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Newslinks for 12/20/2004

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Federal laws increasingly target local crimes
Submitted by: motoboy

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"A federal judge yesterday sentenced an Alexandria, Va., man to life in prison for the shooting death of a Treasury Department employee, one in a growing number of cases in which prosecutors are using tougher federal laws to target traditionally local crimes." ...

"Defense lawyer Michael Lieberman objected vehemently. Noting that Alexandria's chief prosecutor was in the courtroom as a spectator, Lieberman suggested that the judge didn't have a right to impose any sentence at all. 'I don't believe it is the place of this federal court to sentence Mr. Williams for a state crime,' he said." ...

"Federal laws are being increasingly used nationwide in a variety of cases once left to local authorities. Much of the trend is being driven by Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Bush administration initiative that subjects gun criminals to tougher federal sentencing laws and helps local authorities fight gun crime. It is partly modeled on Project Exile, a Virginia program begun 1997 to crack down on gun violence in Richmond."

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All with the NRA's blessing...
 

National ID may be in the cards
Submitted by: Robert Lewis

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"Privacy advocates worry that provisions buried in the intelligence bill President Bush is to sign Friday will lead to a national identification card."

"Little-noted measures included in the legislation that reshuffles intelligence agencies order states to begin issuing new fraud-proof birth certificates, and new driver's licenses with standardized data encoded on them are set for 2006."
 

Nearly half of all Americans support restricting rights
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll."

"The survey conducted by Cornell University also found that Republicans and people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support curtailing Muslims' civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less religious."

"Researchers also found that respondents who paid more attention to television news were more likely to fear terrorist attacks and support limiting the rights of Muslim Americans."
 

Study: Guns, poisons easy access in homes where children visit
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Many U.S. residents who have younger children at home are negligent in storing guns and poisonous materials, but those whose homes children only visit are significantly worse, according to a new study."

"The study, conducted by UNC's Injury Prevention Research Center investigators, showed that in 55 percent of homes where young children lived, household chemicals were stored in places accessible to those children. Such compounds were not secured in 74 percent of homes where children were only visitors..."

"One third of U.S. gun owners with children under age 6 kept a firearm unlocked at home whereas guns were kept unlocked in 56 percent of homes where children visited, Coyne-Beasley said. ..."
 

Study: 1 in 4 kids flicks features firearms
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The last thing you probably worry about when your youngster is clamoring to see the latest kids movie is gun violence."

"Yet, as many as one in four children's movies from 1998 through 2002 featured firearms, a new study finds. Surprisingly, even movies with an innocuous G rating weren't exempt from such displays."

"The study found that few of the movies showed the consequences of gun use."
 

Gene Healy: Making A Federal Case Out of Almost Everything
Submitted by: Robert Lewis

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"We've drifted far from that understanding. Congress's power to 'regulate Commerce...among the states,' which was designed to eliminate state-level trade barriers, has become a limitless font of federal power, used to regulate or criminalize behavior better left to the states or the civil law."

"With commerce clause limits eviscerated, almost anything can be a federal crime. We've gone from a Constitution that mentions only three federal crimes (treason, piracy, and counterfeiting) to a federal criminal code with over 4,000 separate offenses, some of them stunningly trivial. In 2002, President Bush signed legislation making it a federal crime to move birds across state lines to engage in fights. The ban on cockfighting joined such notable federal crimes as interstate transport of unlicensed dentures (punishable by up to a year in prison), tampering with an odometer (up to three years), and pretending to be a member of the 4-H Club (up to six months). ..." ...

"But out-of-control federalization is only rarely amusing. It brings serious costs. In addition to the trivial crimes mentioned above, Congress has federalized a host of ordinary street crimes already covered by state criminal codes, crimes like arson, carjacking, and gun possession by felons. Shunting these cases into federal court causes huge delays to civil litigants and unsustainable pressure on the federal courts. ..."
 

Homeland Insecurity: You Can’t Fix Stupid
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Tom Quinn heads up the Federal Air Marshal Service under the Department of Homeland Security. The air marshals he commands are supposed to secretly ride on passenger airplanes unnoticed and be ready to thwart any potential future hijackings. The key word here being 'unnoticed.' "

"Alas, Quinn has mandated a dress code for air marshals which, as T.J. Bonner of the Border Patrol describes it, 'makes them stick out like a sore thumb.' Nevertheless, agents have reportedly been told, 'You wear a sports coat, or you wear a suit coat, or you look for another job.' "

"Even if that means 'blending in' with passengers decked out in Jimmy Buffet shirts and Panama hats on a plane bound for Miami in July?"
 

Jennifer Freeman: Calling All Criminals
Submitted by: Liberty Belles
Website: http://www.libertybelles.org

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"San Francisco City Supervisors sent out a beacon this week alerting criminals all over the world that by January 2006 the people of San Francisco will, undoubetdly, have voluntarily disarmed themselves making the city an easy target for violent crime. A measure to ban the sale, ownership, and possession of handguns and ammunition will be placed on the San Francisco ballot in November 2005, thanks to the efforts of City Supervisors Chris Daly, Michela Alioto-Pier, Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty and Matt Gonzalez."

"The fact that the measure is blatantly un-Constitutional and, therefore, illegal, is not necessarily a deterrent to San Francisco city voters who have a track record of thumbing their collective noses at anything that resembles the building blocks of this great nation. What is surprising, however, is the total lack of foresight that an action of this kind would have on a city of such diversity during a time of war." ...

"By suggesting a ban on handguns as a solution to the increasing murder rate, the City Supervisors imply that all murders are caused by handguns. However, the City has failed to provide any evidence to support this theory. Certainly Diane Whipple, who was mauled to death by her neighbor's dogs, could be alive today if she had ready access to a handgun. There is no telling how many other victims might be alive today if only they had adequate means to self defense."
 

Ron Paul: Congressman too truthful
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The other day, I made a huge 'gaffe' on national TV: I told the truth about the crimes of the U.S. Government. As you can imagine, the ceiling fell in, and a couple of walls too. Congressmen are supposed to support the government, I was told. Oh, it's okay to criticize around edges, but there are certain subjects a member of the House of Representatives is not supposed to bring up. But I touched the real 'third rail' of American politics, and the sparks sure flew."

"I was interviewed on C-SPAN's morning 'Washington Journal,' and I used the opportunity, as I do all such media appearances, to point out how many of our liberties have been stolen by the federal government. We must take them back. The Constitution, after all, has a very limited role for Washington, D.C."
 

Geoff Metcalf: An Individual Right
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Notwithstanding the itching and moaning and gnashing of teeth from the left wing radical fringe, it is an empirical fact that our God given inalienable right to keep and bear arms is FACT." ...

"Even, liberal darling and Harvard Constitutional Law Professor Laurence Tribe acknowledged the obvious in 1999 (and again the mainstream media silence was deafening). Tribe is arguably the most influential living American constitutional scholar. In 1999 he concluded, 'the federal government may not disarm individual citizens without some unusually strong justification.' "

"Tribe confirmed it includes an individual right, 'admittedly of uncertain scope,' to 'possess and use firearms in the defense of themselves and their homes.' "
 

PA: Teen kills attacker at Fayette County home
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A 17-year-old boy killed a man who had kicked in the front door of a Fayette County home early Saturday and begun beating another man, state police said."

"The teen retrieved a handgun from inside the North Union home and shot the 21-year-old man who had been hitting Jerome Zuzak, 39, of Dunbar, Fayette County, repeatedly in the head, face and upper body, state police said. Authorities identified neither the shooter nor the victim." ...

"After the teen shot the man once, he struggled to the front door, fell and died at the scene, police said."
 

UK: Armed robber strikes again
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"POLICE in Ipswich are today linking two attempted armed robberies by a balaclava-clad gunmen."

"McColl's newsagents, in Stoke Park Drive, was raided at approximately 10pm yesterday by a man brandishing a silver handgun."

"The hold-up came just hours after a nearby store, in Greenfinch Avenue, was the target of an armed robbery - and Suffolk police have today confirmed they are linking the incidents."
 

Dave Workman: `Twas the night before Christmas
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"When all of a sudden there came such a jolt,
I grabbed for my Mossberg, and whipped out my Colt.
As I spilled Hodgdon's powder all over the shelf
I scrambled for cover, just to protect myself"

"From up on the rooftop, came hoofbeats and snorting
Like the noise out of L'il Rock, from Clinton's cavorting!
I eased off the safety, to press-check my auto
With 230-hardball, I'd knock 'em all blotto"
 

UK: Taxi gun horror rocks Shankill
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A taxi-driver cheated death yesterday when two gunmen blasted his cab . . . as horrified festive shoppers dived for cover."

"The cabbie - who works for north Belfast depot Call-A-Cab - picked up two male passengers and took them to Lawnbrook Avenue, off the Shankill Road, just before 3pm."

"But, as the men leapt out of the cab, they fired up to five shots into the taxi - narrowly missing the terrified driver."
 

UT: Wasatch County Sheriff's Office Investigates Taser Death
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"An autopsy was performed on Meldrum's body this morning... to find out what killed him."

"Meldrum was tased by police twice yesterday after leading officers on a chase...and then resisting arrest."

"During a struggle, police say Meldrum punched one officer in the face...and to pull Meldrum out of his truck...one officer fired his taser stun gun...50-thousand volts of electricity shot flew out of the gun attached to Meldrum."

"Police say Meldrum was able to cut loose...which caused officers to tase him again."
 

FL: New law spawns questions over concealed weapons
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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Note:
Use the following information to access this story:
Site email: Newslinks@keepandbeararms.com
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Must have cookies turned on for it to work.

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"Collier County sheriff's deputies estimate that one in every three cars they stop on the interstate have guns somewhere inside, said Capt. Michael Hedberg, the Sheriff's Office attorney. And that number could soon spike, thanks to a new federal law allowing off-duty and retired police officers to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the country." ...

"Almost five months later, police, city and county leaders across the country are trying to figure out how it will work and whether they may be hit with civil lawsuits if local police cannot immediately determine if the person claiming to be a cop actually is and legally may carry a gun in his belt or her purse."
 

ID: Police recover stolen badge
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"An 18-year-old Twin Falls man is facing charges of burglary and possession of stolen property after being arrested in connection with the break-in of a police officer's home."

"Tips from the public led authorities to Jake J. Degarmo, who had in his possession a stolen Twin Falls Police Department detective badge, according to police."

"Last Tuesday, a burglar broke into a detective's home in southeast Twin Falls, making off with a department-issued gun and badge, as well as approximately $500 worth of personal items."

"Police received a tip that Degarmo was 'flaunting' the stolen weapon and badge, police say."
 

FL: Police use stun gun on 12-year-old boy
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Police used a Taser on a 12-year-old boy who attacked another special-needs student, the third time this fall authorities in South Florida have used a stun gun on children."

"Police said the student was Tasered on Dec. 10 after he tried to stab another student with a pencil on a school bus, then kicked and threatened an officer."

"The boy was charged with several offenses, including aggravated assault and resisting a police officer with violence. He was released from custody."
 

NY: Wholesalers targeted in toy gun settlement
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A settlement with major national wholesalers has pulled thousands of toy guns that violate New York state law from shelves, many of them from a new target: Costume shops."

"The wholesalers were estimated to have distributed more than 12,000 toy guns in 2001 alone in violation of a state law that previously had been applied only to retailers." ...

"Spitzer said the distributors sold toy guns that violated a 15-year-old state law that bans realistic toy guns unless they had permanent, usually inch-wide orange stripes running down both sides of the barrel."
 

SC: Columbia officials say gun buyback makes city safer
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"With residents worried about recent shootings, Columbia leaders are working to get guns off the street."

"Saturday, the city exchanged guns for cash for anyone turning in their gun, no questions asked. City leaders say the program prevents crime." ...

"Devine saw some dangerous weapons at the buyback. She said they, 'got weapons that have serial numbers filed off, some automatic assault weapons. Certainly, those are weapons that shouldn't be anywhere in the city of Columbia.' "
 

ID: Purist aims for accuracy in making black-powder firearms
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Phil Johnston gave up hunting several seasons ago."

"When packing his kill out of the woods became more work than the thrill of the hunt was worth, he decided it was time to give it up."

"But he remains dedicated to muzzleloader rifles -- so much so that he crafts his own black-powder firearms in the basement of his Orofino-area home."

"While relating how he got interested in muzzleloaders and then started making guns, he slowly carves a maple stock, making room for the patch box." ...

"When one of his sons brought home a small cannon he made in metal shop, Johnson got interested in making his own weapons."
 

IL: The right to keep carrying
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Some Central Illinois police departments are moving ahead to comply with a federal law that allows retired veteran police officers to carry concealed handguns." ...

"The idea appears to be popular among retired officers. About a third of the roughly 800 retired officers from the Illinois State Police have expressed interest, said spokesman Lt. Lincoln Hampton, adding the agency is in the process of writing standards for the program." ...

"However, the law is raising some questions in Illinois, one of just five states that prohibit private citizens from carrying concealed weapons in public. ..." ...
 

I am finished (Blog)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"As the title of this post says, I am finished. From my viewpoint, the right to bear arms no longer exists. I tried to resist this encroachment and remain inside the color of law. I failed and am left fighting to simple stay out of jail."

"All lawyers I contacted need $1500 to take the case and none were pro-2nd Amendment. If anyone knows of a pro-2nd lawyer in Spokane please contact them or me."
 

UT: Workplace gun bans come under fire
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Employers have long banned guns from the workplace as part of a violence-prevention strategy, but those policies are being tested as states pass laws making it easier for residents to carry concealed guns - in some cases, crafting legislation that strikes down employers' attempts to keep guns off company property."

"That means employers, who have traditionally shied away from such politically charged issues as gun control, are filing lawsuits to preserve their no-guns-allowed rules. Gun owners also are fighting back, boycotting companies that ban guns or fire workers for having them." ...

"The ability of companies to ban guns in their parking lots is coming under strong attack. ..."
 

AK: Inspecting inspectors on TSA tour at airport
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Last week Corky Caldwell took me on a little tour of the Transportation Security Administration's inspection facility at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport."

" 'These folks are professionals,' he said. 'We're really proud of the job they're doing, and we back it up with rigorous training and an emphasis on customer service.' "

"Customer service? From the TSA?"

" 'Believe it or not, we get comments from folks all the time that our screeners have great attitudes and travelers appreciate the job we're doing,' said Caldwell, who took the job at TSA earlier this year after nine years as an airport administrator."
 

AZ: Unfortunate events befall police room
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"In this short column alone, 2,300 charming orphaned firearms will be abandoned in the property room, and 20 cheerful guns simply will disappear."

"It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant highlights of a city report called "Police Department Property Room Audit Report No. 0401," but there is nothing stopping you from putting down this column at once." ...

"If you know anything at all about the unlucky Scottsdale Police Department, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery."

"Such was the case with an honorable city auditor named Cheryl Barcala, who recently looked into the unlucky property room and a dreary off-site storage locker."
 

NC: Aunt of man shot dead [in self-defense]: Officers treated family rudely
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://home.comcast.net/~bruce.krafft/

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"The aunt of Billy Ollen Terrell, who died from gunshot wounds on Dec. 7 after fighting with his girlfriend's father, said her family was treated rudely by law enforcement officers when they sought answers about the shooting."

"Terrell, 25, died after a struggle with Tom Cooper, at the home where both men and Cooper's daughter, Lauren, lived in northwestern Orange County. After discussing the case with Orange County sheriff's investigators, Orange-Chatham District Attorney Carl Fox said no charges would be filed against Cooper. He called the shooting a combination of self-defense and an accident." ...
 

CA: OC Gun dealer scentenced to 45 days in jail for possessing Assault Weapons
Submitted by: Blacksnake

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"An Orange County gun dealer was sentenced to 45 days in jail for possessing assault weapons after authorities seized 90 firearms from his store, prosecutors said." ...

"Yampolsky was arrested in November last year after authorities seized assault rifles, shotguns and pistols, and grenade launchers at a Laguna Niguel shooting range and gun store he managed."

"He faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted on 20 charges filed in connection with the raid. Yampolsky had no criminal record and there was no evidence he sold or fired illegal weapons, Chrisopoulos said." ...

"California's ban on assault weapons went into effect in 1989, and a similar law was enacted at the federal level in 1994. The federal law expired earlier this year."
 

MA: Cops: 7th-grader was dared to bring gun
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A Sandwich seventh-grader confessed that he was acting on a dare when he brought his father's 9 mm pistol to school, police said." ...

"The 13-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld because he's a juvenile, brought the unloaded Llama Omni handgun - safely trigger-locked - into the K-8 Forestdale Elementary School on Wednesday, and showed it to at least three people, O'Connell said."

"He took the gun home and returned it to its proper place - but was caught the next day by school officials who followed up on a tip from the school's 'rumor mill,' O'Connell said. The boy's father told police he didn't know the gun was missing."
 

CA: LA hospital could lose federal funding over police stun gun use
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"LOS ANGELES Health inspectors are again warning that South Los Angeles' King/Drew Medical Center could lose nearly 200 (m) million in federal funding for allowing police to use Taser stun guns to subdue mental patients."

"Federal officials warned the troubled hospital last June against relying on police to shock aggressive patients with jolts of electricity."

"But the Los Angeles Times reports that, despite the hospital's pledge to limit the practice, inspectors found last month that staff summoned officers -- who used a taser gun to control a patient without trying adequate measures first."
 

MO: Franklin Elementary students caught with a gun
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Two second-grade boys at Franklin Elementary School were charged yesterday with felony possession of a firearm on school property, a day after one of the boys brought a .22-caliber pistol to school in his backpack and let the other boy handle it."

"The charges were brought in the form of juvenile petitions."

"An investigation is continuing into how one of the boys was able to bring it to school. Authorities said yesterday that they aren't sure who owns the gun."
 

MI: Island Lake gun range case opens old wounds
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The gun ranges at the Island Lake Recreation Area are open once again to shooters."

"Last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a November ruling by 44th Circuit Court Judge Daniel Burress. Burress ordered the range shut down before a trial on charges that the range repeatedly violated the township's 65-decibel noise ordinance."

"The appeals court, in a short statement, ruled that "the lower court abused its discretion" by ordering the range closed before holding a trial. A trial isn't expected for months. The decision means that, for now, the range will be open for business."
 

OH: Our airport is among the strictest
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Security officials at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport may be some of the strictest when it comes to punishing travelers for taking banned items through checkpoints."

"Nearly 11 percent of the major fines issued nationally in the past 12 months by federal aviation security officials were levied against those caught here for having banned items found at checkpoints and in checked luggage."

"Local Transportation Security Administration officials also caught a Wyoming man in May trying to sneak through a 3-inch pocketknife twice within 15 minutes. He pleaded guilty late last month to a federal misdemeanor charge and agreed to pay a $5,000 fine."
 

Meanings of liberal, conservative go beyond dictionary definitions
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Liberals favor group rights over individual rights; conservatives hold the opposite view." ...

"Liberals tend to be suspicious of corporations and profit-making and believe expanded government programs are the solution to the nation's problems. Conservatives seek expanded capitalism, reduced government and resolution of problems through the private sector whenever possible."

"Liberals want to banish guns as dangerous, ignoring the reality that criminals won't obey the law. Conservatives see firearms as citizen protection provided for by the Constitution."
 

SC: Police buy back 300 firearms (Alternate Report)
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Nearly 300 guns were taken off Columbia’s streets Saturday as part of Gun Amnesty Day, the first the city has hosted in a decade."

"People lined up in the parking lot of Capital City Stadium to turn in weapons — no questions asked — in exchange for cash."

"Columbia Police Chief Dean Crisp said many gun owners are starting to re-evaluate whether their weapons are more trouble than they’re worth." ...

"Officials were encouraged by the response to the buyback, which eventually cost more than $10,000. At one point, police ran out of cash and had to go get more."
 

Gaza: Rules and signs can't keep gunmen out of Gaza Strip
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Dozens of gun-toting Palestinian militants marched into a U.N. ceremony to dedicate homes for families whose houses were destroyed by the Israeli military — a sign of the authority gunmen still hold in this West Bank town."

"The sudden appearance last week of Zakaria Zubeidi, the 29-year-old militant leader, and at least 20 of his armed men embarrassed the head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the body that administers Palestinian refugee camps."

"Weapons are banned in the camps, but during four years of violence, armed gangs have taken control, building their reputations through deadly attacks on Israelis. The unarmed Palestinian police have been shunted aside."
 

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