the controversy, but his fans had a lot to say to him on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

As one would expect, the debate raged in a war of words between Second Amendment advocates and gun grabbers.
 

Bloomberg bowing out, pats self on back
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As anti-gun billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg bows out after three terms, he is patting himself on the back – as he reportedly did today – for various accomplishments including lowering the Big Apple murder rate to winning several gun control victories.

In the process, he is carefully not talking about his costly defeat in Colorado, where he spent a small fortune unsuccessfully to thwart the recall of two anti-gun state senators. Instead, he talked about passage of the gun control laws that led to the recall, along with other restrictive measures in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware.
 

States Don’t Have to Comply: The Anti-Comandeering Doctrine
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Second, even within those areas that the federal government does exercise authority, it cannot force state or local governments to cooperate in enforcement or implementation. The feds must exercise their authority on their own, unless the state and local governments choose to assist.

Simply put, the federal government cannot force state or local governments to act against their will.

This is known as the anti-commandeering doctrine, and it is well established in constitutional jurisprudence. Four Supreme Court opinions dating back to 1842 serve as the foundation for this legal doctrine.
 

TX: Fresh off victory, NRA holds convention in Houston
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The National Rifle Association has spent much of the past year under siege, ardently defending gun rights following mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut and fighting back against mounting pressure for stricter laws in Washington and state capitols across the country.

Now, after winning a major victory over President Barack Obama with the defeat of a gun control bill in the U.S. Senate, the powerful gun-rights lobby will gather in Houston this weekend for its annual convention.

Organizers anticipate a rollicking, Texas-sized party — one that celebrates the group's recent victory while stressing the fight against gun control is far from over.
 

OH: Bills that Didn’t Pass Statehouse Include Stand Your Ground, Right to Work Measures
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But some did come to a vote. One that sparked controversy was a bill that would make several changes to concealed carry laws, including tighter background checks.

But Democrats immediately focused on the so-called Stand Your Ground provision. This is a measure that eliminates the requirement for a person to flee before using lethal force when faced with a deadly situation. Opponents say this law has caused problems in other states and will only increase violence in Ohio.

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus led the charge against this bill. During rallies they pointed to the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin as the prime example of why the state shouldn’t have the law.
 

AL: Gun Sales Break Alabama Record
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun owners are in good company this year there have never been more gun sales in Alabama than 2013.

Last year there were 431,356 federal gun background checks from Alabama. There have been 486,506 checks this year--and that's before December's numbers are in. If trends continue, Alabama's on track to have half-a-million background checks for 2013. There’s one simple explanation.
 

CA: Shoppers Stock Up On Rifles, Shotguns Before California Long Gun Registry Begins
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A new gun law coming in 2014 has gun owners stocking up on long guns before a new registry begins.
Even though the law is at least temporarily boosting his bottom line, Just Guns owner John Deaser isn’t a fan. He says requiring people to register their rifles and shotguns is an unnecessary invasion of privacy.
In the last week of 2013, he says sales of long guns are up 30 to 50 percent.
The registry goes into effect on Jan. 1, and would require long gun owners to register their weapons like handgun owners already do. It would track the make, model and serial number of the gun, as well as the person who owns it.
Previously dealers would destroy personal information on long gun owners after a background check had been completed.
 

Australia: Piers Morgan Suffers Bruised Rib, Cracked Wrist After Being Repeatedly Battered by Cricket Bowler [WITH VIDEO]
Submitted by: Anonymous

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On Thursday evening, CNN’s Piers Morgan appeared before 2,000 Australian cricket fans who watched as he took bowls (they look like pitches to us Americans) from a peeved Aussie bowler.
Morgan had apparently long been taunting the Aussies as he was fed up with watching his native English cricket players getting dominated by their Australian counterparts.
This led to a public challenge of sorts, where Morgan faced bowler Brett Lee and received several welts from 80 mph throws that struck his body in various spots.

SUBMITTER'S COMMENT: No guns involved here. I just wanted to share the warm and fuzzy feeling this story gave me.
 

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