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Newslinks for 5/15/2003

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Can the thought police be far behind?
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Orwell's ideas, while unsettlingly prescient about some foreign affairs, also echo loudly in the US, some scholars say. Civil libertarians are alarmed at the invasiveness of the Patriot Act, and are alarmed at a possible Patriot Act II, which would further expand government surveillance. In his works, Orwell recognized that 'trading freedom for security is a death trap,' Hitchens says, calling homeland security a 'seductive temptation.' "
 

Hillary's Big Nanny Hotline
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"This week, the senator from New York unveiled the 'Calling for 2-1-1 Act of 2003.' The legislation, co-sponsored by Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (shame on you, Kay!) would provide $200 million to establish a nationwide community help line, including almost $4 million for Clinton's 'home' state."
 

Bush keeps low profile on gun ban
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The White House on Wednesday restated President Bush's support for renewing a ban on Uzis and other semiautomatic weapons, but the president is keeping a low profile on the issue."

"The White House gave no indication that Bush is prepared to wage a public campaign for the legislation if House Republican leaders refuse to bring it up for a vote before the ban expires next year."
 

CA: Descent Into Madness: 48 Hours In The California Legislative System
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"In his bill, Mr. Koretz expressed a sky-is-falling need to ban .50 caliber target rifles by including them in the ever-changing definition of "assault weapon." The strident urgency driving this bill was Mr. Koretz' claims that these bolt-action rifles are a terrorist superweapon which have the ability to shoot planes out of the sky, punch holes through tanks, and kill people in armored limousines from four miles away."
 

AZ: Gun owners improving their communities
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Davidson's and GalleryofGuns.com is pleased to provide you with information about a new organization called the Good Gun Foundation. As a gun owner, you may recognize that there is a need for gun owners like yourself to join together to make a difference, to be willing to stand up proudly and say you are gun owner that gives back to your community. That's what the Good Gun Foundation is all about."
 

Throw down your Oreos, guns, smokes
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"Now mind you, while each of these is a separate and discrete state issue, collectively they are forming the basis for controls such as the United States has never known."

"Don't think for a minute that these issues aren't known to our present administration. If ever President Bush or Attorney General John Ashcroft wanted to assure Americans of their liberty, it would be now ... with subtle phone calls to the people who are promoting these assaults against our liberties. Don't think it isn't any of their business, it is. Whatever they decide is their business becomes their business. Don't think for a minute that President Bush isn't acquainted with billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York."
 

The British Gun Closet
Submitted by: Paul Raynolds

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"When I arrived in London, I expected to find a very depressing situation for gun rights, as the formerly robust British right-to-arms is nearing extinction. Yet there are signs that the public is waking up to the failure of gun prohibition."

"To be sure, the present circumstances in Britain are awful. A world-class British rifle shooter explained to me that he never tells ordinary people that he is a marksman, for fear of their reaction. British shooters today, like homosexuals in Oklahoma in 1950, feel so intimidated by the hostility of the surrounding culture that they must be careful not to expose themselves, except to known members of their minority group."
 

Justice Dept. Plans to Step Up Gun-Crime Prosecutions
Submitted by: P. Jones

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NOTE:
Use the following information to access this article:
Site username: Newslinks
Site password: Newslinks
Must have cookies turned on for it to work.

-------
"Justice Department officials said today that they planned to step up prosecutions of gun crimes as part of a new initiative, even as a private study said prosecutors had 'ignored' a vast majority of gun crimes."

"The study, to be released here on Wednesday by Americans for Gun Safety, found that 2 percent of federal gun crimes resulted in prosecutions and that gun traffickers were rarely prosecuted."
 

DeLay: House Will Not Extend Assault Weapons Ban (Another report)
Submitted by: P. Jones

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"His spokesman, Stuart Roy, said, 'We have no intention of bringing it up' for a vote."

"As majority leader, DeLay decides which bills get voted on in the House. Because the 1994 assault weapons ban expires next year, the House and Senate must pass legislation renewing it by Sept. 13, 2004. If Congress fails to act, the AK-47 and 18 other types of semiautomatic weapons that were outlawed by Clinton and a Democratic-controlled Congress a decade ago would be legal again, handing a major victory to the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups."
 

OH: Cleveland Shooter Had Military Training
Submitted by: Clint Cook
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/home/oldguns

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"The 62-year-old man accused of a shooting spree at a prestigious Cleveland university had military training with the Indian army and a grudge against an employee, authorities said Saturday."
 

IL: Teen falls from staircase, dies
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"A 17-year-old girl was killed after she tried to slide down the railing of a staircase inside a museum, lost her balance and fell, officials said."

"The accident happened Saturday in a public stairwell known as the 'Blue Stairway' inside the Museum of Science and Industry."

" 'She was sliding down the banister and lost her balance, according to eyewitness accounts,' Chicago police spokesman said. 'We are treating this as a death investigation.' "

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Where's Sarah Brady and her banister control?
 

As sales soar, Bushmaster shrugs at bid to renew gun ban
Submitted by: Anonymous

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" 'Of course we were opposed' to the ban initially, Faraday said. 'It was the latest attempt - and a very powerful one - for the anti-gun people to ban firearms. What they do is go after the military, sinister-looking firearms first.' "

"But Bushmaster is less worried about an extension. 'From our point of view, extending the ban is probably OK,' Faraday said."

-------
NOTE: Before you condemn Bushmaster, read their statement about this story.
 

UT: District drafts policy denying liability for teachers' firearms use
Submitted by: Clint Cook
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/home/oldguns

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"A draft Jordan School District policy disavows liability for whatever use district employees may make of the guns the Legislature has decreed they may carry into schools."

"Calvin Evans, the district's executive director of compliance and special programs, brought the proposal to the school board during a work session Tuesday."

" 'I never thought I'd be doing research on a policy about how to accommodate guns in schools,' Evans said."
 

OH: There are no gun-free, safe zones
Submitted by: Anonymous

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"The attack on Friday took place in an area where guns were already banned, a so-called 'gun-free safe zone.' Yet, suppose you or your family are being stalked by a criminal who intends on harming you. Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying 'This Home is a Gun-Free Zone'?" ...

"Good intentions don't necessarily make good laws. What counts is whether the laws ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals."
 

TX: Women take aim
Submitted by: Paul Raynolds

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"Eighteen miles north of Stephenville in the middle of 550 acres of land, 25 women gather to shoot guns. But these women are not professional shooters or even 'gun nuts,' they are ordinary women — wives, mothers and daughters, and it’s just a girl’s day out at the range."

"Sponsored by the National Rifle Association, Tac Pro Shooting Center recently held a Women on Target program designed to offer women more opportunities to learn how to safely handle and use firearms."
 

MT: Senate mulls tax breaks for gunsmiths
Submitted by: Paul Raynolds

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"People like to buy Bob Enright's custom-made guns. But they must buy the actions and barrels and send them to his gunsmith shop in Pinedale, where he makes the stock and assembles the gun."

"Enright goes through these logistical gymnastics to avoid an 11 percent firearms manufacturing excise tax imposed by the federal government on every gun that is produced by both big gun companies and small gunsmith operations, like Enright's."

"If an effort by Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus succeeds, Enright would be able to purchase all of the parts needed to build a gun and then assemble it."
 

Windham gun maker makes adjustment to weapon ban (another report)
Submitted by: Paul Raynolds

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"A Windham gun maker says its sales have increased by at least 900 percent since a federal ban on assault weapons took effect in 1994. So Bushmaster Firearms is not concerned about a proposed extension of the ban."

"A Bushmaster vice president, Allen Faraday, says the company has adjusted its business to make weapons allowed under the law. He says the changes were all cosmetic and didn't affect performance."

-------
Keep adjusting. Eventually you'll adjust yourself right out of existence.
 

ID: Idaho Stands Up To The Feds!
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"I'm so proud of the State of Idaho. They stood up to the federal government and defended our rights under the Tenth Amendment. This state is showing the federal people that we will only give them the powers we want them to have. Idaho has said no to the ESA at the federal level. The Idaho State Legislator passed House Bill 294 and Governor Dirk Kempthorne signed it into law. This bill gives to the state the power to control wolves."
 

OH: Woman Makes Frantic 911 Call, Admits Shooting Husband
Submitted by: Paul Raynolds

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"Rhonda Ricketts, 50, is facing a charge of aggravated murder." ...

"Rhonda Ricketts (pictured, right) told a 911 operator repeatedly that she 'didn't mean to' and that she shot her husband because 'he's been beating on me,' according to a tape of the call."

" 'I only shot him because he told me I could move out and I was scared to be by myself, and then he hit me again and I could not take it anymore,' she said during the call."
 

MD: Crowded and Out of Control
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A riot at a juvenile detention center in Prince George's County was far more dangerous and destructive than state officials previously acknowledged, according to a report that describes authorities losing control of the facility for several hours and calling in a police helicopter and an armored vehicle to quell the rampage in March."
 

TX: 'Missing' Democrats Found in Oklahoma
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Texas's most eagerly sought fugitives were tracked to their lair late Monday when state troopers discovered more than 50 Democratic state legislators holed up just over the border in Oklahoma, where they were staying in a Holiday Inn and holding court at Denny's."
 

Democrats eye filibuster on gun bill
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Democratic senators said yesterday they will attempt a filibuster to stop passage of a bill to prohibit lawsuits against gun manufacturers and distributors."

" 'We are here to send a clear message to the gun lobby: You don't own the United States Senate,' said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat. 'The gun-immunity bill that is being bullied through Congress is one of the most outrageous pieces of legislation I have every seen. It is a total sellout to a special-interest lobby."
 

Lawmaker wants passports required for Caribbean visits
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A Republican congressman wants travelers to and from the Caribbean to carry passports, citing lax travel rules that allowed a Washington-area sniper suspect to smuggle dozens of illegal aliens into this country."

"Rep. John Hostettler of Indiana, chairman of the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, said he has begun the 'educational process' that he hopes will persuade Congress to close what he called an immigration loophole."
 

Supreme Court refuses stay on campaign ruling
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Supreme Court declined to intervene yesterday to block part of a lower court's long-delayed ruling on the new campaign-finance law, but the court is still expected to consider the case."

"Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist turned down a request from the National Rifle Association, which had asked the high court to suspend what it calls unconstitutional restrictions on political advertisements by interest groups."
 

Senate kicks off debate on tax-cut bill
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Senate began debate Wednesday on a $350 billion tax-cut bill that Republicans say will add more than 1 million jobs to the U.S. economy next year alone, but that Democrats say will disproportionately benefit the rich and drive up the deficit."
 

Bushmaster Responds
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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Apparently the reporter completely mischaracterized Mr. Faraday's statement, making it seem like Bushmaster supported the "Assault" weapons ban.

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"In a May 14th article in a local newspaper, regarding the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and its sunset provision, the reporter took totally out of context what Mr. Faraday said and slanted the article in a way that made it appear that Bushmaster was in support of extending the Ban. One of the quotes that was taken out of context and was incomplete was 'From our point of view, extending the ban is probably OK, in terms of affecting our sales, but we have always supported legislation protecting gun rights, including the Assault Weapons Ban sunset provision.' The reporter asked how Bushmaster dealt with the ban in the first place and how we were able to continue our business. The quote that we would consider supporting the bill that would strengthen the current Assault Weapons Ban law was totally mischaracterized." ...

"The firearms industry's ongoing battle with the well-financed anti-gun groups creates an atmosphere of absolute non-understanding and non-compromise on both sides. From the point of view of the firearms industry, it has become an issue of survival. As long as the press continues to distort and slant the issues, and the anti-gun groups are determined to destroy the industry, then there never will be any meaningful discussion of the issues."
 

NC: Police gun sales
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the sale of ten handguns from the Bald Head Island Police Department."

"Agent David Allen says the department requested his office investigate the sale of ten surplus .40-caliber Glocks. It was unclear the exact reason for the investigation, but village manager Becky King said the sales didn't follow all requirements of a village resolution."
 

FL: Florida Ordered to Seek Guardian for Rape Victim's Fetus
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Gov. Jeb Bush (search) ordered state lawyers Tuesday to seek the appointment of a guardian for the 6-month-old fetus of a mentally disabled woman who was raped, angering abortion rights advocates."

"The 22-year-old woman has no family, is too disabled to speak and cannot help police find who raped and impregnated her. Identification of her attacker has been hampered because she is unable to consent to a DNA test."

" 'Given the facts of this case, it is entirely appropriate that an advocate be appointed to represent the unborn child's best interests in all decisions,' Bush said Tuesday in a statement."
 

NV: Ranchers Claim BLM Blackmail On Water At Assembly Hearing
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"On May 12, 2003 the Nevada Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining chaired by Assemblyman Tom Collins, held a hearing on Senate Bill 76, the controversial Stock Water legislation. If passed, as is, the bill could allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service to steal Nevadans’ water rights that were originally perfected by pioneering Nevadans for beneficial use in mining and agriculture says the Nevada Committee for Full Statehood."
 

Democrats hope to talk gun bill to death (Another report)
Submitted by: Paul Raynolds

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"Senate Democrats said yesterday that they would filibuster legislation backed by the White House and the National Rifle Association that would protect gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits arising from the criminal or unlawful use of their products."

"Opponents 'will do everything we can to stop this shameful piece of legislation from becoming law,' said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island."
 

Brooklyn Jury Decision Proper, Judge Needs to Concur, Says SAF
Submitted by: Second Amendment Foundation
Website: http://www.saf.org

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" 'Now,' said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, 'U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein, who had placed the jury in an advisory role, needs to heed their advice and rule in favor of all the defendants in this frivolous lawsuit.' "

"While the jury cleared 45 firearms manufacturers and distributors, the panel could not reach a verdict relating to 23 other defendants, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit was filed by the NAACP against 68 defendants, claiming that the industry knew corrupt dealers were supplying guns to criminals in minority communities, and took no steps to stop them. Judge Weinstein will allow NAACP and industry attorneys to submit written arguments interpreting the verdict. Gottlieb said there should be no reason for Weinstein to labor over a final ruling."

Related News:

Associated Press:
Jury: Gun Industry Not Cause of Violence

FOXNews:
Jury Shoots Down NAACP Gun Maker Lawsuit
 

Security chiefs worry about police state
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Chief security officers (CSOs) and senior security executives are worried that the United States could be on its way to becoming a police state, according to a poll released Monday by CSO magazine."

"When considering the impacts of Patriot Acts I and II, nearly a third of respondents (31 percent) say the United States is in jeopardy of becoming a police state." ...
 

UT: Utah Ranks High in Using Anti-Gun Violence Initiative
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"Utah is a national leader in using a multiagency federal enforcement program to prosecute firearms violations and to curb gun violence in communities, the U.S. attorney for the state told a Senate committee hearing Tuesday."

"Paul Warner testified before Sen. Orrin Hatch's Senate Judiciary Committee as Hatch held a hearing to assess how well the Bush administration's 'Project Safe Neighborhoods' gun violence reduction initiative is working."
 

Lawmakers Push Bush on Gun Ban Stance
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"Pressed by some Democrats for an unambiguous signal that President Bush supports extending the 1994 ban on assault weapons, a White House official on Wednesday instead said the ban's fate rested in the hands of Congress."

" 'The president's position is clear,' White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. 'If Congress passes it, he will sign it. The president thinks that the current assault weapons ban should be reauthorized.' "
 

AK: Fighting the Patriot Act
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Bush Administration and Attorney General John Ashcroft may have been able to pull a fast one in the wake of 9/11, winning passage of the draconian and grotesquely named USA PATRIOT Act, but a grass-roots resistance movement is starting to blow up in the administration's face."

"As of today, 104 towns, cities and even the state of Hawaii, have passed resolutions in defense of the Bill of Rights which in often forceful language instruct state and local law enforcement not to participate in the act's assaults on civil liberties. The latest jurisdiction to consider such fight-back legislation is the state of Alaska, a bastion of conservative libertarianism. The city of Fairbanks has already passed its own resolution, and another is being considered in Anchorage, where key sponsors are representatives of the NAACP and the NRA."
 

GLODO vs. TOPOFF
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"There is nothing inherently wrong with preparing for the worst. That is precisely what the militias were doing in the early 90s when they provoked massive outcries of hysteria. They were merely making plans on how to defend themselves should the worst come to pass."

"What the feds are doing is less clear. Are they acting in defense or in offense? The categories are very much conflated. To what extent will they pay any attention to the rights of Americans in the event of disaster?" ...
 

MN: CLC SURVEY: Concerns about gun ownership increase
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"When asked about firearms ownership by private citizens, people are more opinionated than they were four years ago. A recent survey found that 44 percent of citizens want more gun control laws while 30 percent want fewer gun control laws, with 18 percent wanting no change."

"The 1999 survey found 37 percent wanted more control and 15 percent wanted less control, with 40 percent wanting no change."
 

WA: Police didn't press fraud case against Corpuz, wife
Submitted by: Larry E. Bigham

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"David Brame was among a group of top Tacoma police officials who didn't pursue an insurance-fraud case in 1998 against city manager Ray Corpuz Jr., the man who promoted him to chief three years later."

"Safeco, the insurance company, felt it had an airtight fraud case in 1998 against Corpuz's wife, and also had Corpuz's own signature on an apparently trumped-up claim form listing $15,000 in losses from a break-in at their home."

"But when Safeco went to Tacoma police and was referred to Brame, who as chief of detectives normally assigned such cases, he passed the complaint up the chain of command to the chief. He said not to investigate and alerted Corpuz."
 

Iraq: In gun seizures, some surprise finds
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"The destroyed guns are only a small portion of the nearly 300 weapons - some worthy of a museum collection - which have been confiscated in east Baghdad by the 2nd ACR's 2nd Squadron. Patrols are instructed to seize any weapon carried openly or any weapons being sold on what quickly became a flourishing arms black market after the fall of Baghdad."

"The danger of the proliferation of weapons in Iraqi society was dramatically underscored Wednesday when a US soldier with the 2nd ACR was shot in the hand while guarding a former Republican Guard office complex."
 

LA: Objections gut gun lock plan
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Doubts about the effectiveness of gun locks led a Senate committee to gut a bill Tuesday designed to require that all guns be sold with locks and that the locks be used."

"Sen. Jon Johnson, D-New Orleans, read opposition expressed by members of the Senate Judiciary C Committee and volunteered to strip a requirement in Senate Bill 806 to use locks."
 

Gun Controller Schumer Has Armed Bodyguard
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Senate's leading gun control advocate, Senator Charles Schumer - who's currently pressuring the White House to extend the 1994 assault weapons ban - travels with an armed bodyguard, NewsMax.com has learned."

"Questions arose Wednesday morning about the gun opponent's security arrangements after the New York Post's Cindy Adams mentioned in her column that Schumer appeared at a recent event with a bodyguard in tow."
 

UT: Negligent Gun Industry (letter)
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"Gun violence takes a terrible toll on our nation, and yet the extremist gun lobby continues to use its political muscle to make it easier for criminals to obtain guns."

"A recent episode of '60 Minutes' examined the problem of gun dealers who knowingly sell firearms to criminals. The gun industry in America has refused to stop distributing firearms to dealers they know to be corrupt. They argue that it is law enforcement's responsibility to deal with the problem."
 

GPS implant makes debut
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The dimensions of this initial 'personal location device,' or PLD, prototype are said to be 2.5 inches in diameter by 0.5 inches in depth, roughly the size of a pacemaker. Once inserted into a human, the device can be tracked by Global Positioning Satellite technology and the information relayed wirelessly to the Internet, where an individual's location, movements and vital signs can be stored in a database for future reference."
 

IL: Cop arrested on misdemeanor gun charge
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"A Chicago police officer was arrested over the weekend on a misdemeanor gun charge after police responded to a domestic complaint against him, officials said Tuesday. Vincent Lombardo, 35, was charged with failure to register a weapon after he was arrested Sunday morning at his Southwest Side home, police spokesman Pat Camden said."
 

MO: Gun owners beware
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"In Webster County, if you find someone on your property with a gun in hand, and hear shots, BEWARE."

"If you decide to take up arms to defend your property from an armed trespasser, you may become a felon. Webster County has recently started incarcerating people who use firearms to defend their property from villains."

"Here is how you can qualify. You need to be an active sportsman, known for shooting, and have previously been profiled for 'Peace Disturbances' by the authorities."
 

Johns Hopkins Gun Center Announces New Resources on the Value of Litigation
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research announces the release of two publications: Litigation is an Important Tool for Injury and Gun Violence Prevention and Myths and Facts: Lawsuits Brought by Cities or Injured Persons Against the Gun Industry. The two new factsheets provide clear and concise information on the role of litigation against the gun industry as a critical public health tool..."
 

WA: Patriot Act strikes balance
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The U.S. Senate has struck a good balance in making an appropriate expansion in one area of antiterrorism law while retaining an appropriate check on its powers. The House would do well to follow the upper chamber's example."

"Some senators, led by Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah, were pushing to make the controversial post-9/11 law permanent. That effort was opposed by both Democrats and Republicans who wanted to retain the 2005 expiration date."
 

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