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Newslinks for 8/17/2009

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DC: Gunning for the District
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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IF TOM PALMER and his fellow plaintiffs have their way, they'll soon be carrying loaded handguns through the streets of the nation's capital.

Mr. Palmer, three other individuals and the Second Amendment Foundation sued the District last week, arguing that city laws that "ban registration of handguns to be carried for self-defense by law-abiding citizens" are unconstitutional. Mr. Palmer, a resident of the District, is asking Judge Henry Kennedy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to strike down the prohibition. The lawsuit also asks Judge Kennedy to nullify laws that prohibit non-District residents from registering their weapons and obtaining handgun carry permits.
 

CT: Connecticut Hotel Rape and Blaming the Woman?
Submitted by: R. Smith

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The Marriott Hotel in downtown Stamford, Conn., has claimed that a woman who was raped at gunpoint in front of her children in its parking garage three years ago was negligent in the attack.

As part of their defense, the hotel's lawyers said that the victim "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities," according to court documents cited in local stories.

Marriott International Inc. issued a statement Friday saying it's "profoundly sorry that such a terrible thing happened." The hotel chain based in Bethesda, Md. says the situation has "created a mistaken impression that Marriott lacks respect" for victims of violent crimes.

Ed.: I wonder if Marriott prevented her from failing "to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children" by prohibiting her from carrying a firearm.
 

NY: Shoot Them, You Win. Shoot You, You Lose.
Submitted by: Larry

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Augusto armed himself after a robbery at his store some years ago. He wanted to be ready the next time. Again, this seems reasonable.

Plax shot himself with his unregistered firearm. Augusto shot three assailants with his. Do we give Augusto a pass for being a crack shot? Do we penalize Plax for not being well-versed in gun handling? If Plax had successfully defended himself from harm, would we be having this conversation? Maybe the fact that Mr. Augusto was on his own property is the kicker. I wonder.

The NY DA has made it publicly known that he wants Burress to serve three years in jail for discharging an unregistered firearm. Will he throw the (same) book at Augusto as well? I don’t think so, but this question remains: Why or why not?
 

NY: Residents help get 711 guns off the street
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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Godsend or boondoggle? For better or worse, Mayor Byron W. Brown’s third annual gun buyback program Saturday resulted in the surrender of 711 firearms, ranging from assault weapons to handguns.
 

Democracy without elections
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Will the appeals court — or, ultimately, the Supreme Court — buy this argument? The chances are not good. A district court didn’t. And in 1969, the Supreme Court went along with a lower court ruling that New York didn’t have to hold a special election in November 1968, after Sen. Robert Kennedy’s assassination. ...

But if the Supreme Court can, at this late date, finally declare that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns, maybe it can recognize that the 17th Amendment also has a clear meaning that has long been ignored. When in doubt, it makes sense to respect the language and purpose of a constitutional provision.
 

PEST-Wielding Thugs Swarm Man Sitting on His Own Porch
Submitted by: Larry

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Does anybody else remember how the PEST (Portable Electro-Shock Torture device, nee Taser) was supposedly intended for use only against dangerous, violent suspects?

In recent years, deploying the PEST has become the option of first resort whenever armed tax-feeders confront passive resistance or non-cooperation of any kind.

Even those inured to the routine use of torture by police in the USSA, however, must find themselves taken aback by the incident captured in this video: An unarmed man sitting peaceably on his own porch is assaulted with a PEST as nine police arrive to take him into custody.
 

And the Surveillance Society Marches On
Submitted by: Larry

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I’m not normally one to proclaim “this is it” about any supposed last straw in statist behavior, and I am hesitant to do so about surveillance. We’ve been living in a surveillance society for years. Privacy International ranks the U.S. as one of several “endemic surveillance societies” around the Globe. Still, one might figure that at some point the pinheads pushing for yet more ways to eavesdrop would grow tired of it. Doesn’t beating a dead horse get boring after a while?
 

NY: Unlicensed Gun Hero (in New York City!!)
Submitted by: Larry

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Gus Augusto, a 72-year old store owner in Harlem, killed 2 robbers and injured 2 robbers in a failed (thanks to Gus and his gun) robbery attempt in his store.

Police said Augusto didn’t have a required permit for the weapon used in the headline-grabbing shooting the Daily News called a “Pump-Action Ending.” But he was a victim, police said, and no charges had been filed on Friday.

The shopkeeper was coy when asked whether, with his shotgun confiscated,* he had a backup. “I’m not going to tell you that,” he said.
 

NY: Shopkeeper ‘didn’t want to shoot’ robbers
Submitted by: none

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The 72-year-old wholesaler of commercial restaurant equipment had been up all night, questioned by police about how he'd drawn a shotgun and killed two of four armed robbery suspects who entered his Kaplan Brothers Blue Flame store Thursday afternoon.

2 of the young men died on the street. 2 remained hospitalized in stable condition with gunshot wounds.

He reached for it when he sensed one of the men was about to shoot, and pulled the trigger once.

"I hoped after the first shot they would go away," he said.

The shopkeeper was coy when asked whether, with his shotgun confiscated, he had a backup.

"I'm not going to tell you that," he said.
 

Posse Comitatus Act: R.I.P.
Submitted by: Larry

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The Pentagon has approached Congress to grant the Secretary of Defense the authority to post almost 400,000 military personnel throughout the United States in times of emergency or a major disaster. This request has already occasioned a dispute with the nation’s governors. And it raises the prospect of U.S. military personnel patrolling the streets of the United States, in conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

In June, the U.S. Northern Command distributed a “Congressional Fact Sheet” entitled “Legislative Proposal for Activation of Federal Reserve Forces for Disasters.” That proposal would amend current law, thereby “authorizing the Secretary of Defense to order any unit or member of the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, and the Marine Corps Reserve, to active duty for a major disaster or emergency
 

Rights are always rights.
Submitted by: Tony Heaton
Website: http://americanrestoration-theaton.blogspot.com/

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" One man, William Kostric, not only exercised his First Amendment Right, he exercised his Second Amendment right as well. Mr. Kostric was openly carrying a pistol and he had a sign that read, 'It's time to water the tree of Liberty.'"

"Many who evidently do not believe in Freedom and Liberty tried to say that the sign was a vailed [sic] threat against the President. "
 

Georgia: South Ossetia Trys to Disarm Its Citizens
Submitted by: Larry

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Now, with Russia guaranteeing its security, South Ossetia is asking residents to turn in their weapons voluntarily. The police have opened 50 criminal prosecutions for illegal weapons and plan to offer $300 to $400 for each Kalashnikov rifle, a top official said.

The program is a test of confidence, a year after the war between Russia and Georgia.

Mr. Sanakoyev said he had never owned a gun but felt it was still too early to disarm.

“Life has changed,” he said. “But inside, you don’t yet feel that life has changed.”
 

Is That A Pistol In Your Shorts?
Submitted by: clell

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According to the poll, at least 7.4% of respondents do indeed pack heat when they run. (And those are only the ones with licensed heat.) Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase "gun running."

This question scares me not because guns themselves scare me. (They don't.) It scares me because many runners I've encountered just are not that coordinated. Some of these folks can barely hang on to a cup of water while running through an aid station; I can only imagine them fumbling with a Glock in the middle of a 10-miler. Especially with sweaty hands.
 

Congo: An African village’s armed self defense story
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Their community leader called a town meeting, and told everyone to bring whatever weapons they owned. People showed up with rifles made before World War II, homemade shotguns, bows and poison arrows, knives, and even the wooden pestles that are used to pound yams into flour. Using these weapons, the villagers drove off two attacks by the rebels, saving themselves from torture and death. Perhaps best of all, not a single civilian was killed in the first repulsed attack. Compare that with the hundreds of people who the rebels had killed in the previous weeks when they attacked other villages. Hearing the news, hundreds of other villages have reportedly formed self defense groups.
 

WI: Lessons to be learned from the beating of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barret
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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However, as this case shows, heroic intentions are not enough to stop a criminal. Criminals, who by definition don't care about the law, are quite willing to illegally carry and use deadly weapons, such as metal pipes, guns, bats, knives, etc. Laws that restrict the carrying of guns for self defense just ensure that law abiding victims and Good Samaritans (like Mayor Barrett) are defenseless against the still-armed criminals. Indeed, even when criminals don't happen to be armed, they still tend to be able to overpower those unarmed victims and Good Samaritans.
 

Gun Rights 101: What is concealed carry?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The term “right-to-carry” describes the 36 shall-issue states, plus the three fairly-administered, discretionary-issue states, plus states which require no license. “Right-to-carry” describes a state which recognizes a law-abiding citizen’s right to carry a concealed handgun as a means of self-defense and for emergency protection of public safety when a law enforcement professional isn’t available.
 

TX: Hutchison making bid for governor official
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Hutchison cherishes that role. “Whether I was fighting for lower taxes or Second Amendment (gun) rights it was always my priority to be an effective advocate for Texans,” she told the Houston Chronicle on Friday.

Yet her reputation for bipartisanship and delivering federal dollars could become double-edged swords as she prepares to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 gubernatorial primary. Perry, a self-styled fiscal hawk, is likely to paint Hutchison as a big spender who is too moderate on social issues and too willing to collaborate with Democrats.
 

NY: Decent man is on target in tight spot
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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On the streets and in the stores of Harlem, Charles Augusto Jr. is a caped crusader. Elderly and unassuming, the senior is a savior to the neighborhood in which he spends his days. He's Clint Eastwood with a belly. And a credit to humanity.
 

Firearms Fundamentals: gun safety rules - Part 2
Submitted by: Daniel White
Website: http://www.OhioCCW.org

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Yesterday, we talked about the three primary rules of gun safety. As pointed out in the comments section, safe gun handling goes far beyond just those three.

Of utmost importance when shooting, whether target practicing or hunting, is to know your target and what is beyond. Most targets don't stop bullets, so you need a solid backstop large enough to account for misses. A short backstop can be a problem because a poorly aimed shot could miss it entirely. Misses must be taken into consideration while hunting as well. If you shoot uphill at a deer and miss, where is that bullet going to go? Shooters are responsible for every bullet that leaves the barrel.
 

David Michaels and gun control
Submitted by: Rick Schwartz
Website: http://hubpages.com/hub/Around-the-World-with-20-International-BBQ-Recipes-Part-2

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The controversial OSHA nominee and left-leaning public health advocate also seems to have strong views on firearms issues. That’s by no means irrelevant to the agenda of an agency like OSHA, because once you start viewing private gun ownership as a public health menace, it begins to seem logical to use the powers of government to urge or even require employers to forbid workers from possessing guns on company premises, up to and including parking lots, ostensibly for the protection of co-workers
 

NY: Top cop Raymond Kelly says Harlem Blue Flame Co. owner "Shotgun Gus" shot in self-defense
Submitted by: NYSRPA-PVF
Website: http://www.nysrpa-pvf.org

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New York's top cop on Saturday defended the shotgun-toting Harlem businessman who became a reluctant hero by blasting the bandits terrorizing his store. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Charles (Gus) Augusto "acted in self-defense" when he killed two thugs and wounded two more on Thursday. "He certainly had the right to defend himself and his co-workers," he said. "I know he took no pleasure in this thing. It was the toughest day of his life."
 

WV: Man Charged in Logan County Murder, Stabbing
Submitted by: West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
Website: http://www.wvcdl.org/

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West Virginia State Police say Billy Johnston came to the house that twin brothers Mac and Jerry Belcher shared. Johnston knocked on the door, and when Mac opened it, Johnston stabbed him multiple times. Then, police say Johnston went to the bedroom where Jerry was still sleeping and stabbed him multiple times as well, killing him.

Despite his injuries, Mac managed to grab a gun and shoot at Billy Johnston, according to State Police. None of Mac's shots hit his attacker, but it did scare him away.
 

NH: Lone gunman: A matter of rights, reason
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Seriously — who brings a gun to a presidential health care forum?

Just last week, my brother-in-law sent me an online news article maintaining that Barack Obama faces more than 30 death threats a day, an increase of 400 percent from the heyday of his predecessor. Then Obama comes right here to the Port City on Tuesday and some twit stands on the side of the road with a loaded 9mm strapped to his leg and a threatening sign in his grip.
 

More haste less speedo
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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LORI ANDERSON, EDITOR AT LARGE, SCOTTISH WOMAN MAGAZINE (Ed.: Upon being asked what fashion crimes should be prosecuted.)

"I'd love to ban capes. No matter which young designer de jour tries to reinvent them, the wearer always ends up looking like they're on day release from a psychiatric hospital or heading to a Basil Brush convention. I believe in the right to bear arms and not to be trussed up like a brown paper parcel. And there's that air of hauteur that cape wearers always seem to have, the poor deluded souls…"
 

Gun law complaints follow Obama
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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"There is still time for Congress and the president to take steps to keep loaded firearms away from the valleys of Yellowstone, the cliffs of Yosemite, and the Statue of Liberty — but they need to act quickly," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The bill which Obama signed back in May permits licensed gun owners to bring their firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges, so long as state law permits. The new law will go into effect in February of 2010 and it will replace the Reagan era law which required guns in national parks to be locked or in a glove box or trunk.
 

ACORN conspiracy against gun owners discovered
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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ACORN - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- a publicly funded national organization linked to voter fraud in several states, is now actively interfering with the exercise of firearm civil rights in New Jersey, and the Second Amendment Foundation is calling for an immediate federal investigation.

One example of ACORN's gun control activism is when its officials intervened in an unsuccessful attempt to defend Jersey City, New Jersey's local gun control ordinance, which was struck down by the New Jersey state court as a violation of state law preempting stronger local gun ordinances.
 

FL: Local dealers see spike in gun ownership
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A sign on the front window of C & G Sporting Goods on Harrison Avenue states that the experts all agree gun control works.

The “experts” pictured on the sign are Adolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, Muammar Qaddafi and Josef Stalin.

While most retailers in Florida are hurting during the recession, the gun business is booming.

C & G Owner Ronnie Groom attributes the recent business boom to many first-time gun buyers purchasing weapons and ammo to “protect themselves and their families.”
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined. — Patrick Henry, during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788)

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