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Newslinks for 7/19/2010

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Obama Accidentally Stimulates Economy by Hating Freedom
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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President Obama’s clear antagonism towards proponents of individual liberty has caused a rise in tax revenues from the sale of firearms and ammunition. Catherine Rampell reports:

Federal tax revenue on the sales of firearms and ammunition rose 45 percent in the last fiscal year. That is the highest annual increase on record, according to a new report from the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

By comparison, the annual average increase for fiscal years 1993 to 2008 was 6 percent.
 

New Court Ruling Mutes "Gun Rights" Celebration
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For those in the extremist gun lobby and the libertarian right who view the Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment rulings as assault weapons ready to blow holes in America’s gun laws, the Seventh Circuit’s ruling this week in U.S. v. Skoien must be a bitter pill.

... The Seventh Circuit heard the case en banc (i.e. with all eleven judges sitting) and, by a vote of 10-1, upheld the conviction of Steven Skoien for violating the federal law barring possession of guns by individuals with misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence.
 

FL: On Second Amendment matters, Gov. Crist sticks to his guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"You can't get an 'A+' unless you have a strong history on our issues," Hammer said.

Joe Waldron, a director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, also said that Crist's support for gun rights has remained steadfast.

However, a budding effort to cast doubt on Crist's progun record has begun to emerge.

Crist recently indicated he would confirm President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, if elected to the U.S. Senate, drawing mixed responses.

Hammer said she continues to trust Crist. Neither Hammer nor the NRA has endorsed a candidate in the Senate race yet.
 

MD: Should municipalities have right to pass gun laws?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yes, but do politicians and Supreme Court justices sincerely respect the Second Amendment? Or rather, do they cower before the politically mighty National Rifle Association?

The Second Amendment is exquisitely ambiguous. The NRA is exquisitely absolutist.

Notwithstanding the two recent Supreme Court decisions by bare 5-4 majorities (D.C. vs. Heller in 2008 and McDonald vs. Chicago in 2010), what the founding fathers really meant in the Second Amendment will probably be forever unclear.

...

No. How far from our moorings have we drifted when only five Supreme Court Justices will affirm the Second Amendment of our Constitution?
 

NE: Gun rights guru offers tips
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Nebraska gun rights proponents left the Hilton Garden Inn on Saturday feeling better armed to protect their cause after attending a conference led by influential gun rights activist Alan Gottlieb.

Gottlieb instructed a one-day seminar on grass-roots organization for gun rights groups, which those in attendance said will help grow their base and keep Nebraska gun rights intact.

Gottlieb said people who attend his seminars have a passion for preserving gun rights but often lack the needed legal, media and organizational expertise.

“It's really fun to train them,” Gottlieb said. “Many people are naive about how that works, but people are hungry and thirsty for the knowledge.”
 

He picks his fights and soldiers on
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Sounds like a thankless job. How else to describe the job of Paul Helmke, former Fort Wayne mayor and one-time Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Indiana? Helmke, now in Washington, is president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

His side was shot down by conservatives on the Supreme Court with their interpretation of the Second Amendment in voiding Chicago's gun ban.

The National Rifle Association, the other side, the winning side in court interpretation of Second Amendment wording about "a well regulated militia," has emerged as arguably the most powerful lobby of all.
 

IN: Gun toting more rife in rural areas
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Carol and Mark Roemke readily acknowledge there’s little crime happening around their farm near Harlan.

Several times people have tried to break into their tank of anhydrous ammonia, which is used as fertilizer and in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine. And for that reason, the husband and wife as well as their sons have personal protection permits to carry handguns.

“I tell you what, we got it for protection,” Mark Roemke said. “We have our Second Amendment rights, and we take advantage of them.”
 

NV: Senator Harry Reid holds tea party at gunpoint
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Some choices look easy. Between Nevada Republican Sharron Angle, an ardent believer in the constitutional right to bear arms anywhere from a national park to a corner bar, and one of Washington's most powerful Democrats, who would the National Rifle Association choose?

If you said Angle, that's the easy choice, and probably the wrong one. The NRA's political arm has yet to make endorsements, but gun owners around the U.S. are worried, with evident reason, that the group may be prepared to forsake Angle for her Democratic opponent, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader.
 

CA: Contra Costa Times readers weigh in on Johannes Mehserle verdict
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Mehserle's "mistaken" use of a loaded gun on an unarmed citizen occurred because he was armed with not one, but two deadly weapons.
...

I feel Mehserle was guilty of second-degree murder. Unfortunately, the death of unarmed citizens by Taser-wielding cops is skyrocketing here in the U.S.

Most of these incidents receive little media coverage. Amnesty International reports that 351 mostly unarmed U.S. residents have been killed by police Tasers from 2001-2008.

Police are being trained to expect total submission by the public. These lethal weapons should be taken out of the hands of law enforcement.

While our government works overtime to gut the Second Amendment, police should not be allowed to pack two kinds of heat.
 

CO: Level of change at sheriff's office a primary issue
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Democratic candidates Jay Harrison and Al Ohms promise drastic changes to the Larimer County department - particularly with treatment toward employees and the public. Meanwhile, Republican Justin Smith claims he's the most experienced, qualified and prepared candidate, and his GOP counterpart Carl Bruning is touting himself as the "Constitutional Sheriff."

"I think one of the biggest things is people are tired of aggressive law enforcement," Bruning said. "There's so many 'laws' on the books... It's about recognizing that the supreme law of the land is the U.S. Constitution and making sure you have the sheriff protecting the rights of the people."
 

LA: Guns in churches?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the recent legislative session, Governor Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 1272 by Representative Henry Burns, R-Haughton, allowing individuals to carry guns into houses of worship.

The bill's language stipulates that persons who carry lethal weapons into God's house must "conceal" their guns. Why cover the lethal weapons? In God's house, we display proudly our bibles. In God's house, we display proudly our American flag. I surmise that the language in the bill stipulating, "conceal," is there for one purpose: carrying firearms into such a sensitive place and flashing these deadly weapons openly before everyone, is not a behavioral act of which any rational civilized person can be proud.
 

TN: Shooting range to open in fall in Piney Flats
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Piney Flats community will soon be home to the area’s first indoor shooting range and training center when a new facility opens in the Tri-County Industrial Park this fall.

Hunters, law enforcement personnel, recreational marksmen and beginning shooters will all find a place at Shooters Edge, said Don Reimer, one of the center’s co-owners and general managers.

“It really is needed in this area,” he said. “Carry permits are at an all-time high … and police, fire and emergency medical services in the area are underserved in many ways.”
 

AL: Gun buyback program is 'a huge success'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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No names or addresses were taken during the event and no charges were made against those who turned in a gun without a license.

The department had $1,400 in gift cards to trade for firearms, and by 9:30 a.m. the cards had run out.

People continued to drop off guns, however, and by the end of the buyback at noon, the department had collected more than 30 guns.

“This was a huge success,” said Police Chief Steve Anderson. “Any gun that we get off the street is a gun that we can be assured won’t be used at a later date in an assault or robbery.”
 

AZ: John McCain Decimated by JD Hayworth in Second Senate Primary Debate
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The debate began with the moderator asking each candidate why they were the most conservative candidate. JD said that he was the most conservative because he has a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of 98% over his 12 years in Congress (about the same rating as the most conservative member of the Senate, Jim DeMint), an "A" rating from the NRA, and an endorsement by Gun Owners of America. Citizens Against Government Waste gives him a higher lifetime score than McCain. Unlike McCain, JD opposes amnesty and the billion dollar pork TARP bailouts which included $150 billion in earmarks. He opposed cap and trade legislation which McCain co-sponsored with Democrat Joe Lieberman.
 

FL: ACLU comes around
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“Under the Second Amendment, he has a right to have his guns in his house, “ said Butin. “He’s not a convicted felon. It is unusual for the ACLU. But the ACLU supports all constitutional rights. We don’t pick and choose.”

It will be great if that becomes the case, but it hasn’t been in the past.

Brandon Hensler, the ACLU of Florida’s communication director, admitted as much, saying: “This is the first time I know of in the ACLU’s 90-year history that we have advocated on behalf of a citizen to have his weapons returned from law enforcement.”
 

More Handguns in U.S., Streets Safer than Ever
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In 1979, the group now known as the Brady Campaign said "over 50 million handguns flood the houses and streets of our nation. . . . If we continue at this pace, we will have equipped ourselves with more than 100 million handguns by the turn of the century. One hundred million handguns. Will we be safer then?"

In 2008, after the Supreme Court struck down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban in District of Columbia v. Heller, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said, "introducing more handguns into the district will mean more handgun violence."
 

TN: Tennessee Firearms Association Endorses Ramsey for Governor
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Personally and in my volunteer capacity as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association since 1995, I am comfortable that from your extensive experience and public voting record that you have demonstrated a strong and consistent support of the rights of the citizens of the State of Tennessee as protected by the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution as well as Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution. You have demonstrated this core principal even when others have questioned the justness of standing up for constitutionally recognized rights that might seem to them to be unnecessary.
 

Why the Smith House is the Birth Place of the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is undoubtedly the most controversial of all of our rights. We disagree vociferously about what it means. As a Progressive, I will tell you right up front the views I am about to put forth are not the views I have held most of my life. I have examined over 1000 pages of primary source documentation and it has changed my mind from a collective right, we have a right to make laws regarding weapons and to regulate possession to an individual right that gets into issues of Contract Law, self defense, and even the right of rebellion or revolution and no regulation of this right. Having an open mind the documentation has radically changed my opinions on this issue.
 

TX: Friend: Mayor involved in apparent murder-suicide 'never opened up'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"I think that the weight of it all became too much for her," said Doug Stover, who preceded Jayne Peters as mayor of Coppell, Texas. "She felt unfortunately, for her, this was the only option she had."

Police in Coppell said last week that Peters shot and killed her 19-year-old daughter before turning the gun on herself.

In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon on Saturday, Stover described Peters as "a very anti-gun person" and said she had borrowed the gun from a friend, claiming she needed it for a self-defense class.
 

Tight budgets, fewer cops: Time for citizens to 'arm up'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Plunging government revenues may have the unintended consequence -- so far as tax-and-spend ... public officials are concerned -- of reminding people that we are ultimately responsible for our own safety. The pie plate is empty and inevitable cutbacks in important public services, including law enforcement, are on the horizon. It is already happening in Oakland, CA where the police chief has announced that officers will no longer respond to a broad list of crimes, if department layoffs go as planned.

What's a citizen to do? Perhaps they will follow the advice of Ashtabula County, OH Judge Alfred Mackey and Hudspeth County, TX Sheriff Arvin West. In the past few months, both have advised their neighbors to arm themselves.
 

Kevin & Kell comic strip anti-opencarry
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Kevin & Kell is one of the oldest online comic strips, mostly satirical in its review of society and technology.

However, this particular strip took a cheap, ham handed shot at the Open Carry movement.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The said Constitution be never construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. — Samuel Adams, during Massachusetts's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788).

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