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Is Harry Reid no longer ‘a true champion of the Second Amendment’?
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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"Are we seeing the beginnings of a new public direction for our true champion, one motivated not by any oath of office or past loyalties, but by blatant self-interest?"
 

26 laser incidents at Sea-Tac last year, FAA says
Submitted by: none

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More than two dozen incidents occurred at Sea-Tac Airport last year in which the safety of planes was put at risk by people pointing at them with lasers, federal officials said Wednesday.

There were 26 incidents at Sea-Tac, 32 at Portland International Airport.

There were 108 incidents at the Los Angeles airport last year, more than any other airport, the FAA said. Chicago's O'Hare was next, with 98.

Overall, the number of incidents nationally in which people pointed lasers at planes and helicopters nearly doubled last year, from 1,527 incidents in 2009 to 2,836 incidents in 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Submitter's note: why is everyone talking about ramping up the sentences to 20 years (verbatim), but not banning them?
 

NY: Sportsmen to hear from NRA rep at legislative awareness day next week
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Chuck Cunningham, director of political affairs for the National Rifle Association, will give the keynote address at the second annual Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day Tuesday. The free event will take place 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in The Well and on the third floor terrace in the Legislative Office Building. "Chuck Cunningham is a public policy expert who has dedicated his life to defending our constitutional freedoms," said Assembly minority leader, and member of the NRA, Brian M. Kolb. "I'm proud to have him join us for this year's must-attend event."
 

DHS answers FOIA on ‘domestic extremists’
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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"Their bottom line:

"'Unfortunately, we were unable to locate or identify any responsive records.'"

Submitter's Note: Today's second Gun Rights Examiner column brings a response that would indicate we're free to actively object to TSA screening processes without fear of being classified as "domestic extremists."

Who wants to put it to the test?
 

NY: Sportsmen’s Day in Albany
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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If you care about preserving and protecting your rights to hunt, fish and enjoy New York’s great outdoors, then mark your calendar and save this date: Tuesday, Jan. 25. That’s the word from New York State Assembly Minority Leader, Brian Kolb. And that is when the Assembly’s second annual Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day event is being held at the State Legislative Office Building in Albany, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 

The Limits of Second Amendment Rights
Submitted by: Rick Schwartz
Website: http://www.weprotectyourkids.com

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As predictable as clockwork, the recent shooting in Arizona has once again brought forth an eclectic coalition of opportunists who want us to know – in the most reverent and mournful tones possible – that perhaps the aftermath of this atrocity is the ideal time for a calm, reasonable, national discussion on gun control. Except we’re not supposed to say gun “control” this time. That sounds a bit too gun-grabby and pushy to the modern conservative mind. No, these days we’re supposed to say, “gun restrictions.”
 

Arizona Aftermath: Permit-Free Carry Law Prevented Law Enforcement From Having an Opportunity to Stop Jared Loughner From Carrying a Gun, Says MAIG
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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Arizona is one of only three states that doesn't require a permit to carry a concealed gun. In light of that, even if police had any indication that the Arizona shooter, Jared Loughner, was carrying a gun as he approached Representative Giffords and the other victims, it is unlikely they could have stopped him.
 

TX: HPD officer indicted on sex assault charges
Submitted by: jac

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A Houston police officer was arrested by fellow officers Thursday following his indictment for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman while in his police uniform, a charge that can land him in prison for life.

Prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division presented their evidence to a grand jury Thursday afternoon, and felony indictments were returned against Abraham Joseph, 27, on charges of aggravated sexual assault.

Joseph was relieved of duty after allegations of the alleged assaults came to light earlier this month, prosecutors said. District Attorney Pat Lykos applauded HPD for promptly investigating accusations against one of their own officers.

 

Second Amendment is insurance against government tyranny
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Here's our national dilemma: We must find ways to prevent manifestly degenerate menaces from obtaining firearms prior to a felony conviction without depriving law-abiding, peaceable citizens of their Second Amendment rights. The constitutional challenge is to craft laws addressing the former, without abusing the latter.

Fortunately, Congress and the president have help missing from previous gun-control debates. The Constitution commits the ultimate power of interpreting the Constitution to federal courts.

At long last, the courts have tackled the Second Amendment, instructing us on how to make gun laws consistent with the Constitution's promises.
 

NC: Arizona shootings prompt N.C. Reps. Shuler, Ellmers to carry guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the wake of the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., two members of the N.C. congressional delegation plan to carry concealed weapons more often in their home districts, while a third is considering getting a permit to do so.

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, a Waynesville Democrat, told reporters right after the shooting that he would start carrying his weapon more often in the 11th District, which covers the far western mountain counties. He obtained his current permit in early 2009, according to Haywood County records.
 

Utah Could Use Gold, Silver Under Sound Money Act
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In light of the U.S. dollar’s continual loss of purchasing power and the historical stability of precious metals as a store of value, a new bill set to be considered in the Utah legislature would require the state government to accept taxes and pay its obligations in gold or silver upon demand.
Under the proposed legislation, introduced late last year for the upcoming legislative session, the state government would be authorized to collect and return taxes and fees in precious metals. Additionally, Utah’s government could use gold and silver in connection with any intrastate transaction. But of course, it would be entirely up to citizens whether they preferred to use precious-metals coins or U.S. dollars backed by nothing.
 

PA: Intruder Shot, But Homeowner Charged After Police Respond
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Police said it appeared that Donofrio broke a window to get into the home and went toward the resident, Bradley Walker, with a hatchet and folding knife, and was then shot by Walker.

"Violence doesn't solve anything, you know? Over a couple hundred bucks -- it's ridiculous," neighbor John Salomon said.

"I don't blame him at all," McLaren said. "I mean, I believe in self-defense."

Officers were conducting a "protective sweep" of the home when they saw the drugs in the basement, according to a statement from Police Chief Tom Sansone's office.

...

Walker, 41, was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
 

Poll: Americans Remain Split on Gun Control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the aftermath of mass shootings in Tucson, Arizona this month, Americans remain split on the issue of gun control, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

The survey finds that Americans have moved slightly in favor of stricter laws in light of the incident, in which six were killed and fourteen wounded when gunman Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire at a political event outside of an Arizona supermarket.

The poll finds that 46 percent of Americans think gun laws should be made stricter, while 38 percent want them to stay the same. Thirteen percent said they thought gun control laws should be made less strict.
 

WA: Huge Drop In Gun Permits
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Action News discovered fewer people are taking-out gun permits in our area.

...

KIMA pulled the numbers and discovered surprising stats. Last year, the number of gun permits issued by YSO fell 15%. 200 fewer permits were issued, which was the first decline in more than five years.

It caught Action News off guard. Last May we told you about a group of women who wanted to carry firearms wherever they went. Our cameras were rolling as they were issued their permits, but as we learned, they were among a shrinking number.

Ed.: They make no mention of the cities within Yakima County, only apparently the unincorporated areas?
 

PA: The Arizona shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Of course, if Loughner was crazy, then the obvious question is, why is that a crazy person in Arizona is allowed to buy Glock semiautomatic with an optional magazine that allowed him to fire up to 33 bullets in a matter of seconds? Loughner's weapon of choice, the Glock 19, is far more gun than anyone really needs for self-defense. The only purpose of a semiautomatic pistol with a 33-bullet magazine is to kill people. Lots of people. Quickly. Just like Loughner did.

Surely such a weapon should be sold only selectively, to people who really need it, like police officers?

Ed.: Funny, seems to me I recall SCOTUS saying something about the individual right to keep and bear semi-auto handguns like the Glock 19.
 

Gun Saint Group Hits Anti-Self-Defense Catholic Church Officials
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. today ripped into gun prohibitionists in the Catholic Church hierarchy and suggested gun owners place a written or printed message of complaint in collection baskets as an initial form of protest.

Society chairman John M. Snyder said "the forthcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II comes as a welcome spiritual torpedo moving against anti-gun owner Catholic Church bureaucrats."

"It is ironic that Pope Benedict XV's announcement of the May 1 event came as the Catholic News Service proclaimed in an article on gun control that the 'Church firmly, quietly opposes firearms for civilians,'" Snyder added.
 

CA: Political left barks up wrong tree
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For purposes of discussion here, let's limit this discourse to handguns and hunting/sport rifles whose purpose can be determined readily as either personal "self-defense" or "recreational." Fully automatic, high-volume magazine weapons serve few purposes other than to kill large numbers of people quickly - a situation not envisioned by the writers of the Second Amendment.

I disagree with the National Rifle Associa-tion's ongoing efforts to prevent reasonable restrictions from being enacted. We should have both criminal background and mental competency checks for all gun sales at all gun shows and stores, waiting periods, restricted access for children and juveniles, as well as re-quired gun safes and trigger locks.
 

Afghanistan: Afghan government turning to local militias
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The self-defense groups are part of an expanding U.S.-backed program that bears a resemblance to a similar tactic in Iraq that proved successful.

In Afghanistan, the program has helped protect villages from insurgent attacks and the plan could expand to up to 10,000 people, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said. If the plan proves successful it could grow even larger, he said.

“Wherever this is created people have welcomed it,” Bashary said.

The small defense forces are being established around the country, according to the Afghan government. The groups will have about 250 to 300 people each, the Pentagon said.
 

Should gun laws change to make it harder for the mentally ill to buy weapons? How?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the case of suspected killer Jared Lee Loughner, he would have faced few obstacles in buying a gun in Arizona, which already has some the most lax gun laws in the country. Campus police at a community college previously had been notified of Mr. Loughner’s disruptive behavior during classes. But he had not been under any court-ordered treatment. His records wouldn’t have been submitted into the system.

What could have been handled differently in his case, and how can gun laws be modified to prevent such tragedies?

Ed.: Also a poll, 63% in favor of gun control. Go vote!
 

Looking Out For Each Other
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Which brings us to gun laws. How on earth is a person as unhinged as the Tucson shooter able to legally get a semi-automatic with a 31-shot magazine? The argument that it doesn't matter if it were legal or not, a person like him would've gotten the weapon anyway, makes no sense: many laws are broken every day, but we still have them. Just because teenagers drink doesn't mean we should make the drinking age 15. Just because we have 20,000 homicides a year in this country doesn't mean we should give up on laws against murder.

The reason a mentally ill person could get such a weapon legally is that our country is currently overwhelmed by 2nd Amendment fanatics.
 

Coburn supports 'revisiting' gun control, but stresses prohibitions need 'cause'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The tragic episode — in which a federal judge was killed and a congresswoman critically injured — has prompted gun reformers on and off Capitol Hill to call for additional scrutiny of the effectiveness of the 2007 law. On Thursday, Coburn's office said the Oklahoma Republican agrees.

"He is open to revisiting the law," Coburn spokesman John Hart wrote in an e-mail. "His goal is to make sure we have a way to ensure that people who are truly mentally ill and are a threat to themselves or others are not allowed to buy a firearm.

"However," Hart added, "he won’t support any measure that prohibits any American from buying or possessing a firearm without cause."
 

MD: Felony charge dropped against patrol group member
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Baltimore prosecutors have dismissed a felony assault charge against a member of an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood watch group who was accused of attacking a teenager in November.

Twenty-three-year-old Eliyahu Werdesheim still faces misdemeanor charges after a hearing Thursday morning. But prosecutors declined to pursue a more serious charge of first-degree assault.

Werdesheim's attorney, Andrew Alperstein, says he's pleased that his client is no longer facing such a serious charge. Alperstein has said that Werdesheim acted in self-defense.
 

WI: How many lives till lawmakers lift trigger finger?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I must admit that statement was a tad hyperbolic. In truth, the majority of those who own a gun will never use it to kill, or even harm, another person. Most of the guns in the U.S are for hunting, with one measly third being handguns. There are only 100 million handguns across the country, and everyone knows they’re only used in self-defense. Handguns are bought for protection only.

But what happens when the guns of the innocent majority find their way into the hands of the crooked minority? What happens when sons of honest men steal their guns to do wrong? What happens when the system designed to allow upstanding citizens to exercise their right to bare arms is abused?
 

OH: Shooting of Cleveland officer brings Giffords-inspired gun rights battle to Ohio
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The gun used to shoot a Cleveland police officer early Thursday was equipped with a 30-round magazine like the one used in the shooting of U.S Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others earlier this month in Tucson.

Giffords' shooting stirred up the debate over gun rights. More than 40 U.S. representatives joined Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York this week in sponsoring a bill to outlaw magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The sponsors listed on McCarthy's website do not include any Ohio representatives. But after Patrolman Anthony Sauto was shot in the leg about 12:30 a.m., that debate has come closer to home.
 

Gun Magazine Sellers Have Ammo to Influence National Rifle Association
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The NRA already has issued a statement signaling its opposition, calling high-capacity magazines “standard equipment for self-defense handguns and other firearms owned by tens of millions of Americans.”

One of the factors behind the NRA’s stance, the Center for Public Integrity suggests, is fund-raising by magazine sellers such as Missouri-based MidwayUSA. The company is the developer of a fundraising tactic known as the “Round-up” that since 1992 has pulled in $5.7 million for the NRA’s lobbying operations. The tactic asks customers to round up the cost of their orders to the nearest dollar or higher and, in turn, the company donates the extra money to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, a lobbying arm.
 

CA: Man Accused Of Haight Skateboard Murder Claims Self Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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According to Meisels, Tanksley went after one of the men with a cane made of wood that had a metal ball at the top.

Tanksley missed and then swung at Tolboe, who blocked the blow with his skateboard and then struck back, hitting Tanksley once, Meisels said.

Tolboe then fell, and may have struck his head on the sidewalk, according to Meisels.

Meisels said he now is awaiting reports on the cause of Tanksley's death from the medical examiner, which could take several months.

"This is one of the clearest self-defense cases I've ever seen," he said.
 

Gun crazy, or gun savvy
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This was discussed at length during national debate which gave rise to the Bill of Rights, and is chronicled in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Both camps discussed ideas for regulating the Peoples Power. They finally agreed if an enemy or potential enemy soldier had “one,” then the People, the Militia, may have “one” as well. To restrict this right would put the enemy at an unfair advantage. (The restrictive 1911 Sullivan Handgun Act, made NYC such a battlefield, for the last 100 years.)
 

MI: Father who fatally shot son tells police it was self-defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A 54-year-old man who shot and killed his son Wednesday at a Southeast side home told police he fired in self-defense.

Grand Rapids police Capt Jeff Hertel said the claim was one reason police decided to let the father go after an interview with him Wednesday night.

Police say they plan to let prosecutors decide whether to charge the man with any crime.
 

FL: Self-defense cited in fatal stabbing in Grant-Valkaria
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Public Defender Mike Pirolo said during the hearing that Sykes acted in self-defense and Ryder had a reputation for violent behavior.

"His life was in danger. . . He was going to be stabbed," Pirolo said.

He described his client as a mild-mannered man.

One of Sykes' neighbors, Bernadette Downs, said in court that Ryder was known for being aggressive and always carrying a knife with him.
 

PA: Gun control: Do our legislators have the will to act?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Arizona is the paradigm of the weak legal framework in the states. Jared Loughner, the Tucson suspect, reportedly was able to acquire his instrument of mayhem simply by passing an instant background check in the National Instant Check System database on the gun outlet’s computer. So Loughner was in the clear.

In some states, including Pennsylvania, Loughner would have had to acquire a concealed-weapon permit, which at least allows the sheriff to check on sources outside the NICS database. A law enacted last year in Arizona allowed Loughner to conceal and carry his gun without a permit.

Ed.: Really? Since when has lack of a CPL stopped a criminal from illegally carrying a concealed gun?
 

NE: New bill introduction ended mid-week in Legislature
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Barely 10 days have passed since the 102nd Legislature convened for a 90-day session.

Several of the new bills introduced by Nebraska senators have caught the attention of constituents across the state.

Senator Mark Christensen of Imperial is among those who have introduced legislation—one bill allowing for protection of a fetus at any stage of development in utero. The bill allows a woman to defend her fetus from unlawful attack.

Another bill introduced by Christensen would make it easier to use deadly force in self-defense cases.

Dubbed “stand your ground” by supporters, the bill would create an automatic presumption that a person is justified in using deadly force to ward off an attacker.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them. — George Mason, during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788)

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