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Newslinks for 8/23/2008

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David Codrea: The Heller High Watermark
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"I've said before magazines are poor places for developing stories — the time between events and publication may be months, and assumptions may be proven wrong in the interim."

"Nonetheless, we'd be remiss if we didn't highlight the June 26 Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v Heller ..."

"That's the first time they've so ruled, and as such, it's huge. But as with all things, read the fine print." ...

"What's next? Lawsuits challenging city handgun bans have been filed by NRA and CCRKBA. Anti-gun politicians are red-faced in fury. Anti-gun groups are spinning this as a new opportunity for 'reasonable regulations.' Some gun rights activists are crowing, others are warning about potential negative fallout." ...
 

No place should be 'off limits' for the law-abiding
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"GeorgiaCarry.Org's mission is to foster the civil right of its members to bear arms. While the phrase 'bear arms' is familiar to most people from text of the Second Amendment, GCO's mission is focused on the notion that people have an inherent right to self-defense that is firmly rooted in our history."

"The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms, based on a human right of self-defense that existed before the Constitution was ratified. There has been a gradual erosion of this human right in Georgia stemming from racial politics during Reconstruction and the early 20th century. GCO seeks to undo this erosion." ...
 

Recreational shooting sports brought into focus
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The recent D.C. v. Heller ruling in the United States Supreme Court settled once and for all that the Second Amendment is an individual right -- just as the other first 10 amendments of the Constitution are -- and it has brought a lot of light on recreational shooting in the U.S."

"Likewise, with the American shooting teams at the 2008 Olympics being some of the best in the world, a lot of attention is being paid to the shotgun sports. As of this writing, Walton Eller won the gold in men's double trap; Vince Hancock won the gold in men's skeet; Corey Cogdel the bronze in women's trap and Kimberly Rhode the silver in women's skeet."

"There are about 17 million active target shooters in the United States ..." ...
 

Open Democratic Platform Meeting
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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... "Members of New England Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Ceasefire New Jersey ... met to draft a Democratic Platform statement on gun violence prevention. We are extremely proud of our Platform statement and share it with you here."

"The Democratic Party believes that all Americans have the right to be free from gun violence in our homes, schools, places of work and on the streets of our communities. Easy access to firearms by terrorists, felons, domestic violence offenders, violent teens, the mentally ill and many others who we all agree should not possess guns continues to put tens of thousands of Americans at risk every year for death or injury due to gun violence." ...
 

What’s Your Best Idea to Cut Gun Deaths? A Freakonomics Quorum
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"Are there more guns in the U.S. or more opinions about guns?"

"Hard to say. This blog has featured a variety of posts about guns in the past; today we present a quorum with a very narrow focus: what are some good ideas to cut gun deaths? Let’s put aside for a moment the standard discussions about the right to bear arms and deal instead with the reality on the ground: there are a lot of gun deaths in this country; how can they be lessened?"

"In response to the recent Supreme Court decision to revoke the D.C. gun ban, Levitt made clear his preference: enforcement is a much bigger deal than ownership." ...
 

NYC, foes split over effect of gun shop lawsuits
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"Managers at the Bob Moates Sport Shop were spoiling for a fight when they found out New York City was suing the Virginia store over the way it sold firearms."

"Workers hung Mayor Michael Bloomberg's photo on a shotgun rack over the words 'our worst enemy.' The Midlothian, Va., shop, decorated with Confederate flags, mockingly held a 'Bloomberg Gun Giveaway' to finance its legal defense. One manager called the mayor 'an idiot.'"

"Two years later, the case will have a much more subdued ending next week."

"The business is poised to become the latest in a string of firearms dealers that have settled lawsuits accusing them of contributing to street crime in New York ..." ...
 

City stares down Virginia gun seller
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"The city has reached a tentative settlement with a Virginia gun shop - the last of the 27 dealers it sued for selling firearms to straw buyers."

"Bob Moates' Sport Shop agreed to make changes in its sales practices but will not be subject to surveillance and monitoring by a special master like the other gun retailers that settled, city attorney Ari Biernoff said Thursday."

"The federal case accused firearms dealers in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia of contributing to gun violence in New York City by selling guns to straw purchasers who convey them to criminals." ...
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KABA Note: Doesn't a 'stare down' involve nominal equals and not a multi-billion dollar corporate entity vs. an individual entrepreneur?
 

FL: Taking back the streets
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Leaders of a crime-plagued neighborhood near downtown are tired of talk and task forces. Instead, they're taking up arms and preparing to become a 'lock and loaded' community."

"Members of the Royal Poinciana Civic Association say they want to start working with a Texas-based gun-rights organization and a local weapons-training academy to verse residents on gun laws and self-protection." ...

"After the meeting, Royal Poinciana leaders said they're moving ahead with plans to become an armed community. ..." ...

"A number of residents have already signed up for courses at ... a weapons shop and training center. The group has also been in contact with the Texas-based Second Amendment Sisters to teach them about gun laws ..." ...
 

McCain 2008 Announces Sportsmen for McCain Leadership
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today announced the National Steering Committee of the Sportsmen for McCain coalition. These leaders in the angling, hunting and shooting communities are working across the country to emphasize John McCain's dedication to protecting American's right to gun ownership and his commitment to preserving and promoting our hunting, angling and shooting traditions."

"John McCain said, 'I am proud to have the support of these national and state leaders within the sportsmen's community and know that their support is integral to my bid to become your next president. ...'" ...
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Submitter's Note: Because the Second Amendment is all about 'sporting purposes'.
 

Lobbyist Linked to NRA Spy Caper Co-Chairs McCain's Sportsmen's Committee
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"Earlier this week, ABC News reported that the McCain campaign was seeking to distance itself from adviser James Jay Baker, a onetime NRA official and current lobbyist for the gun rights group, who is reportedly a member of McCain's 'kitchen cabinet.' Questioned by ABC, the campaign played down his involvement, describing him as a 'high level volunteer.'"

"It stands to reason why the campaign would want to draw a wide berth around Baker. Until 2002, Baker was the executive director of the NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action. During his tenure, the ILA engaged the services of a now defunct private security firm, Beckett Brown, which specialized in spying on activist groups. ..." ...
 

NRA says Obama plans to disarm Americans
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"I belong to the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership and also to the National Rifle Association. I have been around weapons since I was a kid and have carried a concealed firearm for decades -- for self-defense."

"Recently the NRA advised its membership that Barack Obama is an anti-gunner and has a 10-point plan to change the Second Amendment."

"It is the responsibility of all gun owners to vote so Obama does not attain the presidency. Based on the NRA card and information, this is what Barack Obama plans on doing:"

"Ban use of firearms for home defense."

"Pass federal laws eliminating your right to carry."

"Ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns." ...
 

MT: Despite NRA's claims, Obama won't take guns
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Gov. Brian Schweitzer is right:"

"As for Obama, Schweitzer said, 'He ain't going to take your gun away. He ain't ever going to take your gun away.'"

"Obama doesn't want to take your gun away. But, that won't stop the very partisan leaders of the NRA from lying about Obama. That's how those NRA leaders operate these days. They put partisan interests over the best interests of America's hunters and shooters. There's a reason the NRA has right-wing leaders like Grover Norquist and David Keene on its board. They're more interested in conservative political victories than the interests of America's gun owners." ...
 

WV: Walker endorsed by National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

The political action committee of the National Rifle Association of America announced its endorsement of Beth Walker for Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

"I am honored to have the endorsement of the National Rifle Association," Walker said in a prepared statement. "West Virginia has a rich tradition of responsible gun ownership recognized in our state constitution."

Walker is the only candidate endorsed by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund in the West Virginia Supreme Court race.
 

Hill vote on D.C. gun law alarms gay activists
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"A decision by House Democrats to allow a vote next month on a proposal to gut the city’s handgun law has stunned local home rule advocates and could foretell a congressional overturn of a future same-sex marriage bill, according to city hall insiders." ...

"Anticipating that supporters of the gun bill would obtain the needed 218 signatures on the discharge petition, Pelosi arranged for a House floor vote in September on a less sweeping version of the bill."

"The flap over the city's gun law surfaced after the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 handed down a precedent-setting decision overturning a 32-year-old city law that banned residents from keeping handguns in their homes." ...
 

GA: University gun bans in sights of pro-carry effort
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Legislators looking to expand where Georgians can carry guns may take aim at university campuses."

"Carry a gun on or within 1,000 feet of any campus now and you could be charged with a felony, spend up to 10 years in prison and pay as much as $10,000 in fines."

"But a panel of lawmakers conducting a wholesale review of Georgia's gun laws soon will solicit opinions on removing or altering the ban."

"State Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, who chairs the Senate Firearms Committee, sees nothing wrong with allowing a licensed gun owner to visit a college campus while carrying a concealed weapon. Students should be allowed to stow hunting rifles in their cars parked on campus, Seabaugh said." ...
 

OH: What SB184 means to you: Part VIII – Sealed and expunged records
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"SB184 is 75 pages. It will go into effect on September 09, 2008. This is part of a series of articles looking at specific sections of the bill and how it will affect you. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney and this does not constitute legal advice ..."

"Since the CCW law went into effect, we have received many complaints from individuals who pled guilty to a minor infraction years ago, and subsequently had the conviction of that infraction sealed or expunged, thus restoring all their rights. Unfortunately, when they applied for a CHL, that 'sealed' record shows up on the background check and they were denied a license. These are generally good people ... The question was always, 'What can I do?'" ...
 

Flaws Found In Watch List For Terrorists
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"The government's main terrorist-watch-list system is hobbled by technology challenges, and the $500 million program designed to upgrade it is on the verge of collapse, according to a preliminary congressional investigation."

"The database, which includes an estimated 400,000 people and as many as 1 million names, has been criticized for flagging ordinary Americans. Now, the congressional report finds that the system has problems identifying true potential terrorists, as well."

"Among the flaws in the database, which was quickly built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is its inability to do key-word searches. ..." ...
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KABA Note: And the Brady bunch want to use this list to revoke gun rights . . .
 

CA: San Jose paid $270,000 to cop convicted of Scotts Valley sex crime
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Kenneth Earl Williams, the disgraced San Jose cop who resigned last week after he was convicted of soliciting naked photographs from a Scotts Valley teenager, spent almost 1,000 days on leave from the department stripped of his badge and gun after he was charged."

"Yet San Jose police paid the 22-year veteran more than $270,000 in salary plus benefits during his leave ..." ...

"San Jose police say they put such officers on paid leave to get them off the streets and -- at the same time -- protect their due process rights by not firing them on charges that could ultimately turn out to be false. But the Williams example shows how that approach can financially backfire when a criminal prosecution drags on -- in this case for 2½ years." ...
 

OH: Ohio AG's Office Works to Educate Law Enforcement Agencies on Gun Law Changes
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers' office, partially in response to OFCC's request for assistance, has taken several steps to educate law enforcement officials in Ohio about not only the upcoming changes in Ohio's concealed carry laws (scheduled to go into effect September 9), but also reminding of the fact that open carry is legal in Ohio."

"The new Concealed Carry Publication required to be published by the Attorney General is due to be in sheriff's hands by September 8 and will not only cover the changes in the law, but will also contain information about the legality of open carry." ...
 

MN: Superior police officer charged with road rage assault
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A 12-year Superior police officer has been charged with second-degree assault for allegedly pulling a gun and pointing it at a motorist in the parking lot of a Two Harbors service station in an apparent road rage incident on Sunday."

"Ross W. Magnuson ... was also charged today with making terroristic threats, recklessly handling a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. The first two crimes the officer is charged with are felonies. The other two are misdemeanors."

"Magnuson admitted stopping at the ... station and said he approached a car and spoke with the driver about his driving conduct. He said when the other driver got out of his car and approached him, he felt threatened and 'broke leather' on his firearm." ...
 

IN: Indy officer charged with raping woman while on duty
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"An Indianapolis police officer has been charged with rape, criminal deviate conduct and other crimes."

"Thirty-six-year-old Anthony S. Smith was suspended amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman while on duty early Friday morning. He was in police custody Thursday night."

"A probable cause affidavit shows that Smith stopped the woman at a gas station and told her she was wanted on a warrant in a misdemeanor case. The woman says Smith threatened to put her in jail unless she had sex with him."

"The affidavit states that Smith admitted having sex with the woman but said it was consensual. He denied threatening to arrest her." ...
 

MD: Prince George's Co. Officer Charged with Sexually Assaulting Teen
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Prince George's County Police say one of their own officers has been arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a teenage girl."

"Sources tell FOX 5 that Officer Donald Brunson was arrested on sexual assault charges on Thursday night. Brunson is a three-year veteran patrol officer with the department, and has worked in law enforcement for a total of 18 years. During that time, sources say he has been with at least two other agencies in the D.C. area."

"Sources also say that the victim in the case was a 15-year-old girl who came forward with the allegations and evidence of sexual assault. According to court documents, the incident happened in July at the officer's Upper Marlboro home." ...
 

OH: Oakwood officer charged with assaulting driver who hit cruiser
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"An Oakwood police officer is accused of assaulting a driver who rammed into his cruiser while it was parked on Interstate 271 in May."

"Officer Craig Ali was indicted Friday on felonious assault charges." ...

"On May 23, Ali was working an off-duty traffic detail in a construction zone on I-271 north near the Broadway exit in Oakwood. He was sitting in his cruiser on the shoulder with his emergency lights on ..."

"When Hiestand tried to exit the highway at 2:50 a.m. he overshot the exit, plowed through a barricade and slammed into the rear of Ali's cruiser ..."

"Ali's head hit the windshield, and both vehicles had major damage."

"The officer then pulled Hiestand out of his car and assaulted him ..." ...
 

NJ: Our police are not outgunned ...
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Much to the chagrin of our Big City mayors who lead the news media and our citizens to believe that so called 'Assault Weapons' are dangerous and a threat to public safety, it just isn't so. Take a look and read the recent FBI report about policemen who died on duty from criminal gunfights - located here:"

"It seems our brave men and women in uniform are being out-shot and out-maneuvered due to lack of realism in training and training effectiveness. Not enough range time, not enough realistic scenario practice for qualification and re-qualification. ..."

"To protect them better, we should not be demanding more restrictive gun laws ... we should be demanding they practice more and more realistically with their duty weapons." ...
 

TX: Suspended cop: Sex with prostitute wasn't fun, it was work
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Officer Keith Breiner is expected to remain on the stand today after a Thursday of lurid testimony where the most intimate details of a bungled felony prostitution investigation were revealed."

"Thursday also was the day Police Chief Frank Coffin told the court the officer's personnel file contained 'junk' and the department's written evaluations were 'flawed' and 'antiquated.'"

"Coffin's comments were in response to attorney Larry Watts, who in representing Breiner in his efforts to be reinstated, spoke of the officer's many commendations."

"Watts had questioned Coffin about what information he used to decide to suspend the officer and what weight Breiner's personnel file had." ...
 

ME: Hiker in Acadia says ranger assaulted him
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Wild, 31, said Tuesday he was brutalized by a park ranger in the wee hours of Monday morning after he and a few dozen other people hiked to the top of Day Mountain in the moonlight, an annual tradition for Jordan Pond House employees. The outing soured after two rangers showed up, detained everyone and started checking their forms of identification, Wild said. It turned really ugly, he said, after he had been handcuffed, when he yelled at a ranger for throwing a female friend of his to the ground.
... "Wild, 31, said Tuesday he was brutalized by a park ranger in the wee hours of Monday morning after he and a few dozen other people hiked to the top of Day Mountain in the moonlight ..."

"The outing soured after two rangers showed up, detained everyone and started checking their forms of identification, Wild said. It turned really ugly, he said, after he had been handcuffed, when he yelled at a ranger for throwing a female friend of his to the ground." ...

"With that, the same ranger assaulted him, he said."

"'He threw my face into the summit of Day Mountain,' Wild said ... He said he was knocked unconscious and had to be taken by ambulance to Mount Desert Island Hospital ..." ...
 

PA: Pa. resident charged over gun in N.Y. is a celebrity at home
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"A Pennsylvania man says he has become a celebrity where he lives because of his experience in July at Alexandria Bay."

"And now, Erwin Spethmann of New Ringgold in eastern Pennsylvania is glad to hear he likely will get back his gun, the one that he voluntarily surrendered to troopers."

"'All I want is to clear my name and get my gun back,' the naturalized citizen said in his heavy German accent."

"Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy F. Intschert said Thursday that her office on Tuesday sent a letter to Alexandria Town Justice Sherry L. Pennington, making a motion to vacate Mr. Spethmann's disorderly conduct conviction, refund his $100 fine and make his handgun available for return delivery." ...
 

NJ: In defense of owning guns
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"'If it had actually become law on the day it was introduced, Mr. Braico would have been able to accumulate 33 handguns between then and now. I fail to see how that's an unreasonable restriction on his civil rights. And I do wonder what he might have done with all those deadly weapons.'"

"Maybe Mr. Braico would have defended himself from the urban crime wave that Assemblywoman Joan Quigley has no idea how to stop. A right restricted has become a privilege. Restricting my right to, in a single day, purchase the pistol collection of another will have no effect on the gun buying habits of a criminal." ...
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The Brady Bill's only effect will be to desensitize the public to regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation. — Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post, April 5, 1996

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