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KY: Judge dismisses murder charge without defense having to present evidence in trial
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A judge dismissed a murder charge against Adam Lee Kuhn Thursday in the middle of the trial, without the defense even having to present its case.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman issued a “directed verdict” when prosecutors finished their case, ruling that Kuhn was acting in self-defense when he shot Frank “Buzz” McCaslin near Churchill Downs last year.

Defense attorney David Lambertus asked that the case be dismissed after the prosecution finished putting on evidence in the trial, which is normal. However, it is rare – especially in a murder trial – for a judge to grant a directed verdict and not allow a jury to hear the case.
 

How have states responded to the gun control debate?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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With efforts by the Obama administration to toughen gun laws stymied in Congress, states and some cities are stepping into the void, passing laws on both sides of the fiercely contested issue.

After the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., states including New York and Connecticut passed stricter laws, banning assault weapons and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines. This week, a federal appeals court upheld the key provisions of those laws, the first time such state bans have been ruled constitutional.
 

Guns are here to stay
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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My earliest understanding of guns was formed by television westerns. (It was the Fifties. It was eastern Kentucky. There were three channels. There was nothing else to watch.) Those shows were moralizing, and the moral was always something to the effect that if you have to carry a gun to show you’re a man, you can’t be much of a man.

People had guns. My grandfather’s pistol, secreted in a bureau drawer that I never investigated, was kept less for protection than for use against varmints, like the groundhogs that treated the vegetable garden like a buffet.* It was an innocent time.

Today weaponry is one of the most intractable issues in national politics, and the issue must be understood under a number of categories, summarized here.
 

Small Game Hunters Succeed with High-Impact, Low-Noise Quiet-22 Segmented HP
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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CCI Ammunition reminds hunters and shooters that it has turned down the volume with the Quiet-22 line of rimfire ammunition.

This means stealthy small game hunters will enjoy more success using the company’s high-impact, low-noise hunting option: Quiet-22 loaded with extremely effective segmented, hollow-point bullets. Quiet-22 cartridges generate 75 percent less perceived noise level than a standard velocity .22 long rifle round.
 

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “The Second Amendment and Gun Violence”
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For those who need a reminder that there's no one out there quite like Richard Epstein, we present the newest episode of The Libertarian podcast: one in which Richard argues that the Supreme Court got its famous Second Amendment in decision in District of Columbia v. Heller wrong, but also that the gun control measures usually advocated for by the Left are essentially useless. This one will get people talking.
 

NY: Second Amendment rights will prevail
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled that the SAFE Act does not infringe on Second Amendment rights. This was not an unsurprising ruling from this court, notoriously liberal and in favor of gun control laws, but was disappointing. As this case continues to the highest court in our nation, however, I believe Second Amendment Rights will prevail.
 

OR: Ballot measure in Coos County seeks to nullify new gun laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Voters in a rural Oregon county will vote next month on a ballot measure that seeks to prohibit enforcement of new gun laws.

The decision to hold the election in Coos County follows the state Legislature’s vote earlier this year to require background checks for private, person-to-person gun sales.

The move angered gun-rights advocates and prompted a backlash in much of rural Oregon.

...

The initiative seeks to prohibit the use of county funds to enforce the state background-check mandate or new gun restrictions in the future. It also directs the sheriff to determine whether gun laws violate the state or U.S. constitutions.
 

If This Firearms Legislation Goes Through, Legal Gun Owners Will No Longer Be ‘Silenced’
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A new bill aimed at loosening restrictions on firearm suppressors is making its way through Congress in an effort to slightly expand the scope and strength of the 2nd Amendment.

The Hearing Protection Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Matt Salmon R-Ariz., would eradicate a $200 tax stamp for suppressors. The legislation would also remove the suppressors from restraints set forth by National Firearms Act.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed the legislation on Thursday in a statement from Chris Cox, the executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action:
 

ID: Idaho School District Buys Guns, Trains Teachers To Shoot
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In reaction to school shootings like the one in Roseburg, Oregon earlier this month, some have called for reexamining “gun-free zones” on campus. But one K-12 school outside of Boise, Idaho has taken a different tack, arming itself and training some staff members how to use a gun.

Garden Valley School District, a rural district with just 200 students, voted earlier this year to purchase four rifles and 2,000 rounds of ammunition for self-defense.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Greg Alexander, the district’s principal and superintendent, as they enter their first school year under the new policy.
 

“You Don’t Need To Aim A Shotgun” Says The Moron
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When the topic of using shotguns for home-defense roles around, I repeatedly hear the same comment from gun store commandos and Internet know-it-alls.

“You don’t need to aim a shotgun. You just point it towards the bad guy and pull the trigger.”

Otherwise sane and intelligent people repeat this comment without ever questioning it. They’re laughably, demonstrably wrong.

Through some weird a quirk of fate, esteemed gun writer Tamara Keel and I just happened to be disproving that falsehood several states away from one another yesterday at the same time while working on two very different projects.
 

The NRA is bound to fall
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Why? The answer is in the numbers.

Support for, and opposition to, gun control is closely associated with several demographic characteristics, including race, level of education and whether one lives in a city. Nearly all are trending forcefully against the NRA.

The core of the NRA's support comes from white, rural and relatively less educated voters. This demographic is currently influential in politics but clearly on the wane. While the decline of white, rural, less educated Americans is generally well known, less often recognized is what this means for gun legislation.
 

OH: Perry County grand jury exonerates man charged with murder
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A 23-year-old Glouster man accused in the death of a Corning resident has been cleared of charges of murder and felonious assault.

Brandon Keith was first charged in July in the death of 55-year-old Fred Fisher. The Perry County Prosecutor’s Office presented the case to a grand jury Monday which included an additional murder charge. After hearing the case, the grand jury decided not to return an indictment, exonerating Keith.
 

FactCheck: Trump ‘hears’ Obama wants to take your guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Donald Trump says he “heard” that President Obama “is thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away,” claiming that he “read it in the papers.” None of the major newspapers in the country has reported that.

Here are the facts: The Washington Post reported that Obama is considering an executive order that would expand the number of gun sellers required to subject buyers to background checks. Such an action wouldn’t take anyone’s guns away.
 

Lucky Gunner Unveils Treasure Trove of Ballistic Data
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The team at Lucky Gunner just published a collection of handgun ballistic data that’s shedding a ton of light on pistol ammo performance for shooters.

The handgun ammo tests, which cover 117 different handgun loads in 380 ACP, 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP feature penetration depth, retained weight, diameter, and velocity data. There are a number of high-resolution still photographs and high-speed video snippets detailing the performance of each load while entering a fresh block of synthetic ballistic gel after passing through four layers of fabric.
 

Pistol designed for women and the disabled rolls out this year
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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With the approval of federal regulators (and for a short time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration), a handgun designed specifically for those with limited hand strength will roll out its initial production run before the end of the year.

Constitution Arms, a New Jersey company that owns the patented design, recently said it is producing 500 units of the .38-caliber Palm Pistol in December. The company describes the gun as “an ergonomically innovative single shot self-defense firearm” that’s oriented for both lefties and righties.
 

6 Reasons new Ruger Charger is the ultimate survival pack gun
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Sure, there will be naysayers given the title alone. Though I’d hesitate to pack “only” a 22LR caliber rifle when a larger caliber may surely be needed at some point for say, bears and meandering hoardes, this is one gun I want in my pack. Here are six reasons why the new, modular, threaded, Ruger Charger Takedown is the ultimate survival pack-gun.
 

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

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The Second Amendment was written to repel tyranny in government. That is why it is in the Bill of Rights. The right to bear arms is a result.

A tyrant government is afraid of people having the right to bear arms because other than voting, bearing arms is the only power the people have.

There is no reason law abiding citizens should not be allowed to bear arms. It is the mentally ill, thieves and thugs, who need to be controlled.
 

NC: Second Amendment arguments should stick to issue
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Re: the column, “Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment,” (Oct. 20), the writer comments that, “We often hear those opposed to the private ownership of firearms propose repealing the Second Amendment be repealed . . .” I am in favor of controls on the availability of weapons and attentive to arguments pro and con the issue, but the only people I have heard suggest that control advocates favor repealing the Second Amendment are advocates of unrestricted gun ownership. The idea that gun control advocates seek to repeal the Second Amendment is a straw man, used to paint control advocates as anti-constitutional radicals.
 

ME: Media should clarify news, not muddy the waters
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The news as we understand it depends on who’s spinning the story on any given day. The mainstream news media usually spins left. The general public considers this normal as they don’t know differently.

A great example of my point is the newspapers coverage of Maine’s new constitutional carry laws. Instead of leading the front page on Oct. 15 with an article headlined, “Concealed firearms law called ‘misguided’,” this newspaper just as easily could have spun this new law to express its support for strengthening our Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.
 

Gun culture still strong in the US, polls find. But that may be changing
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Strong criticism from gun control advocates over the past year – which came amid a spate of mass shootings nationwide – has done little to dampen Americans’ support for the National Rifle Association (NRA) or opposition to tighter gun control measures, two new surveys have found.

A majority of US adults continue to have a favorable opinion of the NRA, a new Gallup poll found, while more than half of Americans now oppose stricter gun control laws, according to a CNN/ORC poll.
 

DE: Cities, towns banning firearms in public buildings
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun owners openly carried firearms to Newark City Council meetings beginning more than a year ago both to protest the city's desire to ban them and to point out that, under state law, they were free to do so.

Last summer, with the General Assembly's assent and Gov. Jack Markell's signatures, that changed for every municipality and county in the state. Now, a handful of local governments have taken advantage of the state permission slip to ban the open carrying of firearms into public buildings. Law enforcement personnel on official business are exempt.
 

LA: Some parents give kids easy access to guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The 1:30 a.m. phone call told Ashlyn Melton her son Noah was in trouble.

The mother from Addis, Louisiana, near Baton Rouge, got in her car immediately and headed to her son's best friend's house where he was staying the night. She expected to hear the eighth-grade boys had toilet-papered a house or committed some other minor prank.

When she pulled up to the house, she noticed first the caution tape, police and the coroner's vehicle. Her son was dead, shot by his best friend who had pointed a loaded gun at him and pulled the trigger.
 

FL: Pinellas Sheriff Fights Open-Carry Bill with Bad Info
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It is important to remember that this is a reversal of their position from when we passed the Right to Carry law in 1987. At the time they opposed the concealed weapons licensing law. They claimed they didn’t like “hidden guns.” They said if they had to allow citizens to carry guns, they wanted to be able see them so they would know who had guns. Now, they say hidden guns are okay, but if they see a person openly carrying a gun they won’t know if that person is a criminal.
 

FL: Pinellas Sheriff fights open-carry bill with bad info
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In a Q&A style interview published Wednesday on the Palm Beach Post’s opinion blog, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who chair’s the Florida Sheriff’s Association’s legislative committee, spelled out his opposition to SB 300, the “Open Carry” bill, which is moving forward in the legislature.

I interviewed him for this story, and we spoke about his comments in the Post’s Q&A interview.

The sheriff bristled somewhat when I asked if he was a Second Amendment supporter.
 

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