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Newslinks for 12/15/2018

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Feel-Good Laws are Getting Us Killed
Submitted by: Robert Morse
Website: http://slowfacts.wordpress.com

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It is uncomfortable to look at evil. We were so afraid of bad feelings that we passed laws to make us feel better. We can blame our politicians for passing feel-good laws, but the people we elected were doing what we told them to do. We made a mistake and we got people killed.

We called them gun-free zones, but they weren't. Now, what do we do?
 

FL: Police Cleared To Use ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Siding with a Broward County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a man, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that law-enforcement officers can use the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law to be shielded from prosecution.
Justices upheld the dismissal of a manslaughter charge against Deputy Peter Peraza, who contended that he acted in self-defense and, as a result, was immune from prosecution under “stand your ground.” Peraza in July 2013 shot Jermaine McBean, a man with a history of mental illness who had pointed an air rifle at officers, according to the Supreme Court.
 

Senate Has One Week To Approve House Bill On Concealed Handgun Carry Reciprocity
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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We were never so close to realizing the right of the American people to defend their lives and well-being with a firearm as we were with the passage of national concealed handgun carry reciprocity by the Republican controlled House in December 2017.

Upon passage of 115 H.R. 38 in the House, the bill was immediately sent to the Senate. With the Senate’s vote of approval and with President Trump’s signature, nationwide concealed handgun reciprocity would have become a reality.

As of yet, that hasn't happened.
 

Fourth Circuit Rejects Libel Claims over Misleading Edits in Katie Couric's "Under the Gun"
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the unedited footage, Couric's background check question prompted approximately six minutes of responses from the VCDL members. Hawes responded by suggesting that the government cannot, consistent with the Constitution, prevent crimes through prior restraint. Webb commented that background checks are unlikely to prevent motivated criminals from obtaining guns or committing crimes. These responses were followed by approximately three minutes of related discussion between Couric and the panel. Rather than use these responses, the filmmakers spliced in b-roll footage taken prior to the interview in which Couric asked the VCDL interviewees to sit in silence while technicians calibrated the recording equipment.

 

AK: Know Your Rights: Guns in Alaska
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For decades, advocates and opponents of wholesale gun rights have debated whether the amendment only applies to a “well-regulated militia” like the National Guard, or is a personal right that every person has.

“I think people need to understand how that sentence is constructed,“ says Eddie Grasser, one of Alaska's foremost gun-rights advocates. He says the sentence implies that Second Amendment rights belong to the individual.

As it turned out, the U.S. Supreme Court said the same thing about a decade ago in a firearms case from Washington, D.C. — the “Heller” case.
 

News Flash: Michael Bloomberg Not a Fan of the First Amendment, Either
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor and billionaire patron of the Nanny State, may be gearing up for the presidential race in 2020. He gave the idea of running as an independent candidate “serious consideration” in 2016, but ultimately decided against it.

A recent Washington Post story on Mr. Bloomberg’s potential 2020 bid highlighted what it called his “disturbing attitude toward the First Amendment,” which safeguards, among other things, freedom of speech and freedom of the press from government interference.
 

IL: Rhonda Ezell Shows the Windy City That Guns Matter
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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However, there is still no gun range in Chicago, an effort Ezell is just as passionate about as her Second Amendment advocacy. “There is no specific ‘why’ there isn’t one. It’s just that people haven’t found the right location. A lot of people are concerned about being overtaxed. This is Chicago. Once again, it will be a political thing. You have to strategically find the area that you want to put it in, and a lot of people are concerned with how much taxes will they be taxed in the city of Chicago to build a range. I get that. But at the end of the day, a gun range is needed.”
 

PA: Pa. officials make moves on guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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They aren’t starting at the top. They aren’t addressing federal regulation. They are doing what is in reach, proposing a ban on assault rifles within Pittsburgh city limits.

Pittsburgh, after all, is where authorities say Robert Bowers opened fire with an assault rifle and hand guns, murdering 11 people in a house of worship. Two police officers were shot responding. It makes sense that a community so profoundly affected would want to take steps to respond.

But will it work?

A state law prevents cities from taking gun laws into their own hands. That’s where Wolf and the legislators came in, vowing to take action to roll that back.
 

Allowing the State to Search Gun Seekers’ Social-Media Accounts Is a Terrible Idea
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I’m no lawyer, but I do understand what words mean, and as such I’m having a hard time understanding how this bill could even come close to being constitutional. Are people who use biased language (and I’m talking actually biased language, not innocuous things like “you guys”) jerks? Of course they are. But the thing is, the Second Amendment does not say that you have a right to keep and bear arms unless you’re a jerk. It doesn’t say that you have a right to keep and bear arms unless you make a sexist joke. It says you have a right to keep and bear arms, period. So, as much as I may hate people who are jerks, I don’t see how it would be constitutional to deny them the right to protect themselves just because they’re jerks.
 

Mass Shooting Myths Dispelled
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But John Lott, at the Crime Prevention Research Center, has taken the critique a bit further. His team tried to duplicate Lankford’s research and found—surprise!—that Lankford considerably underestimated the number of mass shootings abroad. Lankford said there were about 90 over a 46-year period; Lott’s crew found thousands, leading them to believe that Lankford didn’t use foreign languages to search for data and that no translator cross-checked the information.
 

Draconian Gun Control Does not Reduce Gun Numbers or Homicide Rates
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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People under those governments actively resist those laws. In spite of a century and a half of stringent restrictions on gun ownership, the number of guns in private hands has risen significantly.

The Small Arms Survey has created the best estimates of the number of small arms in private hands in other countries of the world. The number increased from 650 million in 2006 to 857 million in 2017.
 

SD: Coming up in Pierre
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A measure set for debate in South Dakota’s upcoming legislative session would allow concealed pistols inside the state Capitol.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm told The Associated Press this week that he plans to propose a bill similar to an unsuccessful 2017 measure that would have allowed people with an enhanced permit to bring concealed handguns into the building if they registered beforehand with security.

It’s unclear how such a plan would fare under Republican Gov.-elect Kristi Noem’s administration.
 

FL: James Greenwood found not guilty of murder in 'stand your ground' shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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James Greenwood, a Beulah man who was charged with murder for shooting his estranged stepfather Al Jones, was found not guilty Friday.

In a week-long trial, jurors heard testimony that in November 2014, Greenwood, 37, shot and killed Jones as he broke into the Mobile Highway home they had once shared.
 

NJ: Million Plus NJ Gun Owners Defy State Law, Refuse to Turn Over Banned Gun Mags
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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New Jersey's standard capacity magazine ban is now in effect making New Jersey's one million gun owners criminals in the eyes of the state. But in an act of mass definace, New Jersey residents refuse to comply.

Any magazine holding more than ten rounds is now illegal in the Garden State. The standard magazine for an AR-15 holds 30 rounds. Glock 19s, which is the most popular pistol in the United States, holds 15 rounds. Anyone who is possession of larger magazine is committing a fourth-degree felony.
 

CA: California Department of Justice Releases First Set of Proposed Ammunition Sales Regulations
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Today, the California Department of Justice released the first in a series of regulatory proposals regarding the mandatory background check process when purchasing ammunition, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2019. A direct result of the enactment of both Proposition 63 and Senate Bill No. 1235, the proposed regulations address basic regulatory definitions and the required information to be submitted when purchasing ammunition in California. Additional regulations are expected to be proposed in the coming months.

NRA and CRPA attorneys are currently reviewing the proposal and will be providing additional information to our members shortly.
 

PA: Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yesterday, we reported that it was likely that sweeping gun control measures would be proposed in Pittsburgh. Today, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto held a press conference to propose a trio of anti-gun city ordinances that, if enacted, would constitute a direct violation of Pennsylvania’s state firearms preemption law and Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent. At the event, Peduto was joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who benefitted from $500,000 in spending from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety during his 2018 re-election bid, and City Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger.
 

Securing Second Amendment Support in the Suburbs
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When they write the accounts of how the battle for the Second Amendment was decided, it’s not just going to be about the court rulings. It’s also going to focus on whether those court rulings took hold, or if they got overturned down the road.

Yes, folks, the Supreme Court has been known to change its mind. In 58 years, the Supreme Court changed its mind on the legality of “separate but equal.” While Brown v. Board of Education overturning Plessy v. Ferguson was a good change, it is also a warning with regards to the Heller and McDonald rulings.
 

NH: Mass shootings show ‘militia is not ‘well-regulated’
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Michael Dow writes frequently and eloquently in defense of the Second Amendment. I am writing to ask Mr. Dow to kindly explain exactly what, in his view, the Founding Fathers meant by the preambe “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” Those are the words of the Second Amendment that precede the words gun rights supporters are so fond of quoting. Mr. Dow asserts that the Constitution is a static document that must be taken word for word exactly as written. OK, then. Please explain those words, if the Founding Fathers witnessed a nutcase firing a sporting weapon into a crowd, they would consider that to be poorly regulated.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves. — Winston Churchill

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