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SC: Charlotte church offers gift cards in exchange for guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Thirty years ago, John Kee carried several kinds of guns with him for protection while selling drugs in north Charlotte’s Double Oaks community: a .38-caliber pistol, a 9-millimeter handgun or a sawed-off shotgun.

Now the 51-year-old leads a church in that neighborhood, New Life Fellowship Center, which just completed its seventh annual Christmastime program of offering gift cards in exchange for people dropping off their guns at the church.

Kee offered a simple reason for the program. “I want to clean up what I poisoned.”
 

AZ: Police urging people to holster their guns this New Year's Eve
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Police officers, civic leaders and members of various community groups are once again reminding people that firing guns into the air is no way to welcome the new year.

This ongoing campaign against random celebratory gunfire started with the death of Shannon Smith in 1999. Just 14 years old, Shannon was in the backyard of her Central Phoenix home talking on the phone when she was struck by a random bullet. She died instantly. The bullet that killed the teen was fired into the air more than a mile away from her home.
 

Philippines: La Union cops start sealing guns for holidays
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Policemen in La Union had their gun muzzles sealed to support the national government’s campaign against indiscriminate firing during the Holidays.

The service firearms of 35 policemen were sealed during a ceremony at the Camp Diego Silang here after Monday’s flag-raising ceremony.

Senior Supt. Ramon Rafael, La Union police provincial director, said gun muzzle-sealing was done simultaneously in all police stations in the province.
 

Here’s How Some States’ Gun Prevention Laws Are Failing to Protect Citizens
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A New York Times report that analyzed more than a thousand police and court records in cases involving mental illness exposes several gaps in state gun violence prevention law. The reporters portray the investigation as underscoring “how easy it is for people with serious mental health problems to have guns.” But what the investigation actually reveals is how lax state gun laws allow those with a known history of violent propensities — who have also interacted with the mental health system — to retain access to guns. Here are four of the ways some states remain vulnerable from gun possession by those who have exhibited dangerous behavior:
 

CA: Gun better protection than phone
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I have a question for you and your readers. If you hear a window breaking or door kicked in, indicating a home invasion, what do you do?

At your bedside you have a handgun and telephone. Which one do you pick up? How long is a 9-1-1 response in your area? Enough said — period.
 

Guns & safety: The facts
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For all the attempts by liberals to infringe on citizens' Second Amendment rights, gun ownership soared from 192 million firearms to 310 million between 1994 and 2009 while the murder rate among Americans decreased by nearly half.

And those statistics are not from the National Rifle Association. They're from the government's own Congressional Research Service.
 

CO: Colorado sees record number of gun background checks in 2013
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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December will close out Colorado's busiest gun-buying year on record, thanks in part to legislation that now requires background checks for private firearm transfers.

In the first 11 months of 2013, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation completed 354,880 background checks, compared to 335,940 for all of 2012, an increase of nearly 19,000 checks with December -- usually the busiest month for gun purchases in the U.S. -- still to go.
 

CA: West Covina council to review gun buyback program
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A gun buyback program scheduled for Jan. 25 will get reviewed at the next City Council meeting after one member raised concerns about evidence getting destroyed.

The Police Department’s gun buyback program promises “no questions asked” — but Councilman Mike Spence said the lack of checks could cause problems.

“Unintentionally or intentionally, that gives the opportunity for guns to be given in West Covina — that we pay for — that could have been used in a crime,” Spence said.
 

Gun Control Lobby Takes Note Of Opposition's Success
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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For gun control advocates hoping to see federal gun laws tighten after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., 2013 was a disheartening year. A narrow provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate.

For gun rights activists, the death of that legislation proved once more their single-issue intensity and decades-long grassroots organizing were enough to prevail. Those are also valuable lessons for their opponents.
 

NY: Gun Laws and the Mentally Ill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I have been stunned on many occasions by the inability of the legal and mental health systems to deal effectively with people with untreated mental illness and their guns. In our country, a person with untreated schizophrenia and a history of violence has the “right” to bears arms. This ridiculous situation developed as a result of Second Amendment zealots on the right and patient-rights zealots on the left finding common cause. Politics makes strange, and in this case dangerous, bedfellows.
 

IN: State lawmaker proposes letting school boards decide on arming teachers
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A little more than a year after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that killed 20 children and six adults, a state lawmaker is proposing a piece of legislation that would let school boards decide if school employees should be armed on the job.

However, officials with North Penn and Souderton schools have said they’re not looking at arming teachers and staff at this time, instead focusing on enhancing school building safety through technology and training them on what to do during an active shooter scenario.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. — John Stuart Mills

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