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Newslinks for 4/13/2012

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Bloomberg reeks of hypocrisy on ‘stand your ground’ laws
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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"Mr. Mayor, do your armed bodyguards have a duty to retreat? If not, using your own 'logic,' how is that not a 'license to murder'?"
 

GA: Challenge to Georgia's "Stand Your Ground" Self-Defense Law
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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Baptist minister sued Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia attorney general, challenging the state's "Stand Your Ground Law," which allows people to use deadly force outside their home if they feel threatened. The Rev. Markel Hutchins, 32, a minister and civil rights leader, claim's Georgia's law, enacted in 2006, violates constitutional rights of due process and equal protection, and civil rights laws. So-called Stand Your Ground laws have come under scrutiny since the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Martin's killer, Neighborhood Watch volunteer Georgia Zimmerman, was charged with second-degree murder on Wednesday, the day after Hutchins sued Gov. Deal and Attorney General Samuel Olens, in Federal Court.
 

NBC Runs "Biased" Anti-Gun Story
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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In an attempt to combat failing ratings, NBC’s Rock Center on Wednesday night aired another biased and sensationalized piece on Remington Arms, and America’s firearms industry. The Rock Center reporter, Scott Cohn, has a well established anti-gun bias — as evidenced by his 2010 “story” on the Remington 700. Cohn and NBC alluded to an unwarranted government regulation of the firearms industry by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There should be no doubt, last night’s segment was just another piece of agenda-driven “journalism” clearly designed to promote a CPSC takeover of the firearms industry.
 

Italy: Vatican's "Cardinal Rambo": I Just Love Guns!
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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A top Vatican cardinal whom the Italian media have dubbed "Cardinal Rambo" is defending his extensive collection of guns. The news agency AFP reports that the media have been having a field day with Cardinal Domenico Calcagno and his passion for guns, which is contrary to the Catholic Church's stance of non-violence. A website called Savonanews, based in the town of Savona where Calcagno used to be the bishop, claims he owns at least 13 weapons, including a .357 Magnum. The 68-year-old Calcagno said he doesn't know what all the fuss is about.
 

NY: Spota Blasts ‘Lax’ Gun Laws After Murder Arrest
Submitted by: GunPoliticsNY
Website: http://www.gunpoliticsny.com

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Suffolk County authorities took aim at “lax gun-control laws” after rounding up seven men for allegedly selling guns from the South to Long Island gang members, including a suspect accused of using one of the weapons to fatally shoot a teenager in December 2010.
 

Study: Holding Gun Makes Person Seem Bigger
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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A new study has found that someone holding a gun appears to other people to be bigger than they actually. MSNBC reports that researchers out of UCLA conducted an experiment in which people looked at pictures of the hands of men holding things. The hands were all the same size and in the same position, but some of the objects were more threatening than others. MSNBC writes: Then, participants picked from among silhouettes that suggested how tall or muscular they thought the rest of the man's body was.
 

WI: Wisconsin Court: Ban on Felons having Guns Constitutional
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has upheld the state's ban on felons having guns, even in cases in which a person was convicted of a nonviolent act. The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that court ruled such a ban is constitutional because it is "substantially related to the important governmental objective of enhancing public safety." The ruling pointed out that no court has ever struck down state or federal bans, and that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals "recently held that it is constitutional to categorically ban felons from possession guns." The ruling stems from the case of Thomas Pocian, who was convicted of three felonies for check forgery when he was a teenager in 1986. He was sentenced to three years of probation
 

NY: Retired NYC Cop Shoots and Kills Armed Robber
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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A wild scene on a street in New York City, as a retired police officer was in the right place at the right time and gunned down an armed robbery suspect who was trying to get away. The New York Daily News reports two armed men robbed a pharmacy in East Harlem Thursday morning. When they walked out they came up against three cops responding to a silent alarm set off in the store. One man immediately surrendered. But the second would not go without a fight. He tried to shoot the cops but he missed. He ran off, firing shots along the way.
 

IL: Chicago homicides soar in first quarter of 2012
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Homicides in Chicago soared by 60 percent in the first three months of 2012, continuing a troublesome trend that began late last year. Nonfatal shootings also rose sharply in the first quarter, Police Department statistics show.
The worsening violence comes as the Emanuel administration touts its efforts to combat gang crime and add officers and resources to some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.

SUBMITTER'S COMMENT: They blame the warm weather but no one wants to mention the real root causes: political corruption and its conjoined twin -- tight gun control.
 

WI: N.R.A.'s Influence Seen in Expansion of Self-Defense Laws
Submitted by: Anonymous

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No one had yet heard of a Florida teenager named Trayvon Martin when a group of Wisconsin Republicans got together last year to discuss expanding a self-defense bill before the State Legislature.
The bill, known as the Castle Doctrine, made it harder to prosecute or sue people who used deadly force against an intruder inside their house. But the Wisconsin legislators, urged on by the National Rifle Association in a series of meetings, wanted it to go further. They crafted an amendment that extended the bill's protections to include lawns, sidewalks and swimming pools outside the residence, as well as vehicles and places of business.
 

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Slams the NRA for "Vigilantism"
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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At a press conference in Washington D.C. today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked the NRA, called on Florida to repeal its ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and for other states to repeal or prevent similar laws (video below). Mayor Bloomberg said: "Florida was the NRA’s first target, and it succeeded in pushing the bill through the legislature over the objections of leading police and law enforcement…" "In reality, the NRA’s leaders weren’t interested in public safety. They were interesting in promoting a culture where people take the law into their own hands and face no consequences for it. Let’s call that by its real name: vigilantism."
 

Brady Campaign "Gratified" Over George Zimmerman Arrest
Submitted by: Opposing Views
Website: http://opposingviews.com

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Brady Campaign President Dan Gross released the following statement today in response to the arrest of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin: “On the eve of the NRA’s national convention, we are gratified to learn that criminal charges will be brought against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman is the NRA. And Florida’s ‘Shoot First, Ask Questions Later’ law and the paranoid mentality it promotes are products of the NRA’s vision for America, where just about anybody can get and use a gun just about anywhere. “Our hearts go out to Trayvon’s parents as they fight for justice for their son. But the quest for justice does not end with Zimmerman’s arrest.
 

Italy: 'Cardinal Rambo' defends passion for guns
Submitted by: GunPoliticsNY
Website: http://www.gunpoliticsny.com

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A top Vatican cardinal with a passion for shooting defended his rich collection of rifles and handguns in comments on Thursday to Italian newspapers that have already dubbed him "Cardinal Rambo." "This passion for weapons is long-standing. I used to go to shooting ranges. Unfortunately since I've been at the Vatican I had to stop," Domenico Calcagno, head of the Administration of Vatican Patrimony, told Il Fatto Quotidiano. "It's innocent. What I like above all is repairing weapons," he said.
 

OR: Oregon Governor Signs CHL Confidentiality Bill Into Law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yesterday, Governor John Kitzhaber signed House Bill 4045 into law. This important Concealed Handgun License (CHL) confidentiality law went into effect immediately
 

WA: Court Lets Public Library Block Websites
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The ACLU represented three rural Washingtonians in a 2006 federal lawsuit that claimed the North Central Regional Library District unconstitutionally blocked access to certain websites with a systemwide Internet filter.

...

Plaintiff Sarah Bradburn said she was unable to research youth tobacco use for school assignments about drug addiction, and a Second Amendment advocacy group claimed the website for its sponsored magazine "Women & Guns" was blocked by the library's filter.
 

MS: Ole Miss law professor reacts to Zimmerman charge
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"Now that he's [Zimmerman] been arrested, we want a conviction," Grandberry said on Action News 5 Thursday morning.

"That's what bothered me," Davis said.

Take one look around Samuel Davis' office and you can see his passion for justice. Law books line his shelves and his desk is covered in bobble heads of past and current Supreme Court Justices.

In this case, Davis worries that justice may be taking a backseat.

...

"Looking for a conviction here you're assuming the crime of second degree murder has been committed and that there is no defense of self defense here which at this point we just don't know," said Davis.
 

MA: Local students in hoodies lobby against ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill at capitol
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Wearing black hooded sweatshirts that read “We Are Trayvon Martin” across the front, students from the Boston Day and Evening Academy descended on the State House Thursday to lobby lawmakers against a bill similar to the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law being used as a defense by the man who shot and killed Martin.
 

Gun-free campuses are safety-free zones
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Five years ago Monday, 32 students and teachers lost their lives in a shooting at Virginia Tech. Earlier this month, seven students were killed and three wounded at a small California Christian university. These tragedies exemplify the failure of “gun-free” school zones and are evidence for the need to overturn concealed carry bans on campuses so law-abiding citizens can defend themselves against maniacs.
 

FL: What Are the Real Issues Now That George Zimmerman Has Been Arrested and Charged?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The same analysis will be necessary for Zimmerman's state of mind. Assuming that Trayvon was the attacker, did he reasonably believe that shooting Trayvon was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself? The extent of his actual injuries will be extremely relevant. Of course, he has an advantage here as the sole survivor, and his testimony on the subject must be weighed with that in mind. He has an obvious motive to lie. Of course, if the evidence reveals that Trayvon was not the aggressor and Zimmerman shot him nonetheless, the defense cannot prevail.
 

NY: A guy who walks around with a bunch of bodyguards criticizes self-defense laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If we all had half a dozen bodyguards to protect us like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, we might all think that Florida's "stand your ground" law and other self defense measures were a "license to murder."

But most of us aren't that lucky - which is why most of us thank the Lord that we live in a country with a second amendment.
 

CA: Bakersfield police: Robber shot, killed in self-defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A deadly shooting Wednesday in a southwest Bakersfield apartment was deemed self-defense.

...

Police said Thursday that Spain and 24-year-old Semaj Douglas were allegedly armed with guns when they busted into the apartment to commit robbery. The resident grabbed a gun himself and shot at both men, hitting Spain but missing Douglas.
 

FL: Lawyers in Tampa "stand your ground" case argue for dismissal
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Trevor Dooley's lawyers say it was an act of self-defense — pulling the trigger kept him alive.

David James was on top of him, hands around Dooley's neck. Dooley couldn't breathe. He tried to warn James by poking him in the leg twice with a handgun.

When it didn't work, Dooley fired.

Lawyers for Dooley, the man accused of killing his Valrico neighbor, submitted their argument Thursday in a motion asking a judge to dismiss the manslaughter charge against him.

Their main defense? Florida's "stand your ground" law.
 

NRA seeking ‘reassurance’ from Romney
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When Mitt Romney speaks to the National Rifle Association on Friday it will bring into focus a major difference between him and President Obama: One is counting on Second Amendment voters to show up at the polls, while the other has sidestepped gun-related issues in the run-up to the election.

Mr. Romney’s address to the thousands gathered for the NRA’s annual meeting in St. Louis will give him the important opportunity to reach out to the gun-loving, conservative base that has seen the former Massachusetts governor as having taken stances all over the place in the past - even saying in 2007 that “I don’t see eye to eye with the NRA on every issue.”
 

AZ: AZ Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Guns in Public Buildings
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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State senators gave final approval this afternoon to legislation that could let anyone bring a gun into a public building.

Current law says posting a sign makes it illegal to enter with a gun. This legislation adds the requirement of having armed guards and metal detectors. Proponents said the signs are obeyed only by law-abiding citizens, leaving them prey to those who ignore the signs. Sen. Al Melvin said society can be broken down into three groups: The unarmed sheep, armed sheep dogs -- and the wolves who are the bad guys.
 

AK: Alaska has Only Three Days Left to Pass Essential Self-Defense Legislation
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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House Bill 80, critical self-defense legislation, passed in the state House at the end of last session, and was reported by the state Senate Judiciary Committee on March 23.

This bill has since been languishing in the Senate Finance Committee. With only three days left in this legislative session, it is imperative that HB 80 be heard in committee immediately.

Introduced by state Representative Mark Neuman (R-15), HB 80 is important self-defense legislation that would provide that a law-abiding person, who is justified in using deadly force in self-defense, has “no duty-to-retreat” from an attack if the person is in any place that that person has a legal right to be.
 

KY: Kentucky Governor Signs Three NRA-Backed Bills into Law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yesterday, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed three NRA-backed bills into law: House Bill 484, concealed carry exemption; House Bill 500, strengthening current firearms preemption law; and House Bill 563, fraudulent firearms prevention. These laws will go into effect on July 11, 2012.
 

Zimmerman in custody, so now what; Today’s NRA bash
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida murder suspect George Zimmerman has been taken into custody and he has appeared in court, and for the vocal headline hunters, who flocked to Florida and then Capitol Hill in search of face time on any available television camera that ought to be enough.

Northwest gun rights activists, many of whom are headed this direction and then south to St. Louis for the National Rifle Association convention there this weekend, certainly think so. However, they also realize that those with anti-gun and anti-self-defense agendas are not about to let Zimmerman’s arrest cool their jets.
 

OK: Legislation limits liability at ranges, clubs, shops
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Legislation signed by Gov. Mary Fallin would limit the liability of owners, employees and customers for injuries that take place on gun ranges, gun shops and gun clubs.

Senate Bill 875, by state Sen. Anthony Sykes and state Rep. Dennis Johnson, would limit liability for injuries if the party in question acted in good faith. Liability would not be limited if the party involved acted intentionally, willfully or with wanton disregard for the safety of those injured.
 

FL: George Zimmerman: Self-defense hearing could dismiss death charge
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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George Zimmerman can ask to have the second-degree-murder charge against him dropped without having to stand trial in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Two years ago, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that anyone claiming "stand your ground" immunity in a death, battery or assault case can request a hearing on the evidence.

The hearing allows the prosecution and defense to argue all the elements of self-defense in the case evidence. To get charges dismissed, the accused must convince the judge that a reasonable person would believe that using deadly force or the threat of deadly force was the only way to protect his or her life, court records show.
 

Why Most Of The World Hates Our Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Nothing raises the hackles of dictators, tyrants, and oligarchs more than the idea of a substantially armed citizenry.

Disarming present or potential opposition has been the fundamental game plan of murderous rulers since Ancient Egypt and Rome.

From the more complex mass murderers like Adolf Hitler, and Mao, to tin pot lunatics like Idi Amin, the key to seizing power, and then maintaining it, has always been a disarmed opposition.
 

Calderon misfires on U.S. gun control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s visit to Washington last week featured his usual lecturing of Americans about gun control. This time, he had some good ideas, although he remains wedded to many bad ones, too. A polite guest, Mr. Calderon did not mention the “Fast and Furious” operation during his public events with President Obama. But reports indicate that he did bring it up privately, and he was furious - justifiably so. From late 2009 until early 2011, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) orchestrated the delivery of more than 2,000 firearms to Mexican drug cartels. According to Mexico’s attorney general, those firearms have been used in 200 homicides in Mexico.
 

Trayvon Martin case reveals confusion over how Stand Your Ground works
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Stand Your Ground laws were sold in US legislatures primarily as a victims’ rights measure, to limit what many saw as prosecutors second-guessing situations where someone had a split second to make a life-or-death decision to defend themselves with force.
But in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Sanford, Fla., as well as the racially charged rampage last week in Tulsa, Okla., some critics are now wondering whether the gutting of prosecutorial discretion in many self-defense cases has created a legal no man’s land.
 

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