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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 02:51 PM
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5 Things to Know About Concealed Guns in SD

A panel of federal judges has sent San Diego County packing. Hundreds of residents have applied to be able to carry handguns in their jackets, pockets and purses in the wake of February’s ruling that nixes strict local policies on concealed weapons permits.

But while Sheriff Bill Gore says he won’t appeal the ruling, the battle over concealed weapons in the county isn’t over.

The state attorney general is appealing the 77-page ruling, declaring that sheriffs should be able to protect public safety by judging who can get a permit. And the San Diego County sheriff’s office itself hasn’t accepted the ruling as binding: Its strict policy remains in place for now. Meanwhile, a debate’s brewing about whether it might be better to forbid concealed carry and just let gun owners walk around with their weapons in plain sight.

Here’s five things to know about concealed guns in San Diego.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Mar 8, 2014, 07:19 AM (9 replies)

Voters to weigh in on cab fares, guns in restaurants

The other two ballot questions center on gun control after state lawmakers last year passed a law to allow people to carry concealed weapons following a federal court ruling that struck down Illinois' long-standing ban.

One question asks whether the state's concealed carry law should be amended to ban the possession of concealed firearms in any establishment that has a liquor license.

The City Council already has adopted an ordinance to revoke liquor licenses from establishments that do not ban firearms, a rule gun rights advocates have promised to fight in court. State law bans weapons only in bars or restaurants that make more than half their money from selling alcohol.

The other referendum asks whether the state should pass a measure to ban magazines with more than 15 rounds. Emanuel has pushed for a state ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and Gov. Pat Quinn also supported such a measure. But lawmakers overrode a Quinn amendatory veto last summer that would have limited the size of magazines statewide as part of the state concealed carry law.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Mar 8, 2014, 07:12 AM (6 replies)

One side isn't even trying to reach consensus in gun debate

Here is what he said: "...all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be."

It would seem to be a self-evident truth. After all, your First Amendment right to freedom of speech is regulated. If you don't believe it, write something libelous about a guy with deep pockets and man-eating lawyers. Your Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is regulated and then some. If you don't believe that, pick up your phone and ask the NSA agent tapping your line.

Unfortunately for him, Dick Metcalf, who made the aforementioned observation, was not referring to the First Amendment or the Fourth. No, he was talking about the Second. He's been out of work ever since.

We are indebted to New York Times reporter Ravi Somaiya for bringing this story to light on Sunday. Metcalf, who lives in Barry, Ill., is not a gun hater. To the contrary we are told that he is -- or was, at any rate -- one of the most prominent gun journalists in the country, a self-described "Second Amendment fundamentalist" who, at 67, has devoted most of his adult life to gun rights. He hosted a TV program about guns. Gun makers flew him around the world and sent him their products for review. And he had a regular column in Guns & Ammo magazine.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu Mar 6, 2014, 03:30 PM (17 replies)

Why should gun rights trump common sense?

The gun rally held at our state capitol last month, and around the country in other state capitols, shows once again the disconnect that the radicals have with the rest of our country. The national polls show a majority of Americans favor sensible gun laws. So, what is the problem?

Begin with the NRA and its radical leadership. And who profits from their propaganda?

Gun manufacturers, of course. Here are five of the NRA’s biggest gun industry backers who have contributed $1 million or higher. They include the biggest financial contributor — MidwayUSA, a distributor of high-capacity magazines, but also oil and gas company Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. Other gun industry donors include Beretta USA Corporation, Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, LLC, and Springfield Armory, Inc.

The NRA does not represent its members who overwhelmingly support sensible controls. Their allegiance should be to its members but if you follow the money, you will clearly see that they are the mouthpiece for those profiting from unregulated gun laws.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Mar 5, 2014, 09:57 AM (99 replies)

Changes to gang violence laws don't come easy

MOSES LAKE - Thirteenth District lawmakers were overwhelmed with phone calls last week from residents wondering what the Legislature is doing to combat gang violence.

Reps. Matt Manweller and Judy Warnick said they were surprised by the amount of calls following the sheriff's office town hall at the Larson Housing area last week. During the meeting, county Prosecutor Angus Lee discussed bills he proposed to the two lawmakers, which they in turn sponsored at his request.

"I'm sad to say and disappointed to say the Legislature didn't even vote on the bills," Lee said.

Included in the bills, which never received a hearing in either the Public Safety or Judiciary committees, was legislation that would increase penalties for gang members who commit crimes with firearms, would add drive-by shootings to the list of most serious offenses, would add unlawful possession in the first-degree to most serious offenses, and would modify provisions to standard sentences for offenders being sentenced for a criminal street gang-related offense.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Mar 5, 2014, 09:54 AM (3 replies)

Idaho gun bill will only endanger college students

In his Feb. 28 op-ed in The New York Times, Greg Hampikian, a professor of biology and criminal justice at Boise State University, wrote satirically about the recent push in Idaho to allow students on public university campuses to arm themselves. One of the numerous relevant points Hampikian makes concerns the ability of armed individuals to designate certain offenses as “de facto capital crimes.” The proliferation of these kinds of capital “sentences” is one of the most unjust facets of increased gun ownership and use in the United States.

The radical shift in the last few decades has been from duty to retreat laws, which require victims of assault to flee where possible, to expansive Stand Your Ground laws, which allow nearly unrestricted use of lethal force when defending oneself or one’s property. Look no further than the case of Trayvon Martin or the other 1,031 “justifiable” homicides from 2006 to 2010, according to the Violence Policy Center. Unfortunately, where the obligation had once been to use caution where possible and retreat without escalating the confrontation, now gun owners are allowed to arm themselves, becoming judge, jury and executioner in dispensing lethal force.

The problem with allowing college students — or anyone for that matter — to carry weapons to “protect” themselves is that it allows for people who are fearing for their lives to make split-second decisions that normally take years, if not decades, of debate and ruling in the current U.S. penal system. Whether or not individuals are in favor of the death penalty, it is undeniable that under the current justice system, the process through which an accused person would be arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced to death, have the decision appealed and then finally be executed by the state is a years-long process involving numerous lawyers and opportunities for appeal. Ideally, by the time a person convicted of a capital crime is executed, there should be no shred of doubt that that person is guilty. Of course, even now, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Innocence Project argue that there can be no certainty in capital cases and such irreversible punishment is too harsh for a certainty-free legal system. These open-carry laws and Stand Your Ground defenses condense that entire legal system of safeguards, designed to protect American liberty, to a split-second decision made by people hyped up on fear and adrenaline.


Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Mar 5, 2014, 09:51 AM (26 replies)

Young Guns: How Gun Violence is Devastating the Millennial Generation

American children and teenagers are 4 times more likely to die by gunfire than their counterparts in Canada, 7 times more likely than young people in Israel, and 65 times more likely to be killed with a gun than children and teenagers in the United Kingdom.

Even though violent crime has steadily declined in recent years—overall violent crime declined 19 percent between 2003 and 2012, and the murder rate declined 17 percent during that period—rates of gun violence remain unacceptably high. On average, 33,000 Americans are killed with guns each year, and the burden of this violence falls disproportionately on young people: 54 percent of people murdered with guns in 2010 were under the age of 30. Young people are also disproportionately the perpetrators of gun violence, as weak gun laws offer easy access to guns in many parts of the country. Far too often, a gun not only takes the life of one young American but also contributes to ruining the life of another young person who pulls the trigger.

And while guns play a role in so many deaths of America’s youth, very few public health research dollars are spent to understand the causes of this epidemic and develop policy solutions to address it. In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, the issue of gun violence has received renewed attention in this country, and many voices are now calling for solutions to this public health crisis.

In this environment of increased focus on gun violence, Millennials’ voices are crucial. As discussed in detail below, young Americans suffer disproportionately from gun violence. Beyond the numbers, which are startling, the voices of young people must be heard and the stories told about the effect of this violence on their lives and communities.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Mar 4, 2014, 02:23 PM (7 replies)

Police officer stands ground against "vicious" dog

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 03:04 PM (44 replies)

Va. Republicans flinch at restricting guns for criminals

IN VIRGINIA, about 5,600 people were convicted in 2011 and 2012 on misdemeanor counts of assaulting a member of their family or household. During the same period, the state’s courts found 171 individuals guilty of misdemeanor stalking charges and 158 guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery. In Richmond, Republican lawmakers in the House of Delegates want to ensure that these offenders can continue to own handguns and rifles if they so wish.

House Republicans last week killed legislation that would have required such convicts to forfeit their weapons for five years. They did so in defiance of the strong support the measure enjoyed from state associations representing police, sheriffs and prosecutors, not to mention women’s groups. When the GOP calls itself the party of law and order, roll your eyes.

In fairness, the bill — sponsored by a pair of Northern Virginia Democrats, Sen. Barbara A. Favola of Arlington and Del. Marcus B. Simon of Fairfax — did attract some Republican support in the state Senate, which approved it by a vote of 29 to 6. But a GOP-controlled subcommittee in the House dismissed it without so much as deigning to hear expert testimony, or even taking a recorded vote. (Anyone who wishes to register their opinion of such cavalier lawmaking should contact Del. Robert B. Bell, Republican of Albemarle, who chairs the Criminal Law Subcommittee of the Courts of Justice Committee.)

Gun rights advocates and Republican lawmakers who opposed the legislation said they were loath to penalize misdemeanor offenders by depriving them of their Second Amendment gun rights. (Those convicted of felonies in Virginia are automatically required to forfeit their weapons.) However, studies suggest that the best predictor of future violent behavior is past violent behavior. Misdemeanor convictions of assault, stalking and sexual battery are not trivial offenses, and the people who commit them should not be permitted to carry firearms as if nothing were amiss or as if they posed no particular risk to society.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:45 AM (1 replies)

Woman to be Sentenced After Threatening Mass Shooting at Gateway Community College

An East Haven woman is facing sentencing for threatening to bomb and shoot up Gateway Community College last February.

Amanda Bowden is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Hartford. She pleaded guilty last year to one count of false information and hoaxes.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Bowden made numerous phone calls and sent out text messages to a witness detailing a suicidal plot against the school. She also claimed to have guns and at least two napalm-based bombs, but a search of her home turned up no guns or bombs.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:07 AM (6 replies)
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