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Murders down in many big cities, AP finds
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Big cities were less deadly places to live in 2004 as murder rates declined in several urban areas, including New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., according to a survey by The Associated Press."

"Officials in New York and Chicago credit the drop to crime-fighting strategies that included putting more officers on the street and beefing up patrols dangerous neighborhoods." ...

"There were 445 homicides in Chicago as of Thursday, compared to 600 in all of 2003, police said. That is a decrease of about 25 percent, and would mark the first year since 1965 the city finished with fewer than 500 murders. ..."

"Exceptions to the trend were St. Louis, Detroit and Baltimore, where killings were up following steady declines."
 

FBI to Probe Mystery Lasers Aimed at Planes
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"The FBI is investigating seven incidents of lasers apparently being directed at planes that were preparing to land at airports around the country over the last six days, a federal official said Thursday."

" 'It could be anything,' said the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 'It could be people got new toys for Christmas and they thought it would be great to test them on airplanes — or anything else.' "

"Authorities are concerned about the incidents because the intense lights can startle, distract, disorient or even temporarily blind a pilot, creating a safety risk. Pilots obviously rely heavily on their eyesight to operate their aircraft and keep their passengers and others out of harm's way ..." ...
 

The Need For Common Ground
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"It is often said there’s nothing more American than dissent. The right of dissent is fundamental to our society. Protesting, marching, writing letters, speaking out are all part American politics. However, for any political debate to be worthwhile there must be some common framework. We’ve gotten to the point in our politics that one side of the aisle is speaking German and the other Chinese."

"We’re a nation with two constitutions, two cultures, and two histories. Thus, the understanding of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going has never been more different."
 

Tale of Two Countries: "Batterings more likely for Britons"; Crime falls in US [OFCC]
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"The (UK) Sun is reporting that the rate of armed attacks against British citizens continues to soar out of control."

"In the news story, Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Keith Povey blasted the rise in violence recorded by police as 'unprecedented'."

"He stressed: 'The public, police and the Government are rightly concerned about the level of violence routinely displayed on our streets.'"

"'There has been a troubling increase in the use of firearms.' (emphasis added)"

"This is an extraordinary statement, given that Britain has already banned just about every type of weapon that a criminal might want to use. Handguns were made illegal in 1997 ..." ...
 

CA: Attempted 7-11 robbery turns ugly for suspect
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"A bold armed robbery attempt in Desert Hot Springs was all caught on tape."

"Surveillance video from Wednesday night shows a man wearing a bandana walking into the 7-11 on Pierson Boulevard in Desert Hot Springs at 10:45, pointing a rifle at the clerk and demanding money."

"The clerk reached for the rifle, and struggled to get it away from the man."

"Another store clerk put the man in a head lock. The clerk got the gun away and began hitting the man with his own gun before the suspect was able to get away." ...
 

CA: Gun ban misfires, opponents argue
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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NOTE:
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"With the state poised to ban .50-caliber BMG rifles at midnight Saturday, business has been brisk at EDM Arms in Redlands, the only California manufacturer of the high-powered precision rifles."

"In the past six weeks, the company sold about 150 of the expensive rifles, triple the number that owner Bill Ritchie said he typically would sell in such a span. But Ritchie, who crafts the bolt-action rifles for the military, law enforcement and long-distance target shooters, is far from happy, saying the state prohibition will hamstring his company."

"Although he manufactures other guns, Ritchie said the ban will force him to lay off half of his 12 employees and, eventually, will likely lead him to relocate his company in another state." ...
 

CA: Redwood City cracks down on celebratory gunfire
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"A lot of revelers like to ring in the New Year by firing guns in the air."

"But the dangerous practice is a felony in California, and police in Redwood City have some of the most sophisticated technology available for tracking down the source of gunshots."

"In an action dubbed "Operation Silent Night," police tonight will go after anyone who fires a weapon at the stroke of midnight."

"'The Police Department hopes to reduce random gunfire through a program of education, suppression and prosecution,' Officer Rich Harrington said in a news release."

"The department is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest for firing a gun, and is establishing a hot line to report tips." ...
 

CO: Dentry: Scope of first-time hunt definitely hits the mark
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"Jessie Nickols and Judy Schoefer never have missed a deer, never failed to fill their tags. Their success rate of 100 percent shines above the statewide average of 43 percent for deer hunters."

"Their secret: They are new at this. And determined."

"Wednesday night, Nickols, 40, bagged her doe mule deer up Golden Gate Canyon, a day after Schoefer, 46, dropped her doe. They had been packing late-season, private-land- only licenses for Game Unit 38 and had hunted only a few days on the grassy, ponderosa pine-studded foothills of Jefferson and Gilpin counties." ...
 

FL: Man Accused Of Using Cattle Prod As Weapon In Rape
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A communications specialist contractor from Cape Canaveral Air Force station is behind bars, accused of stunning a woman with a cattle prodder and then raping her. It's not the only case agents are looking at."

"The woman told authorities she just had a fight with her boyfriend and was walking down U.S. Highway 1 when a man driving a maroon truck pulled up offered her a ride. Deputies believe the man who picked her up didn't have good intentions."

"Life in prison is what 34-year-old David Watts now faces after a woman accused him of using a cattle prod, like a stun gun, to force her to have sex with him."
 

ID: Agents did not violate knock-and-announce rule
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"Drug agents did not violate a knock-and-announce rule when they raided a Sandpoint windshield repair business that authorities allege was a front for a cocaine-dealing operation, District Judge Steve Verby ruled on Thursday." ...

"Undercover agent Jason Slinger ... pretended to be a customer when he entered the business and rushed Bloom when he was spotted near the shop area. Slinger testified on Thursday he did not ask permission to be in the shop, but added he didn't open any doors and saw no signs indicating the shop section was a restricted area."

"Upon seeing Bloom, Slinger said he simultaneously drew his Glock semiautomatic pistol, announced that it was a police search and crossed the threshold ..." ...
 

ME: Gunstock craftsman finds clients at biathlon
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"When biathlete Marc Sheppard watches fellow athlete and Maine Winter Sports Team member Annelies Cook compete at the U.S. Biathlon World Team trials, his eyes are on more than her performance."

"Sheppard, of West Yellowstone, Mont., designs and builds custom biathlon rifle stocks - just like the one on Cook's .22-caliber gun."

"'I lost my rifle last year on the airlines,' Cook said after the end of Thursday's competition. 'I needed a new gun and a lot of people recommended Marc to me.'"

"Though Cook's rifle and stock are still in the 'breaking-in phase,' she is pleased with her choice. 'It's working out well,' she said." ...
 

MT: Rifle makers labor for the love of it in Cody
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Ballard Rifle is an operation of artisans. It's small, with nine people in the shop, one up front keeping an eye on the orders and the phone, and a part-time bookkeeper. The manager, Keith Kilby, also finishes metal. He was wooed from Georgia four years ago due to his special 'black magic' recipe for case hardening." ...

"The company has been around since the late 1990s and is the exclusive patent holder of the rifles designed by Charles Ballard in the 1860s - hence the name. Ballard Rifle also makes an 1885 High Wall single shot based on a Winchester design, and a Sporting and Target Rifle based on a Remington reproduction. The company offers nearly 20 models to target shooters, hunters and collectors."

"Employees at Ballard Rifle make about 14 guns a month. The shop has no factory line or mass-production frenzy. It does have low-volume, specialized, fastidious work. Each rifle is handcrafted. Most are specifically tailored to the person who is ordering them and are made to fit like a good suit."
 

NC: CMPD Input Gun Fingerprints Into Database
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Police in Charlotte hope a new procedure will help them solve crimes and get dangerous people off the streets. They're testing every gun that comes into the department to see if they can link it to other crimes." ...

"Since every gun leaves its unique markings on each bullet it fires, they're essentially fingerprinting each of the guns and loading that information into a national computer system. It will match them up with guns used in crimes anywhere in the country."
 

NH: Community effort is needed for safe schools [letter]
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"As a community, we want our children to be safe while they attend class at the local public school. Rules are set by the district and New Hampshire has implemented the Safe Schools Act to insure that any threatening incident that occurs is reported to authorities and proper disciplinary action is taken." ...

"Two weeks ago, when a 16-year-old student ,, brought a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol into school, officials followed protocol, took the student out of class ..." ...

-------
Submitter's Note: And if the student had resisted with his gun they would have been helpless, because those same rules leave teachers and administrators disarmed and helpless.
 

NY: Good people can put guns to good use
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"But here in the real world, in our own communities of Western New York, there are bad people, and they do seek to injure good people. And twice last month, seemingly good people who had guns were able to prevent a crime or an even greater tragedy."

"So the real lesson is that in the real world - even in Buffalo - there are some bad people (thankfully not too many) and that sometimes good people with guns can help stop them and make our community a better place to live."

"The guns did nothing wrong. In fact, the guns assisted people in saving lives and property. And statistics are beginning to prove that responsible gun ownership can help further protect our communities."

"Most of us would be hard pressed to believe that England and Canada have the highest crime rates in Europe and North America. A recent British government report found that England had the worst crime rate among 35 countries, with a crime rate nearly triple some of its neighbors. Canada came in second."
 

OR: Abduction creates climate of fear
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"Corvallis is a small city, under 53,000 people, but it's the sort of place where women think twice before going out jogging alone. They make arrangements to travel in groups, if possible. If they must venture out alone, they arm themselves with a cell phone, pepper spray or a fistful of keys, ready to fight off an attack."

"It wasn't always this way. But since the abduction of a young woman in broad daylight May 24, many women have told the Gazette-Times they are taking extra precautions, both at home and when they go out." ...
 

South Africa: Taxi driver killed on N3 in Pietermaritzburg
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"A taxi driver was shot and killed by a passenger in Pietermaritzburg last night, KwaZulu-Natal police said. Sergeant Sumay van Zyl said today that 36-year-old M E Ndaba was driving a taxi on his way from Durban to Johannesburg, when he made a detour through Pietermaritzburg."

"Ndaba made a stop in Church Street and picked up two men. 'It is believed that whilst he was en route near the Hilton off-ramp an altercation ensued between him and the two passengers. During the process one of the passengers produced a firearm and fired two shots at Ndaba.'" ...
 

India: Aladi Aruna, friend murdered
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"Former DMK law Minister Aladi Aruna, expelled from the party after the last Lok Sabha polls, and his friend, were killed by unidentified assailants near Alangulam, about 150 km here today."

"Police said the gang members who came on three two wheelers picked up quarrel with Aruna, who was 70, and two persons who were accompanying him before opening fire from their country pistol."

"Aladi Aruna who was hit in the chest by a bullet fell down and was hacked to death. His friend Prof Pon Raja, working in the college run by Aladi Aruna, was also hacked to death. While Aruna died on the spot, his friend succumbed on the way to the hospital." ...
 

TX: Pair sought in shooting of teen during break-in [follow-up report]
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"Police are searching for two men who forced their way into a home Thursday and shot and wounded a 16-year-old boy who was asleep."

"After the break-in, the teen's aunt, Malika Leverette, 30, grabbed her .45-caliber pistol.

"She exchanged gunfire with them as they were fleeing the home. They escaped," said Missouri City Police Chief Ron Echols."

"Echols said the men demanded to see someone who previously lived at the address."

"The youth, whose name was not immediately available, was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was treated and released, Echols said." ...
 

India: Police officer killed in an encounter in Delhi
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"An elite officer of Delhi Police ... was today killed in an encounter with a group of gangsters near Panipat, on the outskirts of the capital."

"Sub-Inspector Mahtab Singh died in an encounter with the Kishan Pehalwan gang in Panipat this evening. The encounter erupted when the Special Cell team, which had gone to Panipat in connection with a crime committed in Delhi, intercepted the gangsters. ..."

"The police team spotted Sundre around 4:45 p.m coming with Pradeep and Ranbir on three motorcycles. They were signalled to stop, but Sundre, who was behind the other two, opened fire. Mehtab was in the front and was hit in the chin and left leg. He, however, fired back. Sundre was shot dead while the other two were arrested. ..." ...
 

Jamaica: St James police recover four guns, detain two men
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"George Bingham, a 42-year-old carpenter, is in police custody facing charges of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, following the recovery of two handguns at his home Wednesday morning."

"For the year to date, the St James police have recovered 71 illegal weapons in the parish. Four of those, including a powerful M16 assault rifle, were confiscated this week."

"According to reports, the police conducted a raid at Bingham's Rose Heights home at about 9:50 am, and allegedly recovered an Askel .45 pistol and magazine containing two rounds of ammunition, and a .32 pistol and magazine with eight rounds." ...
 

Philippines: Victim No. 14 is ex-convict turned garbage collector, shot in Bry. Luz
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"ANOTHER man was gunned down while talking to a friend in Barangay Luz, Cebu City early yesterday morning, the 14th suspected criminal killed in this city since Dec. 22."

"Records showed Rogelio Pardillo, 39, was a garbage collector who had been sent to the Cebu City jail at least six times between 1987 and 1997."

"The deaths of Pardillo and 13 other men prompted incoming Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Eduardo Gador to pledge he’ll look into the summary executions once he assumes office next week."

"'We in the PNP will not condone this vigilante killing. Where will we put the dividing line if we will tolerate this?' said the 54-year-old Cebuano general." ...
 

WY: Long trek pays off for area hunter as he takes cougar in Wyoming
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"Persistence paid off for Norm Foster when he and his guides encountered first one old cougar track and then another while hunting for mountain lions last week in the mountains near Jackson, Wyo."

"The hunt was scheduled for January, but Foster said the outfitter called and said they had fresh snow and no customers, so he urged him to show up early."

"Foster said he hunted with three guides and dogs, including walkers and redbones. The men started the hunt by looking for fresh tracks on snowmobiles, and then set off on foot behind the dogs when they found scent."

"The snow was about a foot deep, Foster said." ...
 

UK: Call for Armed Police after Officer Is Fired At
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A crime campaigner called for police to be armed after an officer was shot at by a youth early today."

"Pc Norman Brennan said it showed how some criminals showed 'utter contempt' for their lives."

"Scotland Yard said the gunman had shown “no regard for human life” when he fired on an officer and his colleague in Brockley Cross, south east London."
 

TX: Police air gun concerns
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Police say they are concerned over two recent incidents involving youth playing with air pistols and pellet rifles made to resemble real firearms."

"Police say horseplay with authentic-looking guns puts youth, citizens and law enforcement officers at risk." ...

"Law enforcement agents also are concerned about the availability of such replica weapons." ...

"Some air pistol owners will either remove the orange tip or paint it black - making it extremely difficult to differentiate it from a real handgun. Federal gun laws require facsimile weapons carry the orange tip." ...

"Because the replica guns and rifles are not illegal, the officers returned them to the teens and warned them they were playing a dangerous game."
 

Canada: Brampton cab driver pistol-whipped during robbery
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"A 7-11 cab driver was smashed over the head with a gun during an ambush on a residential street in the early morning hours Wednesday, Dec. 22, Peel police report."

"The 23-year-old Brampton man needed several stitches to close cuts on his head. He was treated at Brampton Memorial Hospital for his injuries and released."

"He was dispatched to Cottongrass Lane ... arriving at 1:25 a.m. He waited, and was then told to go to a side door and knock. As he approached the door he was jumped by three men and hit on the head with a gun. He ran, but fell and was set upon again, hit on the head and ordered to hand over his cash." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: Why not use your $2 BILLION registry program to solve the crime?
 

UK: Clay shoot triggers police call-out
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"ARMED police were out-gunned - when they ambushed a clay-pigeon shoot."

"The special unit, carrying Heckler and Koch MP5 machine pistols and wearing bullet-proof vests, were mobilised after a call from a worried resident."

"The caller had heard several shots, but couldn't narrow down where it was happening."

"Officers from Derbyshire Police staged a major operation, including a helicopter, to locate where the shooting was taking place."

"But when the armed team pounced they found an organised meeting."

"Official permission is not needed as long as the guns are licensed and the shoot takes place on private land away from residential areas." ...
 

WI: Threatening note from Fond du Lac High student leads to disorderly conduct charge
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"A disorderly conduct charge has been referred to juvenile authorities against a 15-year-old Fond du Lac High School who wrote a letter threatening to kill students and staff at the school, according to a police report."

"Another student found the letter Dec. 23 on a custodian’s cart in a hallway."

"The boy was seen on a video surveillance tape leaving the letter on the cart, according to the report, and handwriting samples in his backpack matched the writing on the letter."

"The letter had a drawing of stick figures in the commons area of the school with one of the stick figures holding two pistols in his hands, according to the report." ...
 

TX: Texas hunters help the hungry
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"At a time of year when giving takes precedence and many Texans are found in need, Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) helps hungry Texans by donating food to the impoverished. Since 1990, HFTH has complied with Texas hunters merging their humanity with their hunting skills, allowing them to feed many hungry Texans."

"'It (HFTH) is intended to take advantage of the bounty of wildlife to benefit hungry families throughout the state,' said Christine Barwick, HFTH program coordinator. 'There is an abundance of hunters and deer, and this lets the hunters donate their excess game while they enjoy the sport to its fullest. It's an environmental benefit and it aids hunger with good nutrition.'" ...
 

Bangladesh: 238 killed in hands of law enforcers last year
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"A total of 238 people were killed at the hands of law enforcers last year and of them, 147 alone were killed in 'crossfire' involving various law enforcing agencies including Rab, said the annual report of Odhikar."

"Odhikar, a human rights watch, in its report also said 522 people were killed in political violence last year while in the previous year (2003) the number was 436."

"The Odhikar report, prepared on the basis of reports published in leading national dailies, observed that the higher number of political killings as well as killings in 'crossfire' last year accounted for the 'much-worsened human rights conditions in the country'." ...
 

Bring back weapons ban (Letter)
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

President Bush, in his victory speech, stated he wants to bring us all together. He can do this by reimposing the ban on assault rifles. Why? Because by their very own name they should be banned.

Coming from a family of hunters, I can see the need for rifles and shotguns for hunting and target shooting, and the need for hand weapons, but not for assault rifles because by their design their only use is to gain superior firepower in a firefight and kill people. As a former combat infantryman in the Korean War, I have been exposed to all of the above-mentioned weapons.

Now is the time for President Bush to stand up to Charlton Heston, the NRA and all those other Rambo wannabees and bring some common sense to this issue.

Bernard "Ben" Krisko

Belle Vernon

-------
Submitter's Note: Dude, you lost, get over it!
 

Brazil: Crime “Out Of Control” For Brazilians (The Canadian View)
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Brazil has one of the laxest gun control laws in the world, as unregistered owners usually pay low fines or simply have their weapons confiscated. With three per cent of the world’s total population, Brazil accounts for eight per cent of all deaths caused by firearms. Unemployment, poverty and drug trafficking were mentioned as the main causes of criminal activity in the South American country."

"A nationwide plebiscite on a new gun law has been scheduled for Oct. 2, 2005. The proposal calls for psychological exams for every prospective owner, and would raise the minimum age for owning a weapon from 21 to 25 years."
 

Old approach to hunting evolves to find new popularity
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"On a crisp December afternoon, a camouflaged hunter sat in a deer stand on his farm in Surry County. From his perch 14 feet up an oak tree, he scanned the fields ahead and the woods behind him."

"And waited."

"Across his lap lay a flintlock rifle, its smoothly worn stock carved with a single dogwood blossom. If he spotted the perfect deer, Mayo 'Brock' Jones Jr. would have just one shot to bring down his prey."

"Jones, 63, shoots flintlock muzzle loaders, single-shot rifles loaded through the front of the barrel with black powder and lead balls, the type of gun used 200 years ago when a hunter’s skill spelled survival." ...
 

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