Sunday, May 14, 2006

Firearms, liberty and regulation: "Few issues in America are more controversial than guns. Yet even among hot-button topics in American public life, there is something perverse about the dynamics of the debate over guns.. Polling data for decades have shown that most Americans favor stronger gun laws. Indeed, surveys demonstrate that such policies are even supported by most gun owners. Yet pundits and political soothsayers have written off this issue because it is perceived to be a loser at the polls. Gun rights and gun control have long histories. Although both sides in the great American gun debate have claimed to have history on their side, each has presented a version of the past that is highly selective."

Female burglar cops it in Sacramento: "Mike Smith was asleep Thursday afternoon, in the bedroom of his La Riviera Drive home, when the sound of metal grating on wood entered his dream. The sound jarred him awake. Fear jabbed at him: Someone had broken into his house. He grabbed a .38-caliber Walther and his cell phone. He dialed 911 and stepped into a hallway. He saw the silhouette of a man through the blinds of his bedroom window. Then a woman walked into his foyer and looked at him with shock. Before him was a heavyset woman with brown hair pulled into a ponytail. He'd never seen her before. Smith locked eyes with her. As she stepped toward him, he cradled the phone against his shoulder, knelt on one knee, gripped the handgun with both hands and fired several times. The woman ran outdoors. The man seen at the window fled.... Smith, 37, a security consultant for a private investigator, said he was ill Thursday and sleeping with a fan cooling him and drowning out street noise. He believes the woman slipped under the garage door of the home in the 8400 block of La Riviera Drive. She apparently then entered the home through a door that was chipped away near the deadbolt. Because he believed he would be harmed, Smith said, he fired the handgun for the first time outside of a shooting range. Sacramento police dispatchers had broadcast the woman's description to officers who rushed to the scene and detained her as she ran from Smith's house. Marshall said she was treated for nonfatal injuries and was in stable condition. She has been arrested on suspicion of burglary, although her identity had not been confirmed. The male burglary suspect remains at large, Marshall said.

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