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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 02:51 PM
Number of posts: 7,981

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Second Amendment in real time boils down to politics

History, politics and law are all tangled up in contemporary court interpretations and public understanding of the Second Amendment, and politics is the greater part of the mix these days.

Last week, I wrote that we’ve so misread the amendment that maybe we ought to get rid of it. That’s certainly not on the horizon, but the idea drew a strong response and suggested to me that a review of the amendment’s history might be helpful. (Some of the responses also reinforced my belief there are many people who should not be allowed anywhere near a gun. What does racist name calling have to do with gun rights anyway?)

One theme that ran through comments supportive of unrestricted gun-ownership rights was that it is necessary for individuals to own guns to protect themselves against both crime and the U.S. government, and that the framers of the Constitution intended for the amendment to protect that individual right.

That’s a new way of reading the amendment.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu May 8, 2014, 01:19 PM (102 replies)

North Korea slams U.S. on gun violence: ‘Like a malignant tumor hard to cure’

If there’s any nation accustomed to bad press, it’s North Korea. Reporters have recently alleged that Kim Jong Un executed a top deputy with a flamethrower, that his uncle was fed alive to dozens of starving dogs and that North Korean toughs threatened a London barber over an advertisement making fun of their Dear Leader. The United Nations also took a whack at North Korea this year, saying its human rights violations are “without any parallel in the contemporary world.”

Last week, North Korea pushed back, releasing the first of two reports detailing human rights abuses in the United States, which it calls “the world’s worst human right abuser and tundra of a human being’s rights to existence.” North Korea cited racism, poverty, unemployment and surveillance in this “living hell.”

But it left out its biggest criticism for a report released Wednesday titled “U.S. Plagued with Serious Gun-related Crimes.” ”Gun-related crimes are like a malignant tumor hard to cure as they are rampant in the society as a trend,” the report says. “Due to ceaseless gun-related crimes, people are exposed to constant threat to their safety. They are not free from uneasiness and horror.”

The report mentioned recent shootings at Fort Hood near Killeen, Tex., and another near Kansas City, where an ex-Klu Klux Klan member shot and killed three people at Jewish facilities. It also lambasted the United States for other recent violence: Earlier this year, a 2-year-old boy killed his 11-year-old sister in Philadelphia. And in Albuquerque, police threw a flash grenade at a homeless man and shot him — a killing later deemed ”justified.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu May 8, 2014, 05:54 AM (25 replies)

Atlanta woman using ‘stand your ground’ defense found guilty of murder

An Atlanta woman who used Georgia’s “stand your ground” law as her defense was found guilty of murder Friday by a Fulton County jury.

Shakeithia Wheeler, 32, was convicted on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses, Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr.’s office announced today. She was sentenced to life plus eight years in prison.

Wheeler admitted to fatally shooting 28-year-old Charles Roberson on May 3, 2009, in the parking lot of her Verdant Drive apartment complex in southwest Atlanta, the news release said.

However, she said she believed that she had the right to do so under the “stand your ground” law.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu May 8, 2014, 05:51 AM (22 replies)

Bordentown police chief shot by own gun fired by preteen

BORDENTOWN, N.J. - May 6, 2014 (WPVI) -- One gunshot rattled nerves inside the Bordentown Township Municipal Building on Tuesday afternoon and sent people scrambling to help 57-year-old Police Chief Frank Nucera who was hit in the leg.

"I knew something big was going on if I'm seeing all these cop cars coming to the station rather than leaving the station," witness Deborah Nabosse said.

It was around 4:00 p.m. when investigators say the chief, who is also serving as town administrator in the small Jersey community, was inside the tax collector's office.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office says a child, described as a preteen, somehow got his hand on the chief's holstered service weapon and fired a shot.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed May 7, 2014, 06:30 AM (39 replies)

Guns and Fun Unter dem Totenkopf

Shown above are three images from Assemblyman David DiPietro’s (R-Gunhug) recent gunapalooza fundraiser. A supporter posted them to Twitter, and they seem to have been taken during the “free gun” portion of the event.

Note the skull & crossbones – the Totenkopf - behind DiPietro. Reading “2nd Amendment 1789 America’s Original Homeland Security”, that flag is as ugly and ominous, and makes believe we still live in a postrevolutionary frontier. Our original homeland security was made up of state militias, well-regulated.

It must be so horrible to live a life so perpetually in fear of imminent danger and violence that you feel the need to arm yourself to the teeth, and then tell people it’s all about “sportsmen”. Then, when Cuomo says a sportsman doesn’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer, you mock that. Because it’s isn’t about sportsmen or target shooting or hunting, it’s about protecting yourself from Obummer and Hitlery Klintoon and il Duce Cuomo.

I don’t have a problem with legitimate sportsmen or people who want to keep a gun in their home for protection. I do have a problem with the paranoid freaks who demand the right to own an arsenal so they can kill all the people. I have a problem with nuts like the guy in Minnesota who, sick of break-ins, sat in the dark, with tarps at the ready, to shoot and kill the next people to do so. Now, he only used one gun that he purportedly kept in his house for “protection”. If you listen to the nauseating audio of the actual double murder, towards the end he gives a speech. In it, he regurgitates all the NRA propaganda he can muster. You get a window into what it’s like when the gun lobby takes a legitimate self-defense right and turns it into a license to murder.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed May 7, 2014, 06:27 AM (88 replies)

Gun Culture 'Way out of Balance'

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the nation's gun culture has gotten "way out of balance" and the U.S. needs to rein in the notion that "anybody can have a gun, anywhere, anytime."

The former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said the idea that anyone can have a gun is not in the "best interest of the vast majority of people." But she said that approach does not conflict with the rights of people to own firearms.

Clinton waded into the polarizing issue of gun politics during an appearance at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, pointing to recent shootings that involved teens who had been playing loud music and chewing gum and a separate incident involving the typing of text messages in a movie theater.

"I think again we're way out of balance. I think that we've got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime," Clinton said. "And I don't believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. And I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns."

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed May 7, 2014, 05:59 AM (9 replies)

`Gun Safety Moms' hope to be 2014's soccer moms

WASHINGTON — Women active in the post-Newtown effort to build voter support around stricter gun laws have an ambitious plan to turn “Gun Safety Moms” into the Soccer Moms of the 2014 election cycle.

But even with an infusion of $50 million from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, motivating American moms to vote on guns faces a steep uphill climb against the battle-hardened National Rifle Association and its voter-turnout machine.

Shannon Watts, an Indianapolis mother of five who founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting by posting a Facebook page, is undaunted.

“The NRA has had a 30-year head start,” said Watts, who describes herself as an “accidental activist” on Twitter. “We’ve never before had a grassroots organization to go toe-to-toe with the gun lobby. We have that now.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon May 5, 2014, 10:30 AM (9 replies)

'Patchwork laws' create challenges for stopping spread of illegal guns

BOSTON -- Public officials from across New England gathered at Roxbury Community College in Boston on Thursday for a regional gun trafficking summit organized by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Local and federal law enforcement representatives at the event gathered for a series of presentations and discussions on how to combat the spread of illegal guns through the region.

Many of those present acknowledged that though the six states of New England have different gun laws, they have a shared responsibility in addressing the problems of gun violence that affect communities across the region without regard for local gun laws.

Maine, for example, is a shall issue state with open carry laws on the books while Massachusetts is a heavily regulated may issue state that licenses carriers of mace. A gun license in New Hampshire costs $10 for four years while in Connecticut you have to pay $70 to simply operate a pistol, an additional $35 is required to obtain a license to purchase and transport a pistol.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon May 5, 2014, 10:10 AM (4 replies)

Gun shop’s violations persist for years

BURLINGTON, Wash. — For more than 65 years, Kesselring Gun Shop has been a firearms fixture in the Northwest, arming hunters, target shooters and police from one of the largest inventories on the West Coast.

Until surrendering its federal firearms license last October, the family-owned gun store also may have been the worst gun retailer in America.

It was nearly a decade ago when inspectors with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) first visited the sprawling gun store — three flat-roofed white buildings clustered on a gravel lot along Old Highway 99 some 70 miles north of Seattle. There they discovered that 2,396 guns — including hundreds of assault-style rifles and handguns — were stolen, lost or unaccounted for.

Unable to show inspectors the required paperwork about who had the guns, Kesselring’s owners were hindering police efforts to trace any guns found at crime scenes, putting the public at risk.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon May 5, 2014, 10:07 AM (5 replies)

Another recall election over gun control

R.I. Town Recall Over Gun Rights Rejected

The peaceful, sparsely populated, wooded town of Exeter, Rhode Island is turning into the latest battleground over gun laws.

But after a nasty fight characterized by personal attacks and conspiracy theories, residents beat back an attempt by gun-rights activists to recall four of the five members of the town council over their unsuccessful bid to make a seemingly procedural change in the way concealed-weapon permits are issued.

About two-thirds of the more than 1,800 voters who cast ballots rejected the recall.

Backers of the measure said they considered even their loss to be a victory of sorts. The efforts of the town council members and their advocates to overcome the recall “means they took it seriously,” said Brian Bishop, one of the leaders of the campaign. “I hope that also means they’re going to take seriously, regardless of the topic, that they have to really listen to the townspeople from here on in. We hope they understand that the townspeople won’t be asleep.”

The Exeter vote followed the successful recall of two Colorado legislators, state Senate President John Morse and state Senator Angeloa Giron, after they voted for tougher gun restrictions there. A third Colorado state senator facing recall, Evie Hudak, resigned.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat May 3, 2014, 04:48 PM (3 replies)
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