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MI: Ann Arbor school board wants students to lead gun control debate
Submitted by: Corey Salo

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High school students have taken charge of the national conversation on gun control and school safety in the past week, and now Ann Arbor Public Schools officials are looking for ways to support local students in continuing that work.

Students at Ann Arbor's five high schools participated in a walkout the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 21 - joining students across the country in commemorating the one-week anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead.

"After the other mass shootings, we didn't have survivors of the incident come forth and take political action like we have now," said Board Vice President Susan Baskett.
 

MI: Gun control advocates rally at Michigan Capitol
Submitted by: Corey Salo

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More than 100 gun control advocates rallied Thursday at the Michigan Capitol, urging the state’s Republican-led Legislature to enact new “common sense” regulations after a teen gunman last week killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Organizers said they want lawmakers to ban assault weapons in Michigan, increase funding for community mental health services, hike school funding for social workers, tighten background check rules and do more to keep guns out of the hands of “extreme risk” individuals.

“It’s a sad place and time in America where you go to school and you have to fear for your life,” said Jake Foles, 18, a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School.

 

NRA ok's packing at Dallas meeting
Submitted by: Liston Matthews
Website: goodhillpress.com

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The NRA has announced that carrying of firearms will be allowed at the 2018 meeting in Dallas.
 

AZ: Ducey against arming teachers but favors more armed security officers in schools
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gov. Doug Ducey isn't interested in arming teachers as a way to deal with school violence.

"I want to see our teachers be put in a position where they can teach our kids," the governor said Thursday. "And I think that's what they signed up to do."

The question arose in the wake of last week's mass killing at a Florida high school.
 

MD: Maryland legislators consider bills restricting guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Maryland legislators are considering several bills aimed at restricting the possession of firearms.

Five years ago, Maryland enacted comprehensive firearm safety legislation which banned the sale of many semiautomatic weapons.

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, a bill was introduced in Maryland to ban the sale of bump stocks, a gun accessory that converts a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon.
 

Trump Breaks With NRA, Endorses Raising Gun Age To 21
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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President Donald Trump broke with the National Rifle Association to endorse raising the federal minimum age for purchasing a rifle to 21, in a Thursday tweet.
 

NRA opposes new age limits on gun purchases
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) said Wednesday it opposes any new legislation that would put age restrictions on firearm purchases.

“We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement.

“Passing a law that makes it illegal for a 20-year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle on the market punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals,” she added.
 

The NRA Can Only Be Stopped at the Ballot Box
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Have the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School changed the game? In the wake of the Parkland massacre that killed 17 children and educators, there's no question the students have changed the national conversation. Survivors of this mass shooting have called "B.S." on empty Republican pieties – rejecting "thoughts and prayers" and demanding that lawmakers take action to protect children's lives from guns, instead of protecting their political futures from the wrath of the National Rifle Association.
 

WA: Self-defense and the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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There is simply no evidence to back up that emotional statement since nowhere in the brief 27 words of the Second Amendment does it state that handguns, assault rifles (or any other type of guns, for that matter) should be used for self-defense.
 

WY: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill Moves Ahead In House
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A “stand your ground” bill advanced by the Legislature on Tuesday would initially grant individuals immunity from prosecution for assault or murder if they claim to have acted in self-defense. A prosecutor would be required to convince a judge beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect had not been acting in self-defense before a trial would be allowed.

Rep. Tim Salazar, R-Dubois, sponsored the measure and said it was necessary to allow people to act without fear when defending themselves or their families.

“I don’t want to run,” Salazar told his colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. “I want to defend the life of my 9-year-old that I love — and that means no retreat.”
 

MA: Gun group head wary of arming teachers
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The head of the state’s largest gun owner advocacy group is balking at the idea of arming teachers in order to prevent gun violence at schools.

“Teachers have an awful lot to do. They should focus on education,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners Action League. “I think there’s a lot of people who could help, if they’re serious about hardening school security. There are retired law enforcement officers, some retired military who would be happy to provide their expertise.”
 

FL: ‘Pistols at Dawn’: Guns alive and well in GOP primary for Florida Attorney General
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A tragic 2010 shooting in Tampa, in which a father was killed in front of his 8-year-old daughter while they were playing basketball, is a line of attack for a Republican candidate for attorney general.

State Rep. Jay Fant, R-Jacksonville, has been sending out news releases with headlines like "Pistols at Dawn" as a way to accuse a primary opponent, former Judge Ashley Moody of Plant City, of being soft on 2nd Amendment rights.
 

Sales of bulletproof backpacks surge after Florida shooting, but how effective are they?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the wake of last week's horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., many parents are asking what can they do to help better protect their children at school.

One item some parents are turning to: So-called bulletproof backpacks.
 

The N.R.A. Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Moskowitz shook hands with Dan Daley, a young city commissioner in Coral Springs. “I was talking to one of the Douglas students,” Daley said. “His only words to me were ‘Do something.’ I had to tell him that I legally can’t do anything, because the governor could take away my job if I tried.”

Moskowitz turned to me. “That’s the legacy of Marion Hammer,” he said.

... Daley was referring to a law that Hammer worked to enact in 2011, during Governor Rick Scott’s first year in office. The statute punishes local officials who attempt to establish gun regulations stricter than those imposed at the state level. Officials can be fined thousands of dollars and removed from office.
 

Bret Stephens: Repeal Second Amendment; Restrictions On "So-Called" Gun Rights Imperative For Safety
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who identifies as a conservative, defended his call to repeal the Second Amendment in an MSNBC roundtable discussion on Thursday about guns.

Stephens said there has not even been a "moment of silence and compassion and thoughtfulness" by gun advocates and called it "inhumanly repetitive" to say guns are essential to American liberties.
 

CNN's Scripted Anti-Second Amendment Rally
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On Wednesday, CNN organized a town hall event in Parkland, Florida, which was billed as a debate over gun control in light of the recent school atrocity. Clearly, the event was designed by CNN to continue pressing their anti-gun crusade using student survivors as their phalanx. The event was billed as an opportunity for Parkland students and their parents to express their thoughts while calling their representatives to action. Needless to say, the event was more spectacle than debate, like watching a totalitarian tribunal demand individuals answer for their thought crimes. Orwellian might be the best description.
 

Study: Most Firearm Owners Do Not Store Their Guns Properly
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“54 percent of gun owners do not store all their guns locked away in a secure manner,” said Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research Director.

The survey defines safe storage as a locked gun safe, cabinet, or case.

Webster, the study’s co-author, says self-defense is one reason why many owners don’t follow safe storage protocol.

“They want to be able to easily access a loaded gun that they can fire rather quickly,” he said.
 

FL: Fla. GOP lawmakers move ahead on raising age minimum for buying assault rifles
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida Republican lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal to raise the minimum age for purchasing assault rifles in the state from 18 to 21 despite the opposition of the National Rifle Association.

“It doesn’t complicate my efforts,” Republican state Sen. Bill Galvano, the next Senate president, said Thursday, when asked about the NRA’s position. “I think the desire to act and do something meaningful right now seems to be what’s going to win the day.”
 

Sen. Pat Roberts: 'Certainly nobody under 21 should have an AR-15'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Thursday that he backs raising the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21.

Roberts told reporters in Topeka he believes Congress is poised to pass legislation addressing firearms in some form following last week’s shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.
 

What Clarence Thomas Gets Wrong About the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Never let it be said that Justice Clarence Thomas is overly concerned with appearances. Witness his release of a passionately pro-gun opinion, less than a week after a school shooting took 17 lives at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
 

A Responsible Gun Owner Despite My Mental Illness
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It should be noted that there is no established causality between mental illness and gun violence. In fact, a recent analysis of more than 200 mass killings revealed that only 22 percent of perpetrators could be considered mentally ill. But, despite all prevailing evidence to the contrary, mental illness is still the scapegoat of choice. And in the process of blaming mental illness for these tragedies, the nearly 20 percent of Americans suffering with a wide-array of psychiatric disorders are further stigmatized.
 

NC: Here's what our state can do about guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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First, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. These are tools of war and have no place on our streets. Assault weapons are not necessary for those who want to hunt or have a means of self-defense in their home. They are simply too dangerous and can cause too much damage for people to be able to acquire them legally.

Second, we must require universal background checks for those purchasing guns. We cannot have differing standards for acquiring a gun just because it happens through a private seller or in a different state.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Allowing riflery training while decrying gun violence doesn't send a mixed message any more than does supporting a wrestling team while opposing schoolyard brawls. — CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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