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TX: Woman Jailed For Trying To Fill A Prescription
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Anne Lenhart never thought filling a prescription at CVS Pharmacy in Dallas could land her in jail. ...
The pharmacy called Lenhart to ask her exactly what time she would be in pick up her prescription. She thought it was odd, but told the pharmacy what time she would be there.
Still on crutches and unable to drive, a friend of Lenhart's, drove her to a CVS Pharmacy in Oak Cliff.
She wasn't able to pick up her prescription because a police officer arrived to pick her up. ...
The officer then took her the Dallas County jail, where she remained overnight. ...
Dallas police later dropped the charges after speaking with Lenhart's doctor.
 

NY: Undercover Officers Under Strain, With No Clear Way Off the Beat
Submitted by: Anonymous

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... About 40 undercover officers or detectives have pending requests to be transferred out, said one police official in Brooklyn who works with undercover officers, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Once you’re in, there’s no way out,” said Michael J. Palladino, the head of the detectives’ union.
... Most candidates tend to be black or Hispanic ...
For example, in the small but elite firearms unit, which accepts only experienced undercover officers, most of whom intend to make a career out of that kind of work, there has not been a white undercover officer in several years, according to three former detectives from the unit.

 

FL: Judge: Self-defense doesn't apply in drug shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida's self-defense law doesn't protect people committing crimes. The Tampa Bay Times reports (http://bit.ly/KB66fH ) that Jones' attorney said the law applied because the drug sale was over before the shooting.

Judge Gregory Holder ruled that Jones was committing a crime at the time of the shooting and failed to show he was in mortal danger.
 

FL: Firearms possession law will stand in Tampa during RNC
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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At issue lately is an appeal from the Democrat mayor of Tampa Bob Buckhorn to the state's Republican governor Rick Scott to create a temporary order that prevents law-abiding citizens from lawful carry within a designated downtown area that will host the Republican National Convention in August. The request, under no uncertain terms, was denied.

Scott wrote that, while he shared Buckhorn’s concern about violent anti-government protests and other civil unrest, “it is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law" ...
 

AL: Gun problem is a First Amendment issue
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It's a Clint Eastwood kind of country, a go-ahead-and-make-my-day-and-age.

I get it. I do.

With the blessing of the founders and the High Court, you have the undisputed, undefeated right to bear-hug all the arms you want.

I don't want to take your guns.

I'm not trying to outlaw your guns.

And I wouldn't pry them from your cold dead hands if I could.

But Lord knows -- even Charlton Heston's ghost knows -- we need to talk about guns.
 

Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When suspects in a crime are interrogated, they often develop memory loss. When the crime is running guns to drug cartels on both sides of the border, the crime involves the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, and countless Mexican citizens.
 

WI: Sleznikow overlooks key gun control arguments
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On firearms control: Advocates of gun control may point out modern firearms didn’t exist 200 years ago, so if we abandoned the flawed “living document” view, any modern weapons could potentially be banned. Such a draconian viewpoint ignores the entire context of the Second Amendment. The word “arms” was never intended to be limited to weapons available in that timeframe, at the exclusion of all future inventions. No serious scholar would ever attempt to manifest such a case; future firearms inventions were meant to be protected, just like modern methods of utilizing free speech are protected.
 

AZ: Ariz. legislative wrap: Biggest fights of season centered on morality
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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There were, of course, the perennial efforts by gun-rights groups to expand when and where Arizonans can carry their weapons. In fact, it had been anticipated that this would be the year guns could be carried into public buildings.

Existing laws do allow weapons now. But there is an easy escape clause: Post a “no guns” sign and provide lockers for those entering the building to store their weapons.

Legislation last year which would have added an additional requirement for guards and metal detectors was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer. But the governor insisted she remains a strong Second Amendment supporter and said she would sign a clearer version of the law.
 

FL: Logic no match for guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott was all prudence and sensibility, a reasonable request for a temporary ban on guns at a potentially combustible, very political event.

Emphasis on political.

Buckhorn asked for a ban downtown during the Republican convention that will bring 50,000 people to town in August.

Four days in a small and defined part of the city seemed no more an affront to the Second Amendment than, say, a three-day cooling-off period to buy a gun — a prudent rule that has no doubt saved lives.

Saving lives being the point.
 

TN: Lawmakers rarely said, 'No,' to business lobbyists
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Probably the most prominent illustration came when the business lobby locked horns with the Second Amendment lobby over whether employees should be able to keep guns in their locked cars in the company parking lot, even if the company prohibits firearms on premises.

The "Safe Commute Act," as the National Rifle Association and the Tennessee Firearms Association called it, was the subject of a vigorous and intense push – including a TFA threat to politically crucify those voting no. The business lobby pushed back with less rhetorical bombast but equal vigor.
 

GA: 'Where I was, I could not overcome it'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One night after he'd forced her back to the mill room, they argued. He brandished an iron bar he used to barricade the door. She thought he'd strike her dead. They fought, with arms and bodies thrashing. Knight's gun went off as she attempted to push past him, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. The bullet went behind his ear and through his head.

The trial lasted less than a day, during which the 12 white men on the jury convicted Baker of murder and the judge sentenced her to death.

Sixty years later, the full and unconditional pardon stated Baker, while not innocent, should have been charged not with capital murder, but with manslaughter. The state made a "grievous error" by not recommending clemency.
 

FL: Drum major's killing should spark outrage
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Then we have a black university band drum major killed by several black students, whom the legal system had to track down over a six-month period, utilizing thousands of man hours and untold resources, and these murderers get charged with hazing, a third-degree felony.

What does this say about our legal system? If you have a Hispanic/white man kill a black teen in the course of a confrontation, that’s more heinous than several black men beating to death a black man on a bus?
 

Is Vigilantism In Comics A Bad Thing?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On Thursday, Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence had a disturbing piece in the Huffington Post. The article, entitled "'Second Amendment Vigilantes Systematically Dismantling Our Rights," painted a frightening picture of a growing trend towards vigilantism in the United States. He chronicles the tale of an immigrant couple, moving into their new home, who were held at gunpoint by their would-be neighbors and wound up incarcerated by the local sheriff. In the end, they were exonerated, but understandably chose to relocate rather than live next door to a family that had been content to essentially rob them of the feeling of safety that anyone is entitled to in their own home.
 

FL: Florida front and center in gun-rights debate
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida’s liberal gun laws have been thrust into the national spotlight with the shooting of an unarmed teen in Central Florida and Gov. Rick Scott’s quick rejection of Tampa’s bid to tighten gun control outside the Republican National Convention this summer.
 

AR: Fear, recreation sends gun sales surging
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Fears about everything from November's elections to street crime and civil unrest have caused a significant uptick in gun sales, according to Greene County gun dealers.

Lisa Vaughn, manager of Dave's Guns, and SDM Pawn general manger Shawn Boone both said the sale of guns in their respective stores had surged lately. They said customers seemed to be concerned about protecting their property and feared more stringent gun regulations could jeopardize their ability to own guns. Vaughn said she would normally sell 2-5 guns per week, but she had sold as many as 10 in one week since late 2011. She said among her customers' concerns was "who's going to be in the White House next year."
 

AZ: Law gives people free rein to shoot
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It is one thing to own handguns to protect yourself, your family, and your home, or a rifle or shotgun if you are a hunter. But there is no need for people to walk around with an AK47 slung over their shoulder. Assault weapons are just that. To me, a "reasonable" person should have no earthly use for an assault weapon unless they mean to do harm. If you need an AK47 to hunt, then you're not much of a hunter. Use one to shoot an intruder, and you'll not only overkill the intruder, but you'll destroy your house in the process. If you need one to feel macho, then you certainly should not have any kind of gun.
 

FL: Stand Your Ground law on trial, and Fort Myers police employee's a judge
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Lorenzo said she believes the Stand Your Ground law doesn’t necessarily need to be changed. Everything is fine, she said, if laws are used in the way they were intended – but people occasionally try to abuse those laws. In those cases, it should be left up to the justice system to determine if an abuse took place, Lorenzo said.
 

AL: Lawmakers Push Bill To Ban Criminals From Suing Victims
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Orr said there have been instances where thieves filed lawsuits against their intended victims, and even won monetary judgments in some cases. Some of the thieves were injured by property owners acting in self-defense, while other criminals harmed themselves through accidents at the crime scene, such as tripping over a piece of furniture.

House Bill 46 has already passed unanimously through the Alabama State House, and now awaits a vote in the State Senate.

Alabama’s current “Castle Doctrine” law already grants wide-ranging protection to property owners in the criminal half of the court system.
 

MA: Racism worries color our view of Trayvon case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This is the conversation we’d be having about George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin if people weren’t afraid of being called “racist”:

Should George Zimmerman have been charged with a crime?

If there were no “stand your ground” law in Florida, the answer would be “maybe” because whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense would typically be put to a jury. But “stand your ground” makes self-defense effectively irrelevant because it is not a self-defense rule, it is a doctrine of immunity that explicitly forbids prosecution of a person, even if he or she uses deadly force, so long as there is a reasonable fear of “serious bodily harm” OR if such person is enduring a “felony” that involves the use of “force.”
 

NC: Extra caution at RNC a good idea
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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So he asked Gov. Rick Scott to suspend a 2011 state law that prevents local governments from passing gun laws stricter than the state's laws -- effectively preventing local governments from enacting any gun regulations at all since it make no sense to pass a law less strict than the state's.

The governor, who signed the legislation into law, predictably said no. And he said it in a rather sarcastic manner.

"You note that the city's temporary (security) ordinance regulates 'sticks, poles, and water guns,' but that firearms are a noticeable item missing from the city's temporary, ordinance," Scott wrote in his rejection letter. "Firearms are noticeably included, however, in the Second Amendment."
 

NY: Citizens' gun use — not gun control — stops crime, saves lives
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Reading Nancy Curnutt’s letter to the editor titled “Time for some reasonable gun laws” in the April 19 edition of the Brighton Pittsford Post, I found it ironic and somewhat sad that on the very date that our Forefathers, one of whom I am proud to be a direct descendant of, fought the battles of Lexington and Concord which were a direct result of the British coming to seize guns and ammunition stockpiled by the colonists, the paper chose to run a letter advocating more gun control.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
I now think the only way to control handgun use is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution. — M. Gartner, then President of NBC News, USA Today, January 16, 1992, pg. A9

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