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Newslinks for 5/11/2010

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NJ: Men dressed as sheriffs' officers rob North Bergen home
Submitted by: jac

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NORTH BERGEN -- Two men posing as sheriff's officers robbed a home in the township early this morning, police said.

When the two suspects knocked on the door of an apartment at a multi-dwelling house on the 6200 block of Meadowview Avenue at around 1 a.m., they identified themselves as sheriff's officers, flashed gold-colored badges, and were let into the apartment by a 56-year-old male resident, reports said.

The robbers put the man into plastic handcuffs and moved him, his wife, and another relative into a bedroom while they searched the house, reports said.

The robbers, who never showed a weapon, left with a wedding band and a laptop computer, reports said.

Submitters Note: How do they know they weren't real LEO?
 

Tasering gets taken to a whole other level
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Shouldn't police distinguish between degrees of threat at a ball game when a culprit is running away from officials? Since when has a drunken loudmouth at a golfing event been so difficult to handle by multiple cops that they have to resort to Tasers?

This is an unwarranted escalation of police powers. It seems like a little thing, but the same people who fixate on whether civil servants deserve to have taxing powers over their wallets should be equally concerned when the police turn weapons meant for self-defense on unarmed civilians at a sporting event.

The fans laughed when Steve Consalvi was Tasered, but what if the electrical jolt had killed him because of an underlying heart condition?
 

IL: The real cost of gun control
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After hearing the news that consideration was being given to National Guard troops being dispatched to the city of Chicago to quell violence, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn.

Mayor, Governor, congratulations. Your pathological efforts to disarm the honest law-abiding citizens of the state of Illinois have finally paid off in a most graphic way. By making Illinois one of only two states in the United States that denies its citizens the rights granted under the Second Amendment, you have succeeded in turning the city of Chicago into a war zone. Since the beginning of 2010, there have been more Americans killed in Chicago than in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Congratulations, great job,....
 

TX: HPD: Man killed in home invasion after suspect poses as census worker
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A man was killed and his family members beaten after three suspects barged into a north Houston home Saturday afternoon, police said.
Investigators said one of the suspects pretended to be a census worker to gain entry into the house, located in the 400 block of Truman.
Family members said the victim’s son opened the door for the suspects, believing they were with the census.
Larry Johnson Jr., the nephew of the victim, said the suspects tied up and beat his cousin and aunt after barging into to the home.
Johnson said his uncle, Reginald "Pete" Haynes, walked in on the crime and was ambushed.
"They tied him up and stabbed him and tried to submerge him in water," Johnson said.
Haynes later died at the hospital.
 

NY: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Announces June 12 Annual Meeting
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association will hold its annual meeting – free and open to the public – on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at the Wallkill Rod & Gun Club in Ulster County. Vendor expo hours are 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Our Special Invited Guest Speaker will be Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive VP.
 

Family of FBI agent convicted on gun charges: 'Battle lost, war still on'
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.examiner.com/x-1417-Gun-Rights-Examiner

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"I understand that many regular readers will not exactly be sympathetic to the plight of a federal agent caught up in laws he himself enforced during his career. I can't sit here and tell you I'm taking up cheerleading for the guy—but I do believe his side of the story needs to be heard, and I don't see too many outside his family interested in acknowledging that."

Also get an update on NV politicians who have answered the Gun Rights Questionnaire.
 

MA: Gregory Girard: Political Prisoner
Submitted by: Larry

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Massachusetts resident Gregory Girard has never been formally charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. Yet after spending four months in jail, he will spend the next four years as a ward of the court.


Girard's legally obtained firearms will remain in the possession of the thieves in uniform who stole them on February 9, the same day he was kidnapped by a SWAT team. He will undergo involuntary psychiatric evaluation and treatment, including the administration of psychotropic drugs.


If it is deemed "necessary" by any of the legal or therapeutic apparatchiks who are now in charge of his life, Girard will be taken into custody for "in-patient treatment."
 

WA: Public reaction to Port Orchard shooting reveals distrust of ‘system,’ misunderstanding of law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The man he shot, 22-year-old Donald Axthelm, was found dead a short distance away from the older man’s residence at the South Park Greens Apartment Homes. According to published reports, the older man was awakened at about 3:30 a.m. by noises in his home, so he grabbed a pistol to investigate. He confronted a “young adult male” in the living room, there was a struggle, and the older man apparently managed to force the burglar outside and fired at him as he fled. Now the older man is in the Kitsap County Jail on $100,000 bail, and many people are furious, possibly because they do not understand self-defense law, so they don't understand why the old fellow is behind bars.
 

AZ: Carrying a gun isn't about fear
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I would like to comment on the drawing of a man with a sidearm and "FEAR" on him in a recent Miner. I don't know why people associate an emotion with carrying a sidearm. This is a practical decision, not an emotional one.

I carry a fire extinguisher, and yes I have used it to put out a fire. I have also seen a vehicle burn because no one had an extinguisher. I carry a first-aid kit, and yes I have used that, too. I have also seen someone suffer because no one had a first-aid kit. I have a jack and tire iron, too. I also carry a firearm, and yes, I have used it to defend myself. I know others that have, and I know people that were victimized because they could not defend themselves.
 

GA: Don’t Miss Sharper Future Awards Breakfast at BLADE Show
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Noted Constitutional Law attorney Alan Gura will be the keynote speaker at Knife Rights’ inaugural Sharper Future™ Awards Breakfast to be held, June 5th (Saturday morning) during BLADE Show in Atlanta, Georgia (at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel). Gura’s talk is titled, “It’s Your Second Amendment Too! Knives and the Second Amendment.” Gura was the attorney for Dick Heller in the precedent-setting Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller that affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right. He is the lead counsel in McDonald v. Chicago currently before the Supreme Court that seeks to incorporate the Second Amendment, assuring that it takes precedent over state and local law.
 

WA: Libraries Have Right to Block Internet Content, Court Rules
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Also part of the case was a gun rights website. "Plaintiff Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is a Washington nonprofit corporation dedicated to issues associated with the constitutional right to keep and bear firearms, with about 1,000 members in the counties served by NCRL," the opinion said. "SAF has a web site and sponsors on-line publications, including Women and Guns. SAF was advised by a member or members that access to its publication www.womenandguns was blocked on NCRL's computers. Prior to this lawsuit, NCRL had not received any report that this site was blocked and does not contend that it should be blocked. It is not presently blocked. SAF is concerned about possible future blocking."
 

MA: Patrick tags gun lobby with lack of progress on gun bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gov. Deval Patrick blamed firearms lobbyists Monday for his gun control legislation’s lack of progress amid another murder of a child over the weekend, drawing a quick rebuke from the Gun Owners Action League, who called Patrick’s bill flawed and ineffective.

...

The state’s top firearms policy group said Patrick had mischaracterized lobbyists’ work.

James Wallace, executive director of GOAL, replied, “My first question is: Who’s the gun lobby? … I don’t lobby for guns, I lobby for people. That’s one of the tools they use to dehumanize us. We lobby for . . . civil rights and public safety.”
 

WY: New law pits guns vs. grizzlies in national parks
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The grizzly took Jerry Ruth by surprise, bursting from thick brush and biting his jaw almost completely off.

On the ground and barely able to see, Ruth grabbed his .41 Magnum-caliber revolver and started shooting. The third bullet pierced the bear's heart and spinal cord, killing it from 25 feet.

"I'm glad I was armed with a firearm and I'm glad I was able to shoot straight," said Ruth, attacked last July 19 a couple miles from his home not far from Yellowstone National Park.

Ruth's gun quite possibly saved his life. It also provided fodder for a long-standing debate about whether a gun or bear spray is better in fending off a grizzly attack.
 

CA: Emeryville's police chief on the open carry movement
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Northern California Militia is an example of a growing movement by private citizens to arm themselves. So what do law enforcement officials think about militias like that? We asked Emeryville Police Chief Ken James, who thinks the California militia is getting it right.

KEN JAMES: In my opinion the Second Amendment was written to provide the ability of normal citizens to band together and form an army just like these militias are doing. So I believe the militias are totally supported by the Second Amendment.

James, however, says there's another group of private citizens who have the wrong idea about the Second Amendment. It's a growing movement around the Bay Area, California and the country. It's called "open carry," ...
 

"Redneck" Clinton Praises Bloomberg On Gun Initiative
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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Former President Bill Clinton had some words of praise for Mayor Bloomberg -- and a few self-deprecating words for himself -- at Jonathan Tisch's book party at the Museum of Modern Art the other night, as you can see in this quick clip. Bloomberg, of course, has been crusading against illegal gun trafficking, and went to Washington with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to testify before the Senate on this very issue of letting terror suspects purchase guns.
 

CT: Census Worker Carjacked and Kidnapped
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A Census Bureau worker was the victim of a carjacking in Hamden, and the suspect is just 14-years-old.
The 50-year-old Hamden resident was sitting in his car, clearly marked with a Census Bureau sign, on Hamden Park Drive Thursday around 6:00 p.m., according to police.
The victim told police the teen came up to him with a gun and ordered him out of the car, then stole money from him.
Jumping in the car, the teen sped away, but returned a short time later and ordered the victim to drive him to the First Street area, police said.
The teen jumped out of the car at First Street and fled on foot.
Working with several leads, police arrested the 14-year-old suspect around 9:00 p.m. Thursday night.
 

IN: Volunteer Census worker charged with burglary and rape in Indiana
Submitted by: Anonymous

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A volunteer Census worker who made his rounds earlier this week is now accused of returning to a physically handicapped woman's home this weekend and beating her and raping her. ...
Police say that same Tuesday, Miller also stopped by Debbie's neighbor's house. Then, that Saturday, at 4:30 in the morning, police say he returned to her neighbor's home, broke in, and beat and raped the 21-year-old physically handicapped woman who lives there with her mother.

 

WI: Wis. Agent Accused of Stealing Drug Money in FBI Sting
Submitted by: jac

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Prosecutors believe Johnny Santiago stole about $1,100 that FBI agents planted in a vacant store front Santiago was set up to search.

MADISON, Wis. -- A state Justice Department narcotics agent has pleaded not guilty to stealing drug money in an FBI sting.

Johnny Santiago was charged in March in federal court in Milwaukee with theft of government property. Prosecutors believe he stole about $1,100 that FBI agents planted in a vacant store front Santiago was set up to search.

Santiago entered the plea Friday. His trial is set to begin June 28.
 

Gun-Grabbing Legislation
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.) is using Americans’ fear of terrorism to promote legislation that could restrict the right to own a handgun. Lautenberg is a sponsor of S. 843, the Gun Show Background Check Act of 2009, a bill that would effectively close gun shows throughout America. Lautenberg also supports reinstatement of the so-called “assault weapons ban,” a bill that would expand the definition of an “assault weapon” in a manner that would ban types of guns that are rarely used in crimes while ignoring the fact that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens actually reduces crime. In short, Lautenberg aims to severely restrict the right of Americans to own a handgun.

Ed.: Second story on page.
 

NH: NH Senate to vote on gun display bill
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Displaying a gun to warn a potential attacker away would not be considered a crime under a bill to soften New Hampshire’s law on deadly force.

The Senate votes Wednesday on the bill that would make it legal to respond to a threat by displaying a gun. It is more limited than an earlier bill that would have expanded the use of deadly force, which was vetoed by Gov. John Lynch in 2006. That proposal would have allowed the use of deadly force in public whenever someone felt threatened.

Lynch’s office was noncommittal about the new version Friday.

“The governor will be reviewing the bill and talking with the attorney general’s office and law enforcement about it,” spokesman Colin Manning said.
 

Kagan Questions
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Kagan's only documented remarks directly related to an individual's right to own a firearm stem from her April 2009 solicitor general nomination proceedings when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked her views on District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark 2008 ruling in which the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for private use in federal enclaves.

"The Court granted this right the same status as other individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as those protected in the First Amendment ...," Kagan replied. "I understand the solicitor general’s obligations to include deep respect for Supreme Court precedents like Heller and for the principle of state decisis generally.
 

IN: Gun access put ahead of safety
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Reticent as they are about the notorious weakness of Indiana's gun laws, local public safety officials cite the easy availability of illegal firearms as a prime culprit in a plague of violence that has taken nearly 50 lives already this year, far ahead of the 2009 pace.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn't stop with illegal firearms.

It would help if Indiana were among the states that limit the number of guns that can be lawfully purchased at one time. "Straw purchases," in which one person buys a gun for someone who can't legally obtain it, are a prime source of weapons later sold on the street to criminals and criminals-to-be.
 

NSSF Responds to NY Times ‘Government Watch List’ Editorial
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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After spending nearly a decade criticizing successive administrations for disregarding the rights of American citizens suspected of terrorism, the Times has now decided that some should be denied a Constitutional right without due process (“The Gun Lobby’s Long Shadow,” May 7, 2010).

No one wants to see terrorists obtain firearms, period. Yet before the Times, or anyone else, considers denying American citizens their Constitutional rights, it’s important to first examine the law enforcement requirements currently in place that enable law enforcement to protect Americans from terrorism.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both. — William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829)

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