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The Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Millions of words have been devoted to analyzing, defending and criticizing this country’s relationship to firearms and the ownership of them. But despite the directions that contemporary conversations take, these millions of words always seem to be at the mercy of only 27, otherwise known as the Second Amendment.
 

AZ: Fraternity holds vigil in wake of shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A prosecutor says there is no indication of self-defense on the part of the 18-year-old suspect in the deadly overnight shooting at Northern Arizona University.

Deputy County Attorney Ammon Barker said Steven Jones could have easily walked away from a fight early Friday and instead retrieved his gun and "went back into the fray."

Jones claims he was chased by several people as he ran to his car and then he yelled at them that he had a gun. Barker says Jones gave "self-serving statements to police."

Barker says the student who died was hit with two bullets, one in the chest and one in the shoulder.
 

ID: Self-defense tools, concealed weapon permits increase in Treasure Valley
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The number of people applying for a concealed weapon permits and buying firearms have doubled this month in the Treasure Valley, especially after recent shootings on college campuses around the country.
 

CO: Anti-gang activist found not guilty in attempted-murder case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of anti-gang activist Terrance Roberts, who is charged with attempted murder in a shooting at a community event in 2013.

A jury of eight women and four men began deliberations on Wednesday. The jury found Roberts not guilty on all charges. He was facing attempted murder and assault charges. The possession of a weapon by a previous offender charge was dismissed.
 

Gun laws across U.S. in balance as Supreme Court considers Chicago case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gunn rights advocates are urging the Supreme Court to strike down a local Chicago ordinance prohibiting semiautomatic "assault weapons" that can carry more than 10 rounds.

The justices on Friday were to consider the appeal in Friedman vs. City of Highland Park. If they refuse to hear the appeal, the announcement could come as early as Tuesday morning. Such a decision would signal that cities have the authority to restrict high-powered weapons.

But if the justices vote to take up the case, it would put in doubt the constitutionality of laws in other places, including California, that prohibit semiautomatic weapons.
 

Obama Weighing Executive Order to Expand Background Checks to Some Private Gun Sales
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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According to The Hill, a White House official has confirmed that the executive order would set a threshold as to the number of guns one can sell each year and still be considered a private seller. Selling any number of guns above that threshold would require that the seller to obtain a Federal Firearms License from the government and perform NICS background checks on every purchaser.

NBC News reports that Obama plans to do this by reworking language in selling guidelines to redefine “who is legally defined as a licensed gun dealer and therefore required to conduct background checks on potential buyers.”
 

MS: Jones County homicide believed to be self defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As the argument escalated, Crespo grabbed the sledge hammer and began to swing at Smith, swiping him.

Smith told Crespo to put the hammer down. Smith then went to his nearby camper that was on the property and pulled his 22-caliber pistol.

Crespo then came after Smith with the sledge hammer once again, and in what Smith stated was “self defense," Smith fired the weapon once, striking Crespo in the chest.

Crespo died as a result of his injury at a local hospital.
 

TX: Texas figuring out how to handle campus carry law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One of the most prominent opponents of the "campus carry" bill that passed in Texas this year was University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven, a former Navy SEALs admiral responsible for directing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

"I've spent my whole life around guns. I grew up in Texas hunting. I spent 37 years in the military. I like guns, but I just don't think having them on campus is the right place," he told CNN.
 

AZ: Some ASU students want guns on campus policies changed after NAU shooting incident
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A student group is calling for policy changes when it comes to guns on school campuses in Arizona.

They call themselves “Students for Self Defense" and the group wants guns and other weapons allowed on school campuses.

As it stands now, students can bring their guns to schools, but the weapons have to remain in the student's car inside a locked compartment.
 

Law Professor: Campus Carry ‘The Common Sense Solution’ to Campus Shootings
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On October 9 Charles Haywood–Purdue University associate professor of business law–contended that “the common sense solution” to campus shootings is campus carry, a mechanism that allows students and faculty the legal avenue of being armed on campus for self-defense.
 

FL: Open carry and more: Lawmakers push gun bills
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun-rights measures are flourishing in the state Capitol this fall.

Under bills moving through the Legislature, Floridians could carry handguns openly in public and on college campuses, and prosecutors would have the burden of proof in "stand your ground" cases.

The bills have drawn a clear partisan divide, with a few exceptions, as Republicans largely side on lessening restrictions on the Second Amendment right to bear arms as Democrats fret over the public-safety implications of allowing more guns in public places.
 

How the gun lobby rewrote the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After yet another gun-related tragedy, the U.S. is in the midst of a flurry of new efforts to control people’s access to firearms. As before, those efforts are running into serious trouble. The major problem is simple: The Second Amendment has come to be seen as a constitutional barrier, and perhaps even more, a political one.

Somewhat awkwardly, presidential candidate Ben Carson captured a widespread view: “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

No one should take away people’s rights. But with respect to “the right to arm ourselves,” we have lost sight of our own history.
 

FL: Gun control will create vulnerable UCF campus
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Tragically, the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where a gunman killed 10 individuals, has once again brought the issue of gun control, specifically on college campuses, back into the national spotlight.

The issue of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms has once again figured prominently in the analysis of cultural commentators and political pundits.
 

Why Obama is Wrong on Roseburg
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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You would think such dramatic new restrictions were bound to help. But the striking thing is how little effect they had on gun deaths. …

“We learned from the 1994 assault weapons ban that modest gun control measures don’t work. What Australia suggests is that even if radical ones could be passed, they wouldn’t work either.”
 

Old Writ Could Give Ex-Offenders a New Start
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Ex-offenders could make a strong case for audita querela relief when a law or regulation strips them of a right to which they otherwise would be entitled, the brief said.

For instance, a conviction-based restriction that results in job loss could violate due process rights by depriving an ex-offender of a fundamental property interest. Losing the ability to possess a gun as a result of a conviction could violate the Second Amendment.
 

SAF launches ad campaign challenging ‘Obama’s gun control lies’
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Almost simultaneous to the arrival of President Barack Obama in Roseburg, Oregon on Friday, the Second Amendment Foundation announced the launch of a television campaign challenging him for “gun control lies.”

The Bellevue, Washington-based gun rights organization could not have timed it any better or worse, depending upon one’s perspective. The advertisement, urging at least one million people to call a toll-free telephone number and answer a simple question: “Do you think Obama is lying to push his gun control agenda?” The telephone number is (800) 292-9044. The video can be viewed here.
 

Museum in the NRA’s Headquarters Struggles to Be Seen as Apolitical
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One of the largest and most significant gun collections in the world is housed in Fairfax at the National Firearms Museum, in the same building as the NRA’s national headquarters. But don’t look for a political agenda there, says Jim Supica, the museum’s director: He says that the museum is strictly focused on “the education, history, technology and artistry of firearms.”
 

Gun Debate Divides Nation's Police Officers, Too
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After the mass shooting in Roseburg, Ore., last week, the national media gave a lot of attention to the fact that the local sheriff, John Hanlin, is an ardent supporter of gun rights. He'd written a letter to Vice President Joe Biden shortly after the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., saying gun control was not the answer. In the letter, Hanlin pledged not to enforce gun regulations he believed to be unconstitutional.

Ed.: Yep, almost all police officers support at least minimal gun privileges, such as licensed concealed carry. Gun rights have significantly smaller support among police officers.
 

Second Amendment's time is past
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One possibility is for the states to be able repel excessive control by the federal government — part of the states vs. federal power theme that was a hot topic at the time.

While that theme continues today, most of us nowadays don't see it as manifesting in armed conflict. Another possible motivation, not explicitly stated but worded "in code," is to enable "the people" (of a certain class) to suppress a slave revolt.
 

Ben Carson Is Half-Right About Guns and the Holocaust
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But here’s the thing: Whether Carson is right or wrong in his central claim is entirely irrelevant to the more important question here, which is not “can armed people always overthrow a tyrannical government” but “does the government get to deny them the chance to try?” The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, not a collective privilege, and individual rights do not need to be justified on practical grounds. Just as we would not deny free speech to a man simply because he seemed unlikely to win a given argument, we must not abandon our auxiliary self-defense rights on the basis that the odds might be stacked against the little guy.
 

FL: Will Bill Making Changes To Florida's 10-20-Life Law Affect Previous Cases?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida lawmakers are hoping to continue moving a bill forward aimed at changing Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing rules. It comes on the heels of a recent decision by the state’s Executive Board to reject a request to release a Florida man early from prison, who fired a warning shot and received a 20 year prison sentence.
 

What You Need to Know Before Your Concealed Carry Class
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If you’re one of the thousands of people who have decided to take your self-protection seriously and apply for a concealed carry permit, congratulations, you’re in good company. The ranks of people who have decided to stop being a victim and become their own first responder are growing every day, and carrying a concealed weapon is an empowering act that signifies you are adult enough to take charge of your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones.
 

Amicus brief on history of right to carry, in Wrenn v. DC
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Should D.C. residents have the same right to the licensed carry of defensive handguns as the people in most states? That is the issue currently before the D.C. Circuit, in Wrenn v. District of Columbia. The D.C. government lost on this issue in federal district court. D.C.’s brief to the D.C. Circuit argues that “For as long as citizens have owned firearms, English and American law has restricted any right to carry in populated public places.” According to the brief, the pre-existing right to arms, which was protected by the Second Amendment, “did not encompass carrying in densely populated cities.” Further, D.C. says that in the 19th century, carry prohibitions were widespread in the United States.
 

What Common-Sense Gun Control Looks Like
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The truth is that the United States and its attitude toward gun culture are unique. Instead of mimicking Australia and Great Britain with their gun confiscation programs, our leaders should think differently. The best gun control in this country is an armed, honest citizenry who can shoot straight. Instead of gun free zones, we should allow law abiding, concealed carry permit holders to go where they wish with their guns.

Luckily for gun owners, the more Democrats agitate for restrictive gun laws, the worse the Democrats do in polling. Beta male gun control policies may be winners on editorial pages, but are losers in our national electoral system.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. — Noah Webster in "An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," 1787, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at p. 56 (New York, 1888).

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