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Phillipines: Who’s afraid of the NRA?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington. For years they have enjoyed success in defeating efforts at tighter gun control legislation by invoking the Second Amendment of the Constitution which calls for a citizen’s “right to bear arms.” Although the amendment originally is thought to be about defense of the country, the NRA uses it to justify any individual’s right to buy and keep a gun.

Emboldened by their success over the years, the NRA lobby is now, according to a report in the New York Times, venturing afield to such areas as financial regulation, campaign finances, health care. And even the selection of Supreme Court justices.
 

Answering Some Well-Asked Questions About Personal Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Jeff Yago, Backwoods Home’s energy writer, recently completed a couple of concealed carry handgun courses. The classes apparently left some questions hanging in the air, and Jeff passed along a request through Dave Duffy for those questions to be addressed in this space. Here goes.

Question 1: “What are the basic differences in handguns to help determine which is better for home defense, ease of operation (single versus double action), male or female, caliber, number of cartridges?”

The question covers a lot of ground, so the answer has to be a bit basic.

A double action revolver with swing-out cylinder is easier in terms of administrative handling (loading, unloading, checking, cleaning) than any semiautomatic pistol.
 

TX: Pro: Cities and states should be able to regulate gun ownership
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Some Crossroads residents think government control of gun ownership is not necessarily a bad thing.

Former nurse and current college student Laura Light, 47, of Victoria, sees the benefits.

"I don't see what harm it could do," Light said. "The criminals are going to get guns anyway, so we should control those guns that are out there legally."

The economist John Lott, in his 1998 book "More Guns, Less Crime," states that laws which make it easier for law-abiding citizens to get a permit to carry a gun in public places cause reductions in crime.
 

NY: Poor historians on Supreme Court
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The cartoonist depicts the five majority-opinion justices as the “Supremos.” ... The cartoon reads, “2nd Amendment, redefined.” ...

The cartoonist is either ignorant of United States history, or chose to ignore it.

The individual right of firearm ownership was essentially unquestioned until the mid-20th century when revisionist history somehow determined that it pertained only to the establishment of a militia and not to individual ownership of firearms.

Were that the case, it would be the most closely guarded secret of the 18th century, as nowhere in the correspondence of the Founders or in the published arguments of the various states debating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution does such an idea appear.
 

WA: Relatives Say Man's PTSD Prompted Shooting In Everett
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A former soldier is accused of opening fire outside an Everett McDonald's, and his relatives are blaming the Vietnam War.

Relatives of Steven Dionne said he may have shot a panhandler as a reaction to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Greg Dionne said jail is the last place his brother wants to be. Not just jail, but any place where he's surrounded by people.

"He's not a violent person," Greg Dionne said. "He wouldn't go up to somebody to even ask directions."

Everett police said Steven Dionne shot a panhandler Saturday morning outside a McDonald's when the man asked for money. Police said the men argued and then Steven Dionne shot the man in the back.

Ed.: More info emerges on the shooting we linked yesterday.
 

With My Rifle by My Side: A Second Amendment Lesson
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This hardcover children's book, With My Rifle by My Side, sets out to be a lesson about the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Told in rhyme from the perspective of a young hunting enthusiast, author Kimberly Jo Simac quickly diverts toward homily-centric verse about God and country and family, leaving very little in the core of the book about gun use, gun safety, and the right to bear arms. (Fortunately all that is covered in the appendix.)

As the young narrator describes why fall is his favorite time of year, we watch as he watches the geese begin to fly south, and joins his father and younger sister:

We love to go out with our Dad in the truck.
He loads corn and apples for the does and the bucks.
 

MI: When Gun Law Doesn’t Mean What It Says
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Rather than being the end of the debate, that ruling led to Chicago adopting the most restrictive gun control regime in the United States, which was almost immediately challenged in court. The new case, and others like it, will help to define the outlines of our Second Amendment rights by forcing courts to rule on what restrictions are reasonable.

We have similar issues of Michigan law currently being played out in Michigan courts. One of them is the right of CPL (Concealed Pistol License) Holders to carry openly in places where others are prohibited from possessing firearms.
 

TX: Should cities, states be able to regulate gun ownership?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on McDonald v. Chicago, a case testing the constitutionality of Chicago's ban on handguns. Justices basically asserted, by a 5-4 vote, that owning a handgun for self-defense is a "fundamental right."

This ruling followed a 2008 decision that struck down a similar law in Washington, D.C., federal territory. That ruling also asserted that the Second Amendment establishes an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and hunting.

Now that the federal government has basically stepped aside in the gun control debate, do cities and states have the right to control gun ownership?
 

AL: ADA: Man shot likely in 'self-defense'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A 24-year-old Troy man died early Monday in a Birmingham hospital after he was shot in a local residence around 1:30 a.m.

Troy Police responded to the reported shooting in the 100 block of Rose Circle, where James A. Jones was shot, according to information released by Chief Anthony Everage.

...

“It appears at this stage the actions of the shooter were in self defense,” Anderson said. “There has been from what I understand a history of calls (to the police department) from the female in prior occasions regarding the male.”

Anderson said there is a 10-year-old witness to the crime who confirmed the shooter had been struck by Jones.
 

TX: Con: It's part of our Constitutional rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The right to own a gun without government interference is well-grounded in U.S. history, say some Crossroads residents.

"We have a right to bear arms," said Victoria mechanic T.J Bryant. "That right goes all the way back to the Constitution. We're allowed to protect ourselves."

Plant manager Jake Davis, of Victoria, agreed, also citing the Constitution.

"No, cities and states should not be able to do that," he said. "It's part of our Constitution, the right to bear arms. It's one of the foundations on which our country was founded."

The recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down a Chicago law that banned gun ownership has far-reaching effects.
 

CA: L.A. County Sheriff's Department to destroy 8,300 weapons seized from criminals
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will destroy 8,300 confiscated weapons Tuesday at a steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga.

The annual effort is known as Project Isaiah. The stash of weapons taken from criminals will be dumped from a series of tractor-trailers into the smelter at the Tamco Steel Mill, said Deputy Bill Brauberger, who described the event as a celebration for the Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s pretty exciting and very visual,” said Brauberger, who attended the event last year.

The Tamco Steel Mill has hosted the event for the last 17 years, he said.
 

FL: NRA and Unified Sportsmen endorse Proctor
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Marion P. Hammer, Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida and past NRA president, announced to Historic City News reporters that Dr. William Proctor has received their endorsement in his bid for re-election to the Florida House of Representatives, District 20.

In a letter dated today, Proctor received word of the NRA – Unified Sportsmen endorsements saying, “Your support of Second Amendment, self defense, and anti-crime issues, your pro-sportsmen, pro Second Amendment, pro freedom record have earned you our endorsement and our appreciation.”
 

TN: Ramsey, the slideshow
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A look in photos, below, at Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Republican candidate for governor of Tennessee.

Ramsey, from Blountville, is campaigning on his leadership in the Tennessee General Assembly, where he guided the GOP to a 19-14 majority in the Senate and is the first Republican speaker of the Senate in 140 years.

Ramsey claims to be the most conservative candidate in the field and has vowed to cut state government substantially. He has railed against what he sees as an oppressive federal government and says Washington is out of control.
 

MO: Raymore gun issue will be on Nov. 2 ballot
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Raymore’s politicians have argued since last winter about whether City Council members should be allowed to carry concealed weapons at meetings.

On Nov. 2, the people will get their say.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, a petition with more than 1,600 signatures was presented to take the issue out of the council’s hands and put it to a vote of the people.

If the proposed charter amendment passes, it will undo an ordinance the council passed this spring allowing members to come armed to meetings.

State law demands that the council approve putting the question on the ballot because the petition met its legal requirements. So the council did, unanimously.
 

Senate Scheduled to Vote on Free Speech Stranglehold Bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Just as gun owners are engaged in the intense battle over anti-gun Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a new version of a bill that will gut the First Amendment rights of groups like GOA.

The so-called DISCLOSE Act, which passed the House last month, puts severe and unconstitutional limits on our ability to hold individual congressmen accountable in the weeks leading up to an election.

Chuck Schumer, who would like to do away with the Second Amendment, is now also trampling all over the First Amendment as a way to protect himself and his anti-gun colleagues from voters like you.
 

Peterson Wants Gun Charges Dropped
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Attorneys for Drew Peterson, the former Illinois policeman charged with the murder of his third wife, have filed motions to have his felony gun charges dropped. When he was arrested, Peterson was charged for possession of a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches.

Joel Brodsky, one of Peterson's attorneys, argued that Peterson carried the weapon while on duty with the Bolingbrook Police Department and therefore is immune from prosecution.

Brodsky's motion also said that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding gun rights gives Peterson the Second Amendment right to own the rifle.

A hearing was scheduled for August 23 on the gun charge motion.
 

CO: Candidate responds
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Dear Citizens of State Senate District 2: A recent mailing describing me as anti-gun is a gross misrepresentation of my position on the Second Amendment and the rights of Colorado's citizens to own and use firearms.

I have stated on numerous occasions, at candidate forums and in response to questions, that I support the Second Amendment. I strongly believe that an armed citizenry prevents encroachments on our freedom by tyranny in any form.

Over the Independence Day weekend, I marveled at our country's founders' wisdom while completing the NRA's candidate questionnaire. I have attached that survey for your review, in confidence that you will see how strongly I believe in this issue...
 

PA: Exeter police chief takes blame for flare-up over gun law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It's been open season on Exeter Township police Chief Christopher L. Neidert since rumors about proposed changes to a township firearms ordinance began spreading last week.

...

"I guess you can blame me for this whole stir of emotions," he told a standing-room-only audience at the township supervisors meeting. "There has been some confusion, some misconceptions."

...

The National Rifle Association posted an "Action Alert" last week on its website saying the Exeter supervisors would "consider a broad and overreaching attack on our Second Amendment freedoms."

The proposed changes to the 1982 ordinance were intended to allow Exeter police to build a target range on Neversink Mountain, Neidert said.
 

WI: The right to regain the right to own a gun
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Forever is a long time, and removing a right forever is a bit too unforgiving for some mistakes in life.

A U.S. appeals court earlier this month ruled that a Wisconsin man who had convictions for domestic violence could be barred from ever owning a gun. Steve Skoien appealed his prison sentence for violating the federal Lautenberg Amendment after authorities found him with a deer-hunting shotgun.

We won't paint this specific defendant, who has multiple convictions for domestic battery, as a sympathetic figure. Government should work to shield victims from their tormentors, yet we're concerned that a blanket rule like this covers both the deserving and the undeserving.
 

NC: U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says "no" to Elena Kagan for Supreme Court
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“I opposed Ms. Kagan’s nomination to be Solicitor General, and the little additional information provided through the confirmation hearing process has given me no reason to change my mind in support of her to serve on the Supreme Court. With no judicial record, I am left with reviewing her decisions in academic life and the policies for which she actively advocated in prior political appointments.

“I am concerned by her actions with regard to military recruiters – fighting to keep military recruiters off campuses in a time of war – and believe it extends to her views on the rest of the military. I am also concerned about her views on Second Amendment rights and her lack of sympathy for law-abiding gun owners. ...”
 

MO: Woman uses railroad spike in self-defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Poplar Bluff Police arrested Steven Dover Monday afternoon on charges of first degree robbery and burglary, but the story is how the homeowner was able to get him out of the house.

The homeowner didn't have a baseball bat, a gun, or a kitchen knife handy to defend herself when police say Dover tried to break in, so she grabbed the first thing she saw; it just happened to be an old railroad spike!

She says she hit Dover once in the head, and it was enough to keep her and her roommate safe.
 

TN: Undecided Voters Puzzle Over Haslam
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Bill Haslam is ballyhooing his 11-point lead in the latest poll in the governor's race—the second to show the Knoxville mayor ahead by double digits. ... They may like the guy, but what does he stand for? All they know is what they've seen in his inane TV ads. As Ron Ramsey says of Haslam:

“All he’s said is, ‘I’m a nice guy that sneaks a piece of pie every once in a while and knows some lady named Kempie in Memphis.’ ... Where does he stand on some of these issues? Where’s he going to make these tough cuts he’s talking about? Where is he really on Second Amendment rights? I don’t think he knows a 12-gauge shotgun from a 20-gauge shotgun. And suddenly he says, ‘I’m the real deal.’ "
 

CO: Use of conceal carry permit names at issue in GOP Larimer sheriff race
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The submission of Larimer County conceal carry permit holder names into a statewide database has become a divisive issue in the Republican primary for Larimer County Sheriff after Colorado's largest gun rights organizations recently criticized Justin Smith for his plans to continue to submit those names.

The submission of the names is a major campaign issue for Smith's Republican counterpart Carl Bruning, who says he will not submit the names to the database.

Smith, a major with the Sheriff's Office, says he will continue the practice of Sheriff Jim Alderden and submit the names to the Colorado Crime Information Center.
 

KS: Guns raised as issue in Kansas' GOP Senate race
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt criticized his main rival in the U.S. Senate race Monday over decade-old votes on gun rights issues and touted an endorsement from a state group affiliated with the National Rifle Association.

Tiahrt’s backing by the Kansas State Rifle Association touched off another public dispute with Republican Rep. Jerry Moran. The rifle association originally said its rules prevented it from endorsing either candidate in the Aug. 3 primary, but its directors later decided otherwise.

Moran has an “A” grade from the NRA, which the group says is “solidly pro-gun.” But Tiahrt received an “A+” for being “vigorous” in defending rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
 

NH: Governor vetoes gun-sales license bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Urged on by police chiefs, Gov. John Lynch vetoed legislation Monday that would have scrapped the ability of cities and towns to license handgun sales, legislation that was sponsored by a leader of Lynch's own Democratic Party.

The veto keeps intact a law that gives cities and towns the option to license sellers of pistols and revolvers.

The sponsor of the legislation called local licensing redundant because the federal government already licenses firearm dealers and regulates firearm sales. State Rep. Daniel Eaton, the House majority floor leader, also said local licensing is not uniformly applied. And he warned that towns could use it punitively or for zoning purposes.
 

CT: Flawed Criticisms Of Gun Rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A recent column by Manny Margolis criticizing the Supreme Court’s opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago erroneously argues the absence of a historical basis for the Court’s conclusion that Americans have a fundamental individual right to keep arms for self-defense.

Far from engaging in “revisionist history,” the majority opinions in both McDonald and Heller v. District of Columbia, are loaded with scholarship on that point, with numerous citations to statements of the founders and the drafters of the federal constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Justice Samuel Alito hardly cited and relied only on “Blackstone,” as Margolis suggests. Read the lengthy opinions for yourselves; they are a wonderful history lesson.
 

Freedom of photography: Police, security often clamp down despite public right
Submitted by: xqqme

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The last two paragraphs are telling... "Second District Cmdr. Matthew Klein said there is no official prohibition against photographing the interior of a squad car. But he said officers acted appropriately because they thought Vorus was escalating the situation.

'They had a situation developing,' Klein said. 'They had to make a call.'

Submitter's note: Allow me to paraphrase: the cops and security guards were upset that the photographer was doing something legal they didn't like, so when he began doing something still legal, but that they REALLY didn't like, they took action infringing on the citizen's rights... and that, evidently, makes it "appropriate".
 

TX: North Texas town fires most of its police department
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The North Texas town of Combine is on the Dallas-Kaufman county line. The community, with a population of 2,159, had a police force of 13 on Saturday.
On Sunday, that number was down to two, and some officers dismissed on Saturday night say politics is behind the City Council's action.
 

TX: City Terminates All But Two in Police Force
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Nearly every police officer for a small north Texas city was terminated from the payroll during a council meeting Saturday.
The Combine City Council in Kaufman County let go 11 of their 13 police officers with a 5 – 0 vote, citing a department reorganization and lack of funds.
Mayor pro tem Tonya Ratcliff also said officers were expected to conduct themselves in a professional, open and honest manner, and councilmembers acted because those responsibilities were not being met. ...
"The town needs a police department that they can depend on and trust, and that's what were working towards,"ť Ratcliff told reporters after the meeting.
 

House Expected to Vote on Bill to Protect Guns From Claims of Creditors in Bankruptcy Cases
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow (Tuesday, July 27) on a bill that would protect guns from the claims of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings (H.R. 5827). The national gun violence prevention organizations Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, GunFreeKids.org, Legal Community Against Violence, Protest Easy Guns, and Violence Policy Center are adamantly opposed to the legislation.
 

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