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Newslinks for 2/21/2011

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FBI: Web-based Services Hurting Wiretapping Efforts
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Web-based e-mail, social-networking and peer-to-peer services are frustrating law enforcement wiretapping efforts, a lawyer for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation told lawmakers Thursday, but she did not offer concrete ideas on how to fix the problem.

President Barack Obama's administration is debating ways to deal with Web-based services not covered by traditional wiretap laws, including incentives for companies to build in surveillance capabilities, said Valerie Caproni, general counsel at the FBI.
 

Is ‘Project Gunwalker’ reason for Traver hearing delay?
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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"The only question seems to be is the decision to hold off on what the anti-gun choice lobby deems a 'crucial position' was initiated by Chairman Leahy, by the nominee himself, or by his Justice Department handlers."
 

DC: DC Crime museum promotes unhelpful firearm stereotypes
Submitted by: Mike Stollenwerk
Website: http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-washington-dc/mike-stollenwerk

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But a more disturbing issue is that the museum's displays consistently omit any acknowledgment of, as the U.S. Supreme Court noted in United States v. Staples (1994), the "long history of lawful gun ownership by citizens in this country." Nor among the museum's vast collections is there any mention of the continuing common law right of citizen's arrest, the open and concealed carry movements, or even the recent Supreme Court cases holding that the Second Amendment "guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation" that must be respected by both the federal and state governments.

Essentially the National Crime and Punishment Museum makes it look like only criminals and police carry guns.
 

When Enforcers Have An Agenda
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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“'Traver says the power and randomness of the heavy caliber, military-style weapons make them so dangerous not only to people, but to police,' the report claimed. 'They’re so powerful, body armor can’t withstand a hit, and they’re so difficult to control, their bullets often get sprayed beyond the intended targets, striking innocent victims even when they’re in their own homes.'”

"At least he’s learned the right buzz words and talking points to gin up hysteria."
 

Newly Released Documents Detail FBI’s Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws
Submitted by: Anonymous

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EFF just received documents in response to a 2-year old FOIA request for information on the FBI’s "Going Dark" program, an initiative to increase the FBI's authority in response to problems the FBI says it's having implementing wiretap and pen register/trap and trace orders on new communications technologies. The documents detail a fully-formed and well-coordinated plan to expand existing surveillance laws and develop new ones.
 

GA: Atlanta Tea Party Members Face The SEIU: Georgia State Capitol, 23 Feb, 4 PM
Submitted by: concerned american
Website: http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com

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Join members from various Atlanta-area freedom teams, such as the Atlanta Tea Party, local 9/12 groups, and the Restore The Constitution armed civil-rights activists as they face the SEIU protest scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm at the Georgia State Capitol.

Take a stand.

Be there - or hold your own rally in your area.
 

NJ: Plaintiffs fire next shot in right to carry lawsuit!
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On February 18, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) and 6 individual plaintiffs filed reply papers in their historic right to carry lawsuit, in response to the State of New Jersey’s absurd argument that the Second Amendment only applies inside the home, and that the public needs to be protected from those who legally carry firearms. The new reply papers are available on Saf.org.

The federal lawsuit, filed in November of last year, challenges New Jersey’s unconstitutional “justifiable need” standard for issuance of handgun carry permits - a nearly impossible standard to meet that has all but eliminated the right to self-defense with a firearm in the Garden State.
 

FL: Wakulla County Firearm Training Course
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If you own a gun or are around guns, knowing how to properly use and handle a firearm can help you and those around you stay safe.

Since 2010, there have been numerous reported accidental shootings in the Big Bend Area.

One of the most recently reported victims being Ashley Cowie, a 20 year old FSU student. She was killed when a young man accidentally shot her at a fraternity house.

It's stories like Cowie's that make it apparent that you need to be familiar with your firearm.
 

PA: The enforcement of gun laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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...gun lobby groups and pro-gun lawmakers contend the mayors' group has a more sinister agenda. They say the mayors place the burden of tracking illegal guns on law-abiding gun owners and, ultimately, aim to ban all firearms.

The mayors' group has helped defeat legislation that would allow gun owners with concealed-weapons permit in one state to carry a concealed firearm in another, a sore point with National Rifle Association supporters. The mayors' group wants to make federal trace data about guns used in crimes available to law enforcement and to make summary reports about trace data available to the public -- another sore point for foes.

"They are waging war against law abiding gun owners," said NRA spokeswoman Rachel Parsons.
 

NY: The Faces of Gun Ownership In The City
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The NYTimes reports today that there are more than 37,000 people licensed to have a handgun in the city. It's a small but substantial group which includes many prominent businessmen, city council members, celebrities, journalists, judges and lawyers. Among the most prominent names: Queens DA Richard Brown, actor Robert De Niro, radio host Don Imus, Donald Trump, actor Harvey Keitel, radio host Howard Stern, city council members Inez Dickens and Peter Koo, and Federal Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. As Johnson Jr noted soberly, "I was a special prosecutor. Sixteen years in narcotics. I didn't make a lot of people happy."

Ed.: Only the rich and powerful. Law-abiding citizens need not apply.
 

WY: Wyoming Legislature enters home stretch
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Another Senate bill coming up for a hearing in the House this week would allow Wyoming citizens to carry concealed handguns without a permit. Buchanan said he expects the bill will pass, but said he expects a spirited debate. A similar handgun bill passed the House in the last legislative session but failed in the Senate.

"When you come to a concealed-carry issue, the House has always been pretty supportive of Second Amendment rights," Buchanan said. "I don't think it's going to have a lot of resistance."
 

IN: A powerful opponent takes aim at gun bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Case in point: The “pre-emption” gun bill that sailed through the state Senate this past week, spun as a simple piece of legislation that would clean up what supporters called a “patchwork” of gun laws across the state.

More simply put, it would outlaw local units of government from restricting firearms and ammunition. With a very few exceptions, local units of government could no longer keep guns out of their parks, playgrounds and public buildings.

The sweeping language of the bill alarmed State Sen. Tim Lanane, a Democrat from Anderson, who considers himself a supporter of Second Amendment gun rights. But as Lanane argued on the Senate floor, he also believes there should “reasonable limits.”
 

AK: Self defense law change seems unnecessary
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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State Libertarians favor a broad brush approach, party chair Scott Kohlhaas last week suggesting, “The entire statute should be eliminated and replaced with a simple statement that a person may use deadly force when in that person’s judgment it is necessary to defend life.”

While a broad definition like that will draw much debate, we think it’s time for that debate to start again.

While HB 80 seeks to attack part of a perceived problem, it seems to us to be a solution in search of a problem — one that might further muddy already murky waters.
 

TX: Texas Lawmakers Want College Kids to Pack Heat
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The AP reports today that over half the members of the Texas House have signed onto a measure requiring that universities allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus. What a terrible idea.

Big surprise this is coming from Texas, but still... what the fuck are they thinking? It's already legal to do this in Utah, and colleges in Colorado all have the option of allowing concealed weapon permit holders to flex their Second Amendment rights. What's the reasoning behind this measure in Texas?
 

NC: Instructor teaches citizens how to protect themselves with guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“You have to treat any firearm with respect,” says Rhodes, who started shooting about age 5. Respect for the weapon, according to him, is a highly important factor in using a firearm.

He educates citizens ranging from retirees to night nurses to bankers, along with people who have had their homes broken into or have faced danger.

“People are afraid on many levels and we can take them and teach them the correct way to fire a gun and also give them the education and laws to know what rights they hold,” Rhodes said.
 

MI: Bay City man charged with carrying a Taser to return to court for hearing on motion to dismiss
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A Bay County Circuit Court judge this week will revisit the Second Amendment claims of an attorney representing a Bay City man charged with possessing a Taser.

Dean S. Yanna was arrested June 5 after Bay City police received an anonymous tip that Yanna was wearing a Taser on his belt while working as a clerk at Old Town Party Store, 204 S. Henry in Bay City.

Yanna’s attorney, Kenneth W. Malkin, claims the state statute prohibiting stun guns violates the Second Amendment.

...

Sheeran has said he is eager to address the issue but he can’t rule without details such as the voltage that is delivered and the effect the shock would have on a person.
 

FL: U.S. should follow Canadian example of tougher gun registration
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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While the majority of gun-related deaths in this country are from suicides - 17,000 in 2004 - there are about 100,000 non-fatal gunshot injuries annually with over 25 percent from accidental shootings. In Western Europe, where gun permits are scarce, shootings rarely occur, but in Canada, where there are more guns per capita than in the United States, shootings still rarely occur because of more stringent gun regulations.
 

Gun Law Debates Still in the Daily News
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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That decision established, according to Justice Scalia, that the Second Amendment to the Constitution exists to allow any American citizen the right to keep a gun in his/her home for protection… further muddying the already turbid waters of the gun law debate. This was a new interpretation that may or may not have suggested that walking about the streets of your home town with a gun under your jacket is not part of that Amendment’s intent. Oh, dear… and now, one of the plaintiffs in that case, one George Lyon, Esq. is a plaintiff in another case that’s attempting to achieve “concealed carry” in the Streets of DC. Just to clarify, one supposes.
 

NH: ‘Made in NH’ gun lawserves no real purpose
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This is political posturing designed to appease the gun lobby, offering a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Here’s some good news for all those private gunsmiths who make guns from scratch in the Granite State, then sell them only to New Hampshire residents for use only within state borders.

A bill that cleared the state House of Representatives last week would make sure such weapons are free from federal regulations, background disclosures or taxes.

Any federal law enforcement agent attempting to impose the laws of the United States on these “New Hampshire only” weapons could be arrested and charged with a felony, if the “Made in New Hampshire” gun law clears the Senate and is signed into law.
 

AZ: Arizona has few rifle-sale limits
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“To set the record straight and assure the public . . . we have worked closely in conjunction with several federal agencies, including the Phoenix office of the ATF,” Howard said in a written statement.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spokesman Tom Mangan pointed out that neither Lone Wolf nor any gun dealer did anything illegal when it sold dozens of rifles and handguns to the same individuals week after week.

Patino and 27 other suspects accused of being straw buyers for the cartels in the five January cases live in Arizona and are legal U.S. residents. They apparently passed an instant background check.
 

House Votes to Stop Gun Record-Keeping
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The U.S. House has voted for an amendment to H.R. 1 offered by Reps. Denny Rehberg and Dan Boren that prohibits the use of federal funds for a new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The measure passed the chamber (277-149) with broad bipartisan support.
 

SC: There’s no reason to abandon education before letting people carry guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The state’s current concealed weapon permit system does not pose a burden on the right of South Carolinians to bear arms. It simply gives some consideration to public safety. The cost of allowing people to carry concealed weapons without the permits and the training that goes with them could be great indeed. We could see increased unintentional shootings when inexperienced and untrained gun owners start carrying firearms. We could see otherwise law-abiding people convicted of crimes for carrying weapons where they didn’t know the law prohibits it.
 

NRA keeps up opposition to nominee to head ATF
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Andrew Traver, nominated to lead the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), faces a powerful foe on the road to Senate approval.

Traver, 47, praised for his work against the Chicago area's street gangs, has led the ATF in Illinois since 2004.

Obama nominated him in November, eliciting strong opposition from the National Rifle Association, which called him hostile to the Second Amendment. It urged the president to withdraw the nomination.

Traver "has been deeply aligned with gun-control advocates and anti-gun activities," Chris Cox, who leads the NRA's lobbying arm, said then.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government that is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. — JAMES MADISON

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