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Newslinks for 12/20/2007

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A Gala Event
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Hollywood stars Will Ferrell, Amy Brenneman, Jeffrey Ross, James Whitmore and Peter Weller all turned out for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence event..."
"I never heard of Brenneman and Ross, Whitmore I've known about for a long time, but 'Elf' and 'Robocop' are disappointments, although not unexpected when you consider the universe-revolves-around-my-navel outlook of the elites."

"I love the sensitivity of these Brady clods: they just get done talking about 'Mary Read, who was tragically lost in the Virginia Tech massacre,' and segue right in to 'Comedian Jeffrey Ross performed a hilarious routine at the end of the evening." ...
 

John Longnecker: Militia, you say..? Arms Within Easy Reach.
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Today, we are having a debate we should never have. We are squabbling about the force which backs our authority under our system. Can you imagine some people actually rooting for the disarmament of the force which backs their very Citizen Authority in this country?"

"They root for the disarmament of the people in the name of safe streets. What they fail to realize is that armed citizens make for safe streets, and disarmament makes for unsafe streets – a boondoggle for the industries which thrive on violence. Today, the anti-violence movement is, itself, predatory." ...
 

Liberals actually love guns
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The conventional wisdom says that liberals hate guns. Actually, the opposite is true. Hillary Clinton proves the point. She advocates nationalized healthcare."

"Huh? What does that have to do with guns?"

"Everything."

"Nationalized healthcare would not be voluntary, which means that it would be required and depend on government force for compliance. This means it would be backed up by government agents with guns. For enforcement."

"Under nationalized healthcare, if a physician were to refuse to participate in the system and set up his own practice, he'd be fined ... Eventually, if he continued to treat patients outside of the socialized system, he'd be arrested by agents with guns. Liberals support this pro-gun approach." ...
 

Cal Thomas: The right to stop killers
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"I have been waiting for this to happen. For years we have witnessed the carnage when innocents were mowed down at schools, colleges, shopping malls and post offices. The unarmed (disarmed?) were easy targets for crazed gunmen armed with grievances and weapons."

"Now someone has shot back, probably saving many lives. All of the gun-control laws that have been passed and are still being contemplated could not have had the affect of one armed, trained and law-abiding citizen on the scene like 42-year-old Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs." ...
 

U.S. Small Firearms and Ammunition Market Shoots Up 10% in 2007
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"With higher uncertainty about personal safety and security enticing new owners and driving current owners to add to their existing gun collections, a new report estimates the U.S. market for small arms and ammunition at $4.9 billion in 2007, an increase of 10% over 2006. By 2012, the market value will achieve $6.5 billion, according to market research publisher SBI's Small Firearms and Ammunition Market in the U.S."
 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court 2nd Amendment Case
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case in which a 31-year-old Washington, D.C. handgun ban was overturned by a U.S. District Court. The District Court ruled that the ban violated the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, and the Washington city government is appealing this decision. This case is important to gun owners everywhere because the Supreme Court will be interpreting the language of the 2nd Amendment – specifically, whether it enumerates an individual right to keep and bear arms. Thus, the results of this case could be either a great victory or a devastating defeat for gun owners, and we need to employ every weapon at our disposal in fighting this decisive battle." ...
 

Rebuttal On Commentary/Westroads Mall Tragedy
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A reader commented on my lack of common sense on the issue of gun control. Perhaps my mindset is irrational by modern day standards, but I make no apologies for my stance on our right to bear arms as stipulated by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States."

"To be more precise, there will always be some form of gun control in any armed society. Some people simply dislike or fear firearms ..." ...

"... To have an individual tell me that I'm not permitted within certain parameters to carry a firearm is one thing, a personal matter between me and that person, but to have any government entity restrict ... gun ownership represents a loss of that freedom for not just the individual, but for society as a whole." ...
 

Brady Campaign Praises Senate for Action on Brady Background Checks
Submitted by: Idaho Ordnance
Website: http://www.id-ord.com

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"Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement:"

"'We commend the United States Senate for its action today to strengthen the Brady background check system by passing the 'NICS Improvement Act of 2007' (H.R. 2640).'"

"'The Virginia Tech killer was able to arm himself because the court order that should have blocked his gun purchase was not reported to the Brady background check system. This is why many of the families of those killed or injured on April 16 joined with us on October 16 to push for passage of this legislation.'" ...
 

Congress OKs Va Tech-Inspired Gun Bill
Submitted by: John Fenter

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"Congress on Wednesday passed a long-stalled bill inspired by the Virginia Tech shootings that would more easily flag prospective gun buyers who have documented mental health problems. ..."

"Passage by voice votes in the House and Senate came after months of negotiations between Senate Democrats and the lone Republican, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who had objected and delayed passage."

"It was not immediately clear whether President Bush intended to sign, veto or ignore the bill. If Congress does not technically go out of session ... the bill would become law if Bush does not act within 10 days."

"'This bill will make America safer without affecting the rights of a single law-abiding citizen,' said the Senate's chief sponsor, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer." ...
 

Pelosi: 'Congress Takes Step Forward in Improving Gun Background Check System and Making Our Nation Safer'
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this evening after the House passed Senate amendments to H.R. 2640, the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, which will now go to the President for his signature:"

"The tragic shooting at Virginia Tech in April starkly demonstrated that serious gaps exist in the transmittal of background records, allowing thousands of people who are barred from acquiring guns to escape proper background checks."

"The legislation Congress passed today with strong bipartisan support is a step forward in improving the gun buyer background check system and making our nation safer. ..." ...
 

The Second Amendment Means ...? (multiple letters)
Submitted by: Chris Campbell

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... "Adam Freedman has exposed the legal perversity of interpreting our Constitution in reference to its antiquated punctuation. It seems obvious to us nonlawyers that the Second Amendment ... was written as the nation's militia was being drawn from the general population and given the right to bear weapons, with the aim to be ready to serve." ...

"With regard to the meaning of the Second Amendment, Adam Freedman hints at an even simpler understanding of the framers' intent: if they had not meant to establish militias as the basis and mechanism for the right to bear arms, they simply would have said, 'The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'" ...
 

Gun Lobby Hijacks Bill Intended to Improve Gun Buyer Background Checks
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Leading national gun violence prevention organizations today warned that a bill intended to improve the records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) -- the national system used to screen gun buyers -- has been hijacked by the gun lobby and would now do far more harm than good."

"The 'NICS Improvement Act' passed today by the Senate would:"

"-- Resuscitate a failed government program that spent millions of dollars annually to allow persons prohibited from buying guns to regain the ability to legally acquire firearms. ..." ...
 

Firearms Industry Statement on Passage of NICS Legislation
Submitted by: Idaho Ordnance
Website: http://www.id-ord.com

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"The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association of the firearms industry, welcomes the passage of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Act of 2007 in the U.S. Senate earlier today. ... Under the legislation states would either be rewarded for providing appropriate mental health records to NICS or penalized for refusing to turn over such data ..."

"NSSF has long supported an instant background check on firearms purchases– support which predates that of any other group, including the nation’s most radical gun ban organizations. ..."
 

Senate Passes Va Tech-Inspired Gun Bill
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The Senate on Wednesday passed a long-stalled bill, inspired by the Virginia Tech shootings, that would more easily flag prospective gun buyers who have documented mental health problems and help defray the cost to the states."

"The voice vote was the result of months of negotiations between the sponsors and the lone senator, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn, who had objected and delayed passage."

"The bill now goes back to the House ..."

"The measure would clarify what mental health records should be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System ... and give states financial incentives for compliance. The attorney general could penalize states if they fail to meet compliance targets." ...
 

Congress Approves First Gun Control Bill Since 1993
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The first U.S. gun control law since 1993 was approved by Congress on Wednesday, more than six months after it was fist introduced in response to the deaths of 32 Virginia Tech students by a deranged gunman."

"The bill was approved in the House and Senate by voice without any objections, even from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) ... Senate Democrats negotiated with Coburn to amend the measure according to his concerns."

"Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), the measure's main sponsor, said the passage was 'the best Christmas present' she could receive. McCarthy ... pushed the legislation in April, after Virginia Tech senior Seung-Hui Cho killed 33 students including himself using guns he was able to buy despite a history of mental illness." ...
 

DC: Singer quits as attorney general
Submitted by: Brent Greer
Website: http://thereadyline.blogspot.com

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"D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer resigned yesterday, as lawyers in her office prepare to defend the city's 30-year-old ban on handguns before the Supreme Court."

"Mrs. Singer, whose office has handled appeals in the case since a federal court struck down the gun ban in March, informed Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of her decision in person yesterday."

"Her resignation is effective Jan. 5."

"'We very, very much appreciate the hard work of Attorney General Singer, and we wish her the best,' Mr. Fenty said."

"Mrs. Singer, 41, did not offer a reason for stepping down in a letter of resignation to Mr. Fenty, instead referring to accomplishments made during her one-year tenure." ...
-------

See Brent Greer's commentary here.
 

FL: Police: Armed intruder shot by resident in Palm Coast
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"A man was shot to death Tuesday night outside a home on Pheasant Drive after a gunbattle with a resident of the home, authorities said." ...

"[Deputies] found what appeared to be a case of self-defense initiated after the man entered the home 'uninvited,' ..."

"The two residents, Sean Christopher Adams, 22, and a woman whose name was not released, told investigators the man entered their home through the unlocked front door. Adams 'grabbed a gun and fired it at the intruder,' ..."

"The intruder ran toward the door, turned around and fired a gun at him, Adams told investigators."

"Adams returned fire, and the intruder tried to flee but collapsed and died outside the front door, sheriff's spokeswoman Debra Johnson said." ...
 

FL: Black driver shot 2 whites in self-defense
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"With one wielding a knife, two men pounded on Hygens Labidou's roofing truck and shouted racial epithets, authorities said."

"'N-----, get out of the truck!' they allegedly snarled, according to a copy of a 911 tape released Tuesday. One of the men, six feet tall and 350 pounds, tried to pull Labidou from the truck."

"Moments later, Labidou, fearing for his life, pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic gun and fired, wounding the two Cooper City men -- one fatally -- in the middle of a busy Deerfield Beach intersection."

"Labidou, 49, of Wellington, will not be charged because he acted in self-defense, the Broward Sheriff's Office said." ...
 

TX: Horn case draws international attention
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Talk and speculation about last month's shootings is not limited to just within Pasadena city limits."

"The case of Joe Horn, the 61-year-old homeowner who reportedly shot two suspected burglars after the pair subsequently broke into his next door neighbor's residence the afternoon of Nov. 14, has garnered much of the American public's attention."

"Stirring discussion as to whether the computer consultant should stand trial for his alleged role in the deaths ... shares water cooler time alongside the sympathy shown toward Baby Grace and the disappointment expressed over the Mitchell Report."

"From Malibu to Manhattan, many honest opinions are formed about the incident ..." ...
 

NE: Gun Permit Applications Rise Since Westroads Shooting
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Applications for permits to buy handguns have more than doubled in Douglas County since the Westroads Mall shootings."

"More than 100 applications have gone through the sheriff's office since the shootings."

"After the nine deaths at Von Maur, people spoke repeatedly of the shock, fear and helplessness that they felt. ..."

"Some residents may be responding to their fear, filling out handgun permits and signing up for target practice."

"'What we're seeing now is people wanting to defend themselves, be able to defend themselves,' said Douglas County Chief Deputy Marty Bilek."

"Bilek said his department issued 43 certifications in the week before the shootings -- in the week following, they issued 105." ...
 

Thompson: Rivals lack experience in foreign policy area
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Most of the top Republican candidates for president don't have the foreign policy experience to handle the dangers the United States faces, Fred Thompson told Gannett News Service Tuesday."

"'The fact of the matter is that among the so-called top candidates, John McCain is the only one with any experience in these areas,' Thompson said in an interview." ...

"Asked about the Second Amendment, Thompson said: 'I consider good gun control as a real steady aim.'"
 

Some candidates earn their NRA endorsement; Mitt Romney just makes his up
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The 2008 presidential primary season started earlier than ever this go 'round, allowing candidates an extraordinary amount of time to test which brands of makeup best covers their anti-gun warts."

"I've made no secret of the fact that I am skeptical of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney's election year conversion to support for gun rights. ..." ...

"From the Washington Post:"

"Maybe it was the pressure of the moment. Being under the Tim Russert spotlight can get to anyone. Under Russert's grilling about guns on this morning's "Meet the Press," former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney claimed an endorsement he'd never won." ...
 

Texas senators pushing to allow guns in national parks
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Texas' two senators have signed on to a budding national effort to let visitors to national parks pack heat."

"Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo is leading the charge, calling on the secretary of the interior to overturn rules that prevent people on certain federal land -- including most national parks and wildlife refuges -- from carrying loaded guns." ...

"'These inconsistencies in firearms regulations for public lands are confusing, burdensome and unnecessary,' Crapo, a Republican congressman, wrote in a letter to the Interior Department. 'These regulations infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.'" ...
 

Senator Saxby Chambliss responds on Sullivan's confirmation
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"I have been asking gun owners to submit their responses from their responses from their Senators, regarding ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan's confirmation. So far we have received letters from Bob Casey and Barack Obama. The following is the response from Charlie Harman, who is Senator Chambliss' Chief of Staff."

"'We have some other issues we are working on. Obviously, there areothers who are taking action that is agreeable to you. For now, since this bandwagon is full, we are going to be on the sidelines.'"
"I was disappointed to see this, especially from a Senator, who has an A rating from GOA and NRA. ..." ...
 

Another victim of Maximum Mike and the ATF
Submitted by: Idaho Ordnance
Website: http://www.id-ord.com

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"I have recently began speaking with Bill Akins of Akins Accelerator, the following article was just released on his story. For 2 years Akins had been allowed do manufacturer his product, then months after ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan took over they decided that it was illegal and ordered Akins to cease production. Sullivan further addressed their decision in the last paragraph of the letter that he submitted to the National Ombudsman."

"The arrogance of the ATF is shown in the following comment:"

"'That's the bottom line is that we believe it's a machine gun, Drew Wade, ATF spokesman said. End of story. (By the way I just put in a call to Mr. Wade's voice mail at (202) 648-8500)" ...
 

PA: DUI crusader is busted for drunk driving
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Pennsylvania's former top cop has been busted for drunken driving."

"Paul J. Evanko, a Lancaster County native who led a campaign against DUI during his eight years as state police commissioner, was charged with the offense Monday after a crash in suburban Harrisburg Friday night."

"Evanko's blood-alcohol level was 0.183, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, according to a complaint filed by Lower Paxton Township Police Officer Donald McCurdy."

"Police smelled alcohol on Evanko's breath after his 2005 Honda Accord sedan rear-ended another car in Linglestown, which is about six miles east of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, at about 10:05 p.m., police told WHTM TV." ...
 

FL: Officer Drove Drunk In Police Car
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

An off-duty Miami-Dade police officer has been arrested on a drunken driving charge.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Officer Jeffrey Janish was in police uniform when he was pulled over and arrested early Tuesday on one count of driving under the influence. He had been speeding in his police car on Florida's Turnpike, swerving from lane to lane, according to the FHP.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office booking center, Janish's blood alcohol level was about three times the legal limit.

Janish is a 24-year-veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

A Miami-Dade police spokesman says Janish has been relieved of duty with pay pending the investigation.
 

CA: LAPD officer charged with grand theft
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Los Angeles police officer and his wife pleaded not guilty to grand theft charges after prosecutors accused them of trying to cash a forged money order."

"Eric Jennings ... is charged with three felony counts—forgery, misappropriation of lost property and grand theft of personal property. If convicted, he faces up to three years and eight months in state prison." ...

"Prosecutors said Jennings found a blank $1,000 money order in August and cashed it by forging a friend's name. They added that the victim had given the money order to Gadson, an apartment manager, for rent."
 

DC: MPD Officer Charged in Child Sex Sting
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Metropolitan Police Department officer has been arrested and charged in a federal child sex sting."

"Thirty-nine-year-old Kenneth L. Longerbeam appeared in U.S. District Court in D.C. on Wednesday to face charges of attempted enticement of a minor."

"Longerbeam was arrested Wednesday as he came into the District. Investigators say Longerbeam had arranged through a cooperating witness to meet a 14-year-old boy for the purposes of having sex. The criminal complaint alleges the cooperating witness and Officer Longerbeam exchanged numerous text messages Tuesday night discussing details of the planned sexual encounter." ...
 

NJ: Judge rejects bid to sidetrack Prosecutor DeFazio
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A judge yesterday dismissed an 11th-hour motion to replace the Hudson County prosecutor leading the criminal investigation of the Hoboken police chief and a superior officer."

"Attorney Louis Zayas, representing the five Hoboken cops who filed the discrimination lawsuit, argued yesterday that Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio has a long-standing relationship with Police Chief Carmen LaBruno and that he should be removed from the investigation." ...

"State Superior Court Judge Peter Vazquez refused to remove DeFazio from the investigation, telling Zayas that his clients, as witnesses, had no right to request that a new prosecutor be appointed." ...
 

NY: Tuffey and Safety Commitee Discuss Missing Machine Guns
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Albany's police chief says there are as many as five machine guns still unaccounted for in the ongoing probe of city officers who bought guns for their personal use."

"Chief James Tuffey met with the city's Public Safety Committee Tuesday night to answer more questions about the missing firearms."

"A recent internal investigation uncovered that back in the 1990's, a number of officers used the department to purchase assault rifles at discount prices. Tuffey says no disciplinary actions will be taken, because it was so long ago ..." ...
 

UK: Man 'Tasered Until He Wet Himself'
Submitted by: none

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"Police are investigating a complaint that a man who later proved to be unarmed and innocent was repeatedly blasted with a taser until he wet himself."

"Daniel Sylvester, the 45-year-old owner of an east London security firm, was driving home on October 20 when he was stopped by armed police."

"Mr Sylvester ... got out of his car and was surrounded by officers, of which at least two carried automatic weapons."

"Without warning one officer fired a 50,000 volt taser into the back of his head, he claimed."

"Mr Sylvester added that he was shocked again, causing him to fall on his face and break a front tooth, and a further six shocks made him wet himself."

"His car was then searched by officers and sniffer dogs, who found nothing." ...
 

Angola: Angolan actors 'killed by police'
Submitted by: none

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"The director of an Angolan crime film says police have shot dead two of his actors after mistaking them for real armed robbers."

"The duo were carrying unloaded firearms as they filmed a scene in a rough suburb of the capital ..."

"He said police roared up to the set and began shooting at close range."

"Angolan officials have not commented on the incident. Mr Ribeiro says he had permission to film in the area."

"Mr Ribeiro told AFP that police arrived at the scene in a pick-up truck and 'started shooting at everybody at close range'." ...

"The officers then stopped firing and left without attending to the wounded, who were taken to hospital, Mr Ribeiro said."
 

CA: Using lead endangers health of most wildlife
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Those of us old enough to have hunted waterfowl with lead -- and witness the early days of mandatory non-toxic shot -- are seeing eerie similarities in California's proposed ban on lead shot and bullets in areas frequented by its troubled condor population."

"I was, along with virtually everyone I knew at the time, initially skeptical of the need for non-toxic shot, despite the documentation of waterfowl deaths from lead poisoning in the landmark 1959 Belrose Study."

"Skepticism grew to cynicism during the early days of steelshot and its varied deficiencies. That feeling lessened somewhat with the advent of other alternatives ..."

"But let's make it clear that those objections were purely personal, based on passion and ignorance rather than research." ...
 

AL: Gun rights opponents distort Madison's intent
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Thank you for the recent column 'Targeting gun rights.' This column presented the argument for legal gun ownership relating to the upcoming Supreme Court case, due next spring. ..."

"In one of his columns George Will once wrote that gun banners were going to have to 'deconstitutionalize' the Second Amendment if they were to succeed in banning private ownership of firearms. Since they can't do that, they have attempted their next best ploy, asserting that the Second Amendment applies only to arming the militia and not to ordinary citizens."

"This ridiculous interpretation flies in the face of every known fact about the intent of the Second Amendment and of the Bill of Rights itself." ...
 

NC: Gun shop has nothing to do with violence
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"To the writer of the Dec. 4 letter about a gun shop being too close to school, the mere presence of a gun shop anywhere in no way suggests or encourages violence. For the writer to suggest that the shop being near the school automatically encourages teenagers to become violent is ridiculous."

"Guns don't kill or hurt people. People do."

"Guns have many purposes in our world. They can be a weapon for personal self- defense and for our military and law enforcement to defend our country. They can also be a tool for those who enjoy hunting and feeding their family with their harvest." ...
 

PA: Pittsburgh To Host National Rifle Association Convention
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

The National Rifle Association's national convention is coming back to Pittsburgh.

The city will host the NRA in 2011.

City leaders say the NRA’s good experience with the 2004 convention here is the reason it decided to come back. Vice President Dick Cheney was the keynote speaker at the 2004 convention.

Craig Davis of ‘Visit Pittsburgh’ said, "They had a fantastic convention in 2004, a record breaking convention in which they brought 61,000 members. And the reason why they chose to return to Pittsburgh is because they have so many of their members in this area."

Davis expects the convention to bring in more than 11-million dollars.
 

UK: The law will help protect our have-a-go heroes, says Straw
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Jack Straw yesterday pledged to give more legal protection to 'have-a-go heroes' who confront burglars or other criminals."

"The Justice Secretary claimed his measures would give the public greater confidence they will not be prosecuted if they use 'reasonable' force to defend themselves or their property."

"However, they were immediately condemned as a 'hollow gesture' that effectively restates existing laws."

"Critics said key points were simply copied word-for-word from case law on self-defence and reasonable force." ...
 

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