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Newslinks for 8/15/2014

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MO: Armed shop owners ward off looters in St. Louis
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Business owners in the St. Louis-area rocked by violence over the police shooting of an unarmed black teen have decided to take matters into their own hands in defending what’s rightfully theirs.
St. Louis Ink Tattoo Studio and County Guns share a storefront in a Florissant strip mall less than 10 minutes from the violence that followed a peaceful vigil Sunday night for Michael Brown, who was killed Saturday after allegedly getting into an altercation with police, the Riverfront Times reported. ...
Mike Gutierrez, owner of the tattoo shop, rounded up his friends, including County Guns owner Adam Weinstein, and prepared the protect their property with force.
 

How Congress Helped Create Ferguson’s Militarized Police
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Since 2006, the Pentagon has distributed 432 mine-resistant armored vehicles to local police departments. It has also doled out more than 400 other armored vehicles, 500 aircraft, and 93,000 machine guns.
As The New York Times reported in June, the Defense Department has been making use of unused military equipment by giving it to local precincts.
This is despite the fact that violent crime in the U.S. has steadily plummeted since 1993. Between 1993 and 2012, the violent-crime rate dropped by nearly 50 percent.
Yet today, local police—in cities and small towns across the country—are increasingly loaded for bear. How did this militarization of the police force come about?
 

The Pentagon gave nearly half a billion dollars of military gear to local law enforcement last year
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The events in Ferguson, Missouri this week are an uncomfortable reminder of the militarization of America's small town law enforcement agencies. The photos coming out of the town--of heavily armed officers in full combat gear squaring off against unarmed protesters--look like images we're used to seeing from places like Gaza, Turkey, or Egypt, not from a midwestern suburb of 21,000 people.
One of the ways police departments have armed themselves in recent years is through the Defense Department's excess property program, known as the 1033 Program.
 

Document: Homeland Security Predicts Rise of 'Anti-Government' Violence
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis predicts increased “anti-government violence over the next year.” The document says the inspiration for violence is Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville standoff with the Bureau of Land Management from earlier in the year.
DHS’s seven-page report entitled Domestic Violent Extremists Pose a Threat to Government Officials and Law Enforcement points to the recent murders of two Las Vegas law enforcement officers as evidence that there is a “growing trend of anti-government violence compared to the previous four years and inspired by perceived government overreach and oppression” and the “perceived victory at Bunkervile” will “likely prompt more violence.”
 

Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.
If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.
The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.
The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.
 

MO: Pentagon weaponry in St. Louis County: Updated Column
Submitted by: Anonymous

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UPDATE: St. Louis County law enforcement agencies received twelve 5.56 millimeter rifles and six .45 caliber pistols from the Department of Defense between Aug. 2, 2010, and Feb. 13, 2013, a Missouri public safety official confirmed Thursday. Ferguson, Mo., is within St. Louis County. The Pentagon allows information on "tactical" equipment to be released only at a county level, so which police department(s) in the county received the weaponry is not available.
The Pentagon might not have boots on the ground in Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by police on Saturday, but it does have wheels on the street.
 

CA: Visalia woman kills boyfriend in self-defense, police say
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Police say a Visalia woman acted in self-defense when she shot and killed her boyfriend.

It happened shortly before 9:00 Thursday morning on Vassar near Burke. That's when police got a 911 call from inside a home.

Detectives found a man with two gunshot wounds to his chest. He later died at the hospital.
 

TX: Open Carry Postpones 5th Ward Rally
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A controversial gun rights rally planned for Houston's 5th ward this weekend has been postponed. Open Carry Texas says it wants to work with black activists who opposed the rally to “correct the lies, miscommunication, and vitriol” surrounding the event.

Alan Korwin helped write the book on gun laws in Texas and elsewhere, and recently won a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix over his “Guns Save Lives” campaign.
 

NY: De Blasio Admin Uses Nearly $13 Million for New Anti-Gun Violence Program
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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De Blasio seems disinterested in these numbers in his obsession with scaling back Second Amendment rights. Last year, he even proclaimed Bloomberg didn't go far enough on gun control:
 

WA: Looking for ‘loopholes?’ Check press coverage of dueling Wash. initiatives
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In its latest attempt at what might be considered advocacy journalism to prop up Initiative 594, the Seattle Times last night published another story dealing with accused Seattle Pacific University shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra and how people wonder why this “suicidal, psychotic 27-year-old was allowed to have a gun in the first place.”
 

A legal look: Reasonable force or police brutality against Mike Brown?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One of the legal questions being raised: Was the shooting by a police officer an illegal act or reasonable force?

...

"It’s hard to imagine what would justify multiple gunshots at an individual going way from the police who’s unarmed," says Peter Joy a law professor at Washington University Law School in St. Louis.
 

MD: Judge Says Second Amendment Doesn't Protect AR-15s
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A federal judge rules that the AR-15 and similar weapons commonly used in self-defense "fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms," and we have no right to keep or bear them.

Nobody looted the gun shop and tattoo parlor that share a storefront in a strip mall less than 10 minutes from Ferguson, Mo., where riots followed the police shooting of Michael Brown.
 

"If 20 million illegals vote, you can kiss the Second Amendment goodbye."
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"If 20 million illegals vote, you can kiss the Second Amendment goodbye," the mailer says.

We thought drawing a connection between illegal immigration and the right to bear arms was dubious, so we decided to dig into it.
 

‘Crazy People Should Not Be Allowed To Own Guns’ Right? A Look at the Facts
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Will improved mental health evaluations, and data collection and reporting of mental health information decrease violence, especially gun-related violence?
 

Gun nuts’ alcohol debacle: Why their new booze scheme is the scariest yet
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Healey reports that at least one-third of firearm-related deaths are alcohol-related, which added up to almost 400,000 of them in the U.S. between 1997 and 2009. And a survey of risk behaviors conducted under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1996 and 1997 found that nearly 35 percent of all suicides and homicides are alcohol-related.

Ed.: BS. There were 395k total firearms fatalities in those 12 years, not 395k alcohol-related firearms fatalities. And 'alcohol-related' includes cases where the *victim* had at least some alcohol in their system.
 

MO: Girl and a Gun Women's Shooting Club
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A "Girl and a Gun" is a shooting club for women shooters of all ages and skill levels. This club offers qualified instructors, events, and clinics which allow women to learn the safe use of a firearm in a girl-friendly environment. Women learn additional skills such as marksmanship and self-defense. Club Facilitator Mary Bryant says right now they are working on the skills of using basic firearms such as pistols. She says there are a lot of women around here who want to participate in activity such as this.
 

MA: Massachusetts governor signs law tightening state gun rules
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed into law a measure giving police chiefs authority to turn down a resident's requests to buy a rifle or shotgun if they believe the person may be a danger.
 

Wake Up, America. What's Going On In Ferguson, MO, Should Scare You
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For every person who is all hepped up about the Second Amendment and their rights to carry an assault rifle into Chipotle -- I'm wondering where their outrage is tonight. The Constitution is being shredded left and right, and I don't see any of them walking the streets in protest or using their rights to open carry.

The silence around this situation on behalf of the Second Amendment fanatics and the usually loud libertarians belies their proposed agendas. This situation in Ferguson, MO, is *precisely* the kind of thing they're always terrified of. But it's crickets over there.
 

My Five Self Defense Knives
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Let me start by making a statement. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET INTO A KNIFE FIGHT!

In a good knife fight, no one wins. Many times you won’t even know that you are cut, much less how bad.

The baddest guy that I know with a knife is the Pro-staff guy that helped design Browning’s Black Label Tactical knives named Jared Wisong.
 

Rambo Hates Guns: How Sylvester Stallone Became the Most Anti-Gun Celeb in Hollywood
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After the shooting death of his friend, comedian Phil Hartman, in 1998, Stallone became particularly passionate about the issue. And it wasn’t just lax gun laws he was angry about; he wanted to blow a hole through the Second Amendment: “It has to be stopped, and someone really has to go on the line, a certain dauntless political figure, and say, ‘It’s ending, it’s over, all bets are off, it’s not 200 years ago, we don’t need [the Second Amendment] anymore, and the rest of the world doesn’t have it,’” Stallone told Access Hollywood in 1998. “Why should we?”
 

MO: Ferguson’s Imaginary Gun Problem
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yes, if all protestors had loaded firearms in their hands, the situation would almost certainly have degenerated into a more violent mess. But the fact is protestors could have armed themselves. Mostly, they didn’t. Though there is no way to precisely calculate the number of Missourians that own guns – one Daily Beast report uses NICS background checks numbers to come up with 14,712 per 100,000 residents, which doesn’t include inherited weapons, shotguns, etc. – there are doubtlessly plenty of firearms to be found in St Louis county. ...

In this situation, it was the state that behaved as if it had been deployed for war, not the majority of protestors.
 

WI: Sheriff's race a big win for First, Second amendments
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Moews got a lot of help from left-leaning special interest groups that wanted to see Clarke go down in flames. By some accounts, Moews backers outspent Clarke and his supporters by a conservative 6-to-1 margin. Many expect, when the campaign cash is all counted, the gulf will be wider.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a liberal supermarket of campaign funding and organization that played a big-money role in the left’s failed 2012 recall campaign against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, dumped at least $400,000 on attack ads targeting Clarke.

Tuesday’s victory all but assures Clarke of re-election. There is no Republican running in the November general election.
 

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