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Newslinks for 2/28/2011

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Mexican government shrugs off CBS News investigation on ‘walked guns’
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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"So why the deliberate indifference?"

"Possibly, it’s because they want to minimize scrutiny of their own corrupt role in arming cartels..."
 

TN: Only legislators are safe from concealed firearms
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I never thought I'd say this, but it looks like Texas has gotten it right. Sort of.

The most interesting bit in Monday's article on guns in Texas universities ("Texas may OK guns on campus') was not that Texas legislators believe students and faculty ought to have guns in the classroom, but that, apparently, one can already carry them into their state capitol. Bravo for consistency!
 

IL: Has the time finally come for concealed carry in Illinois?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Proponents of a law that would allow Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons think they've got a good shot at getting the legislation passed this year.

They say a number of factors are in play, ranging from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that knocked down a Chicago ban on handguns to a national trend of states allowing citizens to carry weapons. Illinois is the only state that does not allow its residents to carry a gun in some fashion.
 

OH: Crafters of Constitution allowed for changes
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A true originalist would have to disregard the Bill of Rights because they were not included in the original crafting of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Our first 10 amendments were included in 1791 as a promise to states that refused to ratify the Constitution unless said protections were included. This is why the original crafters included in the U.S. Constitution the mechanism to amend.

Ed.: Wow. This gem from an assistant professor.
 

FL: No guns on campus
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Last week, state Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, postponed a hearing on a bill that includes language allowing those holding concealed weapons permits to openly carry handguns on the campuses of Florida's public colleges and universities.

Florida law currently prohibits possession of firearms on public campuses. The bill now is expected to be taken up by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, which is chaired by Mr. Evers, once the Legislature convenes next month.

Ed.: The author seems to often confuse open carry with concealed carry.
 

TX: Student Congress should vote for concealed handguns on campus
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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There is an impression that if students are allowed to carry them, then our campus will turn into the wild west with showdowns and shoot-outs around every corner. This is dumb to say the least.

You have to be at least 21 years old to get a concealed handgun license. That’s going to prohibit several students right off the bat.

Texas already has a concealed handgun law. Consider this, when you go to the mall or the grocery store, or just about anywhere, it’s highly probable that people are carrying guns. You don’t see them. You don’t know they’re there.
 

SC: Lawmakers discuss pros, cons of gun bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Some state lawmakers in South Carolina are working to make it easier for gun owners to carry concealed weapons.

A recent proposal unanimously approved Thursday by a bipartisan state House Judiciary subcommittee would allow any legal gun owner over the age of 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Gun laws and the rights of gun owners were thrust into the spotlight again following the Jan. 8 shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and a shooting at a Florida school board meeting in December.
 

Arizona shooting has little effect on national gun debate
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the days after six people were killed and 13 wounded in a massacre near Tucson, many people hoped the shooting spree would spark a new debate about guns in America.

Today, more than seven weeks after the shooting that left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with a serious gunshot wound to the head, hundreds of gun-related bills are being considered in statehouses nationwide. But in many cases, the proposals reflect long-standing ideas familiar to both sides of the issue.

Ed.: A broad overview of current pro- and anti-gun legislation across the country.
 

AZ: Arizona weighs guns on campus
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In Arizona, known for its gun-friendly ways, state lawmakers are pushing three bills this year focused on arming professors and others over the age of 21 on Arizona campuses. Sponsors talk of how professors and students are now sitting ducks for the next deranged gunman to charge through the classroom door. Some gun rights advocates go so far as to say that grade school teachers ought to be armed as well, although even this gun-friendly state is not ready for that proposition.

About a dozen legislatures nationwide, concerned about the potential for campus shootings, are considering arming their academies. Gun control advocates say Texas is probably the most likely to pass such a measure, with Arizona also in the mix.
 

A bad idea for long guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The firearm industry's opposition to multiple sales reporting requirements for long guns is not an "irresponsible aversion" ["Gun bullies," editorial, Feb. 23].

In fact, this very editorial page, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) itself, was one of the first to question whether the bureau had the legal authority to enact such a regulation - a question answered by Congress this month when a bipartisan majority in the House voted overwhelmingly to block the implementation of this proposal.
 

FL: Florida Doctors: Ask Patients About Guns, Pay Huge Fines
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A bill is being debated in the Florida legislature that calls for doctors to be fined up to $100,000 if they ask their patients if they own a gun.

The bill stems from an incident in which a doctor told a woman that he would no longer treat her children if she refused to answer whether she had a gun in her home.
 

Guns and Death: A Love Story
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The first reporting I did after my dad died Christmas weekend involved shooting a semi-automatic handgun at close range near Fort Meade, Maryland.

My friend and Politics Daily colleague James Grady e-mailed me: "Would you be averse to appearing [along with James, his son Nate, and weaponry expert Steve Hunter] in a video of you firing a powerful handgun at an indoor range as part of a story about the history of the 1911 .45?"

I was having trouble writing. My dad had been my muse and confidant and I thought about missing him every day. So when I had a chance to do a story that had nothing to do with anything personal, I jumped at it.
 

OH: Police plan to sell seized guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Dover Police Department is preparing to hold a gun sale, but it won’t be open to just anyone.

Police Chief Ronald Johnson said the sale, to rid the department of an accumulation of weapons confiscated since 1997, will be open only to licensed, reputable gun dealers.

City Council recently gave first reading to an ordinance that would authorize Johnson to sell about 60 weapons and firearms. Among those listed are pistols and revolvers of various calibers, shotguns, muzzle loaders and starter pistols.
 

NY: New Yorkers March, Rally In Effort To Stop Gun Violence
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A group that included lawmakers and civic leaders led a rally and march against gun violence Sunday afternoon in Manhattan.

New York State Senators Malcolm Smith (D- St. Albans) and Gustavo Rivera (D- Bronx) were joined by Rev. Al Sharpton in calling for for illegal guns to be taken off the streets.

The smiling faces of loved ones lost to gun violence decorated signs, shirts and buttons as the crowd marched.
 

WV: Guns galore at outdoor show
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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From really old to really new, the 10th annual WV Fishing, Hunting & Outdoor Sports Show has a firearm to wow every gun lover.

The major draw of the show is Cabela's Antique Firearms Collection, said Labeth Hall of PR Plus Events.

"There are guns from Cabela's all over the country," Hall said. "They have many historical guns, one-of-a -- kind guns, very expensive guns. It's a very prestigious display."
 

OH: Self-defense advice: Heed that gut feeling
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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• Park your car in an area with good lighting, and be aware of your surroundings as you exit or approach your car.

• Keep your keys in hand. If you feel threatened, hit the panic button and yell.

• Use your car or another vehicle to put distance between yourself and an assailant.

• If you're cornered at your car, throw your keys as far as possible so that your attacker can't kidnap you with your car.

• Don't carry a firearm unless you've had training. Call 911 once you're a safe distance away.
 

TN: Gun control advocates emotional, no facts
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Second, concealed carry permits do not invite gun violence. The data from extensive research show that since states implemented right-to-carry laws violent crime has dropped more than 30 percent. The writer also blamed gun violence on "assault weapons" and advocated reinstituting the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban. The difficulties with that legislation, and the primary reasons it died, were that the percentage of crimes committed with long guns is so small that the ban did nothing to limit or prevent crime, and there was no clear definition of what constituted an assault weapon.
 

TX: Avoid hysteria on campus guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Allowing guns inside public college classrooms might seem anathema to an academic setting.

But the time has come to rethink the longstanding prohibition.

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, has proposed legislation that would allow anyone licensed to carry a concealed handgun to take that weapon with them into a college classroom.

If the Legislature approves it and Gov. Rick Perry signs it into law - which he has vowed to do - Texas would become just the second state to allow guns inside college buildings; Utah is the first state to allow it, and there appears to be no evidence of harm.
 

NY: Citizens Have The Right To Self-Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In his letter "Re-Examining Second Amendment Rights," the author claims the idea of self-defense "evolved along with changes in our society." One reason for his claim is that when the Constitution was written there was no rhetorical cry of "if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns." Firstly, that's not rhetorical - it's literal. Secondly, no such cry existed back then because there was no threat of outlawing guns. Gradual restrictions on guns are what eventually led to such cries.
 

NC: Legislators seek wider protection for self-defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Senate version of the bill would take these broad steps:

* Lawful occupants” of homes, businesses and automobiles are presumed to be in fear of their life and justified in using deadly force against someone who is illegally breaking into a building or car.
* That presumption would protect those who shoot intruders in both civil and criminal courts.
* The bill limits the so-called “duty to retreat,” saying that crime victims may stand their ground and use deadly force in many situations, even outside a home or business. In some situations, current law would require people to flee and resort to their guns only as a last resort.
 

SC: Castle doctrine popular defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A man is strangled to death in a Colleton County home. Another is gunned down outside a West Columbia house. A third is grazed by a bullet as five rounds rip through his car on James Island.

All three events occurred this month, and in each case authorities know exactly who inflicted those injuries. But so far, no one has been charged with a crime.

That's because each incident involves a citizen trying to protect his home or property, and the state tends to give great leeway to folks who use deadly force in such situations.
 

Will guns make college campuses safer?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Dependable Americans with permits already carry their weapons into shopping malls, banks, churches and grocery stores, among countless other places every day. Why should a university campus be any different?

Final facts to ponder: A group called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus reports that over 70 American campuses currently allow licensed guns. There hasn't been a single reported instance of shootouts, accidents or heated confrontations with a gun involved at any of them. In fact, statistics show the crime rate at Colorado State University has gone steadily down since concealed carry was enacted.
 

AL: Gun rights not civil rights issue
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Another recent anti-gun column tried to link gun ownership to the violation of another individual's civil rights. It tried to make the manufacturer of the gun liable for the civil rights violation so it could be sued out of existence. How far will the gun control argument go to take away the inherent right of self-protection?
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. — James Madison, The Federalist Papers No. 46 at 243-244.

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