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Newslinks for 7/16/2012

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WA: Gun offered as first prize in raffle benefiting wounded deputies
Submitted by: Anonymous

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The Grant County Sheriff’s Office will sponsor a raffle for two Spokane County deputies shot in the line of duty.
The raffle for Deputies Northway and Spink began Thursday.
The first prize is a Smith and Wesson M&P .40 caliber handgun. The second prize is a week-long vacation to Majahua Palms, Mexico. Third prize is a guided half-day Pheasant Hunting Trip in La Crosse, Washington. Several other prizes are also available.
All the proceeds will go to the wounded deputies’ families.
 

WA: Officers' aim wasn't so true in picking a handgun for a raffle prize
Submitted by: Anonymous

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From our Best Intentions That Could Stand Reconsideration Dept., comes the news from Washington that the sheriff's office in Grant County is staging a raffle to benefit two deputies from nearby Spokane who were wounded trying to apprehend a fugitive in a drug case. Top prize: a Smith & Wesson M&P .40 caliber pistol. The raffle sponsors don't seem to care that they've just shot to the top of the Irony League standings, saying they'll ensure that the winner is eligible for gun ownership, goes through the 5-day waiting period, is permitted and, presumably, isn't a heroin trafficker. Second prize? A vacation to Mexico. No waiting period required.
Is this an appropriate prize at a raffle to benefit shooting victims?
 

TX: 2 lawmen accused of using authority for sex acts
Submitted by: jac

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A Jacinto City police captain and a former Brazoria County sheriff's deputy both used their authority as law enforcement officers to commit sexual assaults, officials said.

Capt. Thomas Harmon DeMont, 49, was arrested Wednesday after he was charged with indecency with a child.

On Tuesday, ex-sheriff's deputy Joe Garcia, 37, surrendered at the Brazoria County Jail after a grand jury there indicted him on sexual assault and official oppression charges.

 

Obama: 'Harry Truman Said the Buck Stops with You'
Submitted by: xqqme

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"Well, here's what I know, we were just talking about responsibility and as president of the United States, it's pretty clear to me that I'm responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you," Obama said.

Submitter's note: Does this mean, Mr. President, that YOU are responsible for the illegal gun-running operation "Fast and Furious", and is that why you've asserted "executive privilege"?
 

NY: Amid the rise in gun violence in the city, Assemblywoman Grace Meng is joining the push to pass a bill to require bullet microstamping
Submitted by: GunPoliticsNY
Website: http://www.gunpoliticsny.com

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With gun violence increasing along with the temperature in New York City this summer, a congressional hopeful says now is the time to give cops a new tool to use to make collars in gun crimes. Assemblywoman Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat, faulted the National Rifle Association and Republicans in the state Legislature for blocking a bill to require gun manufacturers to use bullet microstamping technology. The upgrades, which the gun lobby says would be too expensive to implement, would allow police to trace gun cartridges back to specific weapons.
 

NY: Map: NYPD Finds Most Guns Outside Stop-and-Frisk Hotspots
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly argue the main purpose of stop-and-frisk is to get guns off the street. Out of more than 685,000 stops in 2011, about 770 guns were recovered. That means about one tenth of one percent of all stops result in the seizure of a gun.

But those guns are not showing up in the places where the police are devoting the most stop-and-frisk resources.

Ed.: NYPD: If we find a gun, that means its working. If we don't find a gun, that means its working. I wish my engineering exams were that easy.
 

DC: Man wounded in Dupont Circle area after trying to stop a robbery
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The intended victim and other people apparently began struggling with the robbers, police said in a statement.

One of those who came to the victim’s aid was shot, and he suffered injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, the statement said.

Police officers arrived as matters apparently spilled onto the street. According to police, the officers, “with the assistance” of citizens, took a suspect into custody and recovered two guns. Police did not provide the suspect’s name.
 

TN: NRA finds some GOP lawmakers resistant to gun laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Threats, denunciations and verbal potshots between the National Rifle Association and the leaders of the Legislature were common in the decades that Democrats ran the show in the Tennessee Capitol. Turns out Republicans are just as good at running afoul of the powerful gun rights group.

GOP leaders in Nashville infuriated the NRA this year by refusing to go along with a bill to prevent businesses from banning guns on their property, and now the group is using its deep pockets to try to unseat one of them.
 

VA: Crowd Gathers to Support Alleged Shooter
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Was Rudolph Dean, Jr. acting in self defense when he reportedly shot at another man in January in Rockingham County? Several people in the Valley say he was and now they want justice.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition to get Dean out of jail on bond. Dozens of those people gathered in Court Square Wednesday to voice their concerns.
 

NY: Bloomberg decries NYCLU's criticism of "stop and frisk"
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The NYCLU has said "Stop and Frisk" is unjust because 80% of the nearly 685,000 people stopped last year were minorities and only 10% were arrested.

The mayor said the NYCLU was no different from the NRA because they both focus on protecting ideology and not saving lives.

"One group views the Second Amendment in absolutist terms, the other group views the Fourth Amendment in absolutist terms. Both groups, I think, are dangerously wrong on the Constitution," Bloomberg said.
 

Obama Can Sink on Guns, Money and Religion, says Gun Law Expert
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"Also likely to cause massive civil disobedience is the Obama administration's posture on the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment community is incensed with Obama in this regard. Right now, the public is most aware of the House of Representatives vote to hold Obama's attorney general in contempt of Congress. This came after Obama invoked executive privilege in an attempt to protect the attorney general as he refused to release documents relating to the administration's Fast and Furious gun scandal."
 

The NRA’s Shameless, Fact-Free Conspiracy Theorizing about the Obama Administration
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Among the more curious aspects of Eric Holder’s standoff with Congress over Fast and Furious, a gun-walking operation conducted between 2009 and 2011, is the air of conspiracy theorizing that hangs about it. Especially curious is that some of the most paranoid theorizing finds its source not in far-off Internet chat rooms, but in a well-appointed office building in northern Virginia—the headquarters of the National Rifle Association, the country’s biggest firearm lobbying organization.
 

NY: Stop and frisk and beverage ban to aid young children?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Bloomberg suggests that with these programs children will have a safe place to live and play, which is our most important job. By allowing police officers to stop and frisk individuals, we will be able to get guns off the streets and lessen violence in NYC. Bloomberg also stated that the New York Civil Liberties Union was kin to the NRA in its ideals, and they don't have the "Common Sense" to realize that the Constitutional right to bear arms and to privacy should not be upheld. Young children he implies will be safer on the city streets if more citizens are randomly frisked, and if questionable individuals are targeted.
 

AR: NRA Wants To Keep Secret Money In Politics
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The NRA might want to be careful. This stuff cuts both ways and I could easily see someone like a post mayoral Bloomberg dumping a ton of secret money into more gun control policies…

That said, secret money flooding the political system is a corrupting influence that threatens our democracy. All Americans, gun owners and non gun owners, risk losing their voices in the torrent of corporate cash, and with that we risk losing all our rights-from the right to bear arms to everything else
 

FL: Poll: Most Floridians want no changes to 'stand your ground' law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law continues to enjoy widespread support among likely voters, even as a state task force considers rewriting the law, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll.

Nearly 65 percent say the 2005 law — which allows people who believe they are in grave danger to use deadly force to defend themselves — does not need to be changed. There's less consensus when it comes to voters' thoughts on the Trayvon Martin shooting, which thrust the law into the national spotlight this year.
 

FL: George Zimmerman’s mysterious cop connection
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It’s been perhaps the biggest mystery of the Trayvon Martin murder case saga: George Zimmerman’s cop connections.

An aspiring police officer, Mr. Zimmerman has been accused by prosecutors of play-acting as a police officer the night he pursued, shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. after pegging him as a suspicious young black man roving the neighborhood. The case turned national when police initially chose to believe the neighborhood watchman’s self-defense claims, leaving a special state prosecutor to instead level murder charges 44 days later.
 

FL: George Zimmerman asks for new judge again
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The ex-neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing Trayvon Martin asked for a new judge Friday, claiming the current one is biased because he said George Zimmerman had "flaunted the system."

Zimmerman said in a motion he feared he would be unable to get a fair "stand your ground" hearing or a fair trial with Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester presiding over the case. Lester was appointed in April after Zimmerman claimed a potential conflict of interest with the original judge.
 

NC: My New Second Amendment Diversity Plan
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Given that our gun policies and our affirmative action policies are both contributing to the campus crime problem, I am proposing a new crime control program that is based on a modification of both of those failed policies. My plan is simple and bold, so much so that I present it in big, bold letters: Stop offering scholarships to minorities per se and instead offer scholarships to minorities with concealed weapons permits.
 

Protecting our rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I thank John Williams for his warning about Hillary Clinton signing the United Nations Small Arms Agreement on July 27. This will be a travesty against the Second Amendment and the sovereignty of the United States of America.
 

MI: It's a RIGHT, not a privilege
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A recent Troy High School graduate was acquitted Thursday of all charges in his arrest for carrying a rifle through downtown Birmingham.

A jury in 48th District Court found Sean M. Combs, 18, not guilty of brandishing a firearm and disturbing the peace. Wednesday, Judge Marc Barron issued a directed verdict dismissing a charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer after Combs' attorney, James Makowski, argued that city attorney Mary Kucharek had not proven that offense.

"I think they came up with the right verdict," Combs said after his acquittal. "It took them a while, but at the end of the day, I think it was the right decision."
 

NH: Guns of outlaws Bonnie and Clyde to be auctioned
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Nearly 80 years later, those guns and other items connected to the infamous gangsters will be going up for auction in New Hampshire on Sept. 30. An auction official estimated Thursday that each Bonnie and Clyde weapon could bring between $100,000 and $200,000.

"They were pretty famous in their moment and I think that's lasted through time," said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction in Amherst, N.H.
 

TX: Are we safer with a ban on BB guns?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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If folks are already out committing felony vandalism, how will this new ordinance and its up-to-$500 fine really deter them? Aren’t the thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens the only ones to truly be punished in an attempt to stop at most a few dozen vandals, or really, just a few of their methods?

It is also important to point out that an existing ordinance prohibits City of Odessa residents from discharging BB guns, air guns, pellet guns and related implements on public property or other people’s private property.

That ordinance hasn’t stopped vandalism. We suspect this new one won’t either.
 

UK: Just sporty fun with guns? New Wickford range aims to win over critics
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Handguns have been banned in Britain since the 1996 Dunblane school massacre, which provoked a public outcry against private gun ownership. Strict UK gun laws mean that even the Great Britain Olympic shooting team must train abroad.

"Once you educate people about guns the fear disappears to a certain extent.
 

NE: Guns, grenades turned in at Omaha amnesty event
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Omaha authorities said they collected 47 firearms, 900 pounds of ammunition and 800 pounds of fireworks during a weekend amnesty event.
 

WI: Wis. police chiefs call for tougher gun checks
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Oregon, Wis., Police Chief Doug Pettit is chairman of the WCPA's legislative committee. He says currently only people who buy guns from a federally licensed dealer must pass a background check. He says expanding the requirement to all sales would prevent people who can't legally possess guns from obtaining them.
 

New Zealand: Lock up guns to prevent tragedy
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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More gun control laws is not the answer, however. Firearm owners already have legal requirements to ensure their weapons are kept properly secured and there is no evidence that police vetting procedures are too lax or not being implemented with sufficient rigour.

The real problem lies in the moments of carelessness that have allowed firearms to fall into the hands of children or seen shots fired at what looked like a deer, but was in fact another human being. The solution to that is for all those who own a firearm to take the utmost care to follow rules that should never be broken.
 

CA: Perjury focus in sheriff case now shifts to Ross Mirkarimi
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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According to written testimony, police had a difficult time obtaining the guns from the Sheriff’s Department, where Mirkarimi’s attorney surrendered them.

Having been a staunch gun-control advocate as a longtime member of the Board of Supervisors, Mirkarimi also testified that the guns were behind two sets of locks in a storage unit at his home, and that the disputed Smith & Wesson was eventually “unearthed” in the same area as his other two guns.
 

The NRA vs. the UN Arms Treaty: Exporting madness
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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By now we have gotten used to the NRA and its intransigence. We’ve learned to ignore its wild-eyed rhetoric and even LaPierre’s gross disrespect of the President and the presidency. We may even feel a little sorry for those members of the gun set who have bought into the NRA’s self-serving and paranoid fantasy pitting freedom-loving Americans against an evil, despotic government bent on seizing everybody’s guns.

Apparently, we also have learned to live with the 30,000 shooting deaths per year, a figure made possible, at least in part, by lax gun laws and NRA lobbying.

But letting NRA madness loose on the rest of the world is just plain mean.
 

 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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