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Newslinks for 8/31/2010

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LA: Department Under Fire
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The New Orleans Police Department is reeling from allegations of murder, conspiracy and civil rights violations in the chaotic days following Hurricane Katrina. When the storm hit dozens of police abandoned their posts. CBS News cameras caught others apparently looting stores. (lower third text banner GFX) More than 500 officers were fired or disciplined for their actions.

Sherrel Johnson's son, 17-year old James Brissette, seen here in the only photo to survive the storm was shot six times by police while crossing the Danziger bridge five days after the storm. The police claimed self-defense. Five officers have pleaded guilty to covering up the shooting. Four others could receive the death penalty if convicted.
 

The Orwellian EPA
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Every time I conclude that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot get crazier, they demonstrate they are not only crazy, but a continued threat to the health, national security, and the right of Americans to be free of incessant governmental intrusion into their lives and choices.

Mind you, they get lots of help from environmental organizations and the latest example was a petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity asking the EPA to ban lead shot and bullets under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

There is, of course, no doubt that if you take a bullet to the brainpan, it is very likely to be lethal, but under the TSCA, it is not considered or defined as toxic.
 

LA: Hunting for bargains
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Louisiana residents will enjoy a three-day sales tax-free holiday on various sporting goods beginning Friday.

The Louisiana Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday — passed by the state legislature in 2009 — provides an exemption from state and local sales and use taxes on individuals’ purchases of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies on the first Friday through Sunday of each September.


Shoppers can expect to save about 8.5 percent on hunting attire and firearms.
 

SC: Haley gains backing of gun rights group
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Republican Nikki Haley is the Gun Owners of America choice for governor.

Haley, a state representative from Lexington, won the endorsement of the Second Amendment group over Democrat Vincent Sheheen, a state senator from Camden.

Tim Macy, vice chairman of the Gun Owners of America, said Haley's support for the Second Amendment has been strong.

"Nikki Haley stands 100 percent behind the rights of South Carolina's gun owners and sportsmen," Macy said in a statement. "In particular, Representative Haley strongly supports concealed carry of firearms by law-abiding citizens."

The group's director of communications Erich Pratt said Monday that the reason why Sheheen did not receive the endorsement wasn't immediately available.
 

CA: California Senate rejects open-carry gun ban
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The California Senate rejected a bill Monday that would have made it illegal to carry unloaded guns in public, but lawmakers will give the vote one more try.

Monday's 20-16 vote fell one short of the majority needed, but the Senate will reconsider the measure Tuesday.

The bill, AB1934, was introduced after a series of demonstrations by gun-rights organizations during which they encouraged participants to openly carry unloaded weapons. California law lets gun owners carry a rifle or handgun in a holster if it is not loaded.

...

Lawmakers also defeated a bill by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, that would have required owners of rifles and shotguns to register those weapons, similar to the requirement already in place for handguns.

The bill, AB1810, would let police track gun sales and ownership through a state database. It fell three votes short and will be reconsidered on Tuesday.
 

Avoiding Conflict With NRA, EPA Rejects Lead Bullet Initiative
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In a swift and unexpected decision, the Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a petition from environmental groups to ban the use of lead in bullets and shotgun shells, claiming it doesn’t have jurisdiction to weigh on the controversial Second Amendment issue. U.S. News & World Report said the decision came just hours after the Drudge Report posted stories about how gun groups were fighting the lead bullet ban. The EPA had planned to solicit public responses to the petition for two months, but on Friday issued a statement rejecting a 100-page request from the Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, and three other groups for a ban on lead bullets, shot, and fishing sinkers.
 

TX: Texas Rangers to investigate whether man shot deputy in self defense act
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Saturday night, Bandera County sheriff deputies shot and killed 57-year-old William Caviness in his home just moments after he shot at one of their fellow deputies.

The deputy's bullet-proof vest saved his life.

Texas Rangers will have to figure out whether these deputies identified themselves when they went to Caviness' home to serve a search warrant.

His wife, who was inside the home at the time, said the deputies did not.

"Let it be known that my husband was defending our home against what we thought were intruders, and that's the truth," said Pamela Caviness, William Caviness' widow.
 

TX: Witness, deputy tell different story about Medina Lake shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Bandera sheriff Weldon Tucker says deputies shot 57-year-old William Caviness at his home near Medina Lake after the suspect fired at them.

Tucker reported that one deputy was hit in his protective vest.

However, a witness tells a different story.

That witness says the deputies did not announce themselves as they entered the home, and that caused the victim to fire his weapon in self-defense. Supposedly, the victim mistook the deputy as a gunseller he had argued with earlier that day. They say Caviness fired into the ceiling, and the deputies fired in return, killing Caviness.
 

TX: Police say man fatally shot alleged mugger in South Dallas
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Nicholas Lewis, 22, who lived on Cleveland Street, died in the hospital a few hours after he allegedly held up Jeffrey Hall, 43, in the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Lewis pointed a semiautomatic pistol at Hall and demanded his wallet, according to a police report. Hall told police he handed his wallet to Lewis, who started to ride away on a bicycle.

But Lewis then turned, according to police, and fired at Hall – missing him and striking his pickup.

Hall then pulled out his licensed pistol and shot Lewis multiple times, according to police. Hall shot Lewis in the torso, the buttocks and the head, according to Lewis' sister, who says she watched him die at Baylor Medical Center at Dallas a few hours later.
 

NC: Midway considers stronger gun laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Town of Midway is considering an ordinance that would add firearm restrictions within the town’s boundaries.

...

A public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 7 will allow residents to address the council concerning the proposed ordinance.

Town Manager Ryan Ross said the proposed town law would set clear boundaries on the distance a firearm could be discharged from a residence within its limits. The Davidson County firearm ordinance makes it unlawful for anyone to discharge a firearm from any public roadway or right-of-way unless in self-defense or instructed by a law enforcement officer.
 

UT: Mountainside shooting further restricted
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As ATV riders, hikers and others are making more use of Davis County’s mountainsides, there is more chance for unintended encounters with stray bullets.

With that in mind, the Davis County Commission approved an amendment to its firearms code, Tuesday.

It concerns discharge of firearms in the area east of Highway 89 up to 7,000 feet to Park Lane, from the north to south borders of the county, including along I-15 from Farmington to the Salt Lake County line.

The ordinance covers discharge of a rifle, gun, pistol, pellet gun, and more in the unincorporated area of the county also west of Highway 89 and north of State Highway 193 (that hugs Hill AFB).
 

AZ: EPA made right move on lead issue
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Without speculating on why the Environmental Protection Agency raised such a sensational loser of an issue on the cusp of a difficult election season for the administration, let us simply say the EPA did the right thing when it decided over the weekend to back out of hearings on whether to ban lead bullets.

Embattled Dems in Congress do not really need a Second Amendment argument with the National Rifle Association just now.

President Barack Obama really does not need to be reminded of his infamous "off the record" campaign-era speech in San Francisco, where he seemed to patronize gun owners as some kind of bitter anthropological throwbacks. The Democrats have plenty of re-election issues as it is.
 

LA: New Orleans residents lost gun rights after Katrina
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, police in New Orleans confiscated thousands of guns from residents in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of anyone who wasn’t law enforcement.

Louisiana residents feel that their constitutional rights were violated and proceeded to sue the city of New Orleans with the help of the National Rifle Association.

Richard Styron and his friend Wayne Schum were crossing Lake Ponchartrain about a week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

“I had almost six inches of water to a foot in my house, but it was still there,” Styron said.

After getting Styron’s weapons and valuables from his house, the pair proceeded to cross back across the lake.
 

MA: GOAL Endorses Martinez for Senate
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Jim Wallace, Executive Director of the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) headlined a town-hall forum on the Second Amendment, sponsored by Sandi Martinez, candidate for State Senate in the Third Middlesex District. GOAL is the official state firearms association in Massachusetts. They are an association of law-abiding citizens who believe in the basic right of firearms ownership for competition, recreation and self-protection.

GOAL has released its ratings for the candidates running in Massachusetts in 2010 and Sandi received a perfect 100% rating along with the endorsement of the organization. This is a testament to Sandi Martinez's commitment to the principles of our Founding Fathers.
 

IL: The only issues worth discussing
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Forget about gun control, energy, abortion, public safety and all the other issues that are cluttering up the Illinois gubernatorial race.

The only things that matter in the race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Sen. Bill Brady are how to dig the state out of the biggest financial hole it has ever been in and how to shed corruption as the preferred model for governing this state.

Everything else — health care, the environment, transportation, school class size, agriculture, housing — counts for nothing. Because if Illinois doesn't solve the twin, and related, problems of financial insolvency and corruption, none of those other things will matter.
 

LA: Why Does Louisiana Allow Concealed Guns in Church?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A place of worship is a sanctuary and an asylum. It is a place for families and friends to gather and celebrate their religion— a place of prayer that should be safe and free of violence. This may all be compromised in Louisiana by the passage of Act 944, which allows certain citizens with concealed handgun permits to bring their firearms into places of worship.

Under Act 944, churches, synagogues, and mosques are allowed to choose which concealed handgun permit holders—if any—are allowed to bring guns onto their premises. If a place of worship does allow some parishioners to carry handguns, they must announce that decision to their congregation.
 

NRA Shoots Down the Sen. Harry Reid Endorsement
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The National Rifle Association through its political PAC, the NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF), announced Friday, August 27th, they would not be endorsing Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). In January of this year the PVF hinted they would be endorsing Sen. Reid because of his long standing support for firearm and Second Amendment issues.

Through the course of the year,a critical issue came forward regarding gun rights; the appointment of Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan. The NRA expressed very strong opposition to her appointment as well as last years appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The NRA announced during the confirmation processes these nominations would be graded issues in the PVF endorsement evaluation process.
 

MA: Gun Owners Action League endorses Hudak
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Gun Owner’s Action League (GOAL), the official state firearms association in Massachusetts, has endorsed Bill Hudak’s candidacy for the United States Congress, said James L. Wallace, GOAL’s executive director of GOAL, said in a statement.

“The private ownership of firearms allowed our forefathers to shed themselves of the yoke of tyranny and set an example of individual freedom that has become the envy of the world. It is unfortunate that in recent years the congressional delegation from Massachusetts has chosen to cast the ultimate insult to our heritage. They have done so by shamefully attempting to place arbitrary restrictions and outright bans on the very right that gave us the freedoms we have.”
 

Gun Owners Nationwide Must Rally To Defeat Harry Reid
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Thank you, everyone, for your hard work over the last few months. Because of your lobbying efforts, the NRA has decided NOT TO ENDORSE anti-gun Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his contest against Sharron Angle.

As you may remember, GOA had alerted you last month to press reports indicating that the NRA might endorse Reid.
 

SC: Haley, Sheheen back gun ownership
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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South Carolinians can be sure of one thing as they assess the two major-party contenders for governor: They are not coming for your guns.

On Monday, Republican gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley and Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen jockeyed for dominance as the more pro-gun candidate.

"Few things are as clearly defined as the right of individual Americans to own and use firearms," Haley said in a statement accompanying her Gun Owners of America endorsement.

...

Sheheen said that he owns a gun, leads the S.C. Sportsmen's Caucus and has ties to the National Rifle Association.

"I have repeatedly worked with the NRA to protect the gun ownership rights of South Carolinians," Sheheen said in a statement.
 

PA: State gun-control laws override any local laws
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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CeaseFirePA was cited supporting the "lost or stolen" gun ordinances meant to punish gun owners who the agency wants to claim as "straw purchasers." Indeed, a number of communities, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have managed to get temporary decisions allowing those communities to enact those ordinances.

There is one problem: Local officials do not have the power to do so. The reason is found in the PA Uniformed Firearms Act of 1995. Section 6120(a) states, "No county, municipality, or townships may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this commonwealth."
 

NV: Murder-Suicides: Economic worries taking toll in recent deaths
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Donald and Barbara Romano had been residents of Las Vegas for more than 50 years.
He was a former Marine, a Korean War veteran and a respected member of the community. She was a loving mother, described as "very kind and generous" by her daughter.
But the couple, heavily involved in the real estate business, had been financially crippled by the recession.
On Aug. 20, a Friday, the couple was found dead in the bedroom of their million-dollar Summerlin home by their housekeeper, Las Vegas police said.

SUBMITTER'S COMMENT: Two weeks ago, Forbes Magazine named Las Vegas the most stressed-out city in the country.
How much did the murder of Erik Scott on July 10, also in Summerlin, influence this rash of shootings?
 

AK: Police: Home intruder shot, killed by Midtown resident
Submitted by: Anonymous

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An intruder was shot and killed early Sunday during a home-invasion robbery, Anchorage police say.

"There were several suspects involved," police Lt. Dave Parker said. "One was shot and the others ran away."

NOTE: Running away. Small pieces of high velocity lead will do that to you, you betcha.
 

NAACP armed defense endorsement is inconsistent with group's anti-gun stance
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.examiner.com/x-1417-Gun-Rights-Examiner

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"The thing is, in spite of all the hostile noise, I'm just not seeing why this is a race issue. Why does it matter what color either man was?"

"And the other thing is, it's interesting how the NAACP comes out in favor of armed defense when there is a race issue to exploit. Otherwise, there's been no group more hostile to the right to keep and bear arms..."
 

Winning Tactics For Handgun Training On a Budget
Submitted by: Anonymous

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I’ve known several people who claimed to be an expert in all things firearm related yet on the range it was obvious they knew very little of what they claimed, with several being down right hazardous.

On one occasion, I saw a self-proclaimed expert (a former cop) point the muzzle of his weapon toward another shooter to his left flank as he cleared his weapon.

This is a no-no. I called him on it and his reaction was so bad that, I thought we were going to end the day with fisticuffs, but a crowd gathered and he backed down.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The whole of the Bill of Rights is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals. It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of. — Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789.

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