Monday, March 19, 2007

Alabama granny's got a gun: "Frances Babington, 65, is a pistol-toting grandma, who says she is a "fighting person." "I'm the type of person ... (that's) not going to let someone take something from me. I decided I wanted to get the better end of the fight," Babington said. "When I started carrying the gun, I made it a priority to be instructed by the Montgomery Police Department about how and when to use my gun. To my surprise, the officers spent about 75 percent of the course time teaching how to avoid having to use a weapon but did not neglect the shooting aspects. "Having said that, you would-be criminals take note! The next time you attempt to rob or break and enter into the home of an elderly, gray-haired lady, it might be me. If you enter my home I would consider my life to be in peril and would not hesitate to blow you out of your socks." Babington said she and her husband Tom, 65, a retired pharmacist, took the gun-safety class together. Tom was robbed twice as he left work, and Babington had a close call of her own when she worked downtown at the old St. Margaret's Hospital. Babington was headed to her car in the parking lot after work when she noticed a man walking near her. She said she noticed the man turn suddenly about 12 feet away and came up behind her. "I reached in my purse grabbed the gun and showed it to him," Babington said. "I looked him directly in his eyes. He turned away. It worked. I didn't have to use it, but it worked. If he had attacked me, I would have felt comfortable using it."

California: Man Killed in Modesto Gas Station Fight: "A machete-wielding man was shot and killed after getting into a fight with a group of men and taking a hostage at a Modesto gas station early Saturday, Modesto police officials said. Richard Perez, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the 1 a.m. Saturday shooting at the Valero gas station, 325 Maze Boulevard, Modesto police spokesman Ivan Valencia said. Witnesses said Perez got into an altercation with up to eight men who drove up to the gas station in two cars. Valencia said Perez took one of the men hostage, holding the machete to the man's throat. One of the man's friends pulled a handgun and allegedly pleaded with Perez to let the man go, Valencia said. After a pair of warning shots, witnesses said the gunman shot Perez several times, allowing the hostage to escape unhurt. Both carloads of men then fled the scene. Investigators interviewed several witnesses to the confrontation and under the circumstances, the shooting may have been justified, Modesto police detective Dodge Hendee said. Valencia said detectives were looking for the men confronted by Perez, identified as seven or eight black males from 18 to 25 years old.

Showdown at the Constitution's last frontier: "Most presidential elections contain an issue that acts as a third gunman, ultimately stacking the odds against one of the main two combatants. It was Iraq in 2004, ethics in 2000, the economy in 1992, and so forth. Last Friday, the 2008 election may have found its third gunman with a court decision that, somewhat appropriately, also sets out an important marker on one of the last untamed frontiers of constitutional law."

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