Monday, June 30, 2008

Some interesting history from Jeff Jacoby

With a very pesky conclusion

When it comes to gun control, the Democratic Party is a house divided against itself. That helps explain Barack Obama's dizzyingly inconsistent positions on District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark Second Amendment case decided by the Supreme Court last week.

As a candidate for the Illinois Legislature in the 1990s, Obama had supported legislation to "ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns," so it wasn't surprising that he endorsed the gun ban being challenged in Heller while campaigning for president. In November, for example, his campaign told the Chicago Tribune that "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional." In February, when a questioner during a televised forum said, "You support the D.C. handgun ban," Obama readily agreed: "Right."

By March, however, his spokesman would no longer say whether Obama considered the gun ban constitutional, and when the senator was asked about it during a debate in April, he refused to give a clear answer on the grounds that "I obviously haven't listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence." Still, when the court issued its 5-4 ruling last Thursday, Obama claimed that his views had been vindicated. "I have always believed," his statement began, "that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms." On the other hand, reported the Associated Press, "the campaign would not answer directly . . . when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court."

This is not just the customary political choreography whereby Democratic presidential candidates dance to the left during the primary election season, then pirouette back to the center for the general election. (Republicans twirl the other way.) Guns are a particularly thorny issue for Democrats, who have long been the party of gun control, and whose strong left wing detests firearms and looks down on the "gun nuts" who enjoy them. Liberal Democrats have generally seen the Second Amendment as an embarrassing constitutional anachronism, not a guarantee of essential liberty. They nurse a singular loathing for the National Rifle Association. And they are sure that more guns in private hands can only mean more death and violent crime.

The problem for Democrats is that such views put them well beyond the American mainstream. There may be as many as 283 million privately owned firearms in the United States, and nearly half of all US households own at least one gun. Even before the Supreme Court ruling, a large majority of Americans -- 73 percent, according to Gallup -- believed the Second Amendment guaranteed the right of private citizens to own guns. Nearly 7 in 10 opposed any law making handgun possession illegal.

Given such widespread pro-gun sentiment, a political party inclined to demonize guns or gun owners can expect to alienate many voters. In 1994, within months of enacting a ban on assault weapons, Democrats lost their majorities in both houses of Congress -- majorities it would take more than a decade to win back. Their "inability to consistently win elections in places where gun shops outnumber Starbucks," the respected political analyst Charlie Cook wrote in National Journal during their long exile, "is a big reason the party controls neither the House nor the Senate."

Some Democrats have worked to shed the image as the party of gun-haters. Running for president in 2004, Senator John F. Kerry made a point of donning orange and hoisting a shotgun for a very public day of duck hunting in southern Ohio. When Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana ran for reelection two years later, their TV ads depicted them using guns. (Schweitzer, an avid hunter, likes to say he has "more guns than I need but not as many as I want.") More than 60 Democrats were endorsed by the NRA in the midterm election of 2006 -- the election, perhaps not coincidentally, in which their party regained control of Congress.

Still, for many Democratic liberals, the antigun animus is reflexive. Senators Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein wasted no time deploring the court's ruling in Heller last week; Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago denounced it as "very frightening." Over the years, such attitudes have been a political boon to Republicans, helping them paint Democrats as out-of-step elitists who hate something millions of Americans love. John McCain's statement hailing the decision pointedly referred to Obama's infamous statement that Middle Americans "cling to guns or religion" when "they get bitter."

All of which makes it ironic that the impact of last week's decision may be to deprive the GOP of a valuable political weapon. By ending the debate over whether the Second Amendment confers an individual right to own guns, the justices have just made it safer for gun owners to vote Democratic. McCain cheered the court's ruling, but Obama may prove the biggest winner of all.


Virginia: Beach pizza parlor worker kills would-be robber: "Police say an attempted robbery at pizza parlor ended when a store employee shot and killed the alleged thief. Workers at Dominick's Pizza and Pasta in the Timber Lake shopping center on Holland Road tell 13News a masked man came in through a back entrance, brandishing a gun and demanding cash. Police say the shooting happened around 10pm Saturday. According to employees, a worker opened the safe, taking a loaded revolver out instead of money. The worker reportedly returned to where the alleged thief was and opened fire. Police say workers called 9-1-1 at 10:08. By the time officers arrived the masked man was already dead. Police have not identified the suspect, and have not said if any charges will be filed against the employee".

Pennsylvania Game Commission deems black bear shooting justified: "A South Huntingdon man was within his legal rights when he shot a black bear on his property Tuesday evening, according to a representative of the state Game Commission. Rod Ansell, a wildlife conservation officer with the commission's southwest region office, said Thursday that the shooting in the Turkeytown area was justified. The bear was trying to get to a deer the man keeps penned on his property, Ansell said. The shooter's name was not released. Bears have been spotted in Jeannette, Hempfield, North Huntingdon and other areas this spring and summer, Ansell said. Ansell said he received several calls about the shooting, and some people were concerned about a sow and cub also reported to be in the area. "That gentleman called me right away," Ansell said of the property owner. "He did it (shooting) very reluctantly." "If he had been in violation, I'd have issued him a citation," Ansell said. The commission took custody of the bear, as is mandatory in cases of property protection, he said".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some points from the recent SCOTUS ruling

This morning, I'm noting a lot of ill informed .or perhaps just informed by misunderstanding of the text. opinions and statements regarding the historic Heller ruling on the scope and applicability of the 2nd amendment. This of course is unsurprising when many people of varying levels of knowledge about law, history, and firearms have just a short time to digest a 90 page majority opinion and another 70 pages of dissents and cites. In the table below, I've selected out the critical passages, and highlighted some of those I consider most instructive or important. Briefly, I need to specifically address some points:

1. Incorporation: Scalia makes it clear in his majority opinion that the second amendment is a fundamental right, that must be treated the same as other fundamental rights such as the first amendment. He specifically notes it in respect to the 14th amendment NUMEROUS times. This decision will be applied universally within the domain of the court, and should be considered controlling upon the states (this is clarified in the later references by the way).

2. Universality: This decision applies to all within the jurisdiction of the court. Excepting prohibited persons (and there is a clear definition under federal law of who those persons are by the way), all individuals under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, have the right to keep and bear arms.

3. Scrutiny: Again, this issue is clear. Though in the opinion itself Scalia does not explicitly state that second amendment issues should be reviewed with strict scrutiny, this is made clear in the text by equating the 2nd amendment with the first, 4th, 14th etc. Further, Scalia explicitly dismisses Stevens call for a "balance of interests" standard of medium scrutiny. This is in effect strict scrutiny, with certain well defined exceptions (such as for felons, the insane, and weapons of mass destruction).

4. Class III (machine guns and other): This one is mixed. Although the majority expresses that some restrictions are permissible, it also explicitly denies outright bans. It is clear that weapons that are in the common usage and available to citizens, are protected. That includes machine guns (machine guns are not illegal for the general public to own, they are just very expensive and tightly restricted). Although Scalia points out that Miller said it was OK to ban short barreled shotguns, he also noted that the decision is flawed, because it only took judicial notice of what was presented to the court, and the original apellant (Miller, though technically he was the respondent for the appeal to the supremes) never presented a case (he died before the date set for arguments, and his attorney didn't bother to show up).

Based on my reading, I would say that the current law prohibiting the new manufacture of machine guns for civilian sale after May of 1986 (actually that's not what it says, but that is how the ATF chose to interpret it) is out; after some long and difficult litigation. However, the door is open for other laws restricting such weapons, fi properly written to pass constitutional scrutiny.

This of course applies to other weapon types specifically targeted for bans; for example the requirement that all weapons imported into the United States have a "sporting purpose", and that certain shotguns are considered "destructive devices" simply by arbitrary features; are also disallowed (again with the caveat that new laws could be written to pass a constitutional standard).

5. Scope: I think it is clear, though it will require significant litigation to hash out details; that no outright ban on any type of weapon (including machine guns as currently construed), excepting weapons of mass destruction, can stand muster. This means that all state "Assault weapons bans" will be struck down. eventually; along with magazine capacity bans, hollowpoint bullet bans etc. (though likely the ban on "armor piercing" handgun ammunition will continue).

I also think it is clear that there is significant room for licensing programs, and standards (including standards for weapons features and functionality)to be set, so long as the requirements for licensing are not discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious, or onerous. Of course, again, that is going to require years of litigation to define better.

I do think that clearly this means the end of Chicago gun laws, and most likely the radical reformation of laws in Massachusetts, New York, California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. I should note that this does not mean universal "shall issue" concealed carry, but it almost certainly DOES mean that all states which allow concealed carry must allow it on a "shall issue" basis; using those standards as a guideline. Unless someone is a prohibited person, as spelled out under law since 1968, you MUST license them (presuming licensing exists).

Additionally, I believe this actually DOES set a requirement for lawful OPEN carry throughout the country; in that self defense is a recognized lawful, and traditional purpose of the bearing of arms.

And of course, this ruling does specifically allow for the restriction of carry of firearms in some ways, and some locations. As Scalia repeatedly says, no constitutionally protected rights are absolute (under the law).

Finally, any legislation that does not EXPLICITLY violate the above prohibitions, but would have the effect of doing so, is certainly disallowed. This means that standards for licensing, firearms design, dealer sale regulations etc. cannot be set so as to constitute an effective ban, or an onerous burden. Now we just need to spend the next 15 years suing to define what constitutes an onerous burden.

Summary of Impact: So you can't ban guns, or any particular types of guns; you can't keep anyone not a prohibited person from buying, owning, keeping, bearing, and using guns for all lawful purposes (including self defense); you can license and set standards for guns to be sold, and for persons to purchase, own, keep, and bear them; but those standards cannot be discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious, or onerous.

Oh and of course, that doesn't get into the halo effect this has on other cases dealing with fundamental rights issues (remember how many times they state that this is simply protecting a pre-existing right).


South Dakota: No charges filed in shooting case: "The decision has been made by the Moody County State's Attorney not to file charges against Matthew Heinricy in connection with the death of Jason Clough on May 25, 2008 outside a rural Colman Residence. The facts of the case indicate a justifiable homicide as defined by State law, SDCL 22-16-34. The Moody County Grand Jury has also investigated the case and taken testimony and has decided not to issue any indictments in connection with the incident. Jason Clough had attempted unsuccessfully to force his way into the Heinricy home on May 25. From outside the house, he fired his shotgun twice at a door, once through the kitchen window at occupants of the house and had raised his shotgun at another window when Heinricy fired back from inside the house, killing Clough instantly. State law provides that homicide is justifiable if committed while resisting an attempt to commit murder, or, in other words, in defending oneself, or, when necessary to save his own life or others' lives, or avoid great bodily harm when attacked in his own home."

Minnesota: Shot-at meth addict is sentenced for St. Paul burglary: "As he stood awaiting sentencing Friday in Ramsey County District Court, Michael G. Spencer had become more than just a methamphetamine addict convicted of burglary. District Judge Michael Monahan told Spencer that he now was a poster boy for this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying Americans had a right to own guns for self-defense. Spencer, who was sentenced to 34 months in prison, was arrested in April after he broke into a St. Paul home but then was subdued by a homeowner armed with a gun. The homeowner fired at him, and, although the bullet missed, Spencer, 31, feigned unconsciousness until police arrived, court records show. His attorney told the judge that Spencer had been a drug user for 14 years and that he was hopeful he could get treatment to turn his life around."

Neighbors with gun nab rapist: "A 20-year-old man is accused of breaking into a Gary home, holding a knife to three children inside and then raping their 16-year-old baby sitter. Cornelius Hines, of Gary, was lying naked, with a pair of socks on his feet and a rag on his head when Gary police arrived, Lake County Criminal Court records state. The teen had just given the two young girls and little boy she was baby-sitting some cookies and tea Saturday when a man, later identified as Hines, came out of the master bedroom holding a knife in his right hand, police said. He told the three children to stand against the wall, adding he would kill them if they said anything, court records state. Hines then grabbed the teen by the arm and pulled her into the bedroom, threatening to kill her if she didn't do what he said, court records state. One of the children ran next door to the neighbor's house and told them what happened. Someone knocked on the bedroom window while Hines and the teen were inside and then knocked on the front door. Hines let the teen go, and she opened the door, records state. The man at the door gave her a shirt to cover herself. Police said Hines entered through a back window into the home. Hines told police he went to the house to visit a friend, saw the teen in the bedroom and asked what she was doing. He said he started to take off his shorts and a knife fell out of his pocket, which scared her, police said. Hines said the kids heard the teen scream and then some "dudes" came in and one had a gun, records state."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wyoming man acquitted by jury : "A 12-person jury declared Randal Cosgrove not guilty of attempted second-degree murder and not guilty of aggravated assault Friday. Cosgrove, 47, was accused of shooting his fiance’s 43-year-old son, Joe Hansen in September. Cosgrove’s attorneys, Greg Blenkinsop and Traci Sampson, argued that Cosgrove acted in self-defense when he shot at Hansen. Cosgrove said in a taped interview with Teton County Sheriff’s Office investigators that he shot at the tires of Hansen’s car when Hansen tried to run him over. Blenkinsop argued that Hansen’s recollection of events the night of the shooting were ever-changing and unreliable. He said there was a shortage of physical evidence and there was no way to know “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Cosgrove was not acting legally in self-defense when he fired at Hansen.

Vermont man cleared: "A St. Albans man has been found not guilty for shooting another man on a city street. Matthew Martel, 22, was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon last August. Police say he shot Jonathan Bushee, 20, in the leg during a confrontation on Federal Street. Martel told police he shot Bushee in self-defense. A jury cleared Martel of the crime." [Background here]

McCain applauds ruling: "Presumptive Republican presidential nomine John McCain criticized his Democratic rival Thursday, accusing Barack Obama of having "elitist" gun views. The comments came after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns and ruled that Americans have the right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, The Financial Times reported. McCain hailed the ruling as a "landmark victory" for gun rights. Referring to remarks Obama made during the primary campaign, McCain said Obama is out of touch with Americans on gun rights. "Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly," the Arizona senator said."

Obama waffles: "Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama Thursday sought to clarify his position on a Supreme Court ruling striking down a Washington gun ban. The high court struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handgun possession, ruling that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense. When asked about his reaction, Obama disputed the one outlined earlier by his campaign, ABC News reported. When a reporter noted in November that the District's handgun law was constitutional, Obama distanced himself from the campaign, the network reported. "I don't know what my aide said but I've been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said. "What I said was that I believe Second Amendment as being an individual right and have said that consistently. I also think that individual right is constrained by the rights of the community to maintain issues with public safety. I don't think those two principles are contradictory and in fact what I've been saying consistently is what the Supreme Court essentially said today." Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, said although the District's gun ban was overturned, the court did affirm the right of local communities to engage in background checks and other "common sense laws."

Friday, June 27, 2008


All American gun owners know what the above Hooray is all about but, for the benefit of others, one report below:

The US Supreme Court has ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms, ending a ban on owning handguns in Washington DC in its first ruling on gun rights in 70 years. The court's 5-4 decision - on whether the right to keep and bear arms is fundamentally an individual or collective right - upheld the second amendment of the US constitution on the right to bear arms. "The second amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defence within the home," the court said in a resume of the decision.

It was a victory for gun rights advocates and could have a far reaching impact on gun control legislation across the country. The high court had never before issued a precise ruling on the interpretation of the second amendment to the constitution, which states: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Washington, home to the White House and the US administration, has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. Private possession of handguns is strictly banned, and any rifles or shotguns must be kept unloaded in homes or under a trigger lock. City government officials argued the ban, instituted in 1976, was necessary to stem rising gun violence, and that the second amendment protects gun rights for people associated with militias, not individuals.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case, District of Columbia vs Heller, first argued in 2003 that the DC gun ban violates the citizens' second amendment rights. Alan Gura, the lead lawyer for the plaintiff, questioned the anti-crime impact of the city's laws, saying they have "accomplished nothing except to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

The case, originally brought by a federal building guard who carries a handgun on duty and wanted to keep it in his home for self-defence, attracted national attention and a flurry of "friend of the court" amicus briefs filed on both sides. Supporters of gun rights include groups as varied as Pink Pistols and Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, 126 Women State Legislatures, and the powerful, well-financed gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

On the other side, law enforcement groups, the American Bar Association, US mayors and coalitions against domestic violence have argued that easy access to handguns causes murder rates to rise. The Supreme Court last took up the issue in 1939, but its ruling on a case involving alleged bank robbers and registration of certain firearms did not directly address the question of the individual versus collective right to bear arms.


The dissenters

The decision was a close-run one in that the majority was only 5-4. And some of the dissenting judges can only be called Leftist lunatics. For instance, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that: "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

As a reader writes:

"In my opinion the above ranks as the silliest remark ever to come from someone who is supposed to have intelligence. Where is a weapon more likely to be needed? Does he also advocate that troops in a war zone not carry loaded weapons? Why should police be armed?"

Consequences already:

Following Thursday's (5-4) ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms, and that a municipal gun ban violates that right, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) filed a federal lawsuit (complaint) challenging the City of Chicago's long-standing handgun ban. "Chicago's handgun ban has failed to stop violent crime," SAF founder Alan Gottlieb stated. "It's time to give the Constitution a chance."

In addition to SAF and ISRA, plaintiffs include Chicago residents Otis McDonald, a retiree who has been working with police to rid his neighborhood of drug dealers, and who wants to have a handgun at his home; Adam Orlov, a former Evanston police officer; software engineer David Lawson and his wife, Colleen, a hypnotherapist, whose home has been targeted by burglars. Attorney Alan Gura, who argued the District of Columbia challenge before the high court, and Chicago area attorney David G. Sigale, represent the plaintiffs. "Our goal," Gura said "is to require state and local officials to respect our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Chicago's handgun ban, and some of its gun registration requirements, are clearly unconstitutional."

"The right to defend our homes and families against those who would do them harm, whether a random criminal, violent ex-domestic partner, or other wrongdoer, is one of the principles upon which America was founded," Sigale said. "It is time the City of Chicago trust its honest, law-abiding residents with this Constitutional right." "The city has been denying gun owners their civil rights for a long time and I think this lawsuit could have a profound effect on their registration law," ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson added.

Under the gun law currently in place, firearms must be re-registered annually. "Each time," Gura said, "a tax is imposed, forms must be filled out, photographs submitted. A person who owns more than one gun will find herself or himself constantly in the process of registering each gun as it comes due for expiration. If registration is to be required, once is enough."

He further noted that Chicago's bizarre requirement that guns be registered before they are acquired often times makes registration impossible. The penalty for failure to comply with the registration scheme is that a gun not re-registered on time can never be registered again. Gura likened it to a requirement to dispose of a car if it is not re-registered on time with the Department of Motor Vehicles.


And we might soon see more of this

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Armed neighbors are now patrolling the Central Avenue business district in response to a shooting and three armed robberies at nearby businesses. Overall, neighbors and police say the area is safe. The Neighborhood Watch Alliance, started by Scott Yamanashi, includes nightly patrols from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Yamanashi says there are up to 20 members who wish to remain anonymous. Nearly all, he says, have conceal and carry permits and take their handguns with them during their patrols.

"It's the pattern of crime, the brazenness of criminals and me getting shot, which may have culminated into this movement," Yamanashi said. He was shot in the arm earlier this year while breaking up an armed robbery at the Snug Harbor Bar. "We want to draw a line in the sand and say this is enough," he said. His injury prompted the idea of armed citizen patrols. "We just want to be an added set of eyes and ears. A neighborhood watch that has some teeth," he said.

Yamanashi says the patrols are already paying off by calling police about strangers hanging around people's homes and businesses. "Casing, I guess you could call it," he said.

Police say they support the group's Second Amendment rights. But one blogger says he'd feel better if the guns stayed at home and hopes wisdom and patience prevail if there's ever an armed encounter.

Police caught the man who shot Yamanashi but his accomplice is still out there. Yamanashi says if he comes across him, he's reaching for his cell phone. He says it's about neighbors being vigilant, not becoming vigilantes. "If I take the law into my own hands then that would be vigilantism. But, under the Second Amendment I have the right to basically patrol my neighborhood and carry a firearm for my own protection," he said. Yamanashi does not have a conceal-carry permit. He says even for members who do, their first action will be calling 911 if they see a problem.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Maryland: Invader shot in butt: "A man was shot during an attempted robbery at a home in Cumberland Wednesday morning. Investigators with the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit say there was an altercation at a home in the 300-block of Pulaski Street. Residents heard gunshots just before 6:50 a.m. Police say Michael Evans and Corey Adams of Petersburg, Virginia came into the house and demanded money. Evans was shot at several times in the buttocks and leg. The two ran out of the home and drove out of the area. When officers arrived at the home, there was one victim with non life-threatening injuries. The people witnesses gave police a description of the suspects and their vehicle. Officers stopped the suspects on Interstate 68 and Evans was taken to Cumberland Memorial Hospital. He was later taken to Baltimore Shock Trauma for more treatment. Evans and Adams face several charges of armed robbery, assault and theft."

Ireland: Acquitted man wants his shotgun back: “Manslaughter acquitted Padraig Nally says he now wants gardai to return the gun he used to kill burglar John ‘Frog’ Ward.The Mayo farmer has demanded the return of his shotgun, claiming he is living in fear of being attacked at his home again.Mr Nally (64) was cleared of manslaughter after shooting dead Traveller Mr Ward, who he caught breaking into his home four years ago.He now maintains: ‘Everyone is saying I should have a gun.’”Mr Nally said he was informed at the time of the trial that he would not be allowed to have a firearm again under any circumstances, but had since been told he was now entitled to one because of his acquittal.”

Intruder on couch shot: "A man who shot and killed an intruder inside his Mardonna Way home in the middle of the night last week indicated to police and his wife that the trespasser beat him up and he acted in self-defense, according to a court document. With Cramer detained following the 3 a.m. shooting, two Sutherlin police officers entered the home and found Michael Shane Smith, 35, dead on the couch. Smith was “lying on his side with his feet propped up on the couch, facing the center of the living room,” according to the search warrant affidavit filed in court Tuesday. He appeared to have been shot in the upper chest, according to the affidavit. Police had been called to the home early that morning after Cramer’s wife, Christy, discovered an unknown man passed out on her couch. She grabbed her young daughter and left the home, heading to a nearby bar to retrieve Keith Cramer, according to police. When they returned, Christy Cramer followed her husband into the home to get a phone while their daughter waited in the car. Christy Cramer told police she heard her husband shouting something to the man on the couch, according to the affidavit. .. On Monday, Cramer’s attorney, Danny Lang, said Smith had made “sudden aggressive movements” toward his client before the shooting and that Cramer feared for his own safety and his family’s safety. No charges have been filed against Cramer, and Lang said it appears the man was acting in self-defense. A Douglas County grand jury is expected to hear the case and decide whether a crime was committed."

Colorado: Drunken quarrel. Wife shoots husband. Gets off: "A woman accused of shooting her husband during a struggle will not be charged in his death. 38-year-old Robin Gall was arrested after authorities arrived at her home on June 9th to find her husband shot to death inside. Robin was sitting on her porch in tears with the couple's three daughters. She freely admitted to shooting him. During the investigation, police pieced together that the couple had been out drinking throughout the afternoon. When they arrived home around 8:30 p.m., Robin's husband Brent Gall got upset about an incident at the bar when Robin hugged another man. The couple began struggling, which eventually led to Robin pulling out the family's gun and shooting Brent in the chest. Robin is now released from the Fremont County Jail because the District Attorney didn't believe a jury would convict her, so no charges were filed. He confirmed that it was ruled she acted in self defense."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SC: Charges dropped against woman who shot boyfriend: "A Ladson woman who admits she shot her live-in boyfriend three times and killed him won't go to trial after the Solicitor's Office dropped charges against her. They say all the facts all point to self-defense. 31-year-old Stephanie Morosi admitted to killing Jason Pruitt in September of 2006. She had known Truitt for five years and he had just been evicted from her home. Morosi told police Truitt had been violent with her on several occasions. She even attended domestic violence workshops and then bought a gun, which was eventually used to kill him. Morosi told police that Truitt came after her during an argument in her home. She believed he was going to kill her, so she said she grabbed her gun and shot him three times. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office found a hunting knife on his belt, and a steak knife next to him on the ground. In South Carolina, self-defense does not have to be proven by the defendant. It is the burden of the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not self defense. The Solicitor's Office says they had no choice but to drop the charges. Morosi was released on bond three months after the shooting". [Three months jail on "no chance" charges??]

Weapon theme boosts Beirut cafe : "A fast-food restaurant in Beirut has adopted a terrorism theme to attract customers. Diners at Buns and Guns eat to the sound of gunfire instead of muzak, weapons and ammunition decorate the counters, and camouflage netting hangs from the ceiling, reports the BBC. Owner Yousef Ibrahim presents dishes like `rocket-propelled grenade' (chicken on a skewer) and `terrorist bread.' Other meals include the Kalashnikov, Dragunov, Viper, B52."

WV: Pressure scuttles city gun ban: "The Ranson City Council is expected to abandon efforts to pass a proposed ordinance that would ban firearms from city-owned property due to pressure from gun rights groups. Groups such as the National Rifle Association and the West Virginia Citizens Defense League have sent letters to city officials decrying the proposed ordinance and have threatened to take action should the council attempt to pass it. "I think it's enough to say that we've heard from the interested parties - without being specific about who the interested parties are - and we feel that it is probably in our best judgment to forgo any further action relative to this situation," Ranson Mayor A. David Hamill said Monday. The proposed ordinance was brought up at the council's last general meeting, but consideration of the ordinance was tabled because of concerns its wording might be too vague. The intent of the proposal was to ban firearms from city-owned properties such as city-owned buildings and parks, but not within the entire city limits itself. The issue arose after an individual showed up with a gun about a month ago at a semipro football game at Ranson's Charles C. Marcus Field. The man did have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but agreed to remove the gun from the public field".

Seattle mayor could learn from small town colleague : "Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels could take a lesson from Montesano Mayor Ron Schillinger, who has properly vetoed an ordinance that would have banned firearms in city parks, even those carried by legally-licensed citizens, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today. The ordinance was passed June 10 by the Montesano City Council on a narrow 4-3 vote, one day after Nickels announced that he plans to ban guns from all Seattle city property, even if a citizen has a current concealed pistol license, or if they are legally carrying openly."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alabama: Shots Fired in Parking Lot Leave One Injured: "A man who authorities say was trying to break up a fight Sunday night apparently felt threatened and pulled a gun. The man, who has not been identified, fired his gun in the parking lot of a shopping center. The shooting happened just outside the Pratt Pub Oyster Bar on Main Street. According to officials, a man saw a couple arguing and tried to intervene. However, the couple didn't appear to want his help. The victim began approaching the man and, according to authorities, despite warnings that he had a gun, the victim did not stop. The man then opened fire. The victim was taken to a Montgomery hospital. The extent of his injuries are unclear at this time. Authorities say the shooting appears to have been in self defense, so it's unlikely any charges will be filed. So far, no names have been released."

Thousands sign petition to make Texas an open-carry state: "If Duane Suddeth had his way, he could strap on a handgun and wear it - anytime, anywhere - without concealing it. That day has not come in Texas, but the 42-year-old Bedford man is among thousands hoping it is on its way. "This is the public's right," Suddeth said. "Whether they choose to exercise that or not is up to them." Texas, despite its independence and frontier reputation, is one of only six states where handguns cannot - in some form - legally be worn in plain view. Suddeth is among a group of residents wanting to change that who have joined a growing nationwide "open-carry" movement. Some say it harks back to constitutional rights and frontier days when settlers carried their weapons where everyone could see them."

SF wastes public money supporting futile bans: "San Francisco's budget crisis underscores the frivolity of the city's stubborn and expensive defense of its doomed-from-the-start 2005 gun ban, the Second Amendment Foundation said today. SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb said the city administration's pursuit of this case - which was almost a carbon copy of a similar court action 23 years ago that was also won by the Foundation - is a clear indication that "fiscal and philosophical irresponsibility run hand-in-hand on the Board of Supervisors and in the mayor's office." "Mayor Gavin Newsom should have, and probably could have, stopped this case dead in its tracks after the city's first loss in the trial court," Gottlieb noted. "Instead, the city doggedly appealed, and appealed again, and for what? To make a political statement of some sort? When you're hemorrhaging money from the city budget, pushing a court case that you already know you're going to lose is remarkable carelessness with the public's money."

Vitter to introduce concealed carry reciprocity: "Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is planning to introduce a concealed carry reciprocity bill next week. Senator Vitter had been working closely with Gun Owners of America to draft and file a reciprocity amendment a few weeks ago, but that amendment, unfortunately, never saw the light of day - thanks to powerful opponents inside the Senate. However, Sen. Vitter has continued undaunted and last week sent a Dear Colleague letter to his fellow senators, asking them to cosponsor his forthcoming bill, the `Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.'"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Georgia homeowner wounds would-be burglar: "Fulton County police said they will consult with the district attorneys office before deciding on whether to charge a homeowner who shot and wounded a teenager charged with breaking into his townhouse Saturday evening. "We're still looking into the homeowner," Fulton County police spokesman Scott McBride said Sunday. "We don't know if charges will be filed. [Investigators] have to talk with the [Fulton County] district attorney's office about that." The homeowner, identified as Desonte Lindsey, 28, shot and wounded a teen breaking into his townhouse in the 6200 block of Flat Trace, near Union City, police said. "The guy hears the front doorbell ring" just before 6 p.m., McBride said. "When he goes down to answer it, a 16-year-old kicks in his back door." The man got a gun and fired twice at the teen, hitting him once in the arm, McBride said. The youth ran, and the man chased him into a nearby wooded area and lost him. Lindsey told police it was the second time this month his home had been broken into. The teen was arrested after calling 911 to report he'd been shot, McBride said. He is charged with burglary and criminal trespass, McBride said. The teen underwent surgery at Southern Regional Medical Center on Saturday to remove a bullet from his arm."

Kentucky man shoots intruder, police say: "Kentucky State Police are investigating a shooting in McCreary County that happened after a 19-year-old Pine Knot man awoke to being assaulted. Charles Murphy told police that about 6 a.m. Sunday he woke up to an attack by Rusty L. Hayes, 20, who had entered Murphy's home on Ky. 1651. Murphy retrieved a handgun and shot at Hayes, hitting him twice, police said. Hayes was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment. No charges have been filed pending completion of the investigation."

TN: Three nabbed after manhunt: "Three people are in custody after an all-day manhunt after an attempted home burglary on Sherrilltown Road in the Norene Community, south-southeast of Lebanon, on Thursday. Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe said the incident began around 7 a.m. yesterday when a home on Sherrilltown Road was allegedly broken into. Alan Ricketts, brother of the man who owns the home, and their father, heard the break-in and ran and confronted the three suspects as they were leaving the residence. Ricketts and their father reside nearby. Ashe said the three suspects tried to run over Ricketts and his father in their truck. Ricketts and his father then began shooting at the three. The gunshots damaged the truck which ended up in a ditch. The three suspects escaped on foot. The three suspects have been identified as Timmy Dewayne Tomlinson Jr., 22, of Holloway Circle, Lebanon; Jeffery Craddock, 26, of Trousdale Ferry Pike, Lebanon; and Shanna Seibers, 29, of 441 Grant Highway, Gordonsville. The sheriff praised the actions of Ricketts and his father, noting they fired their weapons only to disable the truck the suspects were in and not to hurt them."

The wonderful power of signs: "Following a shooting at the recent Folklife Festival - Seattle’s Mayor Greg Nickels signed an executive order asking all departments to come up with a plan to ban guns on all property owned by that city. What stands out in my mind is that, if you look at all of the shootings that have occurred in “Gun Free Zones,” it’s obvious that the rules are obeyed only by law-abiding citizens (aka: victims) and are completely ignored by criminals. Were it otherwise, we could easily expand upon such ideas and simply post signs everywhere saying: “No crime beyond this point” and what a wonderful, fear-free society we’d all then have. It’d be great if we lived in a world wherein people intent on perpetrating acts of violence weren’t present. It’d be great if we lived in a world wherein protection for all was only seconds away. It’d be great if we lived in a world wherein, when confronted by goblins, each of us knew with certainty that we could turn them away on our own. Unfortunately, we don’t live in such a world and protecting ourselves sometimes requires a lot more than harsh words, flinty stares, or - in other cases - asking for mercy from our assailants."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Baltimore man shoots back: "A 22-year-old Baltimore man charged with murder pleaded guilty yesterday to a handgun charge and was sentenced to time served in prison and probation.... He said that the two teens had tried to rob him on the front steps of his house in the 2100 block of Garrison Blvd. and fired at him first. "Christopher Ford and Neil Rather walked up to my client's front steps and pulled a gun on him," Haskins' defense attorney, Janice Bledsoe, said yesterday. If Haskins, who until yesterday had no criminal record, violates his probation, Baltimore Circuit Judge John P. Miller could sentence him to up to three years in prison. "The outcome of this case rests squarely on the issue that the defendant had a viable self-defense argument," said Assistant State's Attorney Diana Smith."

Ohio shooter cops drug charge only: "David Klamer Jr., the 49-year-old city man charged with aggravated drug trafficking and killing a drug dealer who had come to his house to rob him, has pleaded guilty to the drug offense. In court Friday, Martin P. Desmond, an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, said the prosecutor's office decided to drop the murder charge against Klamer... Police said Richard Helms, 43, of Himrod Avenue, and Jones, 30, of Wampum Drive, went to Klamer's home to sell him OxyContin and rob him. Helms and Klamer drew handguns and fired at each other, police said. Helms died of a gunshot to the head.... Judge R. Scott Krichbaum, who presided over Klamer's hearing Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, said he never believed Klamer deserved to be charged for the shooting. "You shot somebody who was there to rob you," he said. "These are bad guys with guns, but you're not lily white in all of this either. Judge Krichbaum said he would probably sentence Klamer to between two and three years in prison after the Adult Probation Department conducts a presentence investigation."

Highly variable rules: "There was his birth certificate, driver's license, and the utility bill he handed over to prove who he was and where he lived, he says. Plus the letter verifying his membership in a gun club, and the copy of his safety certificate, and that passing grade on his marksmanship test. Not to mention being photographed, and fingerprinted for the background check. By the time he was finished with the process of applying for a license to carry a concealed handgun in Boston a few years back, Jim Lynch says, he was made to feel like an outlaw. Except, he notes, the bad guys don't bother getting a license. "It's ironic," says Lynch, a 38-year-old writer for a computer-publishing company. "The gangbangers don't pay any attention to the rules." Though he eventually got a license and a .40-caliber pistol - albeit with strict limitations on its use - Lynch did what any frustrated citizen might have: He moved to New Hampshire. There, he says, the application to carry a concealed gun is a veritable breeze: valid ID, three references, a background check - and a 14-day maximum wait time versus up to eight weeks in Boston. "You're not treated as a criminal in New Hampshire," says Lynch, who is gay and says he carries a firearm for self-protection. "You're an actual citizen." Many local gun owners are now similarly upset over what they see as licensing measures that are chokingly tight and widely inconsistent - not only from state to state but from city to town".

Ohio man illegally harassed by cops: "Bryan Ledford, an Ohioans For Concealed Carry member, was walking down a street in Willowick, OH yesterday when he was ordered to his knees at gunpoint by several police officers. Our member was exercising his right to Keep and Bear Arms by openly carrying a firearm. He did also have a concealed handgun license. A Willowick Police Sergeant showed up at the scene, and our member was berated by several of the officers over his choice to openly carry, even being told that, "you can't just walk around with your gun exposed" and that he "made a piss-poor decision. It has to be concealed." As people educated about Ohio law know, there is absolutely nothing illegal about open carry of a firearm in places not prohibited by federal or state law. Our member recorded the incident (audio is available in .mp3 format at the end of this story), verifying what appears to be numerous incidents of officers displaying an ignorance of the law and possibly civil rights violations. If nothing else, they were grossly misinformed when threatening to arrest him for disturbing the peace."

Michigan store owner kills intruder: "The owner of a clothing store, with a gun pointed at his head by a would-be robber, shot and killed the intruder on Friday. Flint police Sgt. Jeff Fray said the owner used his left hand to push Paul C. Lee Jr.'s gun away. That gun discharged, and the owner of LT's Clothing and Accessories pulled his own gun out and "proceeded to fire several shots at close range," Fray said. Lee was hit multiple times, and died. "Everything appears to be as (the store owner) said," Fray said. "It appears to be what we consider a justifiable homicide." Fray said he believes the round fired from Lee's gun hit the Clio Road store owner's left hand. The owner was released after treatment from Hurley Medical Center. Lee came into the store wielding a gun around the 9 p.m. closing time on Friday, Fray said. Gibbs said someone pointing a gun at you is about as cut-and-dry a self-defense case as you could have. Lee, 42, was released from prison in October 2007, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections Web site. He had served more than 20 years on a murder conviction. Lee escaped from the downtown YMCA halfway house in 1985 and stabbed a man after an argument at East Lyndon Avenue, according to articles in The Flint Journal from 1985."

Guns OK in Michigan County Courthouse, judge says: "As far as Circuit Judge Michael Smith is concerned, it's perfectly legal for visitors to the Hillsdale County Courthouse to carry guns. Smith says signs prohibiting firearms in the courthouse were taken down about a month ago. Smith tells the Hillsdale Daily News that courthouses are not exempt from state concealed weapon laws, so there's no way to lawfully stop people from carrying a concealed weapon if they're licensed properly."

Castle doctrine needed here: "An attorney for the Minneapolis firefighter charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend recently filed a motion in court to dismiss the charge. Kyle Huggett, 32, acted lawfully when he fatally shot John Peach after Peach sent him threatening text messages, came over uninvited and broke into Huggett's rural Wisconsin home on Jan. 20, Huggett's attorney, Craig Mastantuono, said Wednesday. Huggett is charged with second-degree intentional homicide. Huggett told authorities that he did not see a weapon on Peach, according to the criminal complaint. Wisconsin law allows the use of deadly force only when one is faced with deadly force, Burnett County District Attorney Ken Kutz has said. According to the complaint, filed June 9, Huggett didn't warn Peach before he fired two shots into his chest."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Setting an example

Have you ever watched a Western movie and noticed the cowboy who looked out of place, but you couldn't figure out why? At some point in the movie it is pointed out that ol' Slim doesn't pack iron because he killed/nearly killed an innocent man/woman/child years ago and he swore he'd never touch another gun. How Slim deals with his demons is his own business; the point is that he stand out because he's not wearing a six-shooter.

These days the tables have turned and now most people are not seen with a handgun perched on their hip. When one sees someone carrying a gun, one usually assumes the armed person is either an off-duty police officer or someone up to no good. Most likely both assumptions are wrong.

There is a growing cadre of law-abiding gun owners who use their everyday interactions with others to educate them about firearms and our rights. According to a Los Angeles Times story, most states allow people who aren't barred from owning or carrying firearms to carry them openly. That is the way things should work in a free society; what isn't specifically forbidden is allowed. And government must have a good reason to forbid something.

Open carry is legal in Colorado, except where specifically banned. Locally, open carry was the subject du jour in 2003 when a man began carrying a shotgun with him as he went about his business. When his business included attending City Council meetings, council members took notice and banned open-carry in city-owned buildings. El Paso County has a similar law. Other than government buildings, including public schools and post offices, carrying firearms openly is legal most places in the Pikes Peak region.

Property owners have the right to forbid customers to carry on their property. We'd urge them to err on the side of freedom. When people see firearms owners as the friendly guy ahead of them in line at the grocery store or the woman sharing a joke with them at the coffee shop, they're likely to have a good opinion of firearms owners. Too often, the only thing non-owners hear about firearms is in connection to criminal activity. That unfairly casts legitimate owners in a bad light.

It's not just men packing iron these days, either. More women than ever before are attending firearms safety classes and carrying guns, openly or concealed. They know that firearms can be a safety factor for someone who knows how to use them. A 250-pound thug will think twice when he discovers his 130-pound intended victim is not inclined to do his bidding and has the ability to protect herself and her rights.

Firearms dealers and shooting clubs are presenting classes specifically aimed at educating women about firearms. Manufacturers are responding to this new market by rolling out firearms designed for women's smaller hands.

Open carry is not without its problems, though. Many police officers might not be aware of the legality of the practice and are apt to err on the side of caution when they come in contact with an armed citizen. Other people can feel uncomfortable in the presence of a firearm and might complain to management or call the police. Those who carry openly must be ready to explain their rights and let others know they don't present a threat.

It can be a dangerous world, and the recent budget cuts show there won't always be a police officer or sheriff's deputy around to protect everyone. Even if government had enough money to put an officer on every block, he could be at the other end of the block when some bad actor demands your wallet or kicks in your front door. Ultimately, each person is responsible for his or her own safety. And if gun owners can educate the public on positive aspects of firearms, everyone is better off.


South Carolina pizza driver fights back: "A pizza delivery driver fought back at a group of suspects who tried to rob him, pulling out a gun and wounding one of them. Greenville Police say the incident happened early Monday morning at 1105 A Masters Lane when the Chanellos Pizza driver said three suspects began hitting him as he was delivering the pizzas. Police say the delivery driver then pulled out a gun and began to fire. One of the three robbery suspects was struck. Elvis Deans Junior, a 17 year-old student at South Central High School, is listed in stable but critical condition. He'll be charged with Common Law Robbery and Assault Inflicting Serious Injury. Police also arrested 18 year-old Thomas James, 18 year-old Sunil Persaud, and 17 year old Kevin Haynie all of Greenville. They are charged with common law robbery. Police also say they charged a 14 year old who they say planned the crime. The pizza delivery driver was taken to the hospital and was treated and released."

N.Y.'s Gun Laws May Be Next to go: "If gun enthusiasts are victorious this month when the Supreme Court declares what rights exist under the Second Amendment, their next target may be New York City's strict gun control laws. The federal high court may issue its historic decision on gun rights as early as today, and certainly by no later than month's end. Obtaining a gun license in New York City is now a lengthy and costly endeavor. In the span of a decade, a New Yorker with a licensed handgun at home will pay more than $1,000 in fees. Some of the obstacles facing prospective gun owners in the city may change if the Supreme Court rules that individuals have a constitutional right to keep a gun for protection. "If there is an individual right, then bureaucratic discretion in permitting and registering guns is going to be minimized," a lawyer who financed the case currently before the Supreme Court, Robert Levy, said, adding that "you cannot allow bureaucrats the option of denying people constitutional rights."

Chicago: Of course it's fair that they have guns and you don't: "Criminals are often poor people who are led away in chains and go to state prison, for decades or lifetimes, for using guns as weapons against taxpayers. Politicians wear nice suits, drive luxury cars, and when they go to prison-federal prison, and only for a few months-they go away for using government as a weapon against taxpayers. Criminals get guns the old fashioned way, by stealing them or buying them illegally. Politicians write the anti-gun laws, and wonder of wonders, they often exempt themselves and call themselves peace officers. In Chicago, our politicians often go around surrounded by armed bodyguards on the city payroll. Or they walk our streets strapped. Or they know a guy who knows a guy in some suburb, and they become deputized peace officers so they can carry. Meanwhile, the taxpayers, who live without bodyguards, are told that if they want to protect themselves with a handgun just like the politicians, they themselves will be criminalized. It is all about power in the end."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Indiana: Road rage shooting being called self-defense: "Police are calling it a case of violent road rage after a man is shot at a Jeffersonville, Indiana intersection. WAVE 3's Scott Harvey reports on the incident that happened at the corner of Allison Lane and 10th Street around 3 p.m. Tuesday. It is a case of road rage with a twist. Detectives working the case tell us the shooter hasn't been charged, because it appears to be a case of self defense. Investigators say it started as an altercation between a man riding a motorcycle and a woman driving a SUV behind him. "He said they came flying up on him when he was getting ready to turn," said Bagshaw. "So he slowed down on his turn, next thing you know they rolled up a little bit more. They had a few words. He jumped off his bike." "She never got out of the vehicle and that is where the shooting occurred," said Det. Todd Hollis with the Jeffersonville Police Department. Bagshaw says the man had a single gunshot to the chest. He waited with the motorcycle rider until EMS arrived. He told us the man kept talking about the argument at the car. "Supposedly she thought he had spit at her, but he said his false teeth fell out, so she shot him," explained Bagshaw. "So, I mean, there may be a little more to it than what the other guy is saying of course." And investigators say there is. No charges have been filed against the woman, because police say at this point it appears to be self-defense. The man was taken to University Hospital in Louisville and at last check was in surgery. His condition is unknown at this time."

Alaska man shoots bear: "A power plant supervisor in the city of Galena is credited with saving the lives of his neighbors as they were under attack by a bear. Howard Beasley says the large male black bear had recently been in the area feasting on moose calves. When those ran out it started coming in closer to homes. Beasley stepped in to help in the middle of the night after a neighbor - Chris Kriska and his little sister, couldn't shoo the aggressive bear away. The Galena Police Chief John Millan says the Kiska's dog, Scooby, distracted the bear until help arrived. Beasley says after he showed up the bear charged out of the woods hunched low, snarling and clearly was not ready to back down. So with a single shot, he killed it. "People came out and shook my hand, said it was the first good night of sleep they'd had in a long time," Beasley said. "People were having nightmares. I had no idea it had such a big impact on people." Millan calls the shooting clearly justified."

Canada: Watchdog calls for temporary Taser ban: “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are using stun guns too often and their use should be temporarily banned if levels are not curbed, a watchdog has said. Its report, prompted by the death of a Polish immigrant stunned by police last year, said the guns should only be used against ‘combative’ people. … The review was initiated after amateur video emerged showing Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers fire a stun gun at least twice at Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant, who died shortly afterwards. Mr Dziekanski spoke no English and had become agitated after waiting in a secure area of the airport for 10 hours. The police were heavily criticised for their treatment of Mr Dziekanski.”

Canada: Public Safety Minister rejects gun ban : “A handgun ban isn’t the answer to Toronto’s gun violence, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day insists. ‘Studies in a variety of jurisdictions around the world show that if you want to see gun crime reduced you’ve got to go after the criminals,’ Day said during a press conference at Polson Pier yesterday. He said a Canada-wide handgun ban would divert limited police resources to ‘going after innocent firearm owners.’ Day’s comments come after a weekend of gun violence in the city that started with a double murder Thursday night.”

Seattle: Another Anti-Gun Nut

I try to avoid name-calling, but sometimes I can't control myself. So, please excuse me.

The dickhead mayor (excuse the adjective of opinion) of Seattle, Wash., Greg Nickels, apparently hasn't learned from the Virgina Tech experience nor has he read the Constitution. He's banning guns on city property.

Okay, what does that tell the random sociopath? I'll guess. "Hey, no deadly force to stop me!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pennsylvania: Female Intruder Shot After Stabbing Woman: "Police are investigating reports that a female intruder was shot in the hand after entering a house in Pittsburgh's Spring Hill section. According to police, a woman entered a home in the 100 block of Rhine Place, spraying another woman with Mace before stabbing her, according to a witness. The boyfriend of the victim grabbed a gun and shot the intruder in the hand, police said.

KY: City councilman pulls trigger: "A City Councilman in Eastern Kentucky says he was about to be the victim of a robbery, when he pulled out a gun and fought back. Magoffin County Sheriff Bob Jordan says three people approached Royalton City Councilman Ray Nichols at his home. Police say one of them threatened to rob and kill Nichols. After the threats Nichols says he opened fire because he thought his life was in danger."

Indiana man shoots dog that ran out of house at him: "Jose Aquila said his pit bull was just trying to protect his 2-year-old when she was shot and killed about 7:40 p.m. Monday. Aquila said the 6-year-old pit bull, Sapphire, charged out of his house at 4445 Schmucker Drive and began barking at a man who was holding Jose Jr.'s hand to keep him from running into the street. The man, who has a permit to carry a concealed pistol, fired twice from close range, striking Sapphire in the neck and spine and grazing his own toe, according to Aquila. "She never bit him. She was just kind of warning him to get away," Aquila said. "She seen a stranger grabbing my son." The man told Fort Wayne Police he backpedaled as the dog came charging out of the home, but he fell on his back and the dog started coming for his feet. "I knew (it was going) to bite me, so I pulled out my pistol and shot it twice," the man said in the report. Aquila said Sapphire had never bitten anyone and was not normally an aggressive dog. Aquila said police told him the man - whom The News-Sentinel could not reach for comment - will not be charged because he had a right to defend himself. The police report confirmed the man would not be charged."

Michigan: Bank customer stops suspected would-be robber, holds him until police arrive: "A longtime customer brazenly stood up to a suspected would-be bank robber at a Comerica bank on Monday and detained the man until police showed up. At about 9 a.m., police said a 54-year-old Washtenaw County man walked into a Comerica branch in the 45400 block of Michigan Avenue and handed the teller a handwritten note demanding money. It also indicated he was strapped with a bomb, police said in a release. When the suspect demanded "bands of 50s and 100s," police said, the clerk hit the bank's silent alarm and began placing money in a bag. A teller at an adjacent counter noticed the incident and alerted the longtime customer. Police said the customer then pulled out a gun, pointed it at the suspect and told him, "You are not robbing this bank." "But I have a bomb," the suspect said, according to police. The customer replied: "I don't care. You are not robbing this bank!" The customer, who has not been named, then led the suspect to a chair, sat him down and held him at gunpoint until police came."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Canada: Jury acquits man for shooting cop: "Awakened before dawn by police officers who battered down the door to his home, Basil Parasiris said he acted in self-defence when he shot at a stranger at his bedroom door. A jury agreed yesterday, acquitting the Montreal-area businessman of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Constable Daniel Tessier, a father of two. The verdict was the latest slap in this case for the Laval police. The trial had revealed that the force's search warrant relied on dubious evidence and didn't allow a night-time raid; that officers didn't properly check whether Mr. Parasiris owned guns; and that they fired by mistake into a child's bedroom. The jurors agreed with Mr. Parasiris's defence that he thought he was the victim of a home invasion."

Vet on trial for shooting: "Walter Laak still looks like a Marine... Defense attorneys contend that Laak was trying to defend himself and others when he shot and killed 19-year-old Juan Cordova on June 5, 2007, during a confrontation at a friend's house. Authorities said Laak pulled out the Beretta and two of the three men fled. Cordova then advanced on Laak. Orozco testified that Cordova was swinging his fists at Laak. Laak fired a round that ricocheted off the ground and then fired again, Orozco said. The second round struck Cordova in the abdomen, killing him. Defense attorney Edward Kane said Laak fired the first round as a warning shot. After the shooting, Laak and Oscar Orozco fled. Laak turned himself in to Las Vegas police the following day. Laak said that the three men who came to the house were armed with knives and he shot "in self-defense," a Las Vegas police report states. Laak refused to give police a recorded statement and was arrested and charged with murder with a deadly weapon."

Will churches be the next gun-free zones? : "My guess is that 100 years ago, before we started down this road, bringing a gun to church was far more commonplace than it is now. And nobody shot up any churches. We were an armed society and, hence, a more polite society. Moreoever, preachers devoted far less energy to worldly political and social entanglements and had no inhibitions about preaching against sin. Perhaps the reason that you almost never hear, even nowadays, about a church shooting is that churches are not yet gun-free zones? God tells us to learn from history as it does repeat itself - Ecclesiastes 1:9. But we don't learn."

The uncompromiseable right to keep and bear arms: "For years Gun Owners of America (GOA) and its sister organization Gun Owners' Foundation (GOF) have worked tirelessly in support of a robust Second Amendment guarantee of the right of individual Americans to keep and bear arms. Fighting against gun control in the trenches - in the state and federal courts, in the court of public opinion, in state legislatures, city councils and Congress - every step of the way is a dog fight. And GOA has become known as the "no compromise" gun lobby.Our Supreme Court brief in the Heller case was recognized by USA Today as so distinctive that our GOF legal team was invited recently to write the counter-point to that paper's pro-gun control position."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gunslinger Obama

Post below recycled from J1Minute. See the original for links

Barack Obama channels his inner Sean Connery as he describes his approach to the upcoming campaign:
Barack Obama is warning supporters that the general election fight between him and John McCain may get ugly, but the Illinois senator is vowing not to back down. "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said at a fundraiser in Philadelphia Friday, according to pool reports.

Uh huh. I hope he also brings a gun permit, a trigger lock, and a good lawyer. And a health care plan. In his next fantasy I suppose Obama will want to channel his inner Clint Eastwood, who once explained that "I've got a firm policy on gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be the one controlling it."

Florida shooting follows firebombing: "The shooting happened early Tuesday morning after deputies said two men threw a firebomb at a car parked in Richard Stockdale's driveway. Authorities said Adam Stockdale, 19, came out with a gun and waited for the men to return. When they returned, investigators said one of the men, Micah Colton Cox, 19, came at Adam and hit him with a baton. Authorities said Stockdale fired his gun and struck Cox in the stomach, critically injuring him. Investigators said Stockdale may be protected by Florida's Castle Doctrine, a law that allows a person to shoot in self defense anytime they feel threatened. Several neighbors who also own guns said they support the law. The Osceola County Sheriff's Office is investigating whether any charges will be filed in connection with the shooting. However, the two men suspected of initiating the attack, Cox and Dennis Fredrick Lawyer, 23, both face charges of arson and firebombing."

Israel getting a castle doctrine: "The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee yesterday approved for second and third readings a broad version of the "Shai Dromi Bill," which absolves from criminal responsibility anyone who kills or injures an intruder in his home, business or farm. This decision means that the law can be passed in second and third plenum readings before the Knesset is potentially dissolved. It is expected to pass in the plenum within two weeks... Negev rancher Shai Dromi was charged with manslaughter after shooting intruders on his ranch. The Shai Dromi Bill is aimed at avoiding a trial in these cases. During the Knesset's winter term a severe disagreement arose between the MKs and officials in the attorney general's office, regarding whether the law would apply only to homes, or also to businesses and farms. Ben-Sasson referred the matter for decision to the ministerial committee on legislation, which decided on a broad interpretation that includes farms and even grazing land. According to the version approved yesterday, "a person shall not be held criminally responsible for an action that was necessary immediately to repel someone breaking into or entering a residence, place of business or fenced farm, with the intention of perpetrating a crime, or someone trying to break in."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Michigan: Would-be robber dies after being shot by Flint store owner: "A man has died after police say he was shot by a Clio Road store owner Friday evening in what was believed to be an attempted robbery. A male entered LT's Clothing & Accessories, 3014 Clio Road, shortly after 9 p.m. Friday and pulled a handgun on the store's owner. The two grabbed at each other and the owner took his own gun and shot the man, a news release said. That man was pronounced dead at Hurley Medical Center and police today hadn't yet identified him. The case will be sent to the Gensee County prosecutor's office for review, police said.

Arizona: Intruders, homeowner trade gunfire: "Four people forced their way into a Mesa home early Thursday and got into a gun fight with somebody inside, police said. The incident occurred in the 2400 block of East Diamond Avenue, near Gilbert and Broadway roads around 2 a.m. The victim was armed when the intruders entered the home and both sides traded gun fire, police said. Police found a blood trail at the home, apparently from one of the intruders. A K-9 unit was brought to the scene but the intruders were not found. Police said the homeowner appeared to be targeted incident and that the attack was not random."

Arizona: Security officer shoots, kills local man: "Metro police responded to the Sierra Point Apartments located on Sierra Vista Avenue and Cambridge Thursday night, following a report that an individual had been shot. When police arrived, they found the deceased 34-year-old Roberto Simmon lying on the ground outside of his apartment. Police say that a security officer responded to a complaint of loud music at Simmon's apartment. According to witnesses, when the security officer knocked on the door, Simmon attacked the officer and tried to wrestle his gun away from him. Neighbors say it was an uneven match between the two men, and that Simmon was physically much larger than the security guard. As a result of the struggle, the security officer fired one shot at the man and killed him. Neighbors say Simmon got along with most people at the Sierra Point apartments where he lived. They say he often hosted community barbecues in the courtyard in front of his home."

Gun owners pleased about new Ohio law: "Criminals could be in the crosshairs under a new law signed Wednesday by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, reports News 11's Tim Miller. Under the current law, you have to prove your life was at risk if you kill someone who tried to force their way into your home. When the new law goes into effect in September, you'll be free to fire away. Gun owners across Ohio are fired up about the new law, called the "Castle Doctrine." You'll no longer have to prove someone breaking in is out to do you bodily harm. It will be assumed that anyone who kills or injures an intruder will have acted in self-defense. Some folks in the area are pleased about the new law. "Sure, I understand stealing a TV set is not as valuable as a life, but you don't know that's all that person is in there to do and you've got that right to defend your castle," says Tom Urbanski, who runs Ski's Firearms Training in Oregon. He's also pleased the new law protects homeowners from civil suits by an intruder who survived being shot and that it extends to someone attacking you in your car. Urbanski believes the new law will contribute to a decrease in the crime rate."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Defending the Second Amendment

Supporting nine out of the first ten Amendments to the Constitution is not enough

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"

I don’t own a gun.  I never have, and probably never will.  In fact, I’ve never even fired a weapon.  Not in anger, not for self-defense, not even for fun.

And yet, as someone who has never exercised my Constitutional right to bear arms, I’m as adamant about preserving and protecting this right as I am about preserving and protecting my right to free speech, which I tend to exercise frequently.

Over the years I’ve seen many defenses of the Second Amendment.  They range from leaving out the “well regulated militia” part and focusing on “the right of the people,” to the general admonition that tyrannical governments prefer a disarmed citizenry. Critics, of course, attack the people’s right to bear arms by assuming that only card-carrying militia members (the kind authorized by the government, not those self-defined groups populating the state of Montana) can own or carry weapons. Or, in an appeal to emotion over Constitutional language, focus on why the average citizens needs an arsenal of pistols, shotguns, rifles, rocket launchers, and AK-47s.

A lot of this discussion, in my opinion, misses the point. If I was defending the Second Amendment — and yes, unfortunately, given the state of political education and public discourse today it needs to be defended — I’d approach it something like this:

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights, although technically no different than any other provision or amendment of the Constitution, does enjoy a political distinction. It was part of an understood agreement that helped ratify the Constitution itself. This means that we must look at Amendments 1-10 through this prism, rather than just say they reflect the thinking of one period of history. By contrast, the 18th Amendment (prohibition) had the same force of law as all other Amendments and original articles/provisions of the Constitution, but it was clearly just a response to an historical moment. 

Understanding the Second Amendment as part of the overall Bill of Rights, not as a stand-alone 27-word fragment of the Constitution, is important because the making of a Constitutional provision cannot be separated from the politics of the time.  Each article of the Constitution and each Amendment to the Constitution has its own “history” that the Court will refer to in order to discern its original intent; assuming, of course, that the individual members of the Supreme Court are actually interested in determining the constitutionality of an issue, rather than imposing their own standards of “fairness” on constitutional matters.

With the first 10 Amendments, it is not merely individual histories that matter, but a recognition that each Amendment is part of an additional, over-arching logic and special place in history. They are a “package” so to speak that collectively says something important about the people’s core, basic right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right against self-incrimination, and so on.  Each right is bound to the other; some flowing from a previous right, others there to protect the exercise of the other rights.

Changing the Constitution

Looking at the Second vs. the Eighteenth amendment (prohibition), another proof of the Bill of Right’s special place is seen. We can overturn the 18th Amendment with the 21st Amendment, as we did in 1933, without provoking a constitutional crisis. We can even change the way a president is elected, the date a president is inaugurated, limit a president’s term in office, and change the line of succession for a president. And each of these constitutional provisions could be changed again at some future point without public outcry. 

But fundamentally change any one of the first 10 Amendments, and people will perceive that the basic rights embodied in the Constitution itself are under attack. It may be more accurate at this point to say “may” perceive instead of “will” perceive because, as I’ll explain later, the public needs to be aware that a fundamental right is in danger before it will react to that threat. And this recognition depends on a couple of factors that I’ll discuss in more detail shortly. 

Free speech is one case where the public is generally aware that a basic right exists, although they may not be entirely aware of exactly what that right entails. The First Amendment entitles one to speak freely without undue governmental constraint, with speech defined not just as words being written or vocalized, but encompassing the methods of free speech as well (with the unencumbered use of money being a principle vehicle to exercise this right). It does not, as some people contend, also demand the right to be heard. George Soros has a perfect right to spend millions, if not billions, to spread his bilge.  I, however, am not obligated by the First Amendment to listen to his rantings, or if I do listen, believe what he says.

In recent years the Court has eroded some of the protections normally associated with the right of free speech — upholding Campaign Finance Reform, to name the most prominent example — provoking a long, sustained, ongoing public outcry. However, as vociferous as these complaints are to a sizeable section of the population who not only want a full restoration of their Constitutional rights, but fear even further erosions of the Right to Free Speech by political sleights of hand like the “Fairness Doctrine,” this outcry would become a deafening roar if the First Amendment itself was formally overturned and replaced with an entirely new concept.

This is why changes to the Bill of Rights are normally of the “frog in boiling water” kind.  That is, they are small and gradual modifications whose impact is felt over the long passage of time, like placing a frog in a pan of water and gradually turning up the heat. By the time the cumulative changes have been recognized, the water is at full boil and the frog is dead. No such subterfuge is needed to change a presidential succession policy, or alter the way in which a senator is elected to office.

This gives the first 10 Amendments a de facto status over and above any other Amendment, or even any other Articles of the Constitution itself. Interstate commerce has been radically changed over the years through Supreme Court interpretations. And even such things as the president’s power to fight a war has been altered by legislation (the War Powers Act), or simply by the changing world situation that makes formally declaring war no longer practical in all cases. 

Some people will point to this last example and contend that the Constitution is not simply being changed; it is being subverted. There is room for legitimate debate here, and the passion it provokes is noticeable and real. But that passion and debate is not widespread. The overwhelming majority of those opposed to the use of US military force in Iraq do not point to the Constitution’s declaration of war provisions to ground their argument. This is a debate among academics and ideological political activists. But use the government to close down a newspaper for saying unkind things about Bush, McCain, Hillary or Obama, and even the guy who never heard of Adams, Jefferson, or the Federalist Papers will see a threat to his/her basic Constitutional rights.

More here

Reality speaks for itself: "Niccolo Machiavelli, who was a sort of Karl Rove of his day, said of the Swiss that they were "the most free and most armed people" of Europe. Get it? The connection between arms and freedom? That statement is still true of the Swiss. Many people know that they practice neutrality, but not many know that they practice armed neutrality. If the gun controllers' claim that the mere presence of arms leads to mayhem were true, the Swiss would have wiped themselves out years ago. There are guns and gun ranges all over the place. You would be hard-pressed to find a Swiss home without a firearm and ammunition. Yet, the Swiss have a very low crime rate. If you were a robber or a rapist, who would you rather have as a victim? Someone who is armed, or someone who is defenseless? Even a stupid criminal knows the answer to that question. If the police can protect us -- which is another claim the gun-control people make -- then why are so many people murdered, raped and robbed? Even the television fictional stories tell you the answer to that. The cops get there after the crime has been committed. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a crime scene. Nearly all the cop shows open with the police looking at a dead, unarmed body."

Defense fund set up for jailed AZ hiker: "Former Valley teacher Harold Fish has spent two years in prison for a deadly shooting he still insists was self-defense in the forest north of Payson. And if his supporters have their way, this Father's Day will be Fish's last behind bars without being able to spend it with his wife and seven children. He faces eight more years in prison for second-degree murder in shooting 43-year-old Grant Kuenzli on a Coconino National Forest trail four years ago... Fish was involved in a May 11, 2004, shooting that stirred passions in Arizona and nationally about self-defense, gun rights, the dangers of unleashed dogs and hiker safety in the wilderness. Fish, now 61, was completing a long day hike when he encountered Kuenzli, who was camping with his dogs in the forest near Strawberry. Fish said he was defending himself from a violent attack after two dogs and then Kuenzli charged at him. Fish shot Kuenzli three times. Kuenzli died at the scene with no witnesses and limited forensic evidence. Debbie said the jury would have exonerated her husband if Judge Mark Moran had allowed testimony about Kuenzli's history of menacing behavior, particularly when confronted about his dogs. That omission is one of more than a dozen issues raised in Fish's appellate-court filing. The fundraising letters on Fish's behalf ask for donations of $25 to $1,000 or more."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Minnesota Home Invasion: "Authorities say no charges will be filed against a Truman man who shot an intruder in his parents' home. Mark Sauk arrived at the home Tuesday night to find his mother being attacked by a man police identify as 30 year old Douglas Bennett. Police say Sauk struck the intruder with his handgun, and when that didn't work, fired two times, striking him once in the leg. Authorities tell News 12 that a review with the county attorney found that Sauk's actions were justified. Both Marcella Sauk and Douglas Bennett are both currently at St. Mary's hospital in Rochester." [More details here]

Dubious murder indictment in Kansas: "Troy L. Taylor, 46, and Jeffrey D. Halstead, 41, had been drinking heavily at Abuelos Monday night when they were cut off and asked to leave by the restaurant’s management. The two got into a fight in the parking lot about who would drive home about 10:15 p.m. The men arrived at Halstead’s house in Rosalia where he went to bed and Taylor stayed outside. Taylor entered the home with a shotgun. That’s when Halstead heard him loading it and grabbed his handgun. He began shooting at Taylor hitting him in the mid-section. Halstead called 911 shortly after 11:30, but the shots proved to be fatal. The men had been friends for 30 years. Halstead was booked into the Butler County jail on charges of second degree murder. He will face a judge Thursday in Butler County District Court at 8:45 a.m." [Sounds like self-defense to me]

Packing in public: Gun owners tired of hiding their weapons embrace 'open carry': "For years, Kevin Jensen carried a pistol everywhere he went, tucked in a shoulder holster beneath his clothes. In hot weather the holster was almost unbearable. Pressed against Jensen's skin, the firearm was heavy and uncomfortable. Hiding the weapon made him feel like a criminal. Then one evening he stumbled across a site that urged gun owners to do something revolutionary: Carry your gun openly for the world to see as you go about your business. In most states there's no law against that. Jensen thought about it and decided to give it a try. A couple of days later, his gun was visible, hanging from a black holster strapped around his hip as he walked into a Costco. His heart raced as he ordered a Polish dog at the counter. No one called the police. No one stopped him. Now Jensen carries his Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants and shopping centers. He wore the gun to a Ron Paul rally. He and his wife, Clachelle, drop off their 5-year-old daughter at elementary school with pistols hanging from their hip holsters, and have never received a complaint or a wary look."

The BATFE Mafia: "As part of its Asset Forfeiture training program for agents, the BATFE ordered 2,000 Leatherman tools inscribed with the words "Always Think Forfeiture." The program urges agents to focus on seizing private property. Rep Sali believes the agency should be thinking `Freedom,' not `Forfeiture.' The Idaho Republican complained about the program and received a letter from Acting ATF Director Michael Sullivan, who apologized for the "confusion" over the issue. While Rep. Sali appreciated the apology, he said that, "My constituents deserve to know the truth about this marketing program, which has been interpreted by many Idahoans as anti-gun and anti-private property." The agency halted distribution of the tools in the face of public outcry, but "[t]he fact remains that the ATF thought it was OK to think `Always Think Forfeiture' instead of focusing on protecting our constitutional rights," Sali said. In a letter to his fellow Congressmen, Sali noted that "the inscription raises serious concerns to law-abiding citizens as to the intent of an ATF agent who is performing investigations, particularly with respect to law-abiding gun owners."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Miami Herald: 2nd Amendment is 'Mythical Right'

Post below recycled from Warner Todd Huston, my esteemed co-blogger at STACLU

The Miami (FL) Herald let lose with another propagandistic broadside against the 2nd Amendment on Thursday featuring some more moaning and false statements about how horrible it is for America that the misnamed "assault weapons ban" has lapsed. There is much wringing of hands, waterworks, histrionics and over dramatics by the aptly named Fred Grimm here. In "What's a few dead cops to the gun lobby?" Grimm's final pronouncement is that the 2nd Amendment is a "mythical right" but in between there are many misstatements and out right lies.

Grimm starts out putting on some faux "shock" that a modern "semiautomatic assault rifle" he had the occasion to handle was so light. "The shock was in the weight of the thing. Less than six pounds," Grimm writes. And, what exactly does this mean? A butcher knife weighs less then a pound and can kill, too. What does weight have to do with anything?

Then the scare tactics:
I thought how easy it would be for some kid, some 110-pound wild-dog street punk, to heft an AR-6520 and wield it to hellish effect.

OK, so the gun is not heavy. This makes the gun somehow less than safe? Guess what, Mr. Grimm. Cars weigh in the tons and teenagers kill themselves by the thousands each year with them. In fact, they kill themselves FAR more with cars than they do guns. Yes, thousands die a year, Mr. Grimm, even though cars are really, really heavy.

Shocking, eh?

Then Grimm goes off lamenting that police forces are spending money on "assault rifles" because of the lapse of the so-called "assault weapons ban."
No wonder Fort Lauderdale is spending $82,000 for guns designed to kill enemy soldiers. Police know that since the expiration of the federal assault weapon ban, young criminals have ginned up the arms race.

So, Grimm seems to make the claim that "assault weapons" are suddenly everywhere? Naturally, Grimm doesn't bother to give us any facts and figures to buttress this wild claim. He just states it as fact and moves on. He also makes the absurd claim that small time criminals can easily come up with the "three grand" that he says the street price for one has reached, saying that illegal gun dealers...
...Sell them out of car trunks at twice the price to gangbangers, drug dealers and armed robbers who want to upgrade to cop killers. Sell them to felons. Sell them to kids. Sell them to certifiably crazy people as long as crazy people can ante up a cold three grand.

Nice scare tactics and propaganda. Lacking in truth, but nice propaganda.

Then Grimm makes with what he must think are "facts."
In 2004, Congress allowed the ban on assault weapons to expire. The federal law suffered major loopholes, but it still had the effect of tamping down the firepower cops faced on the streets. Since the ban was jettisoned, police groups like the International Association of Chiefs of Police have lamented that the bad guys have the cops outgunned.

But, there is no evidence whatsoever that this gun ban really did have the "effect of tamping down firepower." Even those in the Senate that support this gun banning law said that the rate of so-called "assault weapons" used in gun crime was only at 3.5 percent of gun crimes before the ban went into effect. And that is using their own numbers which are probably suspect because they are being used for their own propaganda.

Three percent of anything is statistically insignificant. In 1999 a study was done by Jeffery A. Roth and Christopher S. Koper of the National Institute of Justice and paid for by the Clinton Administration. The study of 15 states found that there might have been a 6.7% decline in murder rates where the Federal gun ban "could have" made a difference. But, in the end, even this Clinton paid for study admitted that assault weapons had been used in such a tiny number of crimes before the ban that it wasn't really provable that the assault weapons ban had any significant effect at all. Saying, "it is highly improbable that the assault weapons ban produced an effect this large," the report didn't do much to help Clinton prove the ban worked in 1999 and things have not changed that much since.

It should also be noted that the claims of "cop killer bullets" linked with the word "assault weapon" is meaningless rhetoric. The same, high power, so-called "cop killing" bullets that some military weapons fire can also be fired by some hunting rifles. So, to link these high powered bullets only with "assault weapons" as if only those sorts of weapons can use them is disingenuous to say the least.

Our Grimm one ends his propaganda with some suitably dramatic nonsense.
Congress demonstrated in 2004 how much value was placed on the mythical right of private citizens to own semiautomatic military assault rifles.

How much? More than a few dead cops.

I see. So the Second Amendment is a "mythical right," eh? Sorry, but the Founders just don't agree with you, Mr. Grimm.

Maryland Dry Cleaner Owner Shoots Robber: "Dennis Edwards reports a would-be robber, armed with a knife, demands money from the owner of a Charles Village cleaner... It appears this is a case of a store owner turning the tables on the robber who tried to take away his hard-earned money. Right around 1:45 p.m., a man armed with a knife enters a dry cleaning shop at St. Paul and 32nd Street demanding money. The store owner pulls out a gun and shoots the suspect several times. The injured suspect was taken to the hospital, and arrested, and he'll survive. Police say the store owner was shaken but not hurt. Police say there will be a full investigation to determine if this was justified use of force on the part of the store owner, but right now he's not being charged with any crimes.

Oregon Man shoots and kills stray pitbull: "A man who shot and killed a vicious dog on a neighborhood street will not face charges because he acted in self-defense. Neighbors say the man followed in a car after seeing two dogs, a pit bull and a doberman, stalking the neighborhood and attack a cat. He got out of the car when he saw the dogs attack another cat. The pit bull turned on the man, at which point he fired two shots and killed the dog. The cat was taken to a veterinarian, but its injuries were too severe and had to be put down. Both dogs were licensed. The owner of the second dog came and took his dog when contacted by LCAS, Howard said.