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Newslinks for 1/12/2006

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Free Summer Program for Sophomores and Juniors in High School
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Applications are now being accepted for the National Rifle Association's 2006 Youth Education Summit, a free summer program for high school sophomores and juniors. Forty students will be hand selected to spend a week with NRA staff in Washington, D.C. All attendees have to pay for is transportation to and from Washington, D.C."

"This week-long program is spent learning about the NRA, U.S. Congress, the federal government, and the military. Attendees in past years have had the chance to meet NRA's Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, visit Capitol Hill, spend a day at Quantico training on courses used by Marines for basic training, visit the White House, visit the Smithsonian museums, and much, much more... " ...
 

S&W hits its target
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Smith & Wesson earns a three-gun salute in celebration of the first sale of its new military pistols to a police department in rural Virginia. The sale of 34 of its new M&P 40 pistols to the Patrick County, Va., Sheriff's Department is a sign that the Springfield company is taking aim at the law enforcement market that recently has been dominated by foreign gunmakers."

"Patrick County Sheriff David B. Hubbard praised the Smith & Wesson product, saying that the guns are proving more accurate than previous pistols, made by Beretta. 'I am . . . pleased to select a pistol that offers not only superb performance, but is also made in America, helping to support jobs here at home,' Hubbard said." ...
 

CA: Barreling Ahead -- Gun politics make for strange bedfellows in Silicon Valley, where one group is using San Francisco's ownership ban as a rallying cry for civil rights
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"... By April 1, if a voter-approved measure survives court challenges, city residents will have to turn in their handguns to local authorities, whether or not the weapons were purchased legally."

"The contentious gun ban passed in November, after a record number of homicides shook the streets in 2005. The municipal law was supposed to go into effect Jan. 1, but legal action by the National Rifle Association has stalled it for a few months."

"Gun-control advocates, of course, are hailing this as a landmark victory. But ironically, San Francisco's legislative leap may be the boost gun rights groups have been waiting for." ...
 

UN: Are Small Arms the Real WMD?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The United Nations argues that small arms -- including assault rifles, grenade launchers and sub-machine guns -- are primarily responsible for much of the death and destruction in conflicts throughout the world."

"But despite the availability of over 600 million small arms in open and underground markets, there is no international treaty to control the reckless proliferation of these light weapons worldwide."

"'Dinosaur bones and old postage stamps', yes, but a treaty on small arms, no, says Sarah Margon, director of Oxfam." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: Actually Governments 'are primarily responsible for much of the death and destruction', having killed almost 170 million in the 20th century.
 

Switzerland: Government seeks to tighten gun laws
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Swiss government on Wednesday recommended to parliament that all gun owners must obtain a permit."

"Bowing to resistance from lobby groups, the cabinet decided against a plan to create a central national weapons register."

"The cabinet said it was opposed to the database on the grounds that the time and effort it would require would greatly outweigh the benefit."

"If accepted by parliament, the amended law will bring Switzerland into line with the European Union's Schengen accord on cross-border crime, which Swiss voters agreed to sign up to last June."

"The agreement, which removes border controls between signatory states, lays down minimum requirements for acquiring and possessing firearms." ...
 

MS: The Plight of Cory Maye
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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... "... Also puzzling, and disturbing, is the complacency with which Americans have given up their right to self-defense. The Second Amendment means nothing if citizens are not allowed to protect themselves from what seems imminent harm. Consider that while those who mistakenly shoot police officers are always charged (in Maye’s case, with the maximum offense), officers who shoot or otherwise cause the death of the wrong person in a raid gone bad are virtually never called to account." ...
 

MI: Prosecutor: Shooting justified
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The owner of a Byron Township business justifiably shot two men who were trying to break into a vehicle outside the building, Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth said Tuesday."

"But Forsyth's decision does not erase the specter of criminal trouble for the 49-year-old man, who now faces a likely probation violation for possessing a gun."

"The chaotic Dec. 3 confrontation at 8027 S. Division Ave. involved multiple shots, the business owner getting dragged by the suspects' vehicle and the man ultimately shooting out the tire of the fleeing truck, leading one suspect to surrender on the spot. The other was captured a short time later." ...
 

WA: Homeowner has shootout with burglars
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Spokane man grabbed his rifle early Tuesday when he heard a crash in his attached garage. Minutes later, the South Hill resident exchanged gunshots with three men he had caught burglarizing his home ..."

"Then he called 911."

"Tuesday morning's shooting was the second time in two weeks that a Spokane resident has fired on an intruder..."

"'Our caution to the public is before you go out with a gun, call police,' Deputy Chief Al Odenthal said ..."

"The reminder from police comes three months after the department acknowledged that nearly 30 high-priority calls, including assaults in progress, weren't answered within the usual three- to four-minute response time between January and September of 2005." ...
 

NE: Neighbors Want Charges Against Tobacco Store Owner
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Some midtown neighbors want a business owner arrested following a fatal robbery last month."

"David Kline was shooting at two robbery suspects who ran from his Hamilton Outlet Tobacco store ... Police said that during the gun battle, a robber's bullet killed store employee Sham Journey, 24, who was outside, too."

"Two people are under arrest ... charged with first-degree murder."

"Some neighbors said Kline should be jailed, too."

"'I just like to know if we should all go get us a gun to defend ourselves,' said the Rev. Les Jordan, who witnessed the incident ... 'I saw the owner of the store here in the middle of the street positioning himself like this and shot his gun several shots in a row.'" ...
 

CA: Officials: Man shot wasn't breaking in
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A man initially believed to be a home invader, didn't know he was in someone else's home when he was shot to death Friday, San Bernardino County sheriff's officials confirmed Tuesday."

"Hector Soto Hernandez, 21, was shot at about 2:50 a.m. after he entered an apartment through a window ..." ...

"Sheriff's officials have learned that Soto Hernandez recently moved to the complex to live with a family member." ...

"He tried to enter the apartment through the front door, and when his key didn't work, he entered through a window." ...

"A 65-year-old man, who resides at the apartment with his wife, fought with Soto Hernandez. The man shot him once with a pistol, a sheriff's news release stated." ...
 

CA: A woman, a batterer and a gun
Submitted by: John Fansler

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"Rebecca took out a life insurance policy on herself four years ago. ..."

"She believed that her husband was going to kill her. It was just a matter of time. ... [She] went underground through the California Confidential Address Program ..."

"Last summer, there were signs he had found her."

"So Rebecca started carrying a gun inside a pouch in her purse." ...

"Rebecca didn't think she needed a permit to carry a concealed weapon because California law waives the permit requirement for anyone who 'reasonably believes that he or she is in grave danger because of circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining order.' Rebecca had a restraining order against her husband."

"What she didn't know was that the restraining order, which she understood to be permanent, had expired in June." ...
 

OK: Experts say for self-defense, nothing beats a gun
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"This is one, hopefully, no one will have to observe. But January is ... Self-Defense Awareness Month."

"The event is sponsored by the National Self-Defense Institute to promote their SAFE (Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange) program. The program has a two-fold purpose: To prevent crimes of sexual violence ... and to educate women about realistic options that will help them avoid, escape, and survive assaults if they do occur." ...

"Scott Lawrence is a National Rife Association-certified pistol instructor and an International Defensive Pistol Association competitor. ..." ...

"... his advice for the most practical and effective self-defense: 'Get a concealed carry permit, and know how to shoot your gun.'" ...
 

NY: Students accused of bringing gun on school property
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

Two Seneca County teenagers are facing charges for allegedly bringing a gun on school property. The Seneca County Sheriff's Department says Jeffrey Warne, 17, and Jessica Prindle-Ike, 16, we’re caught yesterday with a 22 caliber rifle in the parking lot of South Seneca High School. Deputies say one student borrowed the rifle from the other and decided to exchange it on school property. Deputies say the students never pointed the gun at anyone. The teens have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Both will appear in Ovid Town Court later this month.
 

WA: Student expelled over pellet gun
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"One Rainier High School student has been expelled for a Dec. 10 incident involving airsoft pellet guns on campus." ...

"Initially, five students were recommended for expulsion over the Dec. 10 incident, which school officials have not described in detail. According to Carter, after the circumstances were reviewed only four faced expulsion." ...

"Two of the suspended students' families are contending that airsoft pellet guns are not weapons."

"'In no way, shape or form are these things weapons by the school's own definition,' one of the student's mother said last week." ...
 

Canada: Fake shootout not the least bit funny
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"It’s probably — hopefully — the closest thing a town like Virden will ever have to an actual drive-by shooting. Still, in light of what’s happening in large centres where gun violence is a deadly fact of life, there’s nothing particularly amusing or cute about two rural high school students shooting at their classmates with a soft pellet gun."

"The incident happened in Virden just before Christmas when a group of students was walking back to school from the town’s theatre. During their walk back, the two accused students drove by in a vehicle. One of them pointed a toy pistol out the window and fired at the group, striking their teacher in the forehead with the pellet. The teacher was not seriously injured." ...
 

CO: Ex-sheriff will step into race
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson said Tuesday that he will run for Congress this year, even if incumbent Joel Hefley seeks reelection."

"Anderson, who like Hefley is a Republican, said at a noon news conference that the 5th Congressional District is not meeting its economic potential. He vowed to guard civil liberties and to crack down on illegal immigration along the Mexican border." ...

"His platform emphasizes the need to attract technology and defense-based companies to keep college graduates from leaving the district. Anderson spoke also of protecting individual rights, defending the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and setting a clear exit strategy for the war in Iraq." ...
 

OH: Ohio candidate for U.S. Congress takes concealed carry class
Submitted by: Buckeye Firearms Association
Website: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org

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"The Lima News is reporting that State Representative Mike Gilb, a two-time Buckeye Firearms Association endorsee who recently announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in the 4th Congressional District, recently took part in a concealed carry training class in Allen County." ...

"The newspaper reports that Gilb ended up fielding questions from classmates about the legislative process as he tries to push a bill that will loosen up the restrictions on the concealed-carry law. The original bill passed two years ago." ...
 

OH: Legislators treated to packed house for first HB347 proponent hearing
Submitted by: Buckeye Firearms Association
Website: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org

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"Proponent testimony was heard today for HB347, a concealed carry 'fix it' bill and general improvement of Ohio firearms laws. The purpose of today’s hearing was to solicit comments from organizations and individuals who support the bill."

"The hearing room was packed. All 60 chairs were filled, with 20 people standing and another dozen standing in the hall before 2:30 when Chairman Latta called the meeting to order. The room was still overflowing an hour and a half later when other bills had been heard. It was clear the crowd was there to listen, and testify about the gun bill."

"The large turnout is a testament to the people and organizations fighting to restore the rights of law abiding citizens in Ohio. ..." ...
 

WI: Concealed carry bill continues to stir debate
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Wisconsin residents' right to carry concealed weapons may hinge on Democrats such as Sen. Russ Decker, D-Weston."

"The proposal is gaining momentum in the Legislature, but it also has vocal opponents, such as the head of the Wisconsin Police Chiefs Association."

"Twice in recent months, Decker has crossed party lines to vote in favor of the bill, and he is expected to vote for an amended version of the bill again when it hits the Senate floor."

"'I don't think this is about breaking party lines,' he said Monday. Concealed carry 'was bipartisan when (the Senate passed the bill in December) the first time. Let's let law-abiding citizens carry concealed (weapons) if they choose to.'" ...
 

IL: Illinois Gun Ban Legislation to be Voted on Soon! (NRA-ILA)
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Illinois General Assembly is back in session for 2006, and anti-gun extremists, led by anti-gun Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) and anti-gun Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D), are already mounting an assault on the Second Amendment."

"House Bill 2414, which seeks to ban certain semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, as well as .50 caliber rifles commonly used for hunting, could be brought up for a vote on the House floor as early as tomorrow, Wednesday, January 11."

"HB 2414 ... has gone through a number of revisions ... Minor technical revisions have been made to give the appearance of 'watering down' the bill, but the primary legislative goal of banning the future manufacture and transfer of current firearms remains unchanged."
 

NE: Political Gun Battle
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The long-running battle to let Nebraskans carry concealed weapons returned to the Legislature Wednesday. Lawmakers on both sides of the issue are expecting heated and protracted debate."

"'This is the fight at the OK Corral,' said Speaker Kermit Brashear of Omaha before debate started."

"Senator Jeannie Combs of Milligan, who belongs to the National Rifle Association, introduced her concealed-weapons measure (LB454) last year."

"It was passed out of committee and sent to the floor for debate, but with the legislative session waning, she made a deal with Brashear to pull the measure from the agenda." ...
 

IL: Gun owners put in legal limbo
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"An untold number of Illinois gun owners may be unwittingly breaking state law because of a paperwork backlog at the Illinois State Police."

"State officials acknowledged Friday that a rush of applications and a decline in staffing has resulted in a significant delay in processing Firearm Owner Identification cards."

"That means any gun owner whose new card or renewed card hasn't yet arrived in the mail is committing a felony." ...

"While Hampton said it would be possible for police to charge gun owners for not having FOID cards - even though it's the state's fault - he stressed that law enforcement officials always have the discretion to determine whether a citation is warranted." ...
 

IL: Extra workers hired to process FOID cards
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Illinois State Police have begun hiring 20 workers to process backlogged firearm-owner identification cards applications."

"State Police Lt. Lincoln Hampton said 10 will work temporarily and 10 permanently. The permanent hires eventually will replace the temporary."

"'We're doing our best,' Hampton said. 'If there are any more issues, we are trying to eliminate those.'"

"An increased volume of applications arriving with the beginning of hunting season and personnel cuts caused the backlog."

"State law says that firearm owners must have a valid FOID card, and not having one can result in felony charges. The cards cost $5 and are valid for five years." ...
 

PA: Pittsburgh's police face more guns
Submitted by: AJH

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"It's dangerous out there."

"That's how acting Pittsburgh police Chief Earl D. Woodyard Jr. summed things up Tuesday as he discussed the shooting Monday evening of Officer Garry Bankston -- one of an increasing number of local police officers caught in the line of fire over the past decade." ...

"'It's more dangerous in the streets for the average patrol officer than it was years ago,' [Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles] Moffatt said. 'A lot of bad guys have no respect for other people's lives, including the officers.'" ...

"'It's not the gun; it's the person behind the gun,' Woodyard said. 'When you put a gun in the hands of a young, irresponsible criminal, police officers and the public in general are in danger.'" ...
 

CA: New Questions Arise Over Fatal Deputy-Involved Shooting
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

Newly released court documents are adding to the confusion over how many times a sheriff's deputy fired in a fatal shooting.

Deputy Mark Ritchie shot robbery suspect Jorge Ramirez last summer. According to the sheriff's department, the shooting took place after Ramirez reached for something during a pursuit.

A medical examiner's report states that investigators found 22 shell casings. Ritchie's department-issued pistol holds 16 rounds, indicating that he reloaded.

Documents filed by the attorney of Ramirez's alleged accomplice say that Ritchie fired 13 times and that his gun held only eight bullets. The attorney is seeking internal documents from the sheriff's department.
 

NC: Even police are getting robbed
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Back those many months ago, on the day the so-called 'secret police' story broke, the lawyer for the officers association asked the bonus question."

"'At what point,' attorney Bill Hill was quoted in this space, 'do we get back to protecting the public?'"

"The answer is, not a moment too soon. Crime in our region is so bad, it seems, that your home is no longer your castle -- even if you're a Greensboro police captain."

"In a case that remains under investigation by the Guilford Sheriff's Department, a Greensboro police officer said his city-issued service weapon, a loaded, .40-caliber Glock, was stolen from his home in Gibsonville in late November." ...
 

IL: Illinois' Gang of Four Responsible for Savage West Chicago Beatings Says ISRA
Submitted by: RPA-PAC
Website: http://www.rpa-pac.org

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"All James and Mireille Ellberg wanted to do was spend a pleasant morning in the park, feeding the birds. Instead, they were savagely punched, stomped, and run over with their own vehicle by a ruthless thug young enough to be their grandson."

"Of course, blame for this inhuman attack lies clearly with the perpetrator. However, the Ellbergs' inability to defend themselves lies squarely with Illinois' 'Gang of Four' -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Senate President Emil Jones, House Speaker Mike Madigan, and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley." ...
 

MD: A gun is as safe as the person carrying it
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Often times it is the first gun a young person receives as a gift, reward, or in honor of becoming a special age. It is often used to hunt small game like rabbit or squirrel as the user becomes familiar with using a firearm. It doesn’t seem to have much kick or punch as it is light weight and can be carried all day without much trouble. It is a twenty-two rifle."

"Many veteran hunters can recall their first gun and the many memories of walking timber and brush in search of small game. This small rifle is an excellent starter firearm for a beginner hunter. Twenty-two rifles come in a variety of different type actions ... Often times a scope is purchased and placed on the firearm but is not necessary to operate the gun." ...
 

ME: Gun debate holstered - for now
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"He's no political scientist, but Mike Chitwood had no trouble making the call. Asked Monday how he thought he'd have fared in a race to become Maine's next governor, the former Portland police chief took quick aim and fired."

"In southern Maine, Chitwood replied, 'Unbeatable.'"

"And . . . ahem . . . up north?"

"'Because of my gun position,' Chitwood said, 'I could have a problem.'" ...

"For all the moaning among us media types about the headlines that will never be written - 'Baldacci Blasts Chitwood for 'Meatball' Remark' or 'Chitwood to LaMarche: Go Hug a Tree' - a Chitwood candidacy would have forced all of Maine to take a long, serious look at an issue that's ripe for statewide debate."

"Guns." ...
 

FL: Boy realizes his hunting fantasy
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A 12-year-old Florida boy, who will soon go blind, bagged an 8-point buck and a doe on a Catch-A-Dream hunt hosted by Georgia-Pacific's Monticello mill Saturday."

"Eddy Limonta, of Jacksonville, Fla., arrived in Monticello Wednesday afternoon with his mother, uncle and a cousin to realize the dream. Limonta has an optic glioma caused by a brain tumor and attends the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, Fla."

"'He's completely blind on the left, but he still has a little imagery on the right,' said his mother, Lien Aleman. 'He can't make out people's features. He identifies them by their voice.'" ...
 

NY: Shooting and skiing for the steady hand, strong heart
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Rachel Tretter lay down, shouldered the rifle, steadied her aim and fired. The black dot disappeared in the white target 50 meters away, indicating a hit."

"'Was that the one you were aiming for?' her father teased."

"'Actually, it might have been,' she said. Then the 15-year-old from Westchester fired four more times, emptying the cartridge, hitting the last four targets. Later she skied the short penalty loop alongside the firing range and emptied another five-shot cartridge with less success."

"'It's a lot harder than it sounds,' Tretter said." ...
 

Canada: Reality Check: Crackdown on Crime
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Boxing Day shooting death of a teenager on a major downtown Toronto street has made crime a front line issue in this election campaign."

"All three federal parties have unveiled their law and order platforms -- and all include harsher punishments for criminals who commit gun-related crimes." ...

"Former Liberal premier Brian Tobin said it's important that the government takes a clear and strong position ..."

"'It also matters when you have the National Rifle Association showing up in Canada ... and try and inject their agenda ... into the Canadian electoral process,' he said." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: Actually the Canadian Shooting Sports Association asked the NRA to do a seminar on effective grassroots activism.
 

Canada: Gunpoint robberies alarm cabbies
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The gunpoint robberies of two Hamilton taxi drivers mark an alarming escalation in violence against cabbies."

"Gunmen lured Blue Line and Hamilton Cab drivers into isolated industrial areas late Monday and early yesterday to rob them at gunpoint."

"'These two are the first that I know of,' said Detective Dave Hartless yesterday. 'Generally, with cabbies, it's knifepoint robberies.'"

"Hamilton Cab owner Jagtar Singh Chahal said these gunpoint robberies shock him, even for a business that has inherent dangers." ...
 

Canada: Improved range right on target
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"It’s an electrifying improvement and biathletes are charged with the new shooting range at the Canmore Nordic Centre. The new range, part of the $23 million improvements to the centre, includes targets with electronic sensors that read exactly where the .22 calibre bullets shot from a biathlon rifle hit, or if they miss. The whole system was given a full run-through during the NorAm and Alberta Cup biathlon races on the weekend."

"Marko Kuvinen of Finland, the maker and distributor of the new system, was on site during the races to help make sure everything ran smoothly."

"'We have done ranges in over 30 countries, sometimes in Siberia, in Scandinavia and Europe,' Kurvinen said at the range on Saturday. ...'" ...
 

Canada: Absent fathers root of gun crimes, faith leaders say
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Young, angry adolescents who have no male role model at home are committing many of the gun crimes in Toronto because gangs are their family, faith leaders said today."

"And fathers who desert the home are the root of the problem, the leaders said at a news conference ..."

"Rob Brodie, who works on trying to rehabilitate criminals following their sentences, said that of 20 case files he recently pulled at random, 14 of the criminals were from single-mother homes."

"Along with a call for politicians to toughen drug laws, the faith leaders pointed to a breakdown in the family home as the leading edge of the downward spiral." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: But I thought it was lax US gun laws that caused crime in Toronto.
 

UK: Police threat gunman sent to jail
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A gunman who walked into a police station and threatened to shoot officers has been jailed for four and a half years."

"Christopher Smith also threw tables and chairs around a police station in Glenrothes, Fife. The firearm was later found to be a plastic toy gun."

At the High Court in Edinburgh Smith, 22, admitted the offences.

"He said he was upset that his request to speak to the chief constable about the London bombings was turned down."

"Smith, also known as McTavish, threatened a police sergeant at the Napier Road station at about in the early hours of 22 September last year, despite being warned that he would be sprayed with CS gas." ...
 

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