Sunday, June 25, 2006

Quarrelsome Alabama black pays with his life: "This time the victim was 19-year-old Marquis Seawright. Witnesses say it all went down in a gun battle Seawright himself started with another man. The argument was over a game craps. Sadly, Seawright bet his life. Lt. Ronald Cook of the Montgomery Police Department says, "In my preliminary investigation, [Seawright] went and retrieved his shotgun and stared shooting in the direction the guy who he had gotten into an altercation with." The other man fired back, striking Seawright once in the side, then drove away from the scene... Around 6:30 Thursday evening, police found the shooter: 18-year-old DeAndre Stringer. He was questioned and released. Police consider the shooting self-defense and are not charging Stringer with anything.

India: Gun-toting priest: "When Father Jacob Augustine applied for a gun license, he did not expect critics to take aim at him. "I don't understand why people are making a hue and cry about it," Father Augustine told UCA News June 3. The 42-year-old priest said he applied for the license in January and the authorities are still processing his application. "As an Indian citizen, I can apply for a gun license," stated the priest, who manages an engineering college in Kanjirappally diocese in Kerala state, southern India. He explained that he applied for the gun license "as a precaution for self-defense," since he stays alone in the 16.19-hectare college campus and keeps large amounts of cash with him. "But local media have distorted the news and I'm going to sue them in court," he said. His reasons notwithstanding, some people find his decision to purchase the license "unbecoming of a priest," in the words of Joseph Pulikunnel, a Catholic lay leader who says he does not understand why a priest needs a gun for protection.... Christians form 19 percent of Kerala's estimated 31.8 million people. Father Augustine says he feels insecure with crime increasing in the state. The priest's Amal Jyothi Engineering College is near Kanjirappally town, in Kottayam district, where police recently arrested four youths in connection with a bank robbery. S. Sreejith, a police official in Kottayam, clarified that anyone who follows the specified rules and procedures can possess a weapon. "Just because the applicant is a priest, there are no rules to prevent him from holding a weapon. Rules are the same for everyone, and if he is eligible, he will get one," Sreejith told UCA News. According to the 1959 Indian Firearms Act, possessing weapons without a license is an offense punishable with a prison term ranging from six months to life, with or without fine. Police are required to make detailed investigations before granting a license to possess firearms."

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