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Newslinks for 5/28/2003

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Gun Loopholes and Terror
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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... "The Senate doesn't even appear inclined to extend the 1994 assault-weapons ban before it expires next year, even though everyone knows those weapons aren't for sport."

"Congress must put the safety of the country first: It should extend the assault-weapons ban and close gun-law loopholes."

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Tell us again why a terrorist would want to undergo a background check and spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on "assault" weapons, when they can get them from any nation that sanctions and supports terrorism for little or no money and without having to lie about their purpose? Ah! It's because paranoid, anti-gun loons say so, right?
 

FL: McSting lacked franchise approval
Submitted by: Orange Fuzzy

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"Dressed as a McDonald’s employee, an undercover officer worked the drive-through window March 21 and April 25 and spotted enough wrongdoing inside customers’ cars to warrant six arrests and 29 citations." ...

" 'People are going to say, 'I came here for a Big Mac, not Big Brother,' said defense attorney Aaron O’Brien of Fort Myers, who was a 2002 Libertarian Party candidate for state representative. 'The lawyer in me says they have a right to stand there and do that. The Libertarian in me says hold it. People could just stop going there if they’re going to be subjected to that kind of scrutiny.' "

 

Moussaoui Is Spinning A Legal Web
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit hears arguments next week on a government appeal of a ruling granting Moussaoui the right to interview Binalshibh, the judges will be evaluating an admitted terrorist whose defense has relied on the core rights of the legal system he is accused of trying to destroy."

"Seizing on his right to represent himself, Moussaoui has insulted his standby lawyers, blasted the judge and taunted the Justice Department with a stream of blistering handwritten motions and courtroom outbursts."
 

Judge's Fate Could Turn On 1994 Case
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Pickering is a former Republican Party state chairman, a onetime head of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, a critic of congressional efforts to mandate uniform federal sentences and an opponent of abortion and what he calls 'extensions' of federal judicial power. From the bench, he has repeatedly assailed what he calls 'frivolous' lawsuits, especially petitions by prisoners alleging unlawful incarceration and workers alleging employment discrimination."

"At the same time, Pickering -- unlike the filibustered nominees -- has been dogged by questions about his political experience and record on racial issues. As a young politician, Pickering was closely allied with Mississippi's segregationist leadership, a history he has sought to minimize. Today, African Americans here say he is not a racist, but was not an active proponent of civil rights, a record he acknowledges to friends."
 

Polygraphs: Worse Than Worthless
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"In 1999, in the midst of alleged leaks of nuclear weapons information from his department's national laboratories, the secretary of energy, Bill Richardson, set out to show that he could be 'tough' on national security matters. He sought congressional funding for a wide-ranging polygraph program to cover all employees with high-level clearances -- about 15,000 people in all." ...

"Late last year the NAS published its findings. It determined that the polygraph was not a worthless tool -- indeed, that it was much worse than worthless. The report said that 'available evidence indicates that polygraph testing as currently used has extremely serious limitations . . . if the intent is both to identify security risks and protect valued employees.' The NAS panel, made up of internationally respected psychologists and statisticians, further determined that the test was so nonspecific that even if the polygraphers managed to finally uncover their first spy, at least 100 innocent laboratory employees would have their clearances yanked because of the 'false positives' inherent in the test."
 

Legislation to move anti-medicinal pot funds turned back
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A House bill that would provide public funding for ad campaigns to fight medicinal-marijuana initiatives has been turned back because of language that could allow ads to become partisan attacks."

"The Republican-sponsored legislation would also allow the movement of drug-enforcement money intended to fight the prevalence of drugs at the state and local level to the coffers of federal agents so they could better police the use of medicinal marijuana."

"The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican, would repeal a law that bars White House drug-policy director John Walters from using public funds for 'partisan political purposes.' "
 

Balancing liberty and security
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"How ironic that the war on terrorism we've been waging since September 11 — a war meant to ensure our safety — should itself inspire fear in some Americans."

"Yet cries of 'Big Brother' materialize whenever we hear about new government programs meant to enhance our security, such as increased information-sharing under the Patriot Act or the Total Information Awareness program. Some critics have even suggested that such measures could eventually lead to a totalitarian state."
 

CA: Phone calls must be turned over to Peterson defense, judge rules
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A California judge ordered prosecutors to turn over to the defense records of 69 phone calls between murder suspect Scott Peterson and his lawyer that were intercepted by investigators after his pregnant wife's disappearance."
 

Congressman flies U.N. flag
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Amid waning public support of Americans and the Bush administration for the United Nations, one congressman proudly flies the blue and white U.N. flag outside his D.C. office."

"While most of his 534 colleagues display banners of their home towns at the entrances to their offices in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., moved last month to use that platform to demonstrate his longstanding love of the U.N."
 

OH: Youngstown bureaucrats: Guns are a 'health issue'
Submitted by: Ohioans for Concealed Carry PAC
Website: http://www.ofccpac.org

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"Youngstown citizens have been fighting proposals to ban certain types of firearms in that city for some time now. Their list of adversaries has grown."

"According to the Youngstown Vindicator, 'a board headed by Matthew Stefanak, Mahoning County health commissioner, and his city counterpart, Neil Altman, is asking city council to do something about assault-type firearms.' The group is attempting to exploit the death of a child to support their claims that a ban would somehow make a difference."
 

NC: Teen accused of carrying chemicals, bomb manual
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Airport police arrested a teenager on felony charges accusing him of checking a suitcase with chemicals that authorities said could be used to make a bomb."

"Baggage inspectors with the Transportation Security Administration discovered the chemicals, a bomb-making instruction manual and information about bombs from the Internet in a suitcase around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, said Capt. Jeff Augrem of the Asheville Regional Airport police."
 

NC: Death penalty moratorium considered in N.C.
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"This blue-collar town known for its furniture factories and law-and-order conservatism hardly seems the kind of place that would call for a moratorium on the death penalty."

"But Thomasville is among 21 municipalities in North Carolina that have done just that, a gesture that many here say shows that uneasiness over capital punishment extends beyond big cities and liberal enclaves."
 

OH: Cincy Enquirer: Billboards against street violence
Submitted by: Ohioans for Concealed Carry PAC
Website: http://www.ofccpac.org

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"Cincinnati activists have introduced the second phase of their Peace Down the Way Project, a campaign to stop the bloodshed on Cincinnati's streets. Beginning Sunday, billboards will be posted in Cincinnati neighborhoods calling for a moratorium on violence. They will read:

"... too many tears. Promote Peace. Moratorium on Violence. Peace Down the Way. 751-2332."

"Does anyone really believe this campaign will have the slightest impact to deter drug and gang-related shootings in Cincinnati?"
 

OH: Rape deterrence and concealed carry reform
Submitted by: Ohioans for Concealed Carry PAC
Website: http://www.ofccpac.org

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"Not all women must choose to carry a concealed firearm to benefit from the reformation of Ohio's self-defense laws."

"In 1966 the police in Orlando, Florida, responded to a rape epidemic by embarking on a highly publicized program to train 2,500 women in firearm use. The next year rape fell by 88 percent in Orlando (the only major city to experience a decrease that year); burglary fell by 25 percent. Not one of the 2,500 women actually ended up firing her weapon; the deterrent effect of the publicity sufficed. (Congressional Record, 99th Cong., 2d sess., January 30, 1968, p. 1496, n. 7) Five years later Orlando's rape rate was still 13 percent below the pre-program level, whereas the surrounding standard metropolitan area had suffered a 308 percent increase."

"Every day that Ohio's Republican leadership waits to pass concealed carry reform increases the defenseless victim list in our state, and forces otherwise law-abiding citizens into making a choice between facing felony arrest or being unable to defend themselves. This simply should not be."
 

CO: Ruling spurs debate on role of Bible in sentencing
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"For people of faith, the Bible can serve as a compass to help navigate life's dilemmas, from questions about spirituality to everyday problems with relationships or work."

"But one jury took that too far when they thumbed through the Bible during deliberations to find passages on the death penalty, a Colorado judge ruled."

"Friday's decision to throw out the death sentence has left some experts wondering where to draw the line."
 

So you're a feminist?...Isn't that cute
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"It has recently come to my attention that a feminist student at UNCW has taken offense to a sticker on my office door which reads 'So you're a feminist . . . Isn't that cute.' I found this out after obtaining a copy of a letter her father wrote to you, the Board of Trustees. I could comment at some length on the obvious hypocrisy of this student's decision to ask her father to defend feminism for her, but I won't." ...
 

FL: Muslim Woman Fights To Keep On Veil For License Photo
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Florida's refusal to issue a driver's license to a Muslim woman unless she is photographed without her veil violates her religious rights, an ACLU attorney argued in court Tuesday."

"The requirement by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is a burden on Saltaana Freeman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam whose religious beliefs require her to keep her head and face covered out of modesty, said Howard Marks, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida."
 

CA: Firefighters want chaplains dumped
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Six California firefighters have gone to federal court in an attempt to have the chaplain program ended at the state agency for which they work, reports the New York Times."

"The government employees say the chaplains' corps of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention violates the Constitution by mixing church and state."
 

TX: Fasting activist: 40 days are enough
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Gene Chapman, the Texas man who for 40 days staged what he called a 'death fast,' called off his hunger strike on Sunday, the day after 75 people rallied in support of his efforts."

"Chapman stopped eating on tax day, April 15, saying he would not eat again until he had what he considered an honest, adequate response from the federal government to one question: 'Where is my tax liability in the law?' "
 

Government is a Pagan Cult: And We’ve All Been Drinking The Kool Aid
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Now, some readers of this article (especially neoconservatives) would automatically brand me an Anarchist. I am not an Anarchist, what I am questioning is the role of government. According to the Founding Fathers of America, the role of government was to protect your Individual Rights. NOT TO TAKE THEM AWAY."

"And finally, if the people will not serve God, they will end up serving and being slaves of government." ...
 

Ending the War on Drugs: A speech
Submitted by: LFA Editor
Website: http://www.libertyforall.net

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"If these policemen were not expected to determine the Constitutionality of the laws they enforce then there would be no point in having them swear an oath to uphold something they are not expected to understand! They might as well be swearing an oath to enforce Caesar's laws, and then spitting to make it binding!"

"It's beyond the time where an officer can say, 'I'm just doing my job,' and not be fully accountable for his actions. If the War on Drugs is wrong, and we all know it is, then arresting non violent offenders is far more wrong than any damage the use of Drugs causes." ...
 

OH: Ohioans have right to arms (Letter)
Submitted by: paul raynolds

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"Fact is, current Ohio law forbidding lawful citizens to carry concealed weapons has already been declared unconstitutional in two courts and before four judges. Eventually, the constitutionality of Ohio's ban on self defense will be decided by the Ohio Supreme Court. If and when that happens, Ohio law will most certainly be declared unconstitutional, which will make it perfectly legal for anyone 21 years age, and not otherwise under disability, to carry a concealed weapon."
 

Court Allows Secret Deportation Hearings
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Supreme Court gave the Bush administration a major legal victory in the war on terrorism Tuesday, rejecting a challenge to secret deportation hearings held for hundreds of foreigners detained after the Sept. 11 attacks."

"After the attacks two years ago, the government ordered all immigration hearings closed if the foreigners were deemed "special interest" cases because of possible connections to terrorism. The government alone decides if a case is of special interest."
 

OH: Legislation calls for ban on weapons in township areas
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Township residents can take target practice in their backyards, no matter how crowded the neighborhood, and officials can't stop them."

"State law currently prohibits local officials from adopting laws banning firearms sports inside township limits. But legislation under consideration by the House could change that, making firing a weapon in certain township areas crime."
 

MN: Sponsors plan to make last minute change in gun bill
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A day before it goes into effect, sponsors of a new handgun permit law plan to make changes to it, House Speaker Steve Sviggum said today."

"The change would allow a business or church to simply post a sign if they want to keep handguns out of their buildings."

"As the law is now written, someone would have to verbally tell people, in addition to posting a sign, that they don't want anyone carrying concealed guns in the building. Only then would state trespass laws kick in."
 

IN: Police seek renewal of gun ban
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds said he believes in the Constitutional right to bear arms. But he does not agree with those lining up to convince Congress to let the 9-year-old federal ban on assault weapons expire next year."

" 'Why would we want those types of weapons on the street unless you're a bad guy?' he asked. 'I don't see it.' "

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1 - For the same reason police are exempt from said ban.

2 - You do not have the constitutional authority to determine "want" or "need."
 

NC: Gun surrender could accompany domestic violence orders
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The bill, already approved by the Senate, would require judges to seize guns from defendants when certain circumstances arise in domestic violence cases." ...

"A defendant in such a case would automatically have their guns seized if he or she has threatened to use a weapon, threatened to injure or kill, threatened suicide. A judge also would be required to seize guns if the person seeking the order or a child had been seriously injured."
 

About The Assault Weapon Ban Renewal (Blog)
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Clayton Cramer analyzes the politics of renewing -- or not -- the assault weapon ban

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"My take is that Bush, the only Republican who is running in 2004 who needs to get votes on a national basis is saying, 'Sure I'll sign the assault weapon ban renewal' while quietly telling Republicans in Congress that he really doesn't want it on his desk. Republicans in the House, especially, have both an individual reason to not let this bill out of the House, and a general concern about Republican votes nationwide--for the reason I mention in the paragraph above--the serious gun rights voters who might lose enthusiasm for Bush if he signs a renewal."
 

Gun Ban Caused Little Harm to Manufacturers
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"As politicians debate whether to renew the 1994 ban on semi-automatic firearms, gun manufacturers would probably only feel a slight impact - at least financially - according to firearms experts." ...

"Although the 1994 ban imposed limits on semi-automatic firearms, manufacturers successfully adapted to the law to maintain their profitability..."
 

IN: Law changes gun rights for domestic-violence offenders
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"People convicted of domestic violence would have to prove they are no longer a threat before being allowed to own a gun under a new state law that takes effect July 1."

"Federal law takes away the right for a person to own a gun if they are convicted of a domestic violence crime, but state rules allowed some people to get their guns back after they were released from prison."
 

UK: Raids nab four on drug charges
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"A 23-year-old Shepparton man has been charged with trafficking, possession, cultivation and use of cannabis."

"He was also charged with possessing a firearm without a licence, possessing an unregistered firearm, and possessing ammunition without a licence."

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Outlawing guns and drugs is certainly working wonders in the UK.
 

DC: Conviction overturned as a result of FBI lab misconduct
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The conviction of an inmate who spent 10 years in prison has been overturned because an FBI scientific expert gave inaccurate testimony and withheld evidence - one of the first reversals arising from an investigation of the FBI lab."

"The FBI agent, Michael Malone, was transferred from the lab after the problems were discovered but continued to work for the bureau until his retirement in December 1999."
 

FL: Court throws out Fla. pocketknife ruling
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"The Supreme Court Tuesday struck down a Florida court verdict that allowed a pocketknife to be classified as a 'weapon' and resulted in a life sentence for a burglar." ...

... "Police arrested Bunkley after he left the restaurant, and found a pocketknife, with a blade of 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches in length folded in his pocket."

"There was no evidence the knife had been used in the burglary nor had Bunkley threatened anyone with it, according to court records."
 

MN: Trainer: Some Minnesotans to Pack Permits But Not Pistols
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Thousands of Minnesotans could get permits to carry concealed weapons under a new law, but one firearms instructor said only a small percentage of them will ever carry a gun in public."

" 'People just want to have that freedom, the option to carry if they want,' said Russell Isola, a firearms trainer here. 'I would say one out of 100 people who go through this class will ever carry a gun at any time. They want to have the right to do it, but normally people won't do it.' ..."
 

What a pistol: Cotton-Potter, 14, aims for shooting nationals
Submitted by: paul raynolds

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"Cory Cotton-Potter is a typical 14-year-old. He attends Hampton Roads Academy, plays the trumpet and competes in lacrosse. He's on the honor roll and wants to go to the Olympics."

"But Cotton-Potter's Olympic sport is atypical."

"After only five months of rigorous training, Cotton-Potter has become one of the best free pistol shooters in the United States."
 

NY: Niagara Falls Police Officers Have New and Improved Line of Defense
Submitted by: paul raynolds

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"Firearms are an important part of almost all law enforcement training, and Tuesday Niagara Falls Police Officers James Van Egmond and John Petrishin were among the first to test the department's new Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handguns."
 

MN: Texas gunslingers [Letters]
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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Letters 7 thru 12

"Before the Star Tribune prints an opinion piece like Rep. Boudreau's ('Don't listen to fearmongers on gun law'), I suggest you do some fact-checking. According to a study by the VPC, based on information from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas permit holders have been arrested for 2 1/2 crimes a day -- including for murder, weapons-related offenses and crimes against children -- since that state passed its conceal and carry law."

LaVonne Easter, Minneapolis.

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Is LaVonne implying that the concealed carry law in Texas was responsible for these alleged crimes? Moreover, is she implying that merely being arrested is the same as being convicted?

Some facts LaVonne might want to check are contained in a Gun Owners of America Editorial.

"There were 3679 arrested among license-holders in Texas over a four-year period. The yearly average comes to 671 per 100,000 Texans. That compares to 9,508 per 100,000 arrests for all crimes per year among the rest of the population. In other words, non-licensees get arrested 14 times more than do licensed gun packers."

More research comes from the National Center for Policy Analysis:

"According to the report, the slightly more than 200,000 Texans who have become licensed to carry a concealed firearm are much more law-abiding than the average person. Comparing arrest rates for example:

*Texans who exercise their right to carry firearms are 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for a violent offense.

*They are 14 times less likely to be arrested for a non-violent offense.

*They are 1.4 times less likely to be arrested for murder.

"Moreover, of the six licensees who were arrested and tried for murder or non-negligent manslaughter, four were found not guilty because they had acted in self-defense."
 

MN: Sign maker has mini-boom
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"Chuck Bailey might be getting a bit more business because of the new handgun law passed this session, but he wishes he wasn't."

"Bailey owns a Mankato sign company. He sells signs banning guns from businesses but opposes the new law, which says businesses must post signs prohibiting weapons to comply with the law."

" 'I guess I'm not too pleased with it,' he said. 'I'm opposed to guns. I've never owned one and don't want to.' "

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Lucky for Chuck, he's free to make that decision. He's also free to be completely disarmed and at the mercy of armed criminals and to wait for the police to arrive and take a report.
 

WA: Man killed after shooting at neighbors
Submitted by: paul raynolds

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"A man with a history of psychiatric problems opened fire on a neighbor family before one of them shot back and killed him, the Yakima County sheriff's office said."

"Robert Danjanic, 41, painted his face and dressed in camouflage clothing Monday before arming himself with three guns, ammunition, several knives, a set of brass knuckles and a hatchet."
 

WI: Officer shot when patient grabs gun
Submitted by: Bruce W. Krafft
Website: http://www.idcwebdev.com

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"Officers investigated a report of an suspicious and confused man on a north side street Monday evening and took the 26-year-old to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital for tests, police said."

"While he was unhandcuffed for testing, the man attacked one of the officers and took her gun, police said."

"The 32-year-old officer with nine months of experience on the job struggled with the man, the gun discharged and the officer was hit in the hand, authorities said."
 

Safety chick preaches about personal "safety" but "forgets" its most effective tool
Submitted by: paul raynolds

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"Ms. Baty had asked everyone to yell in a high-pitched voice. Then in a low-pitched voice. The theory is that using a low, powerful tone is more likely to ward off a would-be attacker than screaming helplessly."

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Another theory is that a well-placed bullet is more likely to ward off a would-be attacker than simply screaming. No matter what the pitch.
 

Twisting the facts
Submitted by: Newslinks Admin

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"Mike Keefe is an editorial cartoonist for the Denver Post, and is a liberal. Like most liberals, he is very good at twisting the facts to fit his perverted view of the world. Every once in a while he does one that doesn't twist the truth and I've featured some of the good ones. He's an excellent example of someone who is like a broken clock -- not working, but still right twice a day. But the one in Monday's Post outdoes anything he has ever done before. It shows a crook holding a gun on a man and a woman. The man is saying, 'Relax, dear. He's got a concealed weapons permit -- that means he's a law-abiding citizen.' To which the bad guy replies, 'Actually, I happen to be a violent sociopath -- I just don't have a rap sheet yet.' Which brings up something they've never (to my knowledge) brought up before; the chance of giving a gun permit to a criminal who just hasn't been caught yet."

"But the more important point is that this same guy, if he didn't have a permit, would still have a gun. It would just be in his possession illegally. That's because no one, no one, has much trouble getting a gun, permit or no." ...
 

MN: New gun law goes into effect
Submitted by: paul raynolds

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"Sheriffs across Minnesota are gearing up for the implementation of Minnesota’s controversial new gun permit law, which goes into effect today (Wednesday, May 28)."

" 'I’m not saying that the law is good or bad, but ... we have taken a lot of calls,' Sherburne County Sheriff Bruce Anderson said."

"Some are from people interested in obtaining a permit to carry a handgun; others are from people concerned about the new law."
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. — C. S. LEWIS

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