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Newslinks for 3/19/2008

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Individual Rights Won in Today's Supreme Court Hearing, Says SAF
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Today's oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v Heller produced a clear victory for the individual citizen's right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment Foundation said."

"'We are confident,' said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, 'that the high court will hand down an opinion that affirms the Second Amendment means what it says. Based on the questions that the justices asked, it is clear that they read the amicus briefs submitted by our side ... We were impressed with the depth of questions asked by all of the justices, and we have no doubt that the court has a clear understanding of Second Amendment history, and that 'the people' are all citizens.'" ...
 

JPFO: An Open Letter To US Marshal Judicial Security Inspector David A. Meyer
Submitted by: ChareltonHest
Website: http://atfabuse.com

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"We at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) have recently become aware -- through what amounts to a rather circuitous and highly sinister threat from you, Mr. Meyer -- of a relatively new federal law that calls itself 'The Court Security Improvement Act of 2007'." ...
"
What it boils down to is that publishing names, addresses, phone numbers, or other information attached to (just to name a handful of examples) the federal thugs who murdered the Branch Davidians and destroyed their church, members of Randy Weaver's family, or (had this law been in place then) the troops who assaulted the Warsaw Ghetto and the guards at the Nazi concentration camps, is now forbidden. In short, Mr. Meyer, it has been made a felony to identify one's criminal oppressors." ...
 

New Pro-Gun Group Hopes to Draw From the NRA
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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E-mail: Newslinks@KeepAndBearArms.com
Password: Newslinks

"The National Rifle Association always seems to have a target painted on its back. As one of Washington's most powerful and controversial interest groups, it is constantly dodging potshots from one group or another."

"Enter another group."

"The American Hunters and Shooters Association is the latest organization to try to dethrone the NRA as chief spokesman for people who care about guns. The association positions itself as an NRA alternative, a group that likes guns and those who shoot them but believes the NRA is too absolutist, especially when it comes to opposing almost any curb on the right to bear arms." ...
 

John Longnecker: Concealed Carry On Campus . . . workplace...airports..public buildings. . .
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Numerous articles are surfacing in support of concealed carry of handguns for students, faculty and visitors. I support Concealed Carry Of Weapons [CCW] for students and visitors, but not for faculty."

"Faculty is too ever-present and recognizable. All a shooter need do is identify them and avoid them. Liberty enthusiasts observe that it is yet another freezing out of the individual citizen – the supreme authority in all things in this country – and a return to centralization of power collected away from the constituent. It just means more dependency on officials and a denial of our carrying our own burdens." ...
 

Critics take aim at gun buybacks
Submitted by: Paul Shoemaker

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"Gun buyback programs from Miami to the San Francisco Bay are coming under fire by critics who question whether the bucks are reducing the big bangs."

"'It's like trying to drain the Pacific with a bucket,' says Alex Tabarrok, research director at the Independent Institute, a think tank in Oakland. 'More guns are going to flow in.'"

"Tabarrok and others complain the programs are feel-good events that do not reduce gun crimes and are abused by gun dealers seeking to unload junk merchandise at a good price. None of the guns are turned in by criminals, Tabarrok says, and many don't even fire." ...
 

Lever action for Defense?
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Mr Creekmore:"

"Growing up in the Southern U.S. it seemed like just about every home in the area had a lever action 30.30 hanging up over the door or on the bedroom wall. Come deer season, the local hunters would put on their orange vests and hang that old trusty lever action 30.30 in the gun rack in back of the pick-up window. It's hard to think of a time when the 30.30 lever action hasn't been regarded as the American hunting, rife at least in the south. What do you think of the lever action 30.30 in the role of a survival defensive rifle? Thank you for your time. - Blazer in Alabama" ...
 

Firearms industry should bear financial liability for homicides involving handguns
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"George Nation, professor of law and business at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., argues in the April issue of the Baylor Law Review that manufacturers of guns should be required to bear vicarious financial liability for the harm suffered by innocent bystanders who have been injured by the criminal use of their products."

"'Traditionally, gun manufacturers have escaped responsibility when it comes to the criminal use of their products,' says Nation. 'The legal system essentially presumes that criminal activity is not to be expected and that manufacturers have no control over the use of their products.'" ...
 

What is a Firearm that is 'Sacred' Under the Second Amendment?
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"As the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments today about the Second Amendment and its relationship to a ban on handguns in Washington D.C., it is appropriate to consider a hypothetical about what constitutes 'arms' ..."

"For the purpose of this article ... let's discuss what the word 'arms' should mean and who should decide it."

"... Take a look at this 'arm' -- a Barrett Model M90, .50 caliber sniper rifle."

"Now, is this an 'arm' that you think should be available to civilians simply because you can buy one as easily as any other rifle? The gun lobby loves to define any new weapon that you can hold as an 'arm' and thus make it into something 'sacred.'"

"Is a .50 caliber sniper rifle sacred?" ...
-------

Submitter's Note: Yes.
 

Robert Levy: Fighting for our right to bear arms
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"DOES THE Constitution's Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms or is that right reserved exclusively for members of a 'well-regulated militia'? That is the question the US Supreme Court will consider today in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, a Second Amendment challenge to the District of Columbia's ban on all functional firearms."

"I helped bring this case to court on behalf of six Washington, D.C., residents who want to keep functional firearms in their homes to defend themselves and their families should the need arise. ..." ...
 

The NY Times Dishonestly Snipes at Gun Rights
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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... "Predictably, the editorial board of the New York Times has an op-ed of their own against the individual rights perspective, which they seem to feel applies to the First Amendment, but not the Second."

"They write, quote dishonestly:" ...

"... It is a reasonable law, far from the ban that some anti-gun-control advocates depict."

"What is 'reasonable' about a law that turns a homeowner into a felon the moment he takes a trigger lock off his firearm (including rifles or shotguns) and loads it during a home invasion to protect his family? The Times refuses to address the obvious unfairness of this law, and the fact that it completely precludes any legal armed self defense, even during the most violent of crimes." ...
 

2nd Amendment Debate: Interpretation of the right to bear arms
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Beginning Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that seeks to interpret the meaning of the right to bear arms, and what our fore fathers meant when they put quill to parchment more than 200 years ago."

"The case before them is that of Heller vs. The District of Columbia. 65 year old Dick Heller is an armed security guard in Washington, D.C. Heller wants the right to take his firearm home with him at the end of the day." ...
 

Inside Scoop: Heller Case Goes Better Than Expected
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"The bottom line is, I think we’re going to be OK."

"When Justice Kennedy flat out said he believes in an individual right under the Second Amendment, there were no gasps in the hush of the High Court, but you could tell the greatest stellar array of gun-rights experts ever assembled, all there in that one room, breathed a sigh of relief -- we had five votes to affirm the human and civil right to arms."

"The transcript will be a key for analysis going forward until June, when the decision is expected, and I'm working without the benefit of that at the moment." ...
 

Dr. Lott: Going Up for Second: Gun rights@SCOTUS
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"If courts made their decisions based on public opinion, the case that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear today on the District of Columbia's handgun ban would seem to be easy to decide. The polls and the sheer number of those filing amicus briefs support an individual right to owning guns. Yet, the Justice Department's brief, while technically also supporting an individual right, has made this debate much more complicated and, for the first time in American history, even compelled a vice president to file his own brief."

"A Gallup poll in February found that 73 percent of Americans believe that Second Amendment protects an individual right. ..." ...
 

On a Different Subject [link to Heller transcript]
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in District of Columbia v. Heller, the DC gun-ban case. The transcript is available here (pdf). Jan Crawford Greenburg has a nice summary of how it went. One thing the argument revealed is that Bob Novak's sources in the administration were either misinformed or engaging in wishful thinking: Solicitor General Paul Clement didn't back down from the position he took in his brief--namely, that the sweeping rationale adopted by the D.C. Circuit in its opinion would threaten not just the law at issue in this case, but a whole host of less heavy-handed federal gun regulations.
 

Supreme Court Gun Case Draws Protesters
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Advocates of gun rights and opponents of gun violence demonstrated outside the Supreme Court Tuesday while inside, justices heard arguments over the meaning of the Second Amendment's 'right to keep and bear arms.'"

"Dozens of protesters mingled with tourists and waved signs saying 'Ban the Washington elitists, not our guns' or 'The NRA helps criminals and terrorist buy guns.'"

"Members of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence chanted 'guns kill' as followers of the Second Amendment Sisters and Maryland Shall Issue.Org shouted 'more guns, less crime.'" ...
 

Statement of Paul Helmke President of the Brady Center On Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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

"'Today, the Justices of the Supreme Court thoroughly discussed the Second Amendment of the Constitution for the first time in nearly 70 years, in the District of Columbia v. Heller case. Their probing questions, and the lawyers' responses, highlighted the complex history and competing approaches to gun regulation in our country. I am hopeful that their ruling will uphold the right of people in communities like the District to enact common sense gun measures they feel are needed to protect themselves and their families.'" ...
 

Gun-Rights Showdown
Submitted by: Paul Shoemaker

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"Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Heller v. District of Columbia, a suit brought by several D.C. citizens contending that the ban on the possession of operable firearms inside one's home violates the Second Amendment. The Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. agreed and held the ban to be unconstitutional. However it is decided, Heller is already historic. For the first time in recent memory, the Supreme Court will consider the original meaning of a significant passage of the Constitution unencumbered by its own prior decisions. The majority and dissenting opinions in this case will be taught in law schools for years to come. Here's a layman's guide to the significance of the case:" ...
 

Justices agree on right to own guns
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Americans have a right to own guns, Supreme Court justices declared Tuesday in a historic and lively debate that could lead to the most significant interpretation of the Second Amendment since its ratification two centuries ago."

"Governments have a right to regulate those firearms, a majority of justices seemed to agree. But there was less apparent agreement on the case they were arguing: whether Washington's ban on handguns goes too far."

"The justices dug deeply into arguments on one of the Constitution's most hotly debated provisions as demonstrators shouted slogans outside. Guns are an American right, argued one side. 'Guns kill,' responded the other.'" ...
 

High court likely to favor individual gun rights
Submitted by: Paul Shoemaker

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"A Supreme Court majority appears ready to rule for the first time in the nation's history that the Second Amendment gives people an individual right to own guns. Yet that dramatic consensus, which emerged during arguments Tuesday over a Washington handgun ban, is only part of the important debate playing out at the high court."

"A separate set of questions revolves around the legal standard the justices might invoke to determine what gun restrictions stand. The details of their ultimate ruling — not likely until June — could determine the fate of a range of regulations nationwide, from a federal prohibition on machine guns to licensing requirements in some cities. " ...
 

Gun rights case breaks new ground
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The Supreme Court gets to write on a blank slate when it takes up the meaning of the Second Amendment 'right to keep and bear arms' and the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns."

"The nine justices have said almost nothing about gun rights, and their predecessors have likewise given no definitive answer to whether the Constitution protects an individual's right to own guns or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia."

"The case, which is scheduled to be argued today, is among the most closely watched of the term, drawing 68 briefs from outside groups. Most of those support an individual's right to own a gun." ...
 

A gunfight that won't be settled
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"It's only 27 words: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"You will recognize that as the Second Amendment to the Constitution. If a student of mine wrote a sentence like that, I'd scrawl in the margin 'WDTM,' and he or she would recognize that as, 'What does this mean?'" ...
 

IA: Waterloo native involved in DC gun showdown
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"The wife of a Waterloo native is taking her fight to own a handgun to the highest court in the land."

"Tracey Ambeau Hanson, wife of Andrew Hanson, is one of six Washington, D.C., residents who sued over the city's gun laws."

"She wants to be able to keep a pistol in her home for self-defense."

"'I've seen people shot --- in front of my home,' Andrew Hanson, 45, said. 'We live in kind of a dicey area.'" ...
 

VA: Virginians Weigh In on D.C. Gun Ban Case at Supreme Court
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Eric Suedberg drove all night from Virginia Beach, Va., to be here for the U.S. Supreme Court's biggest gun rights showdown in 69 years."

"Suedberg owns 12 guns and sees the case as a test of his civil rights."

"'Each time you have an issue like this, it's one more step to take rights from the citizens,' he said."

"At the center of the debate is a 1976 Washington law, which bans handguns and requires other weapons to be stored unloaded and disassembled."

"Suedberg and hundreds of others on both sides did not get inside the highest court to hear oral arguments in the case Tuesday, but he demonstrates the passion the national gun debate inspires." ...
 

NY: N.Y. Gun Laws in Balance as High Court Weighs D.C. Case
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"New York's gun control laws will hang in the balance when the Supreme Court this week takes up the question of whether Americans have a constitutional right to own guns." ...

"In most states, law-abiding adults face few impediments to gun ownership. But in some metropolitan areas, including New York, licensing requirements are strict. Such municipal laws would come under scrutiny if the Supreme Court struck down the Washington ban as violating the Second Amendment."

"'I can guarantee that if we win this, New York's laws will be challenged,' a lawyer who is representing Mr. Heller, Robert Levy of the Cato Institute, said." ...
 

IN: Man shoots two men on his father's property in southern Indiana
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Police are investigating after a Southern Indiana man shot two people on his property late last night. ..."

"A business owner near Austin says he’s been robbed recently, and last night his son shot two men on the property that he thought were trying to rob his Modular Home business."

"The police were called and when they got there, they found two men in a nearby field with gunshot wounds. It is not clear at this point whether or not the two were just trespassing, or trying to rob the man."

"... police are still investigating. Both men have criminal pasts ranging from marijuana charges to burglary and stolen property. They are not suspects and no charges have been filed at this time."
 

Statement By John McCain On The DC Gun Ban Case Before The Supreme Court
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement on District of Columbia v. Heller:

"Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark case for all Americans who believe as I do that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. I am proud to have joined in an amicus brief to the Court calling for a ruling in keeping with the clear intent of our Founding Fathers, which ensures the Second Amendment rights of the residents of District of Columbia are reaffirmed."
 

RNC: As Supreme Court Arguments Begin, Obama and Clinton Continue To Be Off Target With Their Anti-Gun Positions
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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... "A Bipartisan Coalition Of Over 300 Members Of Congress Has Urged The Supreme Court To Overturn D.C. Gun Ban:"

"'The Number Of Federal Law Makers ... Is Thought To Be The Largest Ever To Weigh In On A Topic With The High Court." "[In February, 2008] 55 senators and 250 members of the House signed onto a brief calling for the Supreme Court to overturn the D.C. gun ban ..."

"Sens. Obama And Clinton Did Not Sign Onto The Brief. 'Among the presidential candidates, Republican Sen. John McCain signed on [to the brief], while Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton did not.' ..." ...
 

GA: NRA Launches Postcard Campaign Against Senate To Force Vote On Gun Bill
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Eighty-thousand postcards are in the mail to gun rights advocates and enthusiasts in a number of state Senate districts, all bearing the message that the Senate is blocking action on 'the most important right-to-carry reform bill in over 20 years.'"

"The postcards from the National Rifle Association are tailored to the Senate district in which they are being sent, and urge recipients, first, to call their local senator (phone number and e-mail handily provided) and then to call Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle." ...
 

CT: 'Stamping' guns, bullets debated: Weapons manufacturers say lasering too costly
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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"Gun and ammunition manufacturers, retailers and a sportsmen's group Monday came out firing against two gun-related bills that would require microscopic markings to help identify certain guns used in crimes."

"The bills were the subject of public hearings Monday at the Capitol."

"Senate Bill 603 would mandate laser engraving of a serial number on each round of ammunition."

"Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the ... National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, said 10 billion rounds of ammunition are produced every year."

"'As a practical matter, it is infeasible to put a serial number on every cartridge of ammunition manufactured,' he said." ...
 

PA: Artillery shell cache causes stir in N. Braddock
Submitted by: ChareltonHest
Website: http://atfabuse.com

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... "'One shell was at least 6 feet long,' Chief Stell said. 'At first, of course, they had no idea whether they were live or inert."

"'Some of them were rusty. There were two or three that had a wooden shaft and a brass tip, like you'd see in a game room or something. There were even replica shells that were cologne bottles.'"

"'Some of them had inert marked on them,' he said. 'They'd probably be worth something to a collector, but once the ATF guys take charge of them, that's it.'" ...
-------

KABA Note: And why does the BATFE get to steal this private property?
 

WA: WSP trooper convicted of sexual misconduct
Submitted by: none

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FULL TEXT BELOW:

A state trooper who took a drunken driving suspect to a deserted weigh station and made her partially undress has been convicted of custodial sexual misconduct.

The 46-year-old man, Carlos Torres, will face six months to a year in jail because of Monday's jury verdict in King County Superior Court in Kent.

Torres had stopped the 38-year-old woman on Interstate 5 in June of 2005 near Federal Way and had improper contact with her at the truck-weighing station.

His lawyer said the woman made up the story. The prosecutor said two other women have accused Torres of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Torres was fired in January. He'll be sentenced May 2.
 

GA: BPD drug cop busted in Ga. women’s assault
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A respected Boston police drug detective partying in Savannah, Ga., loudly identified himself as a cop and chased and tormented two women at their Georgia home, where they tried to barricade themselves for safety before he yanked them from the house, police said."

"Savannah police said the women had done nothing wrong. They arrested Sgt. Detective Thomas Joyce, 46, who works in Hyde Park. He was charged with two counts of simple assault, false imprisonment, obstruction by means of resisting arrest, and criminal trespass after he was busted at 11:30 p.m. Friday."

"'He grabbed them against their will and basically imprisoned them for no good reason,' said Savannah police Sgt. Mike Wilson." ...
 

OH: White officer charged in death of black woman
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"A white police officer accused of fatally shooting a black woman as she held her 1-year-old son during a drug raid was charged with two misdemeanors Monday, outraging activists and relatives of the woman who said he should face tougher penalties."

"Sgt. Joseph Chavalia was charged with negligent homicide in the death of Tarika Wilson, 26, who was killed in a January SWAT raid at her house targeting her boyfriend. He was charged with negligent assault in the wounding of her son Sincere Wilson, whose finger had to be amputated."

"... If convicted of both he would face a maximum of eight months in jail." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: According to other sources, the suspect was already cuffed and in custody when Ms. Wilson was shot.
 

FL: Guns affected three Tampa Bay residents personally
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"Patti Franzese will never forget how it felt to look down the gun barrel."

"... She and her 11-year-old daughter were carjacked ..."

"She remembers jumping out of the car, and watching helplessly until her daughter also got out safely."

"She also remembers the desire she felt afterward for a gun of her own ..."

"So the 43-year-old salon owner started with a stun gun. But one evening, as she loaded bags into her car at Target, a store worker quietly walked up behind her to get her buggy."

"Not realizing his intent, she almost stunned him."

"'It made me realize, if I had a gun, what would I do?' she said. '... I realized, no, that was not the answer for me.'" ...
-------

Submitter's Note: It is good to recognize your limitations.
 

FL: 'Gun locks would have saved our child'
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft

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"For Sean and Jeanne Caroline, life is all about preventing the next shooting."

"They lecture about the dangers of guns at schools. They believe all guns should be locked up."

"Their son Sean was accidentally killed by a friend who was playing with his father's gun ... He was 12 ..." ...

"'We live with it every day,' Sean said. 'We make it a mission in our lives.'"

"But unlike many in the polarized debate over gun violence, the Carolines don't consider themselves pro- or antigun."

"Instead, they focus on what they consider a middle ground: teaching gun safety and locking guns up."

"'We still feel … gun locks would have saved our child,' Sean said." ...
-------

Submitter's Note: And by blaming the gun you can abdicate your responsibility for leaving him in ignorance and causing his death.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. — Thomas Paine

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