Friday, March 13, 2009

Germany's useless gun control: "The horrific tragedy in south-west Germany yesterday, where 15 people died at the hands of 17-year-old gunman Tim Kretschmer, before he died in a shootout with police, will provoke many questions - especially as it came so soon after a similar shooting spree in Alabama. Germany has some of the most onerous gun controls of any country in the world, some passed in response to previous school shootings. Ironically, the German parliament approved tighter gun-control laws on 22 February this year in a move designed to stop the spread of violent crime. The new legislation bans the carrying of replica firearms and so-called airsoft guns as well as knives with a fixed blade of over 12 centimetres. Previous legislation, passed in April 2008, raised the legal age to obtain a gun licence from 18 to 21. Additional medical and psychological tests were also implemented for under-25s, and pump-action shotguns with pistol-shaped grips were banned. This legislation received a sympathetic hearing after a former pupil injured 11 students at a school in the western town of Emsdetten before turning the gun on himself in 2006. In 2002, a shooting at Gutenberg high school in the town of Erfurt in central Germany came on the day that the country's parliament approved a new Bill tightening its already strict gun controls. People wanting to buy a hunting rifle must undergo background checks that can last up to a year and those wanting a gun for sport must be a member of a club and obtain a licence from police. Anyone deemed aggressive, unreliable or with criminal convictions cannot legally buy a gun in Germany. Gun collectors also need a permit."

Georgia Man Shoots Dog to Protect Daughter: "Kenneth Hale Jr. says his neighbor's Bull Mastiff ventured into his yard several times. Last week, Hale's three year old daughter was playing in the yard and the dog charged toward her, so he got his gun and shot the dog. Kenneth Hale says "I feel bad about it I didn't want to shoot the dog, I really didn't and I was hoping he would keep him over there, it was a beautiful dog, it's a bull Mastiff and that dog stands every bit of four feet tall on his back". Thomas County investigators say Hale contacted them on more than one occasion about the dog. The owner of the dog could not be reached for comment and authorities would not release his name."

Tennessee trucker kills intruder: "Authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a man who allegedly tried to enter a parked tractor-trailer rig in West Knox County. Knox County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley said the incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. at a warehouse parking lot at 10720 Lexington Drive, which runs off of Lovell Road. Killed was James Edward Hodges Jr., 34, of Loudon, according to Dooley. He was trying to break into a tractor-trailer while the driver was asleep in the truck's sleeper cabin, Dooley said. Hodges had approached the truck earlier and tried to open its door, Dooley said. He returned a short time later and broke out a window with a rock. "The suspect returned and was attempting to climb into the truck when the truck driver shot him," Dooley said. Hodges was dead at the scene. The truck driver, 68, was taken to Baptist Hospital West with chest pains and is expected to be admitted, Dooley said. Detectives will be meeting with the Knox County District Attorney General's Office later today to discuss if there will be any charges. Hodges has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1992 for burglary, numerous thefts, driving under the influence, drug charges, aggravated assault, numerous failures to appear, unlawful possession of a weapon, driving while privilege revoked, criminal trespassing, violation of probation, possession of burglary tools."

Michigan homeowner fires shots at burglars: "An armed homeowner in Oshtemo Township scared off a pair of burglars earlier this week when he fired two shots from his gun, police said Tuesday. No one was injured, according to a press release from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office. Police said two suspects broke into the house in the 7000 block of West H Avenue Monday afternoon. They were confronted by the armed homeowner, who fired two shots before the suspects fled in a small vehicle. Deputies located the vehicle and arrested one of the suspects, an 18-year-old man, lodging him on home invasion charges at the Kalamazoo County Jail. Police continue to look for the second suspect, who was only described as a "small individual with longer hair," the press release said."

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