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Newslinks for 5/27/2005

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Gun Dealer Protection Advances
Submitted by: D. Finlayson

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"The House Judiciary Committee yesterday approved a bill that would shield gun manufacturers, distributors and importers from lawsuits seeking damages for the misuse of their products." ...

"'This measure provides protection only against suits based on the criminal or unlawful acts of third parties, not against their own negligent or criminal conduct,' ... "Under this measure, manufacturers or sellers must operate entirely within federal and state law and are still liable for acts of negligence and for defective products."

"Opponents of the bill have argued that distributors and dealers who knowingly sell guns to criminals or fail to report suspicious purchasing activity would be shielded. ..." ...
 

I Pray the Lord… My Firearm I get to Keep
Submitted by: D. Finlayson

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"During the American Revolutionary War, the Black Regiment was a unit composed of pastors who defended freedom with a Bible in one hand and a musket in another. ..."

". . .But instead of engaging in a traditional Christian ritual such as baptism or communion as an outward testament, Mr. Reymaga surrendered his shotgun and rifle." ...

"Interesting, isn’t it, how liberals yammer incessantly about the Separation of Church and State but don’t mind conspiring in league with religion and using its powers of persuasion when there is common cause between the politically inept and the theologically confused? ..." ...
 

Listen Up (If You Can) -- Why shooters should always use ear protection
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Take the roar of a motorcycle running full-throttle for 40 hours straight, condense it into a split second, and you’ve got a good approximation of the sound energy generated by an average gunshot. Now multiply that millions of times for each of the pistol, rifle, shotgun, AK-47, and innumerable other deafening rounds he’s been exposed to over the past 50 years, and it’s a wonder David Petzal can hear anything at all. Petzal, a longtime Field & Stream editor who prefers to be identified as 'a cranky old deaf bastard,' first started shooting when he was 14. By 1956, he was shooting .22s in competition; in 1960, he bought his first .44 magnum revolver." ...
 

WA: Librarian stands up to FBI
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A librarian in Washington state stood up to the FBI after it demanded internal patron information – and she won."

"Joan Airoldi, director of the library district in Whatcom County, Wash., between Seattle and Bellingham, told her story in an op-ed piece in USA Today."

"'It was a moment that librarians had been dreading,' Airoldi writes in the opening of her column."

"She explains that in June, an FBI agent stopped into one of the district's branches and requested a list of people who had borrowed a biography of Osama bin Laden."

"'We said no,' Airoldi wrote." ...
 

OH: Gun Control Advocates Try To Stop Newspaper Ads
Submitted by: D. Finlayson

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

Gun-control backers are asking Ohio newspapers to drop classified ads from unlicensed gun sellers.

Gun control advocates say the practice can put guns in the hands of people who would flunk the background checks required by federally licensed dealers.

The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence has written letters to Ohio's approximately 80 daily newspapers and followed up with calls to many of them.

At least six newspapers ban classified ads sold by unlicensed dealers or have other restrictions, and about ten are considering such bans, according to the gun control group.

A supporter of gun rights questions why dealers are being singled out when newspapers publish ads for other businesses where illegal activity could flourish.
 

TN: Robertson County: Clerk shoots suspected robber
Submitted by: R. Smith

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"Greenbrier police are investigating a robbery that led to a shooting at a gun store on Monday. Authorities say a man walked into an indoor gun range and store on Highway 41 and stole several guns." ...

"The clerk shot Hall twice in the lower waist and shoulder. He was taken by Life Flight to Vanderbilt Medical Hospital in critical condition." ...
 

NM: Police say shooter acted in self-defense
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"A 35-year-old Carlsbad resident will not be charged for shooting another man after law enforcement officials determined he acted in self-defense."

"Michael Fox told detectives from the Carlsbad Police Department that he shot 19-year-old Jake Sturtz in self-defense after Sturtz allegedly attacked him with a knife Sunday at a residence on the 2900 block of San Jose Boulevard, according to a release from the Police Department."

"Detective Sgt. David Gonsalez said on Wednesday, he spoke with the district attorney, who told him that no charges would be brought against Fox because the evidence showed he had acted in self-defense." ...
 

TX: Liquor Store Robbery [Foiled By Armed Clerk]
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

A Wichita Falls man is out of the hospital and now faces a charge after police say he was shot trying to rob a liquor store. 21 year old Ervin Flint is charged with robbery. Police say, about seven last night, Flint entered Mike's Cut Rate Liquor on Kemp, and threatened the assistant manager with a bottle. Authorities say that's when the worker chased Flint from the store and shot him with a 38 caliber pistol in the back of the leg. Police say the manager will not be charged.
 

Philippines: Pistol Packing Paparazzi
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Filipino journalists, tired of being targeted by criminal gangs, politicians and rogue police who don’t like their critical reporting, are getting ready to pack pistols along with their pens and notebooks."

"'We believe in the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword. It will always be,' said Joel Sy Egco, an organiser of a new journalists’ self-defence group, the Association of Responsible Media – or ARMED."

"'But the problem is, they use guns on us. To silence us, they shoot at us. Therefore ... we should also know how to use their tools against them.'"

"The Philippines has some of Asia’s most liberal media laws, but the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also describes it as the world’s 'most murderous' country toward reporters." ...
 

Philippines: Philippine journalists hone shooting skills (another view)
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Blasting away at targets with 0.45 caliber pistols, a group of militant Philippine journalists held their first 'fun shoot' Thursday to make clear they were not taking media killings lying down."

"Five journalists have been killed this year in the Philippines, underlining its status as the most dangerous country in the world for media."

"The Philippines prides itself on having the freest press in the region but media groups have criticized the government for failing to halt the attacks, many of them apparently related to reporting on corrupt officials and business deals."

"Despairing of getting protection from security forces, whom some suspect are complicit in the killings, some reporters are taking matters into their own hands." ...
 

OR: Suspicious sighting leads to lockdown
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Creswell private school was locked down Wednesday after an employee reported seeing a man armed with a rifle in a nearby stand of trees."

"The scare prompted a childcare center across the street and Creswell public schools to tighten security, as well."

"An employee at Creswell Christian School, 501 Holbrook Lane, said she saw the silhouette of man standing in a wooded area near the school, holding a rifle down by his side. She said the man was not pointing the gun at anyone."

"Another employee saw the man but told Lane County sheriff's deputies that he never saw a gun, sheriff's Sgt. Byron Trapp said." ...
 

IL: Assault on public safety
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Why the average citizen needs a .50-caliber sniper rifle - powerful enough to bring down a helicopter - to hunt deer or protect his or her family, is beyond us."

"Yet on Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives, under intense lobbying by who else but the National Rifle Association, declined to ban the sale of the weapon and other assault rifles." ...
 

IL: Senate sends governor gun-show bill
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"State lawmakers gave the gun lobby another victory Wednesday, approving legislation that closes a loophole in background checks of gun buyers but also bars police from keeping records of the purchases." ...
 

IL: Blago Vows To Use Veto Rewrite Powers On Gun Control Bill (another view)
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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State lawmakers gave the gun lobby another victory Wednesday, approving legislation that would close a loophole in background checks of gun buyers but also bar police from keeping records of gun purchases."

"The bill passed the Senate 34-25 and now goes to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who said he will use his amendatory veto to rewrite it. The legislation puts gun-control advocates in an awkward position." ...
 

IL: Henry Hyde's shadow
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Henry Hyde is a larger than life figure in DuPage County politics, and Peter Roskam gave a clear nod to that the other day as he entered the Republican race to succeed the veteran 6th District congressman."

"'There is no one who will fill [Hyde's] shoes,' declared Roskam, now a state senator from Wheaton. 'My goal is to walk in his shadow.'"

"Shadows, however, can quickly vanish when something moves just a little one way or the other. That's why wandering off to the right on an issue important to many of Hyde's constituents has left Roskam exposed to the light. There he stands, a key player in a push by the National Rifle Association to strip away public safety protections in current gun laws." ...
 

NY: Assembly Dems keep pushing for passage of gun control bill
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"State Democrats took aim at Gov. George Pataki and Senate Republicans yesterday for not supporting new gun control bills they say are needed to ensure police officers' safety." ...

"The Assembly passed the 'Anti-Terrorism and Aviation Protection Act,' which abolishes the .50-caliber weapons, by a vote of 86 to 51 on Tuesday." ...

"Supporters say it will help keep terrorists from using the weapons to blow up planes." ...
 

NY: Assembly Advances Anti-Gun Violence Legislation
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol announced Assembly passage this week of a legislative gun package aimed at reducing the number of illegal guns, safeguarding children from firearms and promoting the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement personnel." ...
 

NY: Violence Policy Center Hails New York State Assembly's Passage of 50 Caliber Sniper Rifle Ban
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today applauded the New York State Assembly for voting last night to ban 50 caliber sniper rifles. The measure must now go to the New York State Senate. The legislative effort was spearheaded by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), the state's leading gun violence prevention organization." ...
 

TX: U.S. soldier acquitted of murder in the death of unarmed Iraqi
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A U.S. army staff sergeant was acquitted of murder Thursday in the death of an unarmed Iraqi he said he shot to save a fellow soldier."

"A jury of four soldiers and two officers deliberated for less than three hours before finding Staff Sgt. Shane Werst not guilty of premeditated murder. He had faced a maximum of life in prison without parole."

"Before the jury announced the verdict, Judge Col. Theodore Dixon found Werst not guilty of obstruction of justice. Dixon said he decided to rule on that count, but did not give an explanation." ...
 

NC: Charges dropped over Iraqi deaths
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"THE US Marine Corps dropped all charges against a lieutenant who had been accused of shooting to death two Iraqis last year to make an example of them, the corps said today."

"Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano ... had been charged with premeditated murder."

"Major General Richard Huck, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, decided to drop all charges after reviewing an investigative report and autopsies conducted on the two Iraqis Pantano killed."

"After careful consideration of the Article 32 Investigative Report and of the autopsies, Major General Huck has decided to dismiss all charges," the Marines said in a statement from Campe Lejeune, North Carolina." ...
 

WI: Excessive force report ignored
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Milwaukee police sergeant who investigated an officer's shooting of an unarmed man in March 2003 says his findings of wrongdoing by the officer were ignored by his superiors in the department's internal affairs division."

"Those findings were that Officer Craig Nawotka's actions constituted excessive force and that the man, Justin Fields, 'did not have to die,' said police Sgt. Harold Hampton."

"Further, the first officer to talk to Nawotka after the shooting says he was never asked at an inquest into the death whether Nawotka's statements were consistent with the physical evidence. If he had been, Detective Billy Ball said, he would have testified they were not." ...
 

MN: Firing the pistol instead of Taser brings Rochester lawsuit
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"As two Rochester policemen struggled with a drunken Christofar Atak, one of them went to pull his Taser stun gun, press it against Atak's back and fire."

"But the weapon he discharged wasn't a Taser. Instead, officer Gregory Siem fired his .40-caliber handgun point-blank into Atak's back, ripping into his intestine, colon and gall bladder and, his lawyers say, causing permanent damage."

"Now Atak, 34, a refugee who fled to the United States to escape violence in his native Sudan, is suing Rochester and three of its officers in federal court for $2 million." ...
 

MD: Witness: Nude man didn't touch cop before shooting
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Though a witness said an unarmed man never posed a threat to the rookie police officer who shot him dead in Glen Burnie on Tuesday night, county police yesterday offered a different account of the confrontation."

"At a news conference, Deputy Chief Emmerson Davis said 22-year-old Officer Tommy Pleasant, on the force for nine months, used his pistol to counteract a threat." ...

"But witness Adria Slaughter said she watched in shock as the incident unfolded across the street from her house." ...

"She said the officer, positioned beside his driver's-side door, twice shot Mr. Coates, 20, then put two or three more bullets into him as he walked past the patrol car and fell to the ground."

"'Now they keep telling me there was an altercation,' she said. 'That man never touched that officer.'" ...
 

Thailand: Thai Sergeant Was Gun-Toting Womaniser
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Thai policeman jailed for the callous murder of a young British couple was a dangerous womaniser who preyed on female tourists, his trial was told."

"Tough drug squad sergeant Somchai Visetsingha – who also owned a popular restaurant in the holiday resort of Kanchanaburi – was branded violent and trigger happy by one of his former wives."

"Judge Dilok Boonthawinat, who today sentenced the 40-year-old to life imprisonment, also heard that he had attempted to flirt with his female victim hours before he shot dead her boyfriend and ran her over." ...
 

Canada: Canadian Military Instructor Charged With Sexual Assault At Kingston School (third story on page)
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

A military instructor at a Canadian military school in Kingston has been accused of sexually assaulting two students.

Master Corporal John Peter Grant is an instructor at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston. He appeared before a military judge yesterday for the opening day of his court martial. He has been charged with a variety of criminal offences, including three counts of sexual assault and two counts of breaking and entering, and committing an indictable offence. The instructor has also been charged under the National Defense Act with drunkenness.

The allegations date to February of 2004 when the two female complainants were enrolled in a course he was teaching at the training centre.
 

WA: Hunting seasons set for the fall
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The 2005-06 hunting seasons have been announced, making vacation time a valuable commodity in the coming months."

"Sept. 1 is the opening day for archery deer hunting on both sides of the state."

"This will be followed by the muzzleloader deer season beginning on Oct. 1 and the general modern rifle opener on Oct. 15."

"The statewide archery elk season runs Sept. 8-21 and the muzzleloader elk season is Oct. 1-7."

"For modern rifle hunters, the elk seasons are Oct. 29 to November 6 east of the Cascade crest, and Nov. 5-13 in Western Washington."

"Upland bird hunters will have their first opportunity on Sept. 1 with the opening of the forest grouse season." ...
 

CT: Gun Runners
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Police stumbled across the machine gun almost by accident. About 10 officers who were posing as drug dealers in the West End one evening in March heard a distinctive popping noise from a Gray Street parking lot and found 26-year-old DeShawn Jennings fiddling with a jammed Tec-9 semi-automatic. He had been firing rounds into a trash bin, terrifying people living in neighboring buildings."

"Standing next to Jennings was 18-year-old Demetrius Chamblee, who was planning to buy the gun for $600 as 'protection,' the Hartford Courant reported. ..." ...
 

FL: Wachovia's anti-gun policy
Submitted by: Joshua C Smith

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"Wachovia recently bought my bank here in Saint Petersburg, Florida: SoutTrust. Now there is a no guns sign on the front door of the bank I've been conducting business at for nearly eight years. All of a sudden I no longer have the right to self defense in my own bank."

"Here is my letter to Wachovia and their subsequent response:" ...
 

UK: Doctors' kitchen knives ban call
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings."

"They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon."

"The research is published in the British Medical Journal."

"The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all."

"They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen."

"None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed." ...
 

Canada: Canadian Forces To Receive New Sniper Rifles
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Department of National Defence has awarded PGW Defence Technologies Inc. a $4.5-million contract for the provision of sniper rifles. The Winnipeg-based company will provide the weapons system, training package, ammunition, spare parts and maintenance support as part of the contract, signed May 13, 2005."

"'As stated in the new Defence Policy, the government is committed to providing new equipment to the Canadian Forces, assuring they can operate effectively in today's challenging security environment,' said Defence Minister Bill Graham. 'This contract is an example of how we are modernizing our equipment with the assistance of Canadian expertise.'" ...
 

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