Saturday, August 21, 2004

ALL self-defence is now suspect in Britain: "A man who admitted stabbing a suspected burglar with a bread knife to protect his wife and child is being investigated for assault. Antonio Caeiro, 33, who said he wounded a 19-year-old intruder at his home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said yesterday that he would do the same again to defend his family. The incident has similarities with the case of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for shooting dead a teenage burglar in 1999."

Gun ban didn't reduce violence: "The federal assault-weapons ban, scheduled to expire in September, is not responsible for the nation's steady decline in gun-related violence and its renewal likely will achieve little, according to an independent study commissioned by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). 'It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the ban's impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,' said the report .... NIJ is the Justice Department's research, development and evaluation agency -- assigned the job of providing objective, independent, evidence-based information to the department through independent studies and other data collection activities."

Guns count in presidential politics: "In most of the world, the language of human rights and liberty is used to discuss universal issues, like the right to vote, to speak freely, to chose the place you live and work. But here, as in much of small town U.S.A., there is a peculiar 'right' that sits curiously close to the American heart: The right to own and shoot a gun, which is protected by the vaguely worded Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. ... With the U.S. Presidential contest between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry just three months away, the right to bear arms is for many rural voters a passionate close-to-home campaign issue -- one that trumps more distant conflicts like a War in Iraq or more abstract ones, like a growing budget deficit."

Filipino wild West needs guns too: "Veteran print and radio journalist Juan Balagtas does not leave home in the volatile southern Philippine city of Zamboanga without a loaded handgun. He drives a van with tinted windows and pays a bodyguard to watch his back as he heads to the local radio station where his popular programme attacking corrupt politicians and Islamic militants airs daily. ... Six reporters have been killed this year. Police are investigating whether the killings were work-related and said they would ease restrictions on gun permits for journalists. The move has triggered heated debate in a country where a proliferation of unlicensed firearms is blamed for rising crime."

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