Tuesday, May 31, 2005
San Diego pharmacy robber killed: "An employee of a North Park pharmacy said he shot and killed a man who tried to rob the business and then threatened him with a weapon, police said. The attempted robbery of the Fed RX Pharmacy on 30th Street at Lincoln Avenue was reported to police at 11:36 a.m., said San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney. Patrol officers arrived at the scene six minutes later and found the body of David S. Robuck, 32, slumped inside the front door. Three hours later, the weapon that he had reportedly tried to grab just before the shooting was still tucked into his waistband, Rooney said. Police later determined the weapon was a plastic replica revolver.... The employee who told police he shot the intruder was among three workers in the pharmacy when the man walked in, Rooney said. The intruder was wearing sunglasses, dark clothing and latex gloves, Rooney said. Before he was shot, he demanded prescription drugs and reached for the weapon in his waistband, Rooney said. The employee told police he recognized the man as someone who had robbed the business of prescription drugs on April 11. Rooney said the employee involved in the shooting was questioned and released yesterday. He said the investigation was continuing and that any additional evidence would be presented to the district attorney."
Gun Control and the War on Drugs : "Many opponents of gun control support the war on drugs, and many critics and reformers of America's drug laws tend to believe in gun control. Conservatives tend to fall into the first category and liberals into the second. In reality, these two issues are more similar than many people might think. In both cases -- laws that restrict which guns people may buy, own, and carry; and laws that restrict which drugs people may buy, possess, and ingest -- what we're dealing with are possession crimes: victimless offenses against the state, whereby merely having something is branded a crime and punishable by fines and imprisonment."
Monday, May 30, 2005
DETROIT: One more parasite down: "A local homeowner shot and killed an intruder who entered his home overnight, Local 4 reported. The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 4 a.m. on Friday, the station reported. Neighbors said the homeowner had a right to protect himself against the suspected robber. "That's his house. He had to protect himself," said Jay Miller, a neighbor. Curly Humphry, an 86-year-old neighbor who lives on his own, said he also keeps guns in his home to protect himself, the station reported. "I've got a .38 rifle (and) a shotgun," Humphry said. Police continue to investigate the shooting, but no charges are expected in the case."
Missouri: Man hospitalized after shooting: "'These three guys show up at the house and allegedly force entry into this guy's house and threaten him and his family and then they leave, saying that they will be back,' Wrinkle said. 'The resident of the house sent his family away and his father had come over to be with him. The pickup comes back with the same three guys and they're yelling. (The suspect) said there's a shot fired from the vehicle and he returns fire.' Wrinkle said at least eight to 10 shots were fired by the suspect from a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle at the pickup, one striking the 25-year-old victim, who was one of the passengers in the pickup. ... The suspect, who had been held for investigation of first-degree assault, has been released without charges at this point in the investigation."
Law and Order War on Guns: "Correspondent Robert Lewis is angry over last night's episode of 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent.' They apparently used the show as a platform to seed the audience with gun control propaganda. I've heard that L&E has long been a subversive show. I've never watched it myself, but I remember channel surfing through it and stopping long enough to hear Jerry Orbach's character tell the crime scene photographer to 'Send the pictures to Charlton Heston.' That was enough for me."
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Federal protection for gun-makers moves forward: "The House Judiciary Committee yesterday approved a bill that would shield gun manufacturers, distributors and importers from lawsuits seeking damages for the misuse of their products. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act now will move to the House floor, where it is expected to pass. Lawmakers from rural districts said the time has come for Congress to protect the firearms industry from lawsuits that could put it out of business. "This measure provides protection only against suits based on the criminal or unlawful acts of third parties -- not against their own negligent or criminal conduct," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican and one of the bill's sponsors. "Under this measure, manufacturers or sellers must operate entirely within federal and state law and are still liable for acts of negligence and for defective products." "
Gun Grabbers Try To Stop Newspaper Ads : "Gun-control backers are asking Ohio newspapers to drop classified ads from unlicensed gun sellers. Gun control advocates say the practice can put guns in the hands of people who would flunk the background checks required by federally licensed dealers. The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence has written letters to Ohio's approximately 80 daily newspapers and followed up with calls to many of them. At least six newspapers ban classified ads sold by unlicensed dealers or have other restrictions, and about ten are considering such bans, according to the gun control group. A supporter of gun rights questions why dealers are being singled out when newspapers publish ads for other businesses where illegal activity could flourish."
Texas: Big thirst gets a bullet: "A man entered Mike's Liquor, picked up a bottle and ran out without paying, police said. The clerk chased him into the middle of Buchanan wielding a .38-caliber revolver. Witnesses heard the clerk yelling at the suspect, telling him to put the bottle down or he'd shoot if he had to. The suspect raised the bottle over his head in a threatening manner, several witnesses told police. "He (the clerk) shot him once in the back of leg," Dotson said. "The bullet almost came out the front of the knee." The suspect put the bottle down but kept running. "He never hit the ground and just grabbed his leg," said Donald Brownlee, one of three employees at the Kemp Taco Mayo who watched the chase and shooting from the restaurant's windows. "That's all adrenaline there. I can't believe he kept running." The clerk shot one more time but missed as the suspect ran through the Taco Mayo parking lot. Brownlee said he heard the bullet ricochet off a nearby building. The suspect ran into the nearby neighborhood. Dotson said he walked up to a resident's house asking for medical attention. He said the residents there helped him and called an ambulance. He was transported to United Regional Health Care System's 11th Street campus for non-life- threatening injures. "He must've really wanted that liquor," said Adam Sivils, another employee at the Taco Mayo. "I've never seen anything like that." The suspect faces possible robbery charges, Dotson said. The clerk was not arrested, but his actions could be investigated by the district attorney's office."
Pity they couldn't use a real gun: "A 56-hour standoff with a homicide suspect perched on a construction crane ended peacefully early Saturday when police shocked him with a stun gun as he reached for a cup of water, authorities said. "Apparently, he was thirsty," police spokesman Sgt. John Quigley said. Carl Edward Roland, 41, got onto the 18-story crane around 5 p.m. Wednesday and told police he was thinking of killing himself by jumping, authorities said. The standoff unfolded above Atlanta's busy Buckhead neighborhood, an area filled with clubs and restaurants. Lunch and dinner crowds, taking advantage of summer-like weather, have packed restaurant patios with clear views of the standoff. Roland was wanted by the Pinellas County, Fla., sheriff's department in the death of ex-girlfriend Jennifer L. Gonzalez, 36, whose body found Tuesday. An arrest warrant affidavit accuses Roland of strangling Gonzalez and dumping her body in a pond behind the apartment complex where she lived."
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Arizona: Prosecutors strike back: "The attorney for Harold Fish, accused of shooting an unarmed man at a trailhead last May, wants the case dismissed or a different prosecuting agency on the case. His reasons: Coconino County prosecutors interfered with and tried to suppress findings of the lead detective investigating the case, who believed the shooting was self-defense. County prosecutors, in a motion filed Tuesday, say that not only are the defense allegations untrue, the defense is merely trying to stall, through harassing motions, the prosecution of Fish. The lead detective arrived at his conclusion of self-defense prematurely and had lost his objectivity, say prosecutors. Therefore, he used poor judgment when interviewing Fish, and appeared to have given Fish the idea of self-defense."
New York: Victim disarmament bill gains in Albany: "A wider range of semi-automatic rifles and pistols would become legally off-limits to gun buyers under legislation that passed the Democratic-controlled state Assembly yesterday. Assemblyman John Lavelle (D-North Shore) sponsored the bill, arguing that 'military-style guns' -- the kind used in several killings, including the executions of two undercover cops in Tompkinsville two years ago -- should not be sold legally. ... The bill passed the Assembly 93 to 49. To become law, Lavelle's bill must pass the Republican-controlled state Senate and be approved by Gov. George Pataki. Based on history, it's not an impossible road."
Ban kitchen knives (They're serious!): "Long, pointed kitchen knives should be banned as part of a concerted effort to reduce the terrible injuries and deaths caused by stabbing attacks, doctors warned today. Accident and emergency medics claim the knives serve no useful purpose in the kitchen but are proving deadly on the streets of Britain, with the doctors claiming the knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings. The doctors claimed they had consulted leading chefs who said the knives were not needed for cooking - a claim disputed by chefs contacted by The Scotsman. Latest figures from the Scottish Executive show that in 2003, 55 of 108 homicide victims were stabbed by a sharp instrument - often a kitchen knife".
Friday, May 27, 2005
Congress rejects proposed victim disarmament laws: "Five gun control measures, including one that would have banned gun sales to persons suspected of having links to terrorist groups, have been rejected by the powerful House Rules Committee, leaving their sponsor scratching her head over Congress' homeland security priorities. 'We're checking the shoes of 80-year-old grandmothers, but right now if you're on the no-fly list, you can still buy a gun,' said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), who had sponsored the gun control measure as an amendment to the 2006 Homeland Security funding bill. Another of McCarthy's proposed amendments, a measure banning gun sales to persons convicted of felonies in foreign countries, was also rejected by the Rules Committee, thus preventing the amendments from being considered by the full House. ... Rep. McCarthy's other failed gun control amendments to the homeland security bill included closing the so-called 'gun-show loophole,' and reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons."
New York: Victim disarmers take aim at "sniper rifles": "The manufacturer of a .50-caliber sniper rifle boasts that it can bring down an airplane with a single shot, and that's just one of the things about it that worries local lawmakers. 'There is no reason to have this [sniper rifle] in a civil society -- in our society,' said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), who compared the rifle to a Humvee, saying that it is 'the best of the best' in terms of sniper rifles. She and other Democratic lawmakers are hoping to outlaw the rifle with a proposed state law called the Anti-Terrorism and Aviation Act. They say the gun could also be used to wreak havoc on chemical plants or oil storage facilities."
Minnesota: Pawlenty signs gun permit bill: "Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday signed a bill that allows easier statewide access to handgun permits. The law, which restores an identical 2003 measure that was struck down by the courts, takes effect immediately. The so-called conceal-carry law allows law-abiding people over the age of 21, to get a gun permit as long as they have a clean record, no mental illness and proper safety training. Several state courts struck down the 2003 law, citing the unusual procedure by which it was passed in the Legislature. Lawmakers moved quickly this year to re-pass it in a way that would pass muster in the courts."
Thursday, May 26, 2005
They should give him a medal: "Was it self-defense or vigilante justice? Police say a man shot two burglars who broke into his house Monday morning. It happened at North 18th and Cumberland in Waco. After two unarmed men broke into a house there, police say the man who lived drove up and shot both of them. When they ran away, he started shooting their car. One of the shooting victims was found in a nearby alley. Neighbor Alma McDonald saw him collapse. "He leaned back and he just laid there, and he put his hand on his heart, like he might have had a heart attack or something," she says. Another victim ran to a nearby muffler shop, where employees gave him first-aid. Employee Jason Cornett says, "Gentleman came running down and just hollering for help, holding his chest, said he'd been shot. So we called for 911." We attempted to get the homeowner's side of things, but got no answer at his door. There is a state law allowing you to shoot burglars under limited circumstances. Investigators are trying to figure out if it applies in this case. Both suspect were unarmed. Waco Police Sgt. Ryan Holt says, "To use deadly force, even in Texas, you have to feel like you're in imminent fear of bodily injury or death or you're protecting your property at night." The burglary suspects be charged when they get out of the hospital. As for the man who allegedly shot them, the District Attorney will decide whether he'll face charges. The man has no prior criminal record".
Tennessee gunshop robber downed: "Greenbrier police are investigating a robbery that led to a shooting at a gun store on Monday. Authorities say a man walked into an indoor gun range and store on Highway 41 and stole several guns. "He came in and he was threatening to the employee and did try to take several weapons and he tried to leave with them," say police. The suspect, Courtney Hall II, walked into "Guns and Leather Indoor Gun Range" pretending to be a customer and stole several weapons. But when he kept returning, the clerk knew something wasn't right. When the employee saw Hall make a run to the door of the business, he noticed the suspect was trying to take more weapons from the store. The clerk shot Hall twice in the lower waist and shoulder. He was taken by Life Flight to Vanderbilt Medical Hospital in critical condition".
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Trinidad: Two robbers die: "Two armed bandits walked into a Woodbrook fishing supplies store yesterday with the intent to rob but instead caught five bullets between them when the proprietor fought back. Shot dead were Ajamu-Ato-Samuel, 24, of Port of Spain and another man, still to be identified. The Express understands that at 2.30 p.m., the duo approached the electronically locked door of D Mankee and Co Ltd at 56 Luis Street, Woodbrook. They told one of the workers they wanted to get some fishhooks. She pressed the buzzer, the door opened and they walked in. One of the men drew a gun, pointed it at the cashier and said, "Yuh know what this is." The proprietor was also in the room but apparently the bandits didn't know this. He withdrew his licensed pistol and fired a total of five shots in the direction of the men. The cashier was not injured. Both men slumped to the ground, killed instantly".
New Jersey: Plenty of stolen guns available: "A Pennsville resident was one of two convicted felons who allegedly belong to a neo-Nazi group and sold 11 stolen guns to undercover law enforcement officers, the state Attorney General's Office said Monday. Gabriel Carafa, 24, was arrested Friday, according to state authorities. Carafa and Craig Orler, 28, of Ocean County face a federal weapons charge. They are being held without bail. Authorities alleged that both belong to "The Hated," a neo-Nazi skinhead group. Carafa also allegedly belongs to "Church of the Creator," according to authorities. Their arrests culminated a six-month investigation by law enforcement. In a release, authorities said the investigation "initially focused on Carafa and a request to have a confidential informant construct a bomb." The two allegedly sold guns from a .22 caliber rifle to a double barrel shotgun, according to state authorities. The law prohibits felons from possessing weapons. Each has a criminal record, according to authorities. If convicted they could get 15 years to life in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney General's Office for New Jersey. There is no parole in the federal system".
Girls for guns! "Papua New Guinea's Community Development Minister, Dame Carol Kidu, has condemned the practice of exchanging women for guns in the country's highlands provinces. There have been reports of a growing trend of trading young women for guns, particularly in P-N-G's Western Highlands Province, with the guns used in tribal fighting. Dame Carol says in most parts of P-N-G exchange of wealth is part of marriage customs, which in traditional times had inbuilt protections to help prevent abuse and violence. But Dame Carol says what is happening now is an insult to P-N-G's national cultural heritage".
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Arizona: Twisted coverage and myths shot down 'guns-in-bars' bill: "Why on Earth would the National Rifle Association promote laws so "gun-toting" people could "pack heat" in bars and not drink? Say what? That doesn't even make sense. It's beyond stupid. And in fact, the NRA promoted no such thing. But you wouldn't know it from reading the papers or following newscasts. The inaccurately characterized "guns-in-bars" bill received twisted coverage, using derision and phony Wild West mythology, from reporters and editors who earned rebuke for such unethical spin. While reporters cried wolf and instilled fear in a public they misinformed, 70,000 FBI-certified Arizonans, licensed to discreetly carry firearms, just hoped they would finally be allowed to eat meals in normal restaurants without leaving their guns in their cars as current law requires. They know it's a bad law that leaves them defenseless. They know criminals routinely steal guns from cars".
Poll supports guns: "Since the 9/11 tragedy, anti-gun forces have tried to use the threat of terrorism to disarm law-abiding sportsmen and gun owners. Asked whether they agreed or disagreed that banning guns would reduce the threat from terrorists, poll respondents disagreed by a margin of 75 percent. Only one in five supported the notion, and five percent were not sure. Zogby polled 1,009 likely voters chosen at random nationwide with a margin error of plus/minus 3.2 percent."
California attacks Tasers: "State legislators are considering two distinct responses to plans by Taser International to make a big sales push for civilians to buy a lightweight stun gun that can deliver a 50,000-volt jolt of electricity up to 15 feet. The company claims its 7-ounce stun gun -- slightly heavier than a cell phone -- can flatten and temporarily incapacitate a target with a hit anywhere on the body. Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, responding to concerns about the deaths of people zapped by Tasers wielded by police officers, introduced AB1237 to prohibit the manufacture, sale or possession of the weapons -- with an exemption for law enforcement use..... Taser has mounted a full-court press in the Capitol on behalf of a competing measure, AB101, by Assemblywoman Rebecca Cohn, D-Saratoga. She has argued that Californians should have an option other than firearms to defend themselves. Cohn's AB101 would assure that remote stun guns continue to remain legal in the state -- with the establishment of an industry-maintained registration and tracking system. Cohn's bill also would require all remote stun guns to contain an "identification tracking system" that can show the serial number of the weapon that fired the electrode darts".
Monday, May 23, 2005
GUN DATABASE TO GO
National Rifle Association flexed its muscles Thursday as the Illinois House easily approved a bill to destroy a state gun sale database. Gov. Blagojevich quickly denounced the measure, saying he would not sign it into law. The State Police database contains 2.1 million gun transactions, which police frequently use to investigate gun trafficking. But the NRA says police improperly use the database to harass law-abiding citizens. The bill, which passed 69-42, is part of a larger package that also would require firearm buyers at gun shows to undergo background checks. Closing the so-called "gun show loophole" has long been a top priority of gun control advocates.....
Gun-rights advocates were already gearing up for a possible override effort should Blagojevich veto the bill -- a move that would require a three-fifths vote in both chambers of the General Assembly. The Senate passed the measure the first time around with a veto-proof majority, but it fell two votes short of that margin in the House on Thursday. Vandermyde said he was confident he could round up the additional votes in the House to foil a veto.
North Carolina: Victims could get gun permits: "Domestic violence victims would get easier access to concealed handgun permits under a bill before the state House. A House judiciary committee already has approved the idea. The bill would apply to any domestic violence victim with a protective order. That order would allow a local sheriff to issue a temporary concealed handgun permit. 'You still get a background check,' Rep. Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) explained. 'You still get the same options. But it does address the urgency of the domestic violence victim. So it will give the sheriff another tool to use in trying to help domestic violence victims.' The state House could vote on the bill next week."
Texas: He died the way he lived -- helping others : "Friends of Horace Allen Paul trickled in to his southeast side icehouse Wednesday, mourning the sudden and violent loss of their beloved 'Bully,' and sharing memories of the spirited former Marine, a gun-toting giver who was 'always there.' Paul's yearning to help others cost him his life Tuesday night, when he grabbed his pistol and barreled into the home of a female employee after she ran from the house screaming about an armed intruder inside. Several shots were fired and both men died at the scene, investigators said. Houston homicide Sgt. Darcus Shorten said it looked like the two men fired at each other simultaneously. ... A few years ago, Equusearch member Barbara Gibson said, a man walked into the icehouse and tried to hold it up. When the man's gun jammed, Paul pulled out his own pistol and shot the robber. After officials cleaned up the scene, Paul found one of the man's teeth on the floor. He kept it in his trophy case at the icehouse."
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Maine: Victim disarmament bill dead until 2007: "State lawmakers have refused to outlaw so-called assault weapons, but the measure's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Ethan Strimling of Portland, has vowed to rework the bill and submit it to the next Legislature if he is re-elected in 2006. The assault-weapons ban was the first of three major gun-control bills to work its way through the Legislature this session; two others are still under review. The remaining bills involve background checks for prospective gun buyers and parental consent for young buyers."
Arizona restaurant association spreads anti-gun bigotry: "Opponents to concealed carry reform in Arizona have stooped to anti-gun bigotry in their efforts to convince Gov. Janet Napolitano to veto legislation that would allow legally-licensed, law-abiding citizens to patronize restaurants and bars, said the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). 'It is appalling that Steve Church, president of the Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association, would rely on a poll that essentially has 78 percent of Arizona residents practicing social bigotry against law-abiding gun owners, who prevent crimes almost every day somewhere in America,' said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb."
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Who are the real bullies in the gun ban debate?
I take considerable exception, and not a small amount of umbrage, at the recent commentary about "Gun Bullies" that appeared in the paper May 11. Columnist Bill Nemitz writes of recent threatening letters sent to legislators who have proposed a variety of gun bills this year. Despite a token denial, the essence of his piece was that nutty gun owners bully harmless legislators who are only trying to do the people's business. OK, the writer has a point. Of the hundreds of thousands of gun owners in Maine, a few, a very few, go off the deep end and write very nasty notes to our legislators. Nevertheless, I want to lay out the other side - to ask instead whether or not there are other "bullies," real ones with real power, who are also involved in this discussion.
We live in a state that has a very precise and clearly written constitutional right to keep and bear arms. As the Maine Constitution says in Section 16: "To keep and bear arms: Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned." No ambiguity. No way to misconstrue either the meaning or intent of the Maine Constitution. Yet, in every session, we find ourselves confronted by some legislators who simply act as though the constitution was unimportant. They not only want to "question" it, they want to legislate this right away, bit by bit.
Every year citizens - who are not being paid by taxpayers for their time - must write, speak, and take vacation to go to Augusta to fight these bills. Time and again we see the same cast of characters use their elected office to push an agenda not wanted by the public or allowed by the constitution, offering a "solution" to a problem that simply does not exist and that has never, ever worked anywhere it has been tried. Every session we hear exaggerations, made-up numbers, claims of benefits not backed by fact, appeals to emotion and flat- out lies used to reduce a fundamental right. This gets very old indeed. Gun owners are fed up.....
Who are really the bullies? Well, who controls government? Who can pass laws? Who has the entire power of government behind their legislative acts? It certainly is not individual gun owners. It is not organized groups of gun owners. It is not even the very few nuts who write threats. No, it is the legislators themselves who propose laws that attack our basic rights who are the bullies. Then they complain, "Those nasty citizens write mean things about us."
Some legislators even say they fear gun-owning citizens. Let me make this very clear: There are tens of thousands of citizens outside of Augusta who spend every day the Legislature is in session afraid of what those with the real power to affect all our lives might do. Our homes, our wallets, our families - and our guns - are not safe while the Legislature is in session.
Pennsylvania: Voters say yes to victim disarmament: "With nearly all the votes counted tonight, Philadelphians endorsed by a ratio of 4-1 a charter change that asks the state legislature and governor to let the city draft its own laws 'to prevent and reduce gun violence.' Because the measure is non-binding, the lopsided results do not guarantee action in Harrisburg. Rather, sponsors hope public opinion will pressure the state to amend state law and give Philadelphia the authority to enact tougher gun-control laws."
California: Off-duty officer shoots would-be carjacker : "A masked, shotgun-carrying man shot by an off-duty Oakland police officer during an attempted carjacking is recovering from his injuries, authorities said. Ceasar Johnson ... has been arrested on suspicion of carjacking, attempted robbery and illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun, police said. Oakland police Officer Ted Jew had just finished working an overtime shift on Sunday when he stopped at a gas station to fuel his Mercedes Benz. Police said Johnson, wearing a mask and carrying the shotgun, began walking toward Jew. Jew pulled a semiautomatic pistol he carries while off duty and fired at Johnson, hitting him several times. The shotgun turned out to be fully loaded, police said."
Friday, May 20, 2005
Idaho: Game oldster uses pistol to stop intruder: "Retired mechanic Warren Harlow was asleep at 9:30 p.m. Sunday when his wife woke him because she heard a racket in the basement of their Denver Street home. Harlow, 77, grabbed his antique .22 pistol and headed downstairs to find an intruder halfway in a sink below a broken out window. Harlow told the man to leave but the man came at him, police said. 'I batted him on the head with the pistol. That didn't get no attention. He turned on me. I put a bullet in the cement wall,' Harlow said. The man ran to the furnace room, turned and the two men struggled again, Harlow said. 'I told him I was going to shoot him if he didn't stop,' Harlow said. 'I protected my family and I protected myself.' Caldwell police officers arrived about that time to take the man into custody."
Low type gets less than he deserves: "A food bank supervisor on the North Side shot and wounded an intruder who apparently brandished a screwdriver when confronted in the freezer area. Kenneth Mathews, 45, of Sedgwick Street in Manchester was arraigned at Allegheny General Hospital on charges of burglary, robbery, possession of instruments of crime and fictitious reports to law enforcement. Police said Mathews lied to police by telling an officer he was shot during a drive-by. In fact, police said, Mathews had broken into the Love Food Bank, a subsidiary of Bethel Assembly of Pittsburgh, in the 2400 block of California Avenue. In an affidavit, police said William Zapf encountered Mathews about 10 p.m. Mathews was armed with the screwdriver he had used to break into the food bank. Mathews shoved Zapf "nearly to the ground," police said. "Zapf was in fear for his safety. Zapf shot Mathews in apparent self-defense," the affidavit said. Police said Mathews was shot in the calf. The investigation is ongoing. The Rev. Gregory Hammond of the Bethel Assembly of God church said Zapf was a hunter and sportsman and carried a registered handgun. Hammond said Zapf was at the food bank preparing reports for the monthly church board meeting when he confronted Mathews".
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I THOUGHT LEFTISTS WERE ANTI-GUN -- SILLY ME!
On Tuesday Venezuela and Russia signed an agreement on supplies of 100,000 Kalashnikov submachine-guns to that South-American country.The sum total of the transaction is $54 million. Russia undertook to supply to Venezuela, alongside weapons, also 2,000 handbooks, as well as spare parts and accessories for the AK submachine-guns. This transaction also provides for transferring technology of assembly of the submachine-guns of this model to the Venezuelans, for training of 45 Venezuelan technicians and engineers in Russia for 11 months, and for organizing assembly production of the AK-103 in Venezuela....
The Minister said that already on Wednesday the Russian technical commission will start analyzing and estimating the possibilities of the Venezuelan military-industrial company which will assemble the Russian AK-103 submachine-guns in the future. The Russian submachine-guns must replace the Belgian arms which were in service in the Venezuelan army for more than a half-century.
According to Rosoboronexport representative Sergei Ladygin who participated in the signing ceremony, Venezuela will become the first country in the world after Russia where the Russian AK-103 submachine-guns will be assembled, and the first country of the Western hemisphere to have them in service.
Battle in Utah: "If it were up to gun-rights activist Charles Hardy, 3rd District Judge Robert Hilder wouldn't be in the running for a promotion to the Utah Court of Appeals. Hardy's group, Gun Owners of Utah, is opposing Hilder's nomination - slamming the judge for upholding a weapons ban on the University of Utah campus and voting against installing gun lockers in state courthouses. "We have concluded that he has a strong personal bias against the lawful carrying of self-defense weapons by private citizens," said an e-mail this week to hundreds of gun owners, urging them to lobby against Hilder. Hardy plans a similar alert against nominee Scott Daniels, a former 3rd District judge who, more recently as a Democratic lawmaker, has called for oversight of concealed weapon carriers and tighter control of sales at gun shows".
Pakistan today. New York tomorrow? "Eight teenagers were allegedly tortured by the police here for possessing two toy pistols. The youngsters were returning home when they were intercepted by a patrol van and taken to a police station, where a body search revealed the two toy pistols. 'The boys started crying out of fear and informed the police that some of them were school students while others worked as helpers at shops,' 'The News' reported on Monday. However, the families of the boys said police officials showed no mercy and beat them with wooden and rubber batons."
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Project Disarmed Neighborhoods: "Project Safe Neighborhoods is training cops to spot people keeping and bearing arms. Even those minding their own business, as well as those who live in areas where the government thinks it has the authority to issue permits -- and then doesn't. ... And guess who 'fully supports' PSN? 'The NRA and our over four million members fully support the Justice Department's Project Safe Neighborhoods,' said National Rifle Association spokeswoman Kelly Whitley. Whitley said the project, which includes the grant for additional prosecutors, was based on a similar project in Richmond, Va., where violent crime dropped 70 percent in two years.' Kelly, that's simply not true. I'm an NRA Life Member. I don't support this unconstitutional outrage."
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Missouri: Court OKs background questioning for CCW: "A state appeals court has rejected a judge's ruling that an applicant for a concealed-weapons permit did not have to answer questions about his background, concluding that the right to bear arms in Missouri isn't an absolute right. A three-judge Missouri Court of Appeals panel unanimously ruled Tuesday that Paul Heidbrink -- and any other applicant for a permit to carry a hidden firearm -- has an obligation to answer the issuing sheriff's department's questions about past crimes or military service."
Illinois: State may void local handgun bans: "It is legal to own a handgun in Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, but gun bans in towns like Wilmette and Oak Park face an uncertain fate. Lawmakers recently voted 37 to 21 to strip towns of the power to outlaw firearms as part of a package that would also require gun show vendors to run criminal background checks on customers and force police to destroy gun purchase records within 90 days. Senate Bill 57, which has the backing of the National Rifle Association, appeared to be headed for rough waters in the Illinois House though, where a twin measure was defeated. The House version fell short of the 71-vote supermajority needed to trump the power of home-rule towns, with only 63 voting to approve the measure. An amended version of the bill is now making its way through the process."
Monday, May 16, 2005
LUCKY BREAK: COPS COME PROMPTLY FOR ONCE
A pair of suspected burglars got a rude surprise while allegedly breaking into a Scottdale-area home Friday. A gun-toting relative backed up by state police descended on them so quickly that the alleged burglars couldn't return to their waiting car and fled on foot. The troopers happened to be in Scottdale, where 12 people accused in an unrelated burglary ring were being arraigned. The incident occurred near the border of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The alleged burglars appeared to have scouted homes in Upper Tyrone Township as well. Neighbors complained about two hour-long response times by police after their homes were ransacked.
But not yesterday. "I got here, and police were all over the place. They brought the one (suspect) back here, and he was bold. He looked right at me," said Ted Huffman, where the break-in attempt occurred. "I'm just thankful for my neighbors who were watching." The Huffmans were not at home, but a suspicious neighbor, wary after two prior daytime burglaries, called police and Huffman when an unknown car with two black men inside was seen cruising through the neighborhood. A relative of the Huffmans arrived, confronted the men with a pistol and ordered them to the ground. When they ran, the relative fired several warning shots. Police arrived moments later.
In the manhunt that followed in and around the borough of Everson, police took three people into custody -- one of the suspects and two women from Wilkinsburg who said they had been called to give the alleged burglars a ride.
Bill would allow registration of old war-trophy weapons: "Veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War could legally register firearms brought home as war trophies under a bill introduced May 4 by Rep. Jim Gibbons [R-NV]. The bill, HR 2088, allows veterans and their heirs to register firearms that troops were allowed to bring home under U.S. military policy in effect at the time. It would not change existing policy for combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are barred from bringing back any captured weapons. Called the Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act, Gibbon's bill applies to firearms brought back to the United States between June 26, 1934 and October 31, 1968. The veterans who brought back the firearms or their lawful heirs would have 90 days to register the guns without fear of prosecution."
It's time to arm pilots: "Arming airline pilots is an issue that should pack the wallop of a .44 magnum with grassroots organizations. In March the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations [CAPA] issued a report card assessing aviation security in our country. Aviation security is a complicated subject but on several vital subjects CAPA has assigned low grades to the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] and the airlines. The TSA received a 'D' for its Federal Flight Deck Officer [FFDO] program, which arms pilots but has been minimally effective because 'poor operational policies' restrict the number of pilots who should be trained and armed to handle terrorists."
Sunday, May 15, 2005
A PRO-GUN LEFTIST
There is a BIG article here from a pro-gun activist who happens to be on the political Left. It is cheerily written but has a lot of good points. An excerpt about what made him become pro-gun:
"My views on the matter changed dramatically as I aged. After graduate school and a post-doc, I moved to Portland, Oregon. Gun ownership was much easier but one needs a seminal incident to induce a personal paradigm shift. There were several. First, a student called me at home to tell me that because of a grade I had given him, he was going to kill himself on my front lawn (he had a drug problem which led to bad performance). Seemed reasonable that someone killing himself might take a whack at me and family. Of course, I called the cops and the school. So SWAT teams and bodyguards rushed to my place - NOT! The law said: "Well, when he shows up - call us!" Might they increase drive-by frequency on our street that night? Uh - no! The school - fill out a form - Monday. This is not cool. So we get out the tennis racket and ski poles to fight our lives. Nothing happened, though and the kid dropped out.
A second nasty incident also was formative. In between marriages (sigh), I was invited by a young lady to go to a Yo-Yo Ma concert. He is a dude that plays the cello, very exciting and quite the intellectual event (Yeah Right, but a date is a date). At that point in time, the Portland area was home to some virulent Aryan nation types. They had been trained by some California neo-Nazis to pull up to a minority, shout racial epithets and if the person responded, to jump out and beat them. They would claim mutual combat as a defense as the person gave them the finger back. An Ethiopian immigrant was killed in this manner, leading to sentences and a successful major lawsuit against these organizations. So, going from the parking ramp, to the concert - up pulls a car of these guys - they yell at me - Hey, Are You a Jew! Tactical Response - say no and run for the theater. Works OK but, you sure feel helpless.
Third, a good friend of mine was a professor of Eastern Asian history. Two things happened to him. First, his wife's ex-husband did the psycho act. Second, he invited a controversial (leftist) speaker to campus. This was related to the Viet Nam war and led to some pretty frightening vandalism and death threats from what were annoyed `operators' of that era. My buddy was a pretty good martial artist, big, Harley riding, scary looking, knife guy, etc. He decided it was time to buy a gun. He got a SW 640 - the stainless 38 SPL snubbie as a concealed option. He learned how to shoot it and practiced at a local range which was pretty upscale"
GEORGIA JUDGES BECOMING MORE SUPPORTIVE OF GUN OWNERSHIP?
Spooked by the courthouse shootings in nearby Atlanta, some Clayton County judges are arming themselves with guns. The judges requested the guns and firearms training from Clayton County police several weeks ago, Clayton County police Capt. Jeff Turner said. Clayton Sheriff Victor Hill said police gave guns to eight Superior and State Court judges. Clerk of Superior Court Linda Miller said she was offered a gun but declined. "I had a conversation with (Chief) Judge (Stephen) Boswell about the courthouse security issue," Miller said. "He said, 'We're getting guns, do you want one?' I said, 'No, no thank you.'"
Sheriff Hill, whose department is in charge of courthouse security, said he was not told in advance that the police were arming the judges and he wants some answers. "To issue and bring guns into the courthouse without advance training and notifying the Sheriff's Office of the intent or the location of these weapons shows poor judgment on the part of all involved in the planning of this idea," he told the Clayton News Daily. Neither Turner nor Will Simmons, the Clayton courts administrator, would give the number of guns issued or name the judges who got guns, citing security concerns.
State law allows judges to carry guns in court, and Fulton County State Court Chief Judge A.L. Thompson said a few Fulton County judges have always carried guns. But since the March 11 shooting rampage, more are bringing their own guns to work, he said. "A number of judges, including myself, have chosen to wear weapons," Thompson said. "I keep one in the car and in chambers." Thompson said the FBI and other agencies have warned them that another defendant might use a gun to escape, settle a score or seek publicity. "We are concerned about copycats," Thompson said.
Terry Norris, executive vice president of the Georgia Sheriffs Association, said it is not unusual for judges to carry guns, especially in rural areas. Arch McGarity, a Superior Court judge in Henry County said he has carried a gun to the bench infrequently for five years but has done so much more often since the Atlanta shootings. "I like having a gun, because it gives me a great deal of confidence that I will complete the day," he said. Cobb County Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs said she doesn't carry a gun but knows judges who do.
State and city judges in Columbus have also been arming themselves and getting firearms training from police. Also, federal marshals will teach a five-day class on courthouse security for 50 Georgia law enforcement officials starting June 13 at the Clayton County Courthouse. On March 11, Brian Nichols, who was on trial in Atlanta for rape, allegedly overpowered a lone deputy and stole her gun. Authorities say he then went on a shooting spree at the courthouse, killing Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau and deputy Sgt. Hoyt Teasley. Federal agent David Wilhelm was killed later that day.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
First, suppose you might be wrong ...: "Obviously people consider lots of specific causes important, and often important enough for the use of coercive tactics. Defensive behavior is the usual response to aggression; that's precisely the reason why the right to self-defense is vital to a free society. Those who seek to deprive free people of the freedom to bear arms would deliver them into the condition of slavery, knowingly or not. Many 'liberals' like myself have come around to see that, by questioning and testing our own beliefs, despite the teachings we may have absorbed from parents, educators, and the media to the contrary. It means getting dirty; wrestling with fundamental ideas that underlie and support one's worldview and replacing any philosophical underpinnings that seem unsound. That process is sometimes referred to as 'heavy lifting,' and it's one way that concerned individuals may "make a difference" in the world without also contributing toward making a bigger or bloodier mess of it."
Shall not be infringed : "The U.S. Department of Justice re-confirmed in December 2004 that the Second Amendment is very clear in that it pertains to individuals. It also confirmed that the term 'militia' referred to a citizen militia comprised of adult male civilians, not a governmental agency such as the National Guard. What has very clearly been neglected, however, is the latter part of the Second Amendment which very clearly states that the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed' (emphasis added by this author). And yet our right is being infringed on a constant basis from all levels of government. And the U.S. Justice Department seems to come up empty-handed when it comes down to enforcing its position on an individual right."
Friday, May 13, 2005
CONDY IS STILL ON-SIDE
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion. In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Rice said she came to that view from personal experience. She said her father, a black minister, and his friends armed themselves to defended the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local authorities had had lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would have been able to defend themselves. Birmingham, where Rice was born in 1954, was a focal point of racial tension. Four black girls were killed when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church in 1963, a galvanizing moment in the fight for civil rights.
Rice said she favored background checks and controls at gun shows. However, she added, "we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important." Rice said the Founding Fathers understood "there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you." "I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."
Oregon gets real: "Gun makers or sellers could not be sued for damages as a result of illegal use of firearms under a bill easily approved Tuesday by the House. The measure went to the Senate on a 39-17 vote despite opponents' claims that it is constitutionally flawed. Backers of the bill said the gun industry is prone to harassment by opponents who have brought lawsuits without merit around the country in hopes of making a legitimate business liable for criminals' acts. Lawmakers need to protect the industry "from frivolous lawsuits that intend to run it out of business," said Rep. Chuck Burley, R-Bend. The bill, which also covers ammunition, is sought by Nosler Inc., a longtime Bend-based ammunition maker. The measure still would permit damage lawsuits to be brought under allegations that weapons were defective or that laws governing firearms sales were violated. Gun sellers also could be sued for damages when there was evidence they knew or should have known that a buyer "was likely to use the firearm in a manner that would cause unreasonable risk of physical injury." Rep. Robert Ackerman, D-Eugene, argued that the bill probably would be struck down in court. He said the measure would take away the state constitutional right to a legal remedy for an injury, the right to sue for damages, without providing an alternative. But Rep. Wayne Krieger, D-Gold Beach, said the remedy is that "you can sue the person using the gun."
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Montana: Student, expelled for hiding BB gun, speaks: "Meagan Daniels felt so sure her friend Tyler Huetter wasn't a violent student, she agreed to hide his backpack -- which held a BB gun -- in her locker at Hellgate Elementary School. 'I knew it wasn't like a real gun that could hurt people,' Daniels said. 'Tyler's not a fighter. I could never see him hurting somebody. I never opened the backpack.' Tyler was concerned that his locker was about to be searched and teachers would find the pistol he found on the way to school that morning, March 17. As it happened, Hellgate Elementary was locked down at eighth period that day, and all lockers were searched. Huetter's backpack was found in Daniels' locker, with the BB gun, a drug pipe and a knife inside. A Missoula County sheriff's detective interviewed Daniels, who admitted she was holding the pack for Huetter. At a school board hearing March 31, both Daniels and Huetter were expelled for 12 calendar months."
New Hampshire: Student won't appeal yearbook ruling : "A high school senior who sued when he was barred from including his shotgun in his yearbook photo won't appeal a federal court ruling that backed the decision to exclude the photo. In March, U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe ruled that Blake Douglass, an avid sport shooter who attends Londonderry High School, failed to prove that school officials violated his First Amendment rights. McAuliffe said the decision was made by student editors, whose decisions are protected by the First Amendment. The boy's lawyer, Penny Dean, had maintained the school acted to ban the photo. In March, she said she was prepared to appeal the decision if Douglass wanted to continue fighting. But Dean now says that though Douglass received some financial help from Gun Owners of New Hampshire and Gun Owners of America, his family can't afford further appeals."
Save the "last gun shop" in Minneapolis -- Koscielski's Guns and Ammo "The gun grabbers have announced their intentions to disarm America, and now they're at it again: The City of Minneapolis is trying to force Koscielski's Guns and Ammo -- the only gun shop in Minneapolis -- out of business. For the second time. The city of Minneapolis ordered Koscielski's to cease all operations by April 18, 2005. The legal battle has been going on for 10 years. Koscielski initially opened a store in 1995, days before the City Council adopted a moratorium on gun shops. The city tried to close his shop down, but federal courts ordered that he be allowed to continue doing business. As a result, he was given an exemption in the zoning code. In the summer of 2003, Koscielski's lease at his first location was terminated. He said he was forced to rent a site not in compliance with the zoning code ... Koscielski's Guns and Ammo at 2926 Chicago Av. S. is not zoned for a gun shop. Council Member Gary Schiff faults Koscielski for 'blatantly' opening a shop in an area not zoned for his business. But Koscielski, a disabled veteran, accuses the city of trying to put him out of business by leaving him no legal options for a site."
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
CANADA'S 2 BILLION DOLLAR WHITE ELEPHANT
I have never owned a firearm. Heck, I've never even held a real gun, much less fired one. Still, there are few federal programs that irk me more than Ottawa's gun registry. It's not just the waste, although that's atrocious -- nearly $2-billion for a dysfunctional pile of uselessness.
And it's not just the uselessness. The registry is also one of those truisms for liberals, one of their articles of blind faith. To a liberal, universal registration of guns is something all intelligent people must support or, well, they're not intelligent. They use gun control as a litmus test for who is and isn't sophisticated and subtle of mind. So that even if you can prove the registry will have no practical effect -- it won't prevent armed robberies or murders, or keep enraged spouses from killing one another -- a liberal still has to cling to it for fear of being seen as NOKD (not our kind, dear).
But what troubles me most is what it says about its supporters' attitude toward the people and government. Backing most gun laws amounts to proclaiming trust in government over trust in one's fellow citizens. This is especially true of Canada's gun registry. You really, really have to have faith in government, and be really, really suspicious of the gun owner down the block to continue to think our national registry will ever do any good. Frankly, I'll take my law-abiding neighbours over politicians, bureaucrats, experts and advocates any day. Believers in our registry like to say that since its inception in 1998 it has helped keep gun licences out of the hands of 13,000 people deemed unstable or too violent to possess guns. What they never boast about is that the registry doesn't even try to track the 131,000 convicted criminals in Canada who have been prohibited by the courts from owning guns. Gee, who do you think is the greater risk?
Still, the fact that 13,000 Canadians -- about one-half of one per cent of applicants -- have been refused a licence in the past seven years might be meaningful if gun-controllers could then point to lowered murder rates, or show that firearms suicides have declined faster than suicides by other methods, or demonstrate a significant reduction in spousal homicides (most of the 13,000 denials have stemmed from complaints by one partner against another). But despite these thousands of licence refusals, government ministers and special interest groups who favour the registry can't even point to a reduction in armed robberies. The registry is not keeping the unfit from getting guns, just licences. And licences don't kill people, guns do. Keeping licences out of the hands of people who shouldn't have guns is meaningless.
James Roszko, the slayer of four Mounties in Alberta, had been banned from owning guns for the past five years. But paper gun controls were useless at keeping him from acquiring the weapons he used in his murders. The only meaningful gun control is taking firearms away from criminals. And since crooks, drug dealers and murderers don't register their weapons, the registry is useless in this task.
Unwary burglar shot: "A man who died of a gunshot wound after being dumped at a medical clinic Thursday had been shot while burglarizing a Victorville home, sheriff's officials said Friday. An unidentified homeowner shot Baldomero Joseph Garcia, 21, after Garcia broke into a home in the in the 1700 block of Seneca Road, according to authorities. "Garcia and the juvenile were accomplices, and they planned to burglarize this home," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Bradford. "After assuming nobody was there, Garcia broke in carrying a gun and found the resident who shot him out fear for his life." The17-year-old juvenile waited in the getaway car. After being shot, Garcia, fled the scene and the teenager drove Garcia to the Kaiser Pernamente clinic on Park Avenue where he died in the doorway. Friday morning, sheriff's homicide detectives arrested the juvenile who abandoned Garcia at the clinic, which does not have an emergency room. "Before leaving the scene, a security guard at the clinic was able to take down the plate number of the vehicle the juvenile drove to drop off his accomplice," Bradford said".
Ban all nails!: "An 11-year-old boy was arrested this week for carrying 10 nails in his pocket at a middle school and charged with carrying an unlawful weapon. Dianne McCray, assistant principal at Rawlinson Road Middle School, asked the child Wednesday what was jingling in his pocket and the student gave her the 3�-inch nails. A school resource officer arrested him. His father picked him up, and he was not taken to the police station. The boy offered different explanations of why he had the nails: They were left over from a project 10 days earlier, they were for self-defense because a suspicious man was seen in his neighborhood, or that he needed the nails for a weekend Boy Scout outing. His father said the nails were in pants worn on an earlier Boy Scout outing. They "were not to be used as a weapon at school." Lt. Jerry Waldrop of the Rock Hill Police Department said the nails could been used against other students. The boy "did state he had them for protection against a suspicious male in the neighborhood." The father said his son threatened no one and had no intention to use the nails as a weapon. Under state law, anything that can be used as a weapon on school grounds can be unlawful, Waldrop said. The charge is ridiculous, the father said. "Is a pencil a weapon? Is a pen a weapon? Is a paperclip a weapon?" the father asked."
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
ANY EXCUSE TO GET YOU
On an April afternoon seven years ago, Joseph Landers walked out of the M&M Food Shoppe on High Street with a sub sandwich in one hand, a pizza in another, and a stainless steel handgun holstered on his shoulder underneath his coat. To Landers, a then 49-year-old retired machinist, it was just a normal day in which he planned have lunch with his father at home. The gun was something he carried regularly for protection. But the trip to pick up lunch turned out to be his last as a licensed gun holder in Massachusetts Landers' coat was not entirely zipped up that day, and when the wind blew it open, a Dedham Police officer across the street zoomed in and noticed the gun. Upon request by the officer, Landers produced a valid five-year license issued in 1995 to carry the gun. But the problem was, state law required that he keep the weapon concealed.
While the officer let Landers go without an arrest, the Adams Street resident soon after received notice from Dedham Police Chief Dennis Teehan that his Class A license to carry firearms had been revoked due to the incident. Landers, a Vietnam veteran with no criminal record, said he was crushed by the letter, which he saw as an attack on his credibility. After serving as a Navy engineer on a submarine from 1966-1971, he'd always been interested in collecting historical war artifacts such as guns, uniforms and other items. Landers said he never planned to use his gun and he was not risking public safety by carrying the weapon on his person.
TAKING GUNS OFF THE BAD GUYS TOO TIRING FOR THE RCMP
They only take them off the good guys
Workers at an Edmonton-area women's shelter had notified RCMP that Josif Fekete owned guns about a year before he killed his wife and young son in a double murder-suicide, a fatality inquiry was told yesterday. Blagica Fekete and her toddler son, Alex, had been staying at Red Deer's women's shelter in October 2002 when Josif stormed into the building, forcing them to flee.
Workers at the Red Deer facility became so worried for the mother and son they sent them to a women's shelter in Sherwood Park, just east of Edmonton, on a bus in the middle of the night.
Staff at the Strathcona Shelter Society sent RCMP a "fact form" to advise them of Blagica's history of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and the fact that Josif owned three guns. Despite that and Blagica's own warnings that Josif had guns, Insp. Peter Calvert testified yesterday that police had "no idea of their existence" before the murder-suicide. He said trying to find the guns would have been time-consuming and complex, noting that it takes four or five hours of work and certain evidence to obtain a search warrant.
Plenty of illegal guns in Australia: "When the Victoria Police special operations group raided the Hastings clubhouse of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, they found an arsenal of illegal weapons, including a sawn-off shotgun, two .45-calibre automatic handguns and multiple rounds of unsecured ammunition. Present in the clubhouse in the 5.30am raid were then club president Brendan Wayne Petersen and his girlfriend. What ensured that Petersen and other club members had seriously shot themselves in the foot was a series of incriminating photographs of them brandishing weapons, including a heavily armed group pictured for the Outlaws Christmas card mail-out. One showed Petersen and colleague Shane Jolly pointing automatic handguns at each other's heads.... Mr Vandersteen said all of the firearms, including the two loaded .45-calibre handguns that were found under Petersen's bed, were unregistered."
Monday, May 09, 2005
HOW DID ANYBODY THIS DUMB GET TO AGE 60?
Police shot and killed a female bank robbery suspect after mistaking for a real weapon a toy gun she pulled out as they surrounded her recreational vehicle in Tyler in East Texas and tried to convince her to surrender. "It looked just like a dark revolver with grips, so it wasn't something you go to a toy store and it's red or yellow or pink that you'd recognize as a toy right off the bat," Tyler police spokesman Don Martin said. "It looked like a real gun."
Peggy Jo Tallas, once dubbed "Cowboy Bob" because of her bearded male disguise in bank robberies in the early 1990s, was shot to death by police Thursday after they say she held up a Tyler bank. Martin said Tallas, 60, stopped the RV in a residential area about two miles from the bank and emerged in the doorway. Officers were trying to convince her to surrender when she pulled what appeared to be a revolver, prompting four officers to open fire, killing Tallas, Martin said.
Misplaced hysteria over Florida's self-defense law: "Professional doomsayers are having something of a field day, fomenting hysteria over recent passage in Florida of a law that allows citizens to defend themselves against criminal attack without first making an attempt to flee. The Sunshine State's so-called 'stand-your-ground' law is not a novel concept, although it is hardly universal in the 'land of the free and home of the brave.'"
Ban garden gnomes! : "The best defense is often self-defense. But in Britain, strict gun control, sword control, and even knife control has rendered peaceful citizens defenseless. Well, almost. A Cornish grandmother recently defended herself quite successfully in her home. With a garden gnome."
Sunday, May 08, 2005
The perfect Mother's Day gift "The thought of Mother's Day conjures up all kinds of images depending on who you are, or rather, who your mom is. She may have a busy social life or may prefer to spend her time with a close circle of loved ones. She may be a working professional, stay-at-home mom, or retired. She might be old, young, or both. One thing is certain, moms are irreplaceable as the giver of life, nurturer, and President of their child's fan club. ... One way to show your mom that you care about her safety and self-reliance is by giving her the gift of a firearm and by spending time with her at the range."
Gun control=people control: "How does the anti-gun ownership bias in the mainstream media manifest itself, and why does it exist? How has Hollywood's treatment of guns changed over the past three-plus decades, and what are the possible social repercussions of these changes? How have various elites attempted over the centuries to use gun controls to keep non-elites in line? How are these issues related to each other? These are among the questions addressed in Gun Control=People Control, a collection of eleven essays originally published in such periodicals as Reason, Liberty, Chronicles, and Gun Week." Read a preview, book available for sale in electronic format or paperback.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
MORE CALIFORNIA CRAZINESS
The left-leaning media like to point out that their polls show that even gun owners support "sensible gun legislation.' The problem is simply that is an oxymoron, at least with some in our state legislature. Here are two examples of gun control bills that are just plain ignorant, and what is most frightening is that both of them are moving toward floor votes in their respective houses.
SB 357, obviously named after the magnum handgun round in a clever display of whit by the bill's author Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, would mandate that all handgun ammunition have matching serial numbers on each bullet and bullet casing so ammunition used in crimes can be traced back to the original purchasers. Now, that sounds brilliant on first reading, doesn't it? A little critical thinking, however, makes you wonder. Never mind the astronomical costs involved making such ammunition, or that it would create a monopoly for one company that has been touting its ability to make such ammo while supporting the legislation. Never mind the record-keeping nightmare that it would create. If it would help solve crimes, gun owners would support the idea. But the reality is that it wouldn't help solve crimes, and it could implicate innocent people.
What's to keep crooks from mixing ammunition between different boxes of ammunition so serial numbers from the sold lot point to a different person than the one who created the crime? Would crooks even buy ammunition in California or simply have fellow criminals pick up ammo in Las Vegas, or would it merely create a black-market for older, unmarked ammo? The reality is that it would create as many problems as it might solve, confusing juries in serious criminal cases with questions about otherwise obvious guilt or innocence because the ammo didn't match the suspect or it implicated someone with a rock-solid alibi.
AB 352 is a similar bill by Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, only this legislation would mandate that all handguns have chambers micro-etched with the make, model and serial number of the gun so that this information is transferred to the cartridge casing when the gun is fired. The theory here is similar to SB 357: crime scene investigators find a casing and know exactly which gun fired it. Since the bill would also create a registry of all these guns, they could go right to the registered owner and arrest him.
Since most guns used in crimes are stolen, this would not be a help at all. It would be a snap to polish out the etching. It would make the chamber rough, making the gun less safe, probably causing it to jam occasionally, especially if the gun were dirty. And how about taking brass that was fired in one gun, reloading it, and then shooting in an older gun without the fingerprint? Now you've left brass at a crime scene that points investigators the wrong direction.
Again, never mind that registration is expressly forbidden by federal law or the costs involved in making guns with this feature or the awful bureaucracy this would create. It's a failure in crime control. Massachusetts had a similar law pass several years ago, and the justice department there is recommending it be scrapped because it has cost taxpayers an immense amount of money to run and did nothing to help solve crime. Zero. It turns out that criminals who are stupid enough to be caught by the benefits either of these bills provide, usually leave a pile of other evidence that will convict them. Legislators know this legislation is stupid, but it's a back door way to make gun ownership excessively expensive and onerous. They don't want you and me to have firearms at all.
Washington: Bellevue won't appeal gun sales ruling: "The City Attorney's Office has decided not to appeal a recent decision by a hearing examiner that requires Bellevue to grant a business permit to a man wishing to sell guns out of his home. The city had denied Albert Kwan the permit last year after neighbors on his cul-de-sac in the 1300 block of Northeast 10th Street complained of possible traffic and safety issues. Kwan, 50, appealed the city's denial to a hearing officer and won earlier this month."
Gun Control: This has several facets, but let's just examine a few minor issues. .50 BMG caliber rifles. As of this date, as far as I know, not one time has one of these rifles been used in the commission of any type of crime. Yes, they are extraordinarily powerful weapons. So What???!!!!! Once again, the politicians, especially in California and Illinois, have implicitly stated that in their opinion, if you own a gun, you are a criminal. Why would this be? What are these politicians so afraid of, that they are terrified of the idea that law-abiding citizens might have weapons? What have they done, that the mere idea of an armed citizenry terrifies them? What crimes are they guilty of, that they are afraid an armed citizenry might take some action against them for?"
Friday, May 06, 2005
ALASKA TRIES TO KEEP IT SIMPLE
A Senate committee is thinking of adding one more provision to an anti-gun-control bill. The proposed amendment would guarantee in state law that Alaskans have a right to carry and store weapons in their vehicle, even if there is a municipal law against it or their employer prohibits it. The legislation, which the House adopted overwhelmingly April 12, would prohibit cities and boroughs from imposing any gun control laws more restrictive than the state. Backers say one set of gun laws statewide would protect Alaskans from running afoul of a local gun law more limiting than state law.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, is considering amending the bill to ensure no one is barred from keeping a gun in a locked vehicle. He told committee members last week he wants to avoid the possibility that an employer or other property owner could bar firearms from parked cars, just as some property owners prohibit guns in their buildings. "My wife will commonly carry a weapon in her vehicle," especially if she is taking a road trip, Seekins said. "It's not uncommon for a .44 Magnum to be sitting in the console of her (Lincoln) Navigator."
Because most local governments and some businesses ban guns from their offices and stores, the state needs to guarantee that no one can bar gun owners from leaving their weapon in a locked vehicle, Seekins said.
Brian Judy, the Sacramento, Calif.-based lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, gave this testimony on the subject: "Once a person leaves their home to go to work in the morning, if they can't keep a firearm locked in their vehicle in the parking lot, then they're basically disarmed on their way to work, they're disarmed at lunch if they go out running errands, they're disarmed on their way home."
Seekins did not present a formal amendment to the committee, which was expected to consider the bill again this week.
Local government officials testified against the bill in the House, arguing cities and boroughs should have the right to regulate firearm use within their boundaries. But the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, said Alaskans should not have to worry about local laws more restrictive than the state law.
CAPTURING BURGLARS AT GUNPOINT BEARS FRUIT
It began last week when two Lodi residents captured two burglary suspects on their property and held them at gunpoint until Sheriff's deputies arrived. The case continued when Lodi Police detectives served search warrants at the suspects' homes and seized 80 pieces of property, including guns, computers, financial documents and possible bomb ingredients. "These guys have been busy," Detective Ken Slater said Monday of three suspects now in custody.
Police believe they have linked Kenneth Samuel Cotraro, 35, of Lodi, to at least five local burglaries. Cotraro and Richard Dean Davis, 35, also of Lodi, were arrested Tuesday morning when two Lower Sacramento Road residents found the men in a shed, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department. Later that day, deputies met with Lodi detectives to compare notes on the property recovered when the two men were arrested. Lodi detectives then searched Cotraro's home in the 1200 block of South School Street and found what they believe was property stolen during several business burglaries.
They also found neo-Nazi paraphernalia, a gun and a sword, along with a mix of gunpowder and various ammunition that bomb experts said are typically used to make pipe bombs, Slater said Monday. Police also found several computers, printers and financial documents that had allegedly been stolen in several Lodi burglaries. In the garage, they found a large $2,000 laser printer, which matched one stolen in an April burglary at Blue Shield, according to police.
Detectives then served another warrant in the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue on Friday, where they arrested resident Clinton Earl Irons, 28, on suspicion of possession of stolen property and counterfeiting. All told, police seized property valued at more than $7,600, including five computers and a number of printers, as well as two swords and two guns. Police linked the property to five burglary cases, Slater said. Some items taken in the burglaries, including a large doll collection and other computer accessories, are still missing, he said.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Still at it: Tricks hamper gun rights bill: "Last week should have been satisfying for the Tennessee House. Ethics legislation that originated in that body was finally on the governor's desk. But House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh proved -- in heavy handedly sending a gun owner's bill back to subcommittee -- that no matter how many ethics laws are passed or procedural rules adopted, nothing can make a lawmaker or leader always do what is right. Power corrupts. I don't mean that necessarily in the sense of anything criminal. Power corrupts in that a person in authority feels he or she is above the rules, even in a body of lawmaking that's to represent the people first. This problem is not exclusive to Democrats or Republicans. The corrupting nature of power also is on display in Congress with the case of House Majority Leader Tom Delay, a Republican. Naifeh is a Democrat."
How we were: "The summer of '62 didn't seem like much at the time. It was just summer. The County of King George was a forested section of Tidewater Virginia, peppered with small farms, and home to watermen who crabbed on the Potomac. To us it was just KG. It was about all we in high school knew. Only later did I realize what we'd had. ... The freedom we enjoyed would horrify today's worried delicates. We had guns but enough common sense not to think of them as weapons. Nobody wanted to shoot anybody, and nobody did. We just liked firearms. The first day of deer season was a school holiday because everybody knew the boys and Becky Burrell weren't going to come anyway. Country stores sold ammunition. You didn't need to be any particular age to buy it. Why would there be such a law?"
Attack on toys: "Some students at Fairview Elementary School say their neighborhoods are a toy-gun war zone: children shooting one another with guns that fire plastic pellets and sometimes metal BBs. Some of them obtain their weaponry from a seemingly innocuous source: the local ice cream truck. Others come by them at flea markets, toy stores and sporting goods shops.School officials already have suspended three students for bringing their plastic guns to school. ... The suspensions prompted students at Fairview, a First Amendment school that incorporates civil liberties in the curriculum and campus life, to launch a protest this week against ice cream truck vendors selling guns."
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
RESTRICTIONS ON TARGET SHOOTING PROPOSED
The issue is gun control, which is currently lacking clear parameters in Culpeper County's ordinances. At its April 12 meeting, the Rules Committee, which addresses a wide range of issues related to county law and policy, took up the topic, discussing ways to limit where people could shoot guns.
The result was electric. "We do not need to enact more ordinances because of a few whiners, and we sure don't need elected officials who want to Fairfax us." "The county's proposed gun ordinance is an infringement on our rights." "If you don't like to hear the guns going off, maybe you should go back to the city."
Much of the backlash has centered on a draft proposal put before the committee. Modeled on Fairfax County, the document would, among other things, make it illegal to fire a gun on any piece of property smaller than 20 acres. The committee ultimately requested further study. Officials say it's not unusual for the Sheriff's Office to receive complaints about neighbors firing guns, part of the reason the Rules Committee started discussing the situation. Currently, the county code places no limits on where a gun can be fired. One woman, a Quail Ridge resident who did not want to be named, said her neighbor's habit of shooting in his backyard on the weekend has "shattered" her neighborhood's peaceful atmosphere. "It just makes us prisoners in our home," she said. "I have nothing against guns," she added, "but I don't like it that close to me."
But Stephens and others say there's no reason why backyard target practice can't be a safe activity. "The mere act of shooting a gun is not dangerous," Stephens said. "My father taught me how to shoot safely when I was about 10, and bought me my first gun at 12 . One of the reasons I moved out this way was because I could buy a piece of land where, in my opinion, I could safely shoot."
The Rev. Mark Jarvis, who's challenging state representative Ed Scott for his seat in the House of Delegates, issued a statement on Friday that read, "The size of a piece of property is not a factor in whether or not a firearm is discharged safely. The discharge of a firearm is done safely only when the individual has had the proper training in its use . The proposed (Culpeper County) ordinance on its face is arbitrary and capricious."
The supervisors who make up the Rules Committee, however, say the situation is getting blown out of proportion. "Everyone who calls me thinks we're going to pass the legislation," said Steve Nixon, of the West Fairfax District, "which is not the case at all." "This process doesn't just happen overnight," said Steve Walker, the East Fairfax representative and chair of the Rules Committee. "It's a long-term process, and that was just an exploratory meeting."
ILLINOIS TRYING TO PROMOTE CRIME
Liberals and criminals alike are anxiously awaiting the verdict on Illinois' newest gun ban, HB 2414. Honestly, it's hard to tell who's more excited. I guess liberals figure if they can't keep Americans from buying guns, they'll try putting people in prison for owning them. Meanwhile, thousands of law-abiding citizens in Illinois are forced to imagine being incarcerated for legally purchasing and owning a gun. That's the idea behind The People's Republic of Illinois House Bill 2414, in which gun owners would have 90 days to surrender their legally purchased semi-automatic firearms to the police, or face felony prosecution and stiff jail sentences. Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson called the bill a "public policy nightmare."
Apparently, Pearson still thinks the Second Amendment to the Constitution (for you liberals, that's the one that says Congress can't make laws infringing on your right to keep and bear arms) actually means that Congress can't make a law infringing on your right to keep and bear arms. You'll have to forgive conservatives, who haven't grasped the concept of a living, breathing Constitution, where "keep and bear arms" actually means "sodomy and abortion on demand."
"Overnight, the bill would create an entirely new class of criminals," Pearson continued. "I think it would be conservative to say that at least half of the gun owners in Illinois own firearms that would be banned under this bill. The result would be that more than 750,000 citizens, few of whom ever even contemplated committing a crime, would be instantly branded as `criminals' by the mere stroke of the Governor's pen." In that case, Hillary Clinton might want to rethink her strategy of advocating giving convicted felons the right to vote.
Meanwhile, violent criminals everywhere anxiously await the vote on the ban, hoping to relocate from red states (where they currently risk getting shot) to blue state utopias where they would hold all the bullets. While I doubt the Illinois legislature would hail the bill's passage as "a victory for criminals," that is precisely the segment of the electorate that will benefit from such a brilliant proposal. Now, if only liberals could get street gangs to fill out their voter registration cards, they might stand a chance in 2008.....
If U.S. history holds true, Illinois will soon join Washington D.C., Georgia, and fellow socialist republic Massachusetts with the distinction of having both the nation's "toughest" gun restrictions and highest murder rates. Burglars will be free to burgle and muggers will mug to their little heart's content.
PEACEFUL OLD "GUN-FREE" LONDON
Sounds like it was a fun Sunday
A man was killed when police fired six shots at him in a car in Edgware, North London, before dragging him out and trying to resuscitate him, witnesses said yesterday. An officer has been removed from firearms duty. Police stopped a car containing three men in an operation by the Specialist Crime Directorate and SO19, the firearms unit, on Saturday night. Officers saw that one of the men was armed and shot him. It is not known if they shouted a warning to drop the weapon.... The IPCC said that three firearms had been recovered from the car.
Elsewhere in London, police were called to a shooting in Wood Green on Saturday night. The victim, 22, was taken to hospital but died. It is thought that five or six youths surrounded a silver car that he was in and shot him. A third man was shot in a Wimbledon nightclub early yesterday. Police arrested two men, aged 28 and 19. The victim, 21, was in a serious condition in hospital.
Near Leicester Square a man in his twenties was savagely attacked by a gang early yesterday. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. A number of people were arrested.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
GUN FREEDOMS STILL FAR TOO LIMITED
Like many others, Peg Baumann was quick to seek a permit to carry a hidden handgun when Michigan legislators made it easier. She jumped through all the "hoops" -- taking classes, giving fingerprints and submitting to a background check. But nearly four years later, the suburban mom says she still does not always feel safe because state law bars it in many places, such as the school where she drops off her 10-year-old son. "I proved I'm an upstanding citizen, but I can't carry it. I have to leave it in the car," said Baumann, 49, who lives in Kentwood. "What if the bad guy gets you between coming in and out?"
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Alan Cropsey said Baumann's not alone. That's why he's holding a hearing May 13 in Caledonia to listen to their concerns. The hearing is just one of four stops Cropsey is making around the state as he considers introducing legislation. In addition to lifting the ban on carrying in public places, gun advocates are pushing to move the permit process from counties to the Secretary of State's office and allow renewal with out turning in new fingerprints.
The law making it easier to get a permit took effect in July 2001 and requires gun board's in the state's 83 counties to issue a concealed weapons permit (CCW) if applicants are at least 21, have not been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors, and have no history of mental illness. Since it took effect, 111,620 people in the state have obtained the right to carry a hidden handgun. Cropsey notes the main goal of opening up the process beyond those who demonstrate a clear need for a permit has been accomplished.
But Cropsey -- whose senate district includes Ionia and part of Montcalm counties -- favors letting property owners decide whether handguns should be allowed on their premises. "We have had complaints from people who say because of the neighborhood I live in, I need to carry when I drop my child off and pick them up from day care," said Cropsey, referring to the portion of the law that prohibits concealed weapons at day-care centers. "Why don't you let the day-care operator make that decision?" Under current law, those with a permit face fines and permit suspension or revocation if they bring their concealed pistols to designated public areas including schools, day-care centers, churches, hospitals, casinos, colleges, sports arenas and stadiums, and bars where liquor sales are the primary source of income.
Indiana: Gun restrictions to help slain officer? "House Bill 1776, which received final legislative approval Monday night, spells out a process to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and gives judges more authority to order searches of the homes of those believed to pose a threat. The bill was the legislature's response to Kenneth Anderson's shooting rampage in August, which took the life of Indianapolis Police Department Officer Timothy 'Jake' Laird. Authorities would be able to retain, for up to 14 days, guns seized from someone believed to be dangerous. A prosecutor could petition to extend the time the weapons are held; a court would have to rule on that request."
Monday, May 02, 2005
California can't track guns so now they think they can track bullets! Pathetic: "A proposal to put a serial number on every handgun bullet passed a Senate committee Tuesday and law enforcement officials said they hoped the novel effort would spread to other states. The measure cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday on a 4-2 vote over opposition from sportsmen, firearms dealers and manufacturers who said it is impractical and would harm law-abiding citizens. The technology now exists to laser-cut each bullet with a serial number, said Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, who is carrying the bill. Police would immediately be able to trace who purchased bullets used in crimes."
Nevada: Newspaper carrier shoots teenage car thief: "A 17-year-old shot by a newspaper carrier after allegedly trying to steal his delivery vehicle also is suspected of being involved in two separate shootings 48 hours apart. ... Jonathan Hafalla, 34, an independent contractor, was filling newspaper boxes in the 1300 block of Carville Drive with copies of the Reno Gazette-Journal. He had left the engine running while he filled the boxes. Donnelly said the 17-year-old got inside Hafalla's vehicle and tried to drive away. Hafalla, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, fired at the vehicle and commanded the boy to stop. At one point, the boy put the vehicle in reverse, nearly striking the man, Donnelly said. The boy was shot three times. He stumbled out of the vehicle and Hafalla held him at gunpoint while police were en route, Donnelly said. Hafalla has not been charged with a crime."
Time to level the playing field for gun makers: "Every product has illegitimate uses and undesirable consequences, but even lawsuits have had their limits. In 2002 in the U.S., car accidents killed 45,380 people and injured another 3 million, 838 children under the age of 15 drowned, 474 children died from residential fires, and 130 children died in bicycle accidents. Fortunately, local governments haven't started recouping medical costs or police salaries by suing auto or bicycle companies, pool builders or makers of home heaters."
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Supreme Court nixes disarmament for convictions abroad : "People convicted of crimes overseas still can own guns in the United States, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In a 5-3 decision, the court ruled in favor of Gary Sherwood Small of Pennsylvania. The court reasoned that U.S. law, which prohibits felons who have been convicted in 'any court' from owning guns, applies only to domestic crimes. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the majority, said interpreting the law broadly to apply to foreign convictions would be unfair to defendants because procedural protections are often less applied in international courts. If Congress intended foreign convictions to apply, they can rewrite the law to say so specifically, he wrote."
Minnesota to circumvent the judges: "A tweaked version of a handgun-permitting law that was invalidated by Minnesota's courts picked up momentum in the Legislature on Wednesday, and could be back on the books by the time lawmakers adjourn in May. Critics of the bill said they'd have a hard time stopping it, and Senate DFL Majority Leader Dean Johnson of Willmar said he doesn't plan to block a vote.... The House Civil Law and Elections Committee voted 7-5 to reinstate the 2003 law, with all the committee Republicans in favor and the DFLers against. The 2003 law revised a system that had given sheriffs and police chiefs wide power to deny permits, requiring them instead to issue the permits to most law-abiding applicants. The change led to a large increase in the number of people who got permits. The gun bill is one stop away from a House floor vote, where even opponents concede it easily will pass. Johnson said he intends to hold an up-or-down Senate vote on the bill if it clears the House and not bury it in committee..... The rekindled debate comes two weeks after the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that threw out the 2003 law. Two courts agreed it was improperly enacted because it was tacked onto an unrelated bill to force a Senate vote. The state attorney general's office intends to appeal the rulings to the state Supreme Court, possibly this week. More than 25,000 people obtained permits under the new rules until the law was struck down, about twice the number of permits issued under the old law. The 2003 law allowed people at least 21 years old with a clean record, no mental illness and proper training to get a permit."
Connecticut: Lawmakers drop rifle registration plan: "State lawmakers have dropped language from a firearms safety bill that would have required the buyers of rifles, not just handguns, to get permits for their purchases. The safety bill would mandate that people report any stolen or missing guns, in order to better track firearms in Connecticut."