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Newslinks for 3/24/2008

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CO: Man shot to death early Easter Sunday
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A 19-year-old Pueblo West man was shot to death at a duplex early Sunday in The Blocks neighborhood. Investigators said the the shooter acted in self-defense and have found preliminary evidence to support his claim.

Through fingerprints, the victim was identified as James McCarty, according to Pueblo County Coroner James Kramer.

The incident happened at 1:25 a.m. at 203 Midway Ave.
Andrew Sandoval, 24, told police he shot the victim and "immediately" called 911.

Sgt. Eric Bravo of the Pueblo Police Department's Crimes Against Persons unit said Sandoval was hosting a small party when four men arrived and "badly" assaulted him. A relative of Sandoval's girlfriend invited the men there, he said.
 

With the Supreme Court Poised to Redefine the Right to Bear Arms, Far-Reaching Questions Loom
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The foregoing considerations show that the Heller case is not merely the modern Court's first entry into the Second Amendment area. It is likely to be the leading case on the matter for quite some time.

Granted, the Justices could doubtless find some way to duck the hard questions that will arise should they find a personal right of armed self-defense under the Second Amendment. The Court might, for example, resolve the core issue and then punt the matter to the lower courts via remand. Or the Court could write a less-than-fully-forthright opinion invalidating the District's ban without coming to grips with the arguments about the applicable standard and incorporation.
 

PA: 'Second' Guessing: How Many Guns?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yet last week, when the U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue of gun control, the oral arguments were dominated by talk of militias and muskets and, in the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, "remote settlers defending themselves against hostile Indian tribes and outlaws, wolves and bears and grizzlies and things like that."

And, oh yes: The English Bill of Rights of 1689. And Blackstone. Don't forget William Blackstone, the English jurist, who would be 285 on his next birthday. W.W.B.D.? That's what's really important for the Supreme Court to discuss when 8,000 people are killed each year by handguns, and tens of thousands more are injured, metal detectors are essential school equipment...
 

DC: The Matter of "Non-Functional" Firearms
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The fact is that guns in the home are a far greater threat to one's family and intimates than to any imagined criminals. Living in a home where there are guns increases the risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%. With its handgun ban and proactive safety and storage laws, the District of Columbia, in comparison with the 50 states, enjoys the 17th lowest accidental gun death rate and the second lowest suicide rate. Meanwhile, according to the FBI, firearms were used by private citizens in only 147 justifiable homicides in the U.S. in 2005. The total number of gun homicides that year? 12,352.

Ed.: For the FBI stats, it is only "justifiable homicide" if the matter is ruled so by the Police, without permitting the prosecuting attorney to review the case, or for a grand jury to review it, or for a trial to be held to decide the matter. Many justifiable homicides are included in the 12,352 above.
 

CO: Self defense on trial
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Ed.: Second story on linked page.

A couple of news reports last week highlighted our natural right of self defense...But District [of Columbia] officials don't seem to have a way to persuade a criminal breaking down a door to wait until the homeowner assembles and loads his shotgun before entering the home. That puts a severe crimp on the homeowner's right to protect his family and property.

...

It's difficult to understand a jury convicting a man for defending his family against a drunken mob that was on his property for the express purpose of harming his son. A man has a right to use firearms to defend his family, especially when he's outnumbered five to one.
 

D.C. v. Heller, U.S. Supreme Court Case 07-290, March 18, 2008 - With historical quotations and linked references provided
Submitted by: GunShowOnTheNet.com
Website: http://GunShowOnTheNet.com/

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D.C. v. Heller, U.S. Supreme Court Case 07-290, March 18, 2008

(With historical quotations and linked references provided)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

"...It is a universal or near universal rule of criminal law that there is a self-defense exception. It goes without saying...."

"...The Second Amendment to the Constitution, as its text indicates, guarantees an individual right that does not depend on eligibility for or service in the militia...."

"...Mayor's Office, Washington, Dec. 23, 1828.

"...on Christmas and New Year's Day and Eve to indulge in firing off guns, pistols..."

"…a man's house is his Castle . . . and the laws permit the taking up of arms against armed persons..."
 

NY: Jogger Mugged in Central Park While Preparing for Army Physical Fitness Test
Submitted by: gemalo

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Knife-wielding muggers attacked a jogger running in Central Park to prepare for an Army physical fitness test, police and his family said.

"I'm in a lot of pain," Johnny Reberon, 23, said as he returned from a hospital Friday to his Manhattan home.

He was slashed in the arm and leg by two men who accosted him around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Submitter's note: Maybe if had a pistol in his sock, rather than a cellphone......
 

MD: Police Car Camera Plan Stalls in Union Dispute - Montgomery Officials Agreed to Idea Years Ago
Submitted by: Anonymous

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After a Montgomery County detective fatally shot an unarmed man in Silver Spring in 1999, county officials agreed to install cameras in police cruisers as part of a settlement with the man's family.

Nearly a decade later, no cameras have been installed, because county officials and the union that represents police officers have been unable to agree on how the devices would be used, and $624,000 earmarked for the cameras has long been spent on other things.

County officials said they were unable to install the cameras because of objections from the police.

Critics say some of the union's victories have diluted efforts to hold officers accountable.

 

NY: Should you know who owns a gun?
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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If your neighbor has the right to own a pistol, should you have the right to know he does? Should that neighbor have a right to know about your pistol, if it's licensed and legal? That's the debate now playing across New York, touched off by an Albany-area newspaper's Freedom of Information Law request for a list of pistol-permit-holders in a three-county region with a total population similar to that of Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware counties. The question is the modern-day equivalent of "Do I have the right (freedom of speech) to yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, if I could cause a stampede that might harm others?"
 

PA: Pa. a favored source for gun traffickers
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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When Trenton crack dealer Sean Hagins spotted the Pennsylvania tags and NRA sticker on a customer's pickup, he saw opportunity. Hagins had been dealing drugs for years, was an ex-felon with a history of psychiatric problems; he could not buy guns himself. The customer, David Downs, had a nasty crack habit and had been laid off from a Bensalem belt factory. Downs told a jury at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia that Hagins spotted the sticker on his truck and asked him if he could help him get some guns in Pennsylvania - where they're far easier to buy than in New Jersey. "I told him yes," Downs testified last month.
 

MA: Here's hoping Supreme Court doesn't misfire on landmark case
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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The United States Supreme Court concluded arguments this week in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller — a case to determine once and for all whether the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. The feeble and hollow argument that the Second Amendment only applies to the armed forces as a collective unit has been used by gun control advocates to try and enact laws that deny Americans their Constitutional right to own firearms for protection, shooting sports, hunting and other lawful purposes.
 

NV: 'And every other terrible instrument'
Submitted by: Bob Crabtree

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In a "move that surprised some observers," the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday, attorney Alan Gura, appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the federal guard who sued the District of Columbia in 2003, claiming he feels unsafe because he's not allowed to keep his guns at home, "appeared to concede large chunks of his argument, moving away from an absolutist position on gun rights."
Was it a failure of nerve under pressure, or did somebody get to this guy?
Submitters note: Did we lose again???
 

CA: Gun statistics you seldom see
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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If someone breaks into your home, and you have a justifiable fear that he might kill or harm you or someone else, you have a right to defend yourself with lethal force. It was the sort of incident that never makes it into the official crime statistics – that is, an incident in which a crime may have been prevented by a firearm.
 

OR: Decoding the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Americans know what they think it means, but the words had a startlingly different connotation when they were written. The syntax is strange, jumbled and archaic. All in all, as one scholar noted recently, it's a mystifyingly Delphic text."

"Many police organizations also urged the court to be very, very careful. The court didn't show much inclination to heed the grammarians, but we hope it will heed the wisdom of those who face armed criminals on the streets every day."
 

OR: The Second Amendment
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"The Supreme Court should take a little field trip this spring before handing down a historic ruling that could undercut the nation's most basic gun restrictions."

"Perhaps to North Portland, where a spate of shootings has frayed people's nerves. Or Cleveland High School in Southeast Portland, which went into lockdown last spring after a gun scare. Or maybe Gresham, where a man recently shot his 51-year-old wife in the back of the head while she slept and called it a 'mercy killing.'"
 

SC: SC poised to close public access to concealed carry permits
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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South Carolina is poised to become the 28th state to keep secret the list of residents allowed to carry concealed weapons, a move favored by gun owners but opposed by advocates of open government. South Carolina is among six states with legislation pending that would close the information to public scrutiny, according to the National Rifle Association, which has advocated the measures that represent a battle between privacy and principle. Gun enthusiasts such as Rep. Mike Pitts, who sponsored the South Carolina bill, call the publishing of the gun owners' names an attack on the Second Amendment.
 

OH: Concealed carry permits up for renewal
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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If you were one of the hundreds of area residents who rushed out to get your concealed carry license when it first became available, it's time to renew. Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey said the four-year permits first issued in April, 2004, will soon expire and reminds residents that carrying a concealed weapon without a license is a crime. "Four years have passed and it's time to renew," he said, noting his office issued 299 licenses the first year they were available. "You're violating the law by carrying a concealed weapon (without a license) and you're subject to arrest and prosecution."
 

NC: Pilot's gun discharges on US Airways flight
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A US Airways pilot’s gun accidentally discharged during a flight from Denver to Charlotte Saturday, according to a statement released by the airline. The statement said the discharge happened on Flight 1536, which left Denver at approximately 6:45am and arrived in Charlotte at approximately 11:51am. The Airbus A319 plane landed safely and none of the flight’s 124 passengers or five crew members was injured, according to the statement. It was a full flight. And airline spokeswoman said the plane has been taken out of service to make sure it is safe to return to flight.
 

PA: Store Owner Lent Robber Money For Chips
Submitted by: PA-Carry

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Full Text Below:

PITTSBURGH -- Police in Braddock said a store owner fought off a robber who, a minute earlier, had borrowed money from the shopkeeper to buy potato chips.

Al Handza, owner of Al's Market, said the young man who robbed him Thursday evening is often in his store, but he doesn't know his name. Neither do police who said the man gave them an alias.

Handza said he let the man buy potato chips despite being 18 cents short, saying he could pay the difference later.

About a minute later, the man came back with a bandanna over his face and put a gun to Handza's head, according to police.

The gun fired during the struggle, wounding the unidentified suspect, who remained in a local hospital Friday.
 

NC: Another Death By Taser
Submitted by: clell

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A Charlotte teenager has died after being shocked with a Taser during a confrontation with police at the grocery store where he worked.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said 17-year-old Darryl Wayne died Thursday. An autopsy is pending.

The Charlotte Observer reported Friday that officers responded to a call at a Food Lion and saw Turner throwing something at a store manager.
 

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I have carried a revolver; lots of us do, but they are the most innocent things in the world. — MARK TWAIN

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