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MS: Second Amendment fight continues
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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And last week, by the slim margin of 5-4, so did a majority of the justices on the United States Supreme Court – for the second time in two years.

But our fight to protect the Second Amendment is not over.

Though conservatives are pleased with the Court’s decisions, the rulings did not call into disrepute the complex system of licenses, registrations and other obstacles that currently exist; nor do they eliminate local governments’ ability to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs.

As such, there will be consistent demands from the left to continue an assault on our liberties, however incremental.
 

Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Ending one rodeo of a term
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Two years after the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a constitutional right to bear arms -- at least for protection in the home -- in federal enclaves such as the District of Columbia, the justices ruled last Monday that right extends across the country.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the prevailing opinion of the court, and four other conservatives joined in the judgment, though they signed on only to parts of the plurality opinion. The ruling said in part, "The 14th Amendment" -- as the guarantor of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments -- "makes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms fully applicable to the states."
 

WA: Decision soon on bow and arrow shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur said she may decide as soon as this week how to handle the case of a Kelso man suspected of shooting a burglary suspect with a bow and arrow last December.

Kelso police said that on Dec. 13, Scott Allen Schwingdorf saw Galen Louis Crayne prowling around a neighbor's property that had been left vacant by a recent fire. Schwingdorf armed himself with a hunting bow, stalked Crayne for more than three blocks to Cliff's Hilltop Market, then shot Crayne in the left buttock with a broadhead arrow, according to a police report.

Baur said in April that she was holding off on filing charges against Schwingdorf because local juries appeared to side in recent cases with defendants claiming self defense.
 

Obama Keeping Supreme Court Hard Left
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The president nominates individuals to serve on the Supreme Court. Since these are lifetime appointments a president can leave his mark on the nation long after leaving office. President Barack Obama’s two nominees to the Supreme Court – Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – indicate he will leave a negative mark.

Some downplay Kagan’s inevitable confirmation, suggesting that with one liberal replacing another, the configuration of the bench will be little changed. That’s the problem. With a different president this would have been an opportunity to shift the Court to an original intent posture. Court vacancies are rare so these are two critical opportunities lost.
 

Thomas strikes blow for original 14th Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The McDonald decision points to a change in all that. For the first time, the deciding vote in a Supreme Court case rejected Slaughter-House and adopted a correct, historically grounded interpretation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause. ...

Justice Thomas' pivotal opinion points the way toward a better way of protecting liberty: not by looking to the policy preferences of individual judges, but by making a serious inquiry into what the text of the Constitution actually meant to those who enacted it. The strength and wisdom of Justice Thomas' analysis -- the validity of which was not disputed by any other justice -- mean he will not long remain a lone voice in the wilderness crying out for principled constitutional interpretation.
 

Gun decision will not fix the real problem
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The court's decision is the correct one. Although it will do nothing to solve Chicago's mounting murder rate, and may even aggravate the problem, law-abiding citizens in fear cannot be denied the means to protect themselves.

...

Today, we have frightened people buying assault rifles and military sniper rifles to defend themselves. Where does that end? With a rocket propelled grenade launcher in every closet?

Clearly, we all have a right to own and carry guns. But it is very bad news for our society when we do so out of fear for our lives.
 

PA: We enjoy many rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In a decision that cleared up any ambiguity on an individual’s right to possess a gun, the United States Supreme Court recently invalidated a Chicago ban on bearing arms for self-defense.

It underscored the many rights enjoyed by American citizens that have helped to make this democratic Union a model for the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of the happiness.

While foreign governments ban their citizens from basic personal freedoms, U.S. residents are not muzzled, oppressed or subjected to the tyranny of government militia.
 

Court protects needed gun rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This time, in considering gun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., the high court ruled that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to all states and cities and not just federal enclaves, thereby guaranteeing the right to own guns anywhere in the United States.

That's a good thing.

As regular readers know, I've long been an advocate of Second Amendment rights. Without the power of the Second Amendment, all the others are in jeopardy.

Of course the ruling is not being greeted happily. There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. And opponents of gun ownership, I'm sure, are already hard at working crafting new state legislation to undercut what the Supreme Court has done.
 

WA: Bill of Rights tribute for Everett?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Everett's Ten Commandments monument could soon have a patriotic counterpart across the street.

Instead of commandments, the tribute proposed for the Snohomish County campus would honor the 10 constitutional amendments called the Bill of Rights.

The idea was inspired by a group with ambitions to build monuments throughout the country.

“This is the basis of our rights in a time when it's a politically divisive atmosphere out there,” said Michael Swanson, a Lynn­wood bank manager, who has signed on to the effort to install a monument in Everett. “This is something that people can rally around.”
 

Land of the Free?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“Self-defense is a basic right," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 5-4 majority opinion. He said the founding fathers believed the right to own a gun is “necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”

Supporters of the Second Amendment have found solid ground in courtrooms of late and on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling a gun advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit in North Carolina.

The Second Amendment Foundation filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court contending that N.C. General Statutes forbidding citizens to carry firearms during declared states of emergency are unconstitutional.
 

Ted Nugent Slams Obama
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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According to Nugent, “Like many real Americans across this great country, while we are relieved and pleased with the McDonald v. Chicago ruling of five Supreme Court justices, I am appalled that any clear-thinking human being, much less an American sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States, could possibly believe that individual Americans have no right to self-defense,” Nugent said. “That four of the nine justices believe this is a monumental indictment against the very precepts of the American experiment, the premise of God-given individual rights and a cruel bastardization of our sacred U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
 

NJ: U.S. Supreme Court ruling on guns has unknown effect on New Jersey's one-handgun-per-month law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A ruling on gun laws last week by the U.S. Supreme Court could lead to changes in state laws or have little to no effect in New Jersey, supporters on both sides of the issue say.

The nation’s top court determined 5-4 last week that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies not just to federal law, but laws passed by states as well. The justices did not strike down the law, but rather sent it back to lower courts for further review.

In ruling against Chicago’s 28-year-old law banning handguns in the city, justices said governments could regulate firearms, but because of a fundamental right to arms in the Second Amendment, outright bans are unconstitutional.
 

DC: Some D.C. Residents Say It's Too Hard To Get A Gun
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The toughest thing about getting a gun in the [DC] is finding a gun store. There are none. You have to drive to a neighboring state like Maryland to buy a weapon.

...

But if you have a D.C. driver's license, you'll have to transfer the weapon to someone with a federal firearms license in D.C.

"He takes possession of the gun from us," Donald says. "He charges a transfer fee — I believe it's $125."

...

"You have to be fingerprinted, you have to submit photographs, you have to take a class that's supposed to consist of four hours of classroom and an hour of range time with ... a District of Columbia approved instructor," he explains.

That can bring the cost of registering to more than $500.
 

NV: A Mistaken Call to Arms
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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American armed revolution is as old as this nation. In fact, the Declaration of Independence provides a detailed justification for taking up weapons today against whomever and whatever we dislike.

All sorts of dissidents and complainers quote Thomas Jefferson’s call for a revolution every 20 years. ...

Among the latest is Sharron Angle, who won the Nevada Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate and now faces Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Nov. 2 election.
 

TX: A victory for the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When McDonald's case reached the United States Supreme Court, I took up his cause and immediately went to work supporting his legal challenge - and defending our Second Amendment rights. I forged a bipartisan coalition of 38 state attorneys general who joined a legal brief that I authored and that urged the Supreme Court to require state and local governments to honor their citizens' Second Amendment rights.

As our brief explained, the Founding Fathers understood that the right to keep and bear arms arises from the natural rights of self-defense and resistance to tyranny. Indeed, two familiar historical events, in particular, illustrate why the right to keep and bear arms is so fundamental.
 

MN: It's guns that leave a trail of violence
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Star Tribune's June 21 editorial, "Gunrunning leaves a long trail of bodies," suggested that the cause of gun violence is drugs.

Sorry, but the cause of gun violence is guns. You can't mow down police officers with drugs, or even with bathtubs, knives or bottles. But you can make society much safer by adopting effective gun violence prevention laws and enforcing them.

The editorial states that in the case of one gunrunner, Paul Giovanni de la Rosa, the "system worked." The arrest was a success for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). However, the fact that it took two years and an expensive investigation to stop a single gunrunner is a sign that our system is broken.
 

Why liberals should love the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Liberals love the Constitution.

Ask anyone on the street. They'll tell you the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a liberal organization. During the dark days of the Bush Administration, membership doubled because so many Americans feared increasing restrictions on their civil liberties.

...

Liberals can quote legal precedent, news reports, and exhaustive studies. They can talk about the intentions of the Founders. They can argue at length against the tyranny of the government. And they will, almost without exception, conclude the necessity of respecting, and not restricting, civil liberties.

Except for one: the right to keep and bear arms.
 

CA: Neighbor feud in Santa Cruz Mountains spawns gun rights battle
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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That is what happened four years ago to Barbara Saldinger.... And now she finds herself in the midst of a high-priced, high-stakes legal odyssey that has turned her into a crusader for the Second Amendment's right to bear arms, even if that right is just to keep a BB gun at your hip to protect your property.

...

Armed with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week that boosted Second Amendment legal arguments across the country, Saldinger on Friday urged the California Supreme Court to take a fresh look at her constitutional claim that she has a right to defend her property with a firearm. And this petite but feisty woman who has never owned a real gun is now backed by some of the nation's most powerful gun rights groups.
 

Why wasn't the McDonald v Chicago case decided 9-0?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I was delighted when the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v Heller was decided in favor of the individual's right to keep and bear arms. I understood how that decision could be decided 5-4 by the nine justices. What boggles my mind is that given the decision of the Heller case, the McDonald v Chicago case wasn't decided 9-0. Stare Decisis, Latin for "to stand by that which is decided" is the legal principal that once a case is decided, the logic and decision of that case will be used in the future to decide cases that bear on the same principles of law. To me, Heller was a landmark decision and McDonald should have been decided in a few hours, a slam dunk.
 

CA: Court affirmed Americans' Second Amendment right
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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There was no standing army at the time this was written. All able-bodied men — providing their own weapons — would constitute a state militia.

Federalist Papers 48 (Madison), 28 and 29 (Alexander Hamilton), the writings of Justice Story (Madison appointment in 1811), U.S. Attorney William Rawle (Washington appointment in 1791) and U.S. District Court Judge St. George Tucker (Madison, 1813) all attest to the consistency of this thought.

Today's court did nothing but reaffirm the validity of the Second Amendment — hardly the actions of an activist court.
 

FL: ACLU and Our Constitutional Rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) despite erroneous perceptions is a guardian and voice of our nation's liberty. It's presence can be seen and felt in our courts, legislatures and communities as individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantees everyone. Rights denied, historically the ACLU is there to guard them for ALL of us. The rights include, but are not limited to:

Ed.: Of course, no mention of RKBA.
 

Supreme Court opens door to more liberty
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The real surprise lay elsewhere: in signals that the Court may be inching toward a legal doctrine that offers stronger blanket protections of individual rights than this country has seen in almost 140 years.

Many people don't realize that the McDonald case is much more about the Fourteenth Amendment than the Second. Originally, the Bill of Rights -- including the Second Amendment right to bear arms at issue in McDonald -- only applied to the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in the wake of the Civil War to expand the reach of the Bill of Rights, mainly so that individual states could not pass laws depriving blacks of their civil rights.
 

WI: Freedom Marchers Support Open Carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In Manitowoc Sunday, people kicked off the Fourth of July festivities with the annual Freedom March.

About 100 people came out, many with their pistols holstered to their sides, to exercise their second amendment right. Wisconsin is a right-to-carry state, and organizers say there was no better day to celebrate this right than the Fourth of July.

"Two people could have showed up and I'd have still marched. It was about independence and my values and the values of every other person here," said Geoffrey Wolf, Freedom March organizer.

"I think it's everybody's right to keep and bear arms, it's in the constitution, it's our second amendment right just like the freedom of speech," adds Brian Lange, Certified Pistol Instructor.
 

Knife Rights on Independence Day
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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When we started Knife Rights in 2006 I noted that our aim was to not end up like England and other places across the ocean where knives are demonized to the point that most wouldn’t be caught dead carrying the same pocket knives we take for granted here in the U.S. Those who do risk harsh legal repercussions.

In 2006, not everyone took the threat seriously. Four years later, a small-minded tyrant in New York City is trying to do just that. His goal appears to be to bring those same draconian restrictions to a country where personal freedoms are a part of the very fabric of our existence. The very tyranny we fought to escape from 234 years ago is being reconstituted on our soil again.
 

Gun License Fees and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for Self-Defense
Submitted by: rick schwartz
Website: http://weprotectyourkids.com

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After McDonald, and the newly enacted Chicago handgun ordinance, people are again turning to whether and when gun license fees are unconstitutional. I’ve heard some argue that under existing constitutional rules applicable to other rights — especially the First Amendment — any fee for the exercise of a constitutional right is per se unconstitutional. But rightly or wrongly, that turns out not to be the case.
 

WV: Pistols: America saturated
Submitted by: West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
Website: http://www.wvcdl.org/

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America has by far the worst gun murder rate among Western democracies. Pistol killings and maimings happen virtually every night in every major city. Thousands of families are shattered, and medical costs climb into billions. The waste of lives is horrendous.

For example, in 2004, this country had 29,569 gun deaths -- 11,935 murders, 16,750 suicides, 649 accidents and 235 unexplained. In contrast, many European nations have fewer than 100 gun deaths per year, because those places have strict firearm controls.
 

SCOTUS ruling shows how far gun rights have come
Submitted by: rick schwartz
Website: http://weprotectyourkids.com

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Topping last week's legal stories was the Supreme Court's decision in McDonald v. Chicago, holding that the Second Amendment -- which the Supreme Court just two years ago interpreted to protect an individual right to own a gun -- also protects the individual right to own a gun against state and local interference.

Many people were unimpressed, regarding this as a statement of the obvious.
 

WV: Charleston city officials do not expect Supreme Court decision to affect gun laws
Submitted by: West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
Website: http://www.wvcdl.org/

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But officials in Charleston don't expect the two rulings will affect the city's gun ordinances.

"We don't think [our ordinance] is anti-Second Amendment," Mayor Danny Jones said shortly after the McDonald ruling.

In Charleston, guns are prohibited in City Hall and on city property. A second ordinance requires a three-day waiting period for people who want to buy a gun in the city, and limits gun purchases to one per month.

Charleston City Council President Tom Lane said handgun dealers in the city are also required to have a business license allowing them to sell guns.
 

43 states now allow gun carry where alcohol is served
Submitted by: Mike Stollenwerk
Website: http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner

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On July 1, 2010, Virginia and New Mexico legalized the concealed carry of handguns in restaurants where alcohol is served. That makes 43 states allowing handguns to be carried in alcohol serving establishments, with only Montana still requiring unconcealed or "open carry" at these venues.

In Virginia, members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) celebrated their legislative achievement to repeal the open carry requirement in restaurants. VCDL President Philip Van Cleave told the Washington Post that

"[g]un rights have been moving strongly in favor of less control. For us, this is a big step."

. . .
 

TX: New Details Emerge About Police Beating Of Texas Teenager
Submitted by: jac

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Disciplinary letters issued to Houston police officers provide new details about a chase in March that ended with the beating of 15-year-old boy in an incident captured on surveillance video.

Seven police officers were fired last month after a grand jury indicted four of them on charges of official oppression.

The disciplinary letters from Chief Charles McClelland say the teenager was one of three burglary suspects injured while being arrested.

One letter says former officer Raad Hassan, 40, told investigators he kicked the teenager 15 times and kicked him again while he was handcuffed.

Another says former officer Andrew Blomberg, 27, stomped on the teenager's head or neck.
 

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