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Newslinks for 6/29/2009

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Politics is Simply Complicated
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"The surprise introduction and passage of a pro-rights amendment attached to a credit card bill this spring could be a hopeful sign of things to come. In a beautiful bit of political surgery, Dr. Tom Coburn, Republican Senator from Oklahoma put forward an amendment repealing the troubling National Parks firearms ban. Coburn's amendment was far superior to the new regulations adopted by the NPS toward the end of last year. ..." ...

"The success of the National Parks amendment demonstrates that a clear majority of the members of Congress support common sense gun law reform ... Now that it has been proven that the votes are there, the rights community needs to keep a steady stream of good reform legislation rolling in to exploit those votes." ...
 

Why not focus on Mexican cartel/police alliance instead of U.S. guns?
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"There's been a police sweep in Mexico. It's not what we ordinarily think of when we hear the term. From AFP:"

"A police chief and 91 officers were detained in a sweep on a city in central Mexico suspected of sheltering one of the country's most violent drug gangs, federal police said."

"Who were they protecting? The Zetas." ...

"Who in their right mind believes Mexican police and military personnel rely on 'straw purchasers' at U.S. gun shops and gun shows to obtain military-grade firepower? Who in their right mind does not believe these corrupt LEOs and soldiers haven't exploited their access to state-procured weapons--to the advantage of their drug cartel patrons?" ...
 

CCRKBA warns about Seattle mayor's gun agenda
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) has expressed concerns about the election of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels as the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors due to his anti-gun stance."

"Last year, Nickels held a widely televised press conference announcing his intention to pursue a ban on legally-carried firearms on city property."

"Now, CCRKBA representatives worry he will use his new position to push an anti-gun agenda at a White House meeting planned later this summer."

"'Greg Nickels knows he will find a sympathetic ear in the Oval Office for his illegal gun control scheme,' says CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb." ...
 

New report: Feds blame US Gunowners for Mexico's Violence
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"While the United States continues to allow borders to be left unprotected, the US Congress through its investigative arm -- the [GAO] -- is blaming the violence occurring in Mexico on American gun owners."

"'For some time now, gun-grabbing spokesmen have been trying to use the virtual war in Mexico between drug cartels and responsible law enforcement personnel as a wedge issue excuse to seek limitations on the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms,' says John M. Snyder, named recently the senior rights activist in Washington by Shotgun News."

"'This latest report seems [as if] it could be part and parcel of this ongoing attempt,' he continues. ..." ...
 

The Outdoor Craftsman Creates Segments for Public TV on Handguns
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"As more Americans exercise their second amendment right to keep and bear arms, the issue of handguns and personal or home safety becomes prevalent. Handgun safety is an issue that should be covered in an educational format. Many instructional videos and programs have been produced that often have a small audience, or a more demographically particular audience."

"With The Outdoor Craftsman, the appeal will not only be made for those who are part of the shooting sports or the firearms industry itself, but also in conjunction with documentary programming that will be distributed to Public Television for nationwide education on this most important topic." ...
 

Revisiting the DC v. Heller ruling - Part III
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"In parts one and two, we looked in detail at the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States. In this third part, we will examine the dissenting opinions. Dissenting opinions hold no rule of law, but are oftentimes cited as persuasive authority by those who wish to change laws or file additional lawsuits. They can even be used by a future court to overturn a previous decision."

"While we won in this case and SCOTUS affirmed that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is indeed an individual right and that the DC gun ban is unconstitutional, we came within one justice of losing on both counts. The Dissenting Opinions will help us understand why." ...
 

Flawed gun-owner philosophy leads to tragic consequences
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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... "... In the case of the teenager who was killed a week ago, no matter what the toxicology report reveals, the boy was an intruder who went into places he had no right to be."

"That said, the question becomes whether he really was a threat to the man who shot him. ..."

"And yet, the man with the unlocked door and the loaded gun ... described the situation as 'him or me.' ..."

"Regardless of the legal outcome, however, a teenager is dead, our community is shaken, and we'd better talk about it ..."

"There are plenty of folks who value the Second Amendment who also think keeping a loaded gun in the house is stupid stuff. ... Their emotional attachment to guns is tied to sport and skill ... rather than self-defense." ...
 

Closing the 'Terror Gap' on Gun Purchases
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"It may be hard to imagine that a suspected terrorist can buy a gun in the United States but federal law allows it — and two lawmakers are trying to close that loophole." ...

"So far, both bills have attracted support mainly among lawmakers who staunchly support gun control."

"However, the [NRA] said the terrorist watch list was too poorly maintained to justify preventing gun sales to people on it."

"The integrity of the terror watch list is poor,' said Chris Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist. 'To deny law-abiding people due process and their Second Amendment rights based on a secret list is not how we do things in America.'" ...

"... the GAO and the Justice Department's [IG] have criticized the list for its inaccuracy." ...
 

They brought their guns to church--what's next?
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"... 'Ken Pagano asked his flock to bring their unloaded handguns — in holsters — to New Bethel Church in Louisville for a celebration of the Second Amendment ...'" ...

"You've got to hand it to Pagano."

"Aware of the rising tide of sympathy of Americans in support of the virtually unrestricted right to bear arms, he seized the moment. He packed the pews with a larger than usual Sunday attendance ... and he got national publicity. ..." ...

"... Now that people have crossed the threshold by openly carrying guns into church on Saturday night, why not Sunday too? And shoot, since these are all good, decent, Christian people, what are they afraid of? Why not enter the sanctuary with loaded guns praising God? ..." ...
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Submitter's Note: Good point. Why not allow law-abiding 'good, decent, Christian people' to exercise their G-d given individual human and civil rights? (although I wouldn't limit it to just Christians, I guess I'm not a bigot).
 

Guns for Jesus: Kentucky church celebrates gun culture
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Gun-toting Kentucky Pastor Ken Pagano invited his flock to bring their guns to church. Approximately 200 people answered Pastor Pagano's call to celebrate American gun culture and the Second Amendment Saturday at New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky. The gun-toting Pastor made the extraordinary request of his flock to bring their unloaded handguns, in holsters, to send a message."

"During the 90-minute event ... Pagano said 'We are wanting to send a message that there are legal, civil, intelligent and law-abiding citizens who also own guns. If it were not for a deep-seated belief in the right to bear arms, this country would not be here today,' he told the crowd, drawing hearty applause and exclamations of 'Amen!'" ...
 

KY: Church celebrates firearms (third item)
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"For one day, at least, it was OK to pack heat in church."

"More than 200 people answered gun-toting Pastor Ken Pagano’s call to celebrate the Second Amendment at New Bethel Church in Louisville on Saturday. There was just one rule for the several dozen who brought their guns along: No bullets."

"'We are wanting to send a message that there are legal, civil, intelligent and law-abiding citizens who also own guns,' Pagano said during the 90-minute event, which was open to the public. 'If it were not for a deep-seated belief in the right to bear arms, this country would not be here today,' he told the crowd, drawing hearty applause and exclamations of 'Amen!'" ...
 

KY: Church's event for gun rights draws about 40
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Ken Pagano asked his flock to bring their unloaded handguns – in holsters – to New Bethel Church in Louisville for an event celebrating the Second Amendment."

"As the 5 p.m. service began yesterday, about 40 people – many carrying small firearms – sat in the Pentecostal church sanctuary."

"'We are wanting to send a message that there are legal, civil, intelligent and law-abiding citizens who also own guns,' Pagano said in greeting the audience, which included people who don't belong to his church." ...

"Pagano's Protestant church, which attracts up to 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God and is in a conservative part of southwest Louisville." ...
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Submitter's Note: One report says 200, one says 40. Did the reporters cover the same event?
 

KY: Guns At Church Event Draws Big Crowd
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"A southwest Jefferson County church opened its doors to guns as the pastor makes a point about the Second Amendment to the Constitution."

"At the New Bethel Church, Reverend Ken Pagano said the church is celebrating the independence and freedom provided by the constitution by raising awareness about being a safe and responsible gun owner."

"Pagano said he felt he had a duty to teach that to his community and congregation. He decided to do so by allowing everyone to carry guns into the church." ...

"Their weapons had to be holstered and unloaded, but bringing guns into any sanctuary, in any condition is considered distasteful by many since churches are seen as sacred places of worship and protection." ...
 

Feeling secure about gun safety
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"After a recent home break-in, 48-year-old Venice nurse Debbie Myers sought solace in a gun safety course."

"She found Todd Von Bender, a local instructor who teaches novices how to shoot and how to view wielding weaponry as a privilege, not a playful pastime."

"With her daughter ... Myers enrolled in one of Von Bender's free "Concealed Carry Training" classes through the Armed Citizen League. The women learned how to choose a handgun, how to safely store and clean a firearm and how to buy ammunition."

"'My daughter and I went together because we're both single and we live alone,' Myers said. 'Right now, especially after 9/11, there are so many single women out there, and we need to know how to protect ourselves.'" ...
 

TN: Assembly in political cross hairs
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Tennessee lawmakers found themselves in the political crosshairs this year as gun-rights advocates pushed several dozen gun bills, including controversial moves to expand places where handgun-carry permit holders can take their loaded weapons."

"By the time the smoke cleared, lawmakers had passed 18 gun-related bills before adjourning earlier this month."

"Successful bills ranged from allowing handgun-carry permit holders to bring loaded firearms into restaurants selling alcohol -- provided they do not drink -- to a measure that claims[sic] guns manufactured solely within Tennessee are not subject to federal regulations." ...
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Submitter's Note: The law 'claims' no such thing. It states that those guns are exempt from federal 'interstate commerce' regulations.
 

MI: Camp opposes tighter gun regulation
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Midland Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Camp opposes an Illinois Democrat’s gun control bill and other bills imposing gun regulations."

"Camp's press secretary ... reported Camp's position after the Daily News requested it ..."

"The Daily News has heard that some stores' ammunition shortages and ammunition price increases might be tied to gun owners' concerns that Congress and the president could tighten controls and to concerns about personal safety and property security in a tough economy."

"Camp's office has heard from more than 1,000 people generally opposing gun control and from 200 people opposing Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush's proposed firearms licensing and record of sale act." ...
 

AZ: Guns on campus OK'd by Arizona Senate
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Saying it will make people safer, state senators voted Friday to let people with concealed weapons permits carry them onto college and university campuses where they are now forbidden."

"The 15-6 vote on the provision in HB 2439 came after backers said they believe that having people who are licensed by the state to have weapons should cut down on the number of massacres that occur on campuses. ..."

"He did not refer by name to the 2002 incident at the University of Arizona where three instructors at the College of Nursing were slain by student Robert S. Flores Jr. who then turned the gun on himself."

"But Huppenthal said the evidence shows that it makes sense, from a safety standpoint, to let people carry guns." ...
 

TN: Guns in parks issue complex at county level
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"Williamson County leaders might feel anxious about the state's recent move to legalize the possession of handguns in public parks, but they're not willing to support any resolution to prohibit guns in county-owned parks — at least not yet." ...

"Come Sept. 1, state law will allow gun owners who have permits to carry handguns into public parks. But local governments can forbid them, but only if leaders cast a majority vote against the new law." ...

"Even among county leaders who are gun owners, the matter remains a difficult one."

"Naron, who calls himself a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, said, 'The difficulty I have is the very fact that guns and kids don't mix.'" ...
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Submitter's Note: So don't give guns to kids. 'Problem' solved.
 

CBP argue carrying small pocketknives should stay legal
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"A new proposal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not make carrying most types of small pocketknives illegal, an agency spokesman says."

"According to Brian Levin, the CBP wants to expand the federal definition of what types of knives are considered switchblades under the Federal Switchblade Act."

"The proposal, he said, pertains only to knives that have springs and release-assisted mechanisms and are imported."

"'It does not affect any of the knives manufactured in this country. It only pertains to imports.'"

"Levin said the agency posted the proposal on the Federal Registry on May 21 because it intends to revoke an earlier ruling it had made that assisted-opening knives are not considered switchblades." ...
 

The Perils of Being a Pedestrian in a Police State
Submitted by: Larry

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"Samer and Husien Shemada, brothers of Palestinian Arab descent, were minding their own business en route to a convenience store at 4:30 a.m. June 14. Unfortunately, their route took them past a police station."

"A police car pulled up and an officer ordered the brothers to stop. A surveillance video shows that the pedestrians stopped beneath a lamppost and made no threatening gestures of any kind. Seconds later, reports the Washington Times, 29-year-old Husien is seen falling out of the frame. He had been shot by Officer Adam Tavss. The young man was taken to a hospital, where he died." ...

"Tavss was cleared by a departmental 'inquiry,' and thus was able to be involved in when the police murdered a second victim four days later ..." ...
 

PA: 'Civil Rights' Group Begs for Martial Law
Submitted by: Larry

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"Reacting to a recent uptick in violent crime — ... a predictable social consequence of the ongoing economic collapse — the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania chapter of the NAACP has petitioned Governor Ed Rendell 'to suspend some civil liberties and impose martial law in the city,' ..."

"In the past month, there have been a dozen shootings in Harrisburg ... This prompted NAACP chapter president Stanley Lawson to demand that Rendell deploy the National Guard in the city for at least 30 days and to impose a curfew." ...

"Apparently, the 'civil rights' group considers it improper to encourage people to exercise the most elemental individual right — that of armed self-defense — and prefers the course of serfdom, albeit on a 'limited' basis." ...
 

PA: Harrisburg [PA] chapter of NAACP urges martial law (another view)
Submitted by: UTAHMILITIA.com
Website: http://www.MACpistol.com

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"The Harrisburg Chapter of the NAACP is calling on Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to suspend some civil liberties and impose martial law in the city to halt the wave of recent lawlessness."

"Chapter President Stanley Lawson also called on Rendell to bring in the state National Guard ... In June, there have been at least 12 shootings, many of them in the daytime ..."

"'The Guard is for floods and natural disasters. I don't know any more of a natural disaster than of our young people being killed,' he said ..."

"'It's time for some real action,' he said. 'Right now the important thing is to stop this madness.'"

"'We're beyond what the Harrisburg police department can do. We need help,' Lawson said." ...
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Submitter's note: wow, just wow.
 

PA: Gun buybacks won't halt city crime
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"On the local television news one evening recently was yet another story about Philadelphia offering $50 gift certificates to anyone turning in their guns."

"At the end, the reporter states that '... maybe our streets will be a little safer.'"

"Does anyone believe that the criminals ... are turning in their guns for a $50 ShopRite gift certificate?"

"Are there really people who are so gullible?"

"I believe these programs have absolutely no effect on lowering crime ..."

"Many of our elected officials are trying to disarm the American public, stating that it would reduce crime drastically. Nothing could be further from the truth! If all law-abiding citizens were armed ... crime would decrease rapidly." ...
 

VA: Gun-rights advocates say Coliseum staff challenged free-speech rights
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"The Virginia Citizens Defense League is used to fighting for the right to carry guns."

"But now it's having to defend the right to wear stickers about carrying guns."

"The group says officials at the Richmond Coliseum recently attempted to stop members from handing out blaze-orange 'Guns Save Lives' stickers before an appearance by radio and television talk-show host Glenn Beck."

"'It's bad enough they're trying to trample the Second Amendment. Then you come and attack the First,' President Philip Van Cleave said, referring to the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of the right to bear arms and to free speech."

"Dolly Vogt, who manages the Coliseum ... did not respond to three messages Friday ..." ...
 

PA: Gun-law letter misses the mark
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"I recently read a letter to the editor where the author claimed the Second Amendment allowed for gun regulations and restrictions ... The writer claimed that most pro-gun people ignore the part of the amendment that says, 'a well regulated militia, being necessary ...'."

"... When the framers wrote this out, a 'well regulated militia' was one that had training, proper organization and equipment comparable to that of any standing army. This militia was to consist of all citizens, just as in Israel."

"Instead of backing the writer's agenda, the clause tears it asunder. The Second Amendment isn't about hunters' rights; it is about defending yourself from tyranny large and small, foreign and domestic."
 

SC: Republican Women's Club talks gun rights
Submitted by: Bruce Krafft

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"The Iredell County Republican Women's Club took on everything from gun rights to anti-bullying legislation during its regular meeting Thursday night at the Holiday Inn in Statesville."

"The early part of the gathering focused on the members' hopes to keep both the state and federal governments from chipping away at the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

"The speaker for that portion of the meeting was Suzanne Anglewicz, with the [NRA]'s Institute for Legislative Action."

"'North Carolina has kept us busy these last few months,' Anglewicz said."

"She was referring to a number of pieces of legislation that are now, or have recently been, under consideration by the North Carolina General Assembly." ...
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now. — SOUTH CAROLINA v. US, 199 U.S. 437, 448 (1905)

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