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Newslinks for 10/20/2009

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Personal Communications Will No Longer Be ‘For Your Eyes Only’
Submitted by: Larry

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In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.

Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. (It doesn’t touch closed social networks, like Facebook, at the moment.)
 

Feds to issue new medical marijuana policy
Submitted by: xqqme

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Obama has directed the Just-Us Department to comply with the 10th Amendment on the Medical Marijuana Issue...

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

...if only he would do the same with the jackboots at ATF on the issue of, say, the Montana Firearm Freedom Act.

I'm waiting to read the actual memo, and see the rationale behind this decision.
 

FBI: Police officer deaths fell sharply in 2008
Submitted by: riotboy

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The number of police officers slain in the line of duty fell sharply last year, according to FBI data released Monday.

Bureau statistics list 41 law enforcement officers killed in 2008, down from 58 in 2007.

Felony killings of police officers haven’t been that low since 1999, when 42 were killed, the FBI said. Police officer support groups — which use different standards to count officer killings — say the number of officers killed hasn’t been this low since the 1960s.

“Certainly the greater use of body armor, bulletproof vests, has had a big impact, after firearms-related fatalities peaked in the 1970s,” said Kevin Morison, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

 

U.S., after long ban, quietly begins to study gun safety
Submitted by: Doug Huffman
Website: http://www.scfirearms.org

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Mr. Barton and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the ranking member on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, respectively, first questioned the NIH about the gun-related grants in a letter Friday to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.

The letter sought information about grants for current projects and for others starting as far back as 2002, totaling nearly $5 million. The lawmakers called the study of criminal behavior "a laudable endeavor which consistently benefits the American people, often in ways that people do not see."

"And yet we have trouble understanding the administration's desire to spend, for example, $642,561 in taxpayer funds to learn how inner-city teenagers whose friends, acquaintances and peers carry firearms and drink alcohol on street corners could show up in emergency rooms with gunshot wounds.
 

MD: Armed and still in danger
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Debates over gun laws too often are based on the assumption that having a gun in one's possession deters crime. A recent public health study reveals the fallacy of that assumption: Epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that people with a gun are 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault.

Researchers interviewed more than 600 shooting victims in Philadelphia from 2003 and 2006 and compared their experience with a control group, mostly people drawn randomly from the neighborhoods where the shootings took place. Pro-gun groups may not be happy with its conclusions, but they can't claim bias: The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health during the Bush administration, ....
 

WV: Packing Heat
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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More people are learning how to shoot on target.

According to Fayette County’s New River Concealed Carry owner Kevin Willis, who’s also a Fayette County Sheriff’s deputy, requests for concealed weapons permit training courses — which are required by the state prior to obtaining a permit — are on the upswing.

The 11-year police veteran says this is a good thing.

“Any person that wants to use a handgun for self-defense should know how to own and operate one safely,” Willis commented.
 

Middle Americans Alienated & Radicalized
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the brief age of Obama, we have had "truthers," "birthers," Tea Party activists and town-hall dissenters.

Comes now, the "Oath Keepers." And who might they be?

Writes Alan Maimon in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oath Keepers, depending on where one stands, are "either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia."[ READY TO REVOLT: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States, October 18, 2009]

Formed in March, they are ex-military and police who repledge themselves to defend the Constitution, even if it means disobeying orders. If the U.S. government ordered law enforcement agencies to violate Second Amendment rights by disarming the people, Oath Keepers will not obey.
 

WA: Seattle mayor moving forward with gun ban despite public's rejection
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Second Amendment Foundation on Oct. 9 warned Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to heed the public rejection of a proposed gun ban at city parks facilities or face the consequences in court. SAF obtained information from the mayor's office that the overwhelming majority of citizens living both inside and outside the city turned thumbs down on the mayor's plan to ban even legally-carried firearms in city parks facilities. Nickels has already been advised by Attorney General Rob McKenna that the city has no authority to enact such a ban, which would be illegal under the state's preemption law.
 

MT: Hunters, support everyone’s right to own a gun
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Of the Second Amendment, "The right of the people to own and bear arms, shall not be infringed," I've always chosen to own and carry a gun, and to those who do not, I urge that you learn of and support this most valued right. For it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.

To all who hunt, good luck big-game hunting and wolf hunting.

May we never compromise on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and Article II Sec 12 M.E. which includes among others, handguns and ammo.
 

TX: Increasing number of people receive concealed handgun license
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The demand for concealed handgun licenses is on the upswing, and a local police department is meeting the need to teach people how to exercise their right responsibly.

The trend is widespread across Texas, and most people are attributing the increase to the presidential election of Barack Obama because people started fearing their right to bear arms may be limited under the new administration.

Beginning in December 2008, the Texas Department of Public Safety started receiving an unprecedented number of applications of concealed handgun permits, said Tom Vinger, assistant chief of DPS media relations.
 

LA Times Gun Show Editorial Defies Reality as It Urges More Restrictions
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.examiner.com/x-1417-Gun-Rights-Examiner

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"Oh, but 'None of these measures would restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,' they say, bearing in mind that Times editorial mantra has historically been that citizens have no individual 2nd Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms."

"Yep, everyone will have total freedom of movement within the confines of their straitjacket. And besides, only 'the lunatic fringe that believes the ATF to be a Gestapo-like arm of a repressive government would loudly object.'"
 

NY: "Ask the Gun Guy" column -- revolver vs. semi-automatic handguns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Question: I have a question about pistol selection. What are your thoughts about the revolver versus semi-automatic question. What would be the best choice, in your estimation, and the best caliper, for general home safety coverage. Would that change if there were hunting and/or concealed carry uses, as well?
- Dan DeWitt, Binghamton

The Gun Guy: Your questions are good ones, and can be quite involved. Trying to give an adequate answer in a short column is not possible. However, here are some thoughts...
 

Getting real about a conventional weapons treaty
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Though this treaty process is intended to keep arms out of the hands of terrorist groups, child soldiers, insurgents and irresponsible governments, it is being presented by detractors as threatening Americans' constitutional rights to bear arms. Let's be clear: this process and the resulting treaty will have no bearing at all on the Second Amendment and domestic American laws regarding gun ownership. In fact in a concession to the United States, those nations that want a treaty have specified in the resolution to begin negotiations, that countries would have the exclusive right to regulate arms trade within their borders. In other words, nothing in these important negotiations will affect American laws related to gun ownership.
 

AK: Fairbanks gets strapped
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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..Tanana Valley Sportsmen's Assocation Fall Gun Show had a record turnout this year. More than 2,000 people attended the show over the weekend, even some dealers from Outside. One such dealer came all the way from Utah specifically to buy ammunition because he said it's getting hard to find in the Northwest, and he can't stock enough to meet demand. Nationwide, ammo and gun sales are booming these days, many say because of fears of percieved threats to the Second Amendment. Read more here. We've been to many gun shows, and if this show is anything like the others, many of the attendees just went to fondle prohibitively expensive firearms. There's no feeling of luxury quite like shouldering a $10,000-plus shotgun or tactical rifle.
 

WA: McGinn Gun-Ban Robo Calls: More Idealism Gone Wrong
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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...nobody likes getting robocalls. ... Mallahan, the T-Mobile vice president, has labored to come off as the level headed pragmatist to McGinn's dreamy idealist. In uncertain times, Mallahan is hoping Seattle voters will opt for a pragmatist.

In this and his battle to undo the deep-bore tunnel, McGinn is quickly going from dreamy to downright catatonic. Political reality and Attorney General Rob McKenna say that the gun ban, while good-intentioned, is just a costly way of getting our ass kicked in court by Second Amendment groups.

Does McGinn really think the best way to win voters is to bother them at home, then remind them that he's going to knowingly waste more money we don't have fighting a cause we can't win?
 

Ready to Revolt: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States
Submitted by: Larry

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Depending on your perspective, the Oath Keepers are either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia.

In the age of town halls, talk radio and tea parties, middle ground of opinion is hard to find.

Launched in March by Las Vegan Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers bills itself as a nonpartisan group of current and retired law enforcement and military personnel who vow to fulfill their oaths to the Constitution.

More specifically, the group's members, which number in the thousands, pledge to disobey orders they deem unlawful, including directives to disarm the American people and to blockade American cities. By refusing the latter order, the Oath Keepers hope to prevent cities from becoming "giant concentration camps," a scenario the 44-year-old Rhodes says he can envision happening in the coming years.
 

How "Justice" Operates Under A Criminal Regime
Submitted by: Larry

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold Huftalen, who presided over the prosecution, initially sought a prison sentence of up to 44 years for the Browns. Holding aloft one of Elaine's handguns, Huftalen simpered that "This was not a small, dainty, self-defense handgun," describing it instead as a heavy weapon "designed to kill 17 people without reloading."


Given the indignation with which Huftalen invested every lisping syllable of his presentation, one might think that the weapons possessed by the armed federal agents surrounding the Brown home were designed to tickle people. But Huftalen, as a servant of a criminal regime, assumes that only the state has the right to use or threaten lethal force, and that its victims commit some variety of terrorism when they arm themselves with implements of self-defense more effective than Q-tips or Nerf balls.
 

NY: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Advises Gov. Paterson to Cut COBIS Program
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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In these difficult economic times, Gov. Paterson has called for $3 billion in budget cuts. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association has a suggestion for saving several million taxpayer dollars each year: abolish the Combined Ballistic Identification System (COBIS).
 

FL: Orlando Sentinel biased against self-defense
Submitted by: Anonymous

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On October 13, 2009, two small business owners arrived home after a 12-hour workday to find burglars rifling through their house and wearing their jewelry. At least one of the suspects was armed with a gun. The victims armed themselves with handguns and entered their home, confronting two or 3 suspected burglars. One burglar was killed and another wounded, with a possible third still at large.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, it seems that youths were just committing a harmless misdemeanor prank when they were attacked by two pistol-wielding vigilantes intent on killing them, rather than calling the police to handle it...
 

Cerberus Sets Its Sights on IPO for a Gun Maker
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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After bad bets on cars and home loans, Cerberus Capital Management is turning to guns and bullets. The private-equity firm is in advanced preparations for an initial public offering of Freedom Group Inc., said people familiar with the situation, hoping to sell shares in a little-known company it has built into a dominant player in the red-hot rifle-and-ammunition business.
 

US Postal Service enforces gun ban in public parking lots
Submitted by: Mike Stollenwerk
Website: http://www.Opencarry.org

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USPS spokesperson Joanne Vito told the Examiner.com that 39 CFR 232.1(l)


“applies to anyone coming into a Post Office or a Postal facility. The regulation prohibiting the possession of firearms or other weapons applies to all real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service. . . . so storage of a weapon on a car parked in a lot that is under the charge and control of the Postal Service would be prohibited.”

. . .

Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League . . . said that the Postal Service is just “setting a trap” for the many gun owners who now carry their guns on a daily basis and may not even know about this parking lot gun ban.
 

MO: Fatal shooting in Anderson deemed self-defense case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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McDonald County Sheriff Robert Evenson said Matthew D. Robertson, 32, died of a single shotgun blast during an altercation with Michael J. Smith at the Wallain Court apartment complex in Anderson, where both men lived in separate units.

Authorities received a call at 8:30 p.m. reporting the shooting at the apartments and found Robertson dead, the sheriff said. Evenson said deputies determined that Robertson was in the act of breaking in the door to Smith’s home when Smith shot him in the chest with a .410-gauge shotgun.
 

OR: Self-defense ruling: May it cause no harm
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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How are you to know when officer's force is unlawful?

One night five years ago outside a tavern in Toledo, Lincoln County, a man was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

On Oct. 8 the Oregon Supreme Court set aside his convictions in a ruling that reaffirms a citizen's right to defend himself, even against a cop trying to arrest him, if he believes the arresting officer is using unlawful excessive force.

Let us hope the ruling is not misunderstood: It does not give you license to try to fight any cop who's trying to take you into custody, even if you think the arrest is without cause.
 

MO: Must a threat be 'imminent' to justify deadly force as self-defense?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The defense claims Clinch, 39, acted in self-defense because he feared Bohannon would try to kill him, his sister and her children. Clinch and other family members had filed protection orders against Bohannon.

On the day he was shot, Bohannon, 32, was going to meet his three children at McDonald’s for a supervised visit. According to court documents, Clinch was lying in wait in the parking lot and shot Bohannon several times in the head and in the leg.

The defense has argued that although the threat Clinch perceived was not imminent, if he reasonably believed any forcible felony would occur in the future he had a right to self-defense.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense or by partial orders of towns...is a dissolution of the government. — John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787-1788).

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