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Newslinks for 4/12/2011

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NY: Police Think Suspected Long Island Serial Killer May Be Ex-Law Enforcement
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Law enforcement officials are considering that the eight bodies found along a Long Island barrier beach may have been dumped there by an ex-cop or other law officer, ABC News reports.
Authorities haven't ruled out that the bodies were victims of multiple killers or that they are ritualistic murders carried out by an unknown number of people.
Yet evidence suggests that whoever killed the women may be a former law enforcement official, or someone familiar with law enforcement techniques. Investigators said the suspect or suspects may be knowledgeable of official procedures.

Submitter's note: Why "Ex"?
 

NY: Cameras Read License Plates, Helping City's Police
Submitted by: Anonymous

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...The Police Department's growing web of license-plate-reading cameras has been transforming investigative work. Though the imaging technology was conceived primarily as a counterterrorism tool, the cameras' presence has aided in all sorts of traditional criminal investigations.

...

There are 238 license plate readers in use in New York City, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman. Of those, 130 are mobile. They are mounted on the back of police cars assigned to patrol duties across the city's five boroughs and to specialized units like the highway and counterterrorism divisions.
 

VA: Cuccinelli says guns in churches are okay if they’re for self-defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Virginians may carry weapons for personal protection into places of worship while religious services are being conducted, according to a new legal opinion by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R).

Virginia law bars carrying weapons in churches and other worship houses while a religious meeting is being held unless a person has “good and sufficient reason.”

In an opinion written Friday and posted on Cuccinelli’s Web site Monday, Cuccinelli indicates that the “right of self-defense lies at the heart of the right to keep and bear arms.” Therefore, he concludes that “carrying a weapon for personal protection constitutes a good and sufficient reason under the statute.”
 

Constitutional Refuseniks
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When you run down the list of issues the Oath Keepers are worried about, it reads a lot like a bill of particulars from the American Civil Liberties Union. The Oath Keepers don't like warrantless searches. They're upset that the executive branch has claimed the power to classify American citizens as enemy combatants, detain them indefinitely, and try them before military tribunals. They worry that a large-scale terrorist attack similar to 9/11 could lead to the mass detention of Arabs or Muslims, just as Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. They worry about crackdowns on political speech, protest, and freedom of assembly.

Ed.: Great (and lengthy!) Reason interview with Oath Keepers.
 

NC: Elite NRA Firearms Instructor Joins Point Blank Range
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Point Blank Range, scheduled to open in May, today announced that Troy Perry has joined the management team as the new Director of Training and Instruction.

"Some may know Troy from his work in the Charlotte and Lake Norman area, where he has provided personal self defense and firearms training and instruction for over 20 years. He is also currently the Executive Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Rifle & Pistol Club,” says General Manager Dave Driscoll. “Troy is an NRA Training Counselor, the highest level of instructor designation recognized by the NRA.”
 

CA: Open Carrying of Guns Should Be Banned in California --Support AB 144
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Members of the California Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence know all too well the tragic results of an accidental shooting. Many have lost their own children under these circumstances. The Brady Campaign goes to great lengths to educate the public about the dangers of having a gun in the home, where studies show the gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide or unintentional shooting than to kill in self-defense.
 

HI: Gun Owners Have a Right to Privacy
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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People who want the lists made public say the disclosure is necessary to assure that government doesn’t issue permits to felons. They point to an AP report that gun permits were given to hundreds of felons in Florida, Tennessee, and Indiana. So because government is not competent enough to obey its own rules, the rest of us must have our privacy compromised? I don’t buy it.

As Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says: “There is no legitimate reason for anyone to have access to the information. The safety of real people is at stake here. Once this information is released, it will be distributed to street gangs and gun-control groups, who will use the data to target gun owners for crime and harassment.”
 

CA: California Capitol Police no substitute for armed assembly members
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The wish of the California Assembly to be armed reminds me of college students who respectfully ask to be armed on campus. The students forgot how they do not need to ask permission, but – as constituents – instruct trustees.

This is the United States of America, not England. It is not the Philippines, or India or Australia. Here, we are the sovereign, and we do not need permission to exercise a civil right which, among a few others, is absolute. If I were a college student, I would file a civil rights action and document the pleading with examples of denial of rights and other exhibits. Some reports show that 77 college campuses affirm armed students and have not been made to regret that. The same for forty-eight states of he union.
 

WA: Lynnwood shooting: No suspects, no motive
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Snohomish County Sheriff’s detectives are apparently as baffled as assault victim Craig Talbert about the motive for an early-morning attack that could have ended a lot worse than just a whack on the head with a shotgun.

Early Monday morning, according to the Seattle Times, KING-TV and the Everett Herald, Talbert opened the back door of his mobile home to find himself confronted by a masked man holding a shotgun. The 50-year-old Talbert did what some might consider a remarkably brave thing: He grabbed the guy and the gun, a struggle ensued, the gun went off and Talbert suffered a head wound.
 

AK: House Passes Bill Loosening Self Defense Laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The State House on Saturday passed a bill that loosens the state’s “self defense” laws. The measure by Big Lake Republican Mark Neuman says deadly force is allowed by a person who feels unsafe or threatened if he is any place he has a right to be.
 

IL: House lawmakers vote to keep FOID card names secret
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Illinois lawmakers on Friday fought the attorney general's ruling by approving legislation to seal the names of authorized gun owners from public access.

The House on Friday voted 98-12 to send House Bill 3500 to the Senate for consideration.

Illinois State Police could not disclose names of Firearm Owners Identification card holders, unless gun owners are under criminal investigation. It would create an exemption under the state's Freedom of Information law to keep the names secret.

Chief sponsor State Rep. Richard Morthland, R-Cordova, said the FOID card list could become a "shopping list for ne'er-do-wells" or irresponsible people.
 

KY: Kentucky Concealed Carry Coalition – New Year New Name New Logo
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The board of directors has voted to change the name subtly but significantly to the Kentucky Concealed Carry Coalition.

We wanted to keep the abbreviation, KC3, that has identified us so distinctly for so long while signifying that as the political climate and concealed carry laws here in Kentucky have changed, so has our mission and our approach to the problems still facing gun owners and permit holders in the Commonwealth.

We’ve accomplished our primary goal, which was to get a bill passed that would legalize the carry of concealed deadly weapons for personal defense in Kentucky.
 

NY: Dumb Gun Laws In New York
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But, back to the dumb gun laws in New York. It takes a few months to a year in the Empire State to get a pistol permit. In Pennsylvania it takes less than an hour and this includes permits for non-residents. The difference in crime statistics involving guns between the states is insignificant.

The real objective of the anti-gun politicians is to make guns illegal for all but their favored few. That was the objective of Tim Sullivan who got the law passed. That’s why an upstate cop can’t legally carry a handgun in the Big Apple unless he is on duty and has the OK from the Police Commissioner.
 

CO: Second Amendment a focus of local Tea Party forum
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Jantz said that for some people, such circumstances might cause them to take an anti-gun stance, but he is not one of those people.

“It was not the guns that committed the crime,” he said.

Jantz was one of three speakers during an April 7 meeting of the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots. The organization’s forum focused on the Second Amendment.

The crowd of about 50 people at The Center of Craig began the meeting with a reading of the first four amendments of the Bill of Rights and how they are perceived today.

Former U.S. congressional candidate Bob McConnell, of Steamboat Springs, took the lead on the second of the four, which he believes to be “the most important 27 words in the Constitution.”
 

IN: Goshen mayor concerned proposed gun law could do more harm than good
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Indiana lawmakers are looking into a proposed measure that would take local control of gun regulations and turn them over to the state. Goshen’s mayor is concerned that would do more harm than good, but others say it would help standardize gun regulations.

“Senate Bill 292 would override any local gun legislation," said Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman.

Kauffman is taking issue with the proposed bill in the Indiana Legislature. Among other things, it would preempt regulations set up by individual cities for firearms and put them under state control. Right now, under Goshen law you can't fire a gun in the city — either as target practice or as part of a celebration.
 

IL: IL to Cure Zombie Loophole, Pass Concealed Carry?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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IL is one of the few states that has refused to pass concealed carry, what with our total lack of gun violence and all. While nearly 46 other states have passed laws allowing individual citizens to protect themselves - within reason - Illinois has, instead, been waiting for that fateful day when we finally do change our Constitution and declare ourselves a disjointedly annexed province of Canada.

... Of course, he could be pushing for concealed carry to apply only to unloaded weapons, which would just be a hilariously inappropriate and ineffective enough compromise for the Illinois legislature.
 

MI: Detroit Michigan CCW Class Instructor To Hold Open Carry Dinner In Detroit
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Rick Ector, owner of the Internet blog "Legally Armed In Detroit" (LAID), is organizing an Open Carry dinner on Thursday, April 21, 2011. It will be held at the Elias Brothers Restaurant on East Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit at 6pm. Over 50 handgun toting patrons are expected to attend and participate in the event.

In the state of Michigan, it is legal for a person 18 years of age to display his own registered pistol in a completely visible holster without a special permit, as long as he does not venture into a state designated pistol-free zone.
 

ME: Bills seek to change Maine’s concealed weapon laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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One proposal under consideration by the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, LD 1347, would allow permit holders to carry concealed firearms into state parks, establishments where alcohol is served, at labor strikes and the State House.

Maine law allows the owners of establishments that serve alcohol to prohibit guns. Bill sponsor Rep. Richard Cebra, R-Naples, said he included bars and restaurants in his bill as a talking point for the committee.

“I included them all so that you, as a committee, can determine which ones you feel are valid,” Cebra said.
 

TX: Highlights Monday from the Texas Capitol
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Efforts to allow concealed handguns in college classrooms stalled in the Texas Senate for a second time Monday, leaving a measure that seemed headed for approval now struggling to survive.

The measure's Republican sponsor, Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, said he didn't have the necessary support to call the bill for a vote. Wentworth would not predict if or when he would try again.

"I'm hopeful this is a bump in the road," Wentworth said. "I don't have a very clear crystal ball."
 

IL: Mayoral Team Richard Daley & Rahm Emanuel Oppose Right-to-Carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In an unsurprising move, two of Chicago’s most prominent, and most anti-gun, politicians joined forces with a coalition of gun ban groups to oppose Right-to-Carry in Illinois.

Illinois is one of only two remaining states that deny citizens the ability to carry firearms for self-defense.

Mayor Richard Daley (D) and mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel (D-whose most recent job was President Obama’s chief of staff) resorted to the usual blather to demonstrate their opposition to qualified, law-abiding Illinoisans being able to protect themselves and their loved ones.
 

TX: Campus carry bill on hold in Texas Senate, for now
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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State Sen. Jeff Wentworth’s Senate Bill 354 has 14 co-authors and is a revival of a bill championed by the San Antonio Republican last session. Under Wentworth’s legislation, public college students over 21 who have obtained concealed handgun licenses (CHL) and undergone a training course could bring their firearms to school.

A two-thirds vote, or 21 of 31 members, is needed to consider legislation for adoption in the Senate.

Pressure from college administrators and students who fear the bill’s passage will spur violence and bloodshed have led some Democrats to reconsider their positions on the bill.
 

Gun Control And The Second Amendment: Which Will Win Out
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The real target of the president’s punditry is the ability of individual citizens to sell or give their firearms to other persons whom they know to be a “law abiding” citizens. The idea that such sales take place drives the Left into a frenzy, because it means that someone is exercising their constitutional rights without notifying the federal government.
 

CA: Assembly members told to check guns at door
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The debate over gun control is being re-ignited at the state Capitol. Four state assembly members who had been given permission to carry concealed weapons are now under orders to check their guns at the door.

Some state lawmakers are starting to question their safety, and now there are discussions over whether they should be able to carry guns.

Monday marked the first day when California Assembly members came to work, but had to check their guns at the door.

Under a 2010 law, the sergeant-at-arms gave four unnamed lawmakers permission to carry a concealed weapon under the Capitol dome, but Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) revoked the permits Friday to review the policy.
 

Over a barrel? Meet White House gun policy adviser Steve Croley
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But the official the advocates wanted to hear from most stayed mostly quiet.

The silence of Steve Croley, the White House’s point man on gun regulation policy, echoes the decision by Democrats to remain mute on guns as a national issue, even in the wake of the Tucson rampage. Croley’s keep-your-head-down approach is in keeping with President Obama’s preference for low-key wonks, but in this case, his reticence has more to do with political reality: Democrats have no plans for serious gun-control initiatives, and the Gabrielle Giffords tragedy, as heart-rending as it was, hasn’t changed their minds.
 

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