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Newslinks for 2/17/2011

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Grassley to Holder: ATF refused to answer specific questions in briefing
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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... "This demonstrates the senator is serious about this and will not tolerate willful noncompliance. It also marks a serious miscalculation on the part of ATF bureaucrats and their Department of Justice handlers, and has produced what, for them, is no doubt the unintended consequence of steeling Grassley's resolve to pursue his investigation over all attempts to refuse cooperation." ...
 

FOIA request filed with ATF over Grassley ‘Gunwalker’ briefing
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Freedom of information Act (FOIA) request is being sent today via return receipt mail to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for 'all documents, to include agendas, presentations and handouts containing information regarding the briefing of Senator Charles Grassley by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in response to his Feb. 9, 2011 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.' Per the request:" ...
 

WA: Case clearly not ‘closed’ in ‘Seattle woodcarver’ shooting
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Today’s announcement by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg that criminal charges will not be filed against Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk in the Aug. 30, 1010 shooting death of woodcarver John T. Williams will leave many people doubting the criminal justice system, and it is clear that this case is still not 'closed.'"
 

Anti-gun IL lawmakers seeking power to effectively halt ALL (legal) gun buying?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Gun rights blogger Thirdpower notes today the Catch-22 that some legislators in Illinois (and elsewhere) would like to impose on firearms commerce:"
"When I've countered that while the same time the push is for all sales to go through FFL dealers, there is a simultaneous drive to reduce and eliminate as many firearm dealers as possible, I'm called paranoid." ...
 

Hunters’ Rights Special Session at NRA Annual Meetings
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Special Session devoted to hunters’ rights issues will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the NRA’s 140th Annual Meetings in Pittsburgh, Pa."

"Threats to hunter’s rights are escalating—and diversifying." ...
 

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Launches Nationwide Drive to Call Attention to Broken Gun Background Check System
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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"Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched the FixGunChecks.org Truck Tour in New York City's Times Square. The FixGunChecks.org truck features a mobile billboard that will travel the country for two months to draw public attention to the deadly problems in the nation's gun background check system. ..." ...
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KABA Note: But according to The Brady Bunch the system is hugely successful. "Since 1994 [through 2009], the Brady Law has stopped over 1.9 million criminals and other prohibited people from purchasing firearms from licensed dealers". Of course they count every NICS denial as a 'stopped criminal purchase'.
 

Updated Summary, Narrative, Condensed Timeline and Document Sources of the “Project Gunwalker” Scandal.
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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... "There are now five separate but connected accusations against ATF and DOJ officials in what has been dubbed 'Project Gunwalker':"

"First, that they intentionally allowed to perhaps as many as 3,000 firearms 'walked' across the U.S. border into Mexico. Second, that they instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to gunrunners. Third, that they intentionally withheld information about U.S.-sanctioned gun smuggling from the Mexican government. Fourth, that one of the guns ATF allowed or helped to be smuggled into Mexico was involved in the death of CBP Agent Brian Terry. Fifth, that they are, now in tandem with the FBI, involved in covering up ATF and DOJ culpability in items One through Four." ...
 

Senator Grassley's latest letter: The street agents react. Did Acting Director Melson really call Senator Grassley an "[expletive deleted]"?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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... "I love that he (Grassley) is coming after Newell and Gillette. ATF had plenty of warning that these guys are dangerous decision makers and did nothing. No one at ATF is surprised that this got so out of hand under their inept guidance. . ."

"The word is coming out that Melson is calling Grassley an [expletive deleted] and telling people that Grassley is wrong and has no right to be asking ATF these questions. I guess he doesn’t believe in our government's system of checks and balances." ...
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Submitter's Note: The expletives aren't deleted in the original post . . .
 

NY: Jeweler has blast with thugs
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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"A Bronx jewelry-store owner turned the tables on armed thugs who tried to rip him off yesterday -- blasting them with a gun he had stashed in a safe, police said." ...
 

PA: Pujols claims he fired fatal shot in self-defense (video available)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Johan Pujols said he fired his gun as a last resort after backing away from a group of men who punched him, bloodied his nose and ripped off his wristwatch outside a Hazleton nightclub 16 months ago." ...

"Prosecutors David Pedri and Frank McCabe ... asked Pujols why he testified that he never intended to shoot anyone, yet wore a gun on his ankle all that night." ...
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KABA Note: Hey Mr. Prosecutor, over 100 years ago (1894) the Supreme Court ruled in Thompson v. United States that arming oneself for self-defense does not constitute premeditation. Mr. Pujols was found not guilty of all charges save involuntary manslaughter.
 

PA: Ex-Temple Law student not guilty in shooting (video available)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A Philadelphia jury has acquitted a one-time law student of shooting a man six times in an after-hours sidewalk argument downtown."

"Gerald Ung had faced attempted murder and other charges in the January 2010 shooting in Old City, a neighborhood filled with nightclubs and bars." ...
 

Wal-Mart's fires employees for stopping armed shoplifter
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Four Wal-Mart's employees were fired for violating company police and not walking away from a shoplifter with a gun in a back room of the store." ...
 

NY: NYPD big Joseph Fox: I wish we caught murder suspect Maksim Gelman sooner
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"An NYPD chief who attended the funeral Tuesday of a mother and daughter fatally stabbed in Brooklyn said he'll always be pained by not catching the suspect sooner." ...

"Maksim Gelman, 23, fatally stabbed his mother's boyfriend to death before killing the Bulchenkos and, later, a pedestrian, police said." ...
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SUBMITTER'S COMMENT: "But I'll bet my gold stars you proles never get the privilege of using firearms to protect yourselves!"
 

Switzerland: Swiss Voters Turn Back Gun Control Referendum
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"On February 13 voters in Switzerland turned back a proposal that would have tightened controls on firearms possession and use in a country where a large share of the homes have at least one gun and where learning to shoot and handle a rifle for defense of country (as well as sport) is a right of passage for every Swiss male." ...
 

FL: Candidates find common ground at debate
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Despite all the rhetoric that has been tossed around in the past few weeks, Ben Meyers and Dave Schneider share many of the same views when it comes to student rights."

"The two candidates for student body president ... dished it out Wednesday night ..." ...

"On the issues of block tuition, guns on campus and taxi cab fees, the candidates agreed they need to stand up for student rights."

"Meyers ... said that while many appreciate the rights protected by the Second Amendment, guns don’t belong on campus." ...

"'Guns on campus puts us on the wrong track,' Schneider said." ...
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Submitter's Note: Actually those statements are the exact opposite of "standing up for student rights".
 

AZ: ASUA passes gun resolution
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The ASUA Senate passed a resolution at its meeting on Wednesday night against four separate bills in the Arizona Legislature that would allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus and inhibit the university's ability to prevent carry on campus." ...
 

PA: Policy misfire
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Duquesne administration decided Wednesday to change the University's policy so that campus visitors can no longer bring guns or other concealed weapons onto campus to store them in the Public Safety building during their visit."

"Considering Duquesne's recent history with outside visitors bringing guns to campus, the policy change is about four years overdue." ...

"In the Feb. 26, 2009 shooting ... an Oakland teenager held up three high school students in the Forbes Garage and shot at them when they ran away, missing ..."

"That was not the case for the shooting on Sept. 17, 2006, when five Duquesne men's basketball players were shot on Academic Walk. ..." ...
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Submitter's Note: Seriously? Seriously?!? Do you actually believe that a "policy change" would have prevented those shootings? What color is the sky in your world?
 

Interview with Senator Rand Paul
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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... "CARLSON: All right. Senator, let me ask you this about the Patriot Act because it was actually voted in for a 90-day extension after the first vote failed."

"First of all, you voted against it. Correct?"

"PAUL: Yes."

"CARLSON: All right. So I want to know why you did that and then why it wasn't a permanent extension."

"PAUL: Well, you know some conservatives are big defenders of the second amendment. I am. Some liberals are big defenders of the First Amendment. And there are some of us who believe the whole Bill of Rights ought to be defended."

"And really I don't think you can protect the Second Amendment if you don't believe in the Fourth Amendment." ...
 

Female Lawmakers Carry the Banner for Gun Control
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Republicans and conservative Democrats have ambushed bills limiting firearms since 1994, but two veteran Congresswomen think it's time to try again." ...
 

NV: CCW permit requirements under review by state Senate Judiciary Committee
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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... "The bill was introduced by Senator James A. Settelmeyer (R – Capital Senatorial Dist.) and Senator John J. Lee (D – Clark County 1) in a bipartisan effort to bring Nevada into alignment with other 'Shall Issue' states regarding conceal carry permits. Under existing law, a person who applies for a permit to carry a firearm concealed is required to list each specific semiautomatic firearm to which the permit will pertain, however does not need to list each specific revolver. Nevada is the last state in the union to require individual weapons qualifications." ...
 

IN: Gun interests trump local concerns
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Two headlines, two pages apart, same newspaper, same old problem."

"On Page B2 of Wednesday's edition of The Star, local residents were given the reassuring information that police plan to crack down on illegal gun toting in Downtown."

"On B3, readers learned of the advancement of efforts in the state legislature to deny local government the authority to address the problem of guns." ...
 

WY: Krone says gun bill is compromise
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A Cody legislator hopes a bill he introduced to the Wyoming House strikes a balance between Second Amendment rights and the sanctity of private property."

"At issue is whether employees should be allowed to keep firearms in their vehicles on company property." ...
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Submitter's Note: My vehicle, my property, including what is in it. You can't ban Korans, liquour, cigarettes or any other lawful but potentially 'objectionable' items, what makes gun-owners' rights less important?
 

UT: Utah gun-permit bill wins final OK
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"The Legislature gave final approval Monday to a bill that would require out-of-state gun owners who seek a Utah concealed-weapon permit to first obtain a permit from their home states, if available." ...
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KABA Note: It is nice to see, in these tough economic timess when so many states are facing serious budget problems, that Utah has enough excess cash that they can tell out of staters "No thank-you, we don't want your money."
 

SC: SC may allow concealed guns without permit
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A House panel on Thursday will take up a bill that would allow anyone who can legally own a firearm in the state to carry a concealed weapon without a permit." ...
 

IA: Iowa City votes to ban guns on city property, buses
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Leaders in Iowa City voted Tuesday evening to ban guns on city-owned property and buses. Other communities have approved similar measures in response to a recent loosening of Iowa’s gun restrictions." ...
 

Gun lobby stands firm in opposing Obama's ATF nominee
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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" Andrew Traver, nominated to lead the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, faces a powerful foe on the road to Senate approval: the National Rifle Association." ...
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Submitter's Note: And the Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, the National Sport Shooting Foundation, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and literally dozens of other national and state level civil rights groups.
 

Court rules officer justified in stopping man who ran from him
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A federal appeals court has ruled the constitutional rights of a Las Vegas man were not violated when a police officer handcuffed and searched him after he ran from the officer." ...
 

PA: Police conduct cited in lawsuits
Submitted by: Anonymous

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... "... One Middletown officer placed a bumper sticker on a window declaring, in green letters, 'Say 'No' to Drugs . . . Busted . . . Middletown Police Department,’' while a task force officer leaned a photo of Perry, discovered in the search of her bedroom, on the window frame near the sticker."

"But the drugs were not hers, Perry insists. Drug charges against her were withdrawn at a hearing."

"Now, Perry has filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. Middle District Court against the officers, Middletown Borough, the task force and the force’s supervisors, charging they humiliated her with the sticker and the photo, which she claims was a picture of her nude." ...
 

CA: Man Shot By Police Preparing To Sue (video available)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A Sacramento attorney has taken the first steps toward a lawsuit against the city of Elk Grove after a police officer shot his client, a hand-cuffed man in the back of a patrol car."

"'The only thing that would make it more egregious is if the officer was a better shot,' said Stewart Katz, the attorney representing Elk Grove resident John Hesselbein." ...
 

WA: Review Board Finds Seattle Police Shooting Unjustified -- Officer Won't Face Criminal Charge, Prosecutor Says
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A Seattle police firearms review board has found that Officer Ian Birk's shooting of a Native American woodcarver was unjustified, and that he should 'remain stripped' of police power."

"The Firearms Review Board unanimously concluded the shooting was 'outside of policy, tactics and training.' ..."

"The review comes after King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said he won't file charges against Birk in the shooting death of John T. Williams." ...
 

MA: Swat Team Arrests Glen Street Man Without Incident
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Melrose Police called in a regional swat team to assist in the arrest of a Glen Street man on Saturday afternoon, after police learned that the man had at least two guns inside his home." ...

"'[Family members] reported to us that her husband had a license to carry firearms and did indeed have at least two firearms in his possession,' [Melrose Police Lt. Mark DeCroteau] said, adding that it was 'at least two handguns and ammunition.'" ...
 

NJ: Brutality or Necessity? Local Cops Investigated After YouTube Video Surfaces (video available)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Did police brutalize a college student during an arrest, or did they use justified force? That's the question that a New Brunswick Police Department investigation hopes to answer now that new YouTube video has surfaced of the arrest." ...

"Police also tell PIX 11 News that more video of the arrest exists, some of which comes from dashboard cameras of police cruisers on scene. Police say the additional video will show that officers did not use unnecessary force." ...
 

WA: No mention of officer's kick in police report
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Seattle police said uniformed officers wasted no time reporting the incident in which an off-duty officer was caught on tape kicking a handcuffed assault suspect in the head."

"But the Problems Solvers have learned prosecutors and attorneys for the assault suspect and his accused accomplices never learned of the incident until a month later." ...
 

UK: UK police justify attack on student protester (video available)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A police officer can clearly be seen throwing a punch to the side of an unidentified man's head before manhandling and dragging him into a nearby police van."

"But the police say the officer acted appropriately." ...
 

Canada: Victoria police officer won't be charged after kicking a suspect on video (video available)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A Victoria police officer will not be charged in connection with kicking a man who was on the ground and who appeared on a video not to be resisting arrest."

"Today (February 11), the criminal justice branch issued a statement saying that the actions of the officer last March 'involved a legally permissable use of force to facilitate handcuffing of the suspect'." ...

 

CT: Travelers Explains Policy After Criticism Over Dropping Assault Rifle Owner
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Gun-rights bloggers recently targeted The Travelers Cos. after the insurer apparently dropped a homeowner's policy in 2008 because the policyholder owned an 'assault rifle.'"

"One of the blogs shows a letter Travelers sent to a homeowner on July 22, 2008, which says, 'Our reason for non-renewing your policy is due to the substantial change in your risk since the policy was first issued as described below: There are assault rifles at the insured location.'" ...
 

PA: 'Criminal' argument makes no sense
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The gun people who wrote in response to my letter last month, in which I quoted the Second Amendment, didn't seem to want to talk about what the amendment actually says. Instead they echoed their bumper sticker wisdom about criminals always being able to get guns." ...
 

OR: Palin's remarks no surprise
Submitted by: James A. Farmer

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... "Lately, thousands of loners, gun nuts and right-wing Second Amendment activists have become seriously worried that Congress may soon ban 33-bullet ammunition clips like the one used [in Tucson]. Seriously, when was the last time a homeowner had to fight off 30 or 33 burglars in a single night? ..." ...
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KABA Note: Seriously? Katrina, LA Riots, "man-caused disasters" . . . how about any time law enforcement is unable (or unwilling) to respond to looting and civil unrest?
 

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