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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 01:51 PM
Number of posts: 7,981

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Police officer stands ground against "vicious" dog

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 02:04 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, 10:45 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, 10:07 AM (6 replies)

CSI Battles Unknowns in Allowing Guns on Campus

BOISE • If guns come to Idaho’s college campuses, Jim Ellington is buying at least eight bullet-proof vests.

The purchase will take a large chunk out of Ellington’s budget, but as director of the College of Southern Idaho’s security, Ellington said he doesn’t have a choice. His security officers have demanded they be provided with protection in case they come across a violent student with a gun.

It’s a hypothetical situation that’s quickly nearing reality, and as such it has created more questions than answers as the possibility grows.

Permitting guns on college campuses has become one of most controversial bills Idaho lawmakers debated during this year’s legislative session.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 09:59 AM (13 replies)

Vetting of concealed-carry applicants too weak to trust

How safe does this make you feel? Twelve people certified as concealed carry trainers under Illinois’ new gun law have such extensive criminal backgrounds that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants them banned from carrying hidden firearms altogether. One of them was the subject of an order of protection, and police say another threatened to kill a law enforcement officer.

That’s just part of the problem with the new law, approved by the Legislature last summer. There’s no longer any debate that concealed carry is the law of the land, but there’s an excellent argument that it is being carried out in an excessively permissive manner. Combing through a list of 9,349 Cook County residents who have applied since Jan. 5 for five-year concealed carry permits , Sheriff Dart’s office found 300 applicants who have records for domestic violence, gang activity, gun crimes, sex crimes, burglary and other criminal activity. All but five of those applicants were cleared for concealed carry by the Illinois State Police, however, and the grounds for rejection for the five might have been something as benign as not including payment.

We see two problems here. The first is that Dart’s office is the source of most of the objections filed statewide, which suggests that other sheriffs and municipal police departments — who were provided no extra funding to pay for criminal background checks — are failing to dig as deeply as Dart into the background of people applying for concealed carry permits.

The second problem is that even Dart can’t do a truly thorough job because he is prohibited from checking a police database called the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System, the nation’s most comprehensive listing of arrest records. According to the State Police, that’s because LEADS is to be used only for criminal justice purposes, and the FBI considers concealed carry permits to be an administrative matter.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 09:45 AM (5 replies)

Walmart Customer Accidentally Shoots Self in Leg

A man apparently shot himself in the leg while shopping at the Walmart store in Antioch, police said.

Officers on Friday responded to reports of a shooting at Walmart, located at 4893 Lone Tree Way, around 10:10 p.m. Friday, according to police.

Police said officers arriving on the scene found a 27-year-old Stockton man suffering from a gunshot wound.

He told officers that he had been walking with a relative when he heard a shot and felt a pain in his leg and that "he had no idea who shot him," police said in a statement.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 07:21 AM (2 replies)

Does concealed carry have a domestic violence loophole? Domestic violence and concealed carry

Though lawmakers took an additional step to weed out convicted batterers in a concealed carry law passed by the General Assembly last year, some critics have said it leaves a loophole that could allow some violent abusers to slip under the radar.

Under the law, a person can be arrested for any offense, including domestic battery, up to five times within a seven-year period before being denied a permit to carry a firearm in public.

Those who work with domestic violence victims said that by the time someone has had multiple arrests, it may be too late. They fear that women will be placed in grave danger because domestic violence often goes unreported. When there is an arrest, charges often are dropped because the victim chooses not to pursue the case, they said.

"What the research shows is that when there are firearms in the home of a domestic violence relationship, the potential for homicide increases by 500 percent," said Dawn Dalton, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, citing a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. "Why would we want people who are choosing to break the law to have a firearm?"

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 06:40 AM (48 replies)

No felony charges against township trustee in concealed-carry class shooting

LANCASTER, Ohio — A special prosecutor recommended yesterday that no felony charges be filed against a firearms instructor who accidentally shot a student who was taking his concealed-carry class last year.

Jeff Hunter, a former assistant prosecutor in Greene County who was appointed special prosecutor to look into the shooting, said he concluded the shooting was, indeed, accidental.

He also concluded that Terry J. Dunlap Sr. was not acting recklessly at the time of the shooting. That is, he was not playing with the gun or “goofing around,” Hunter said.

Dunlap, 74, is a Violet Township trustee who was re-elected last year.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 06:37 AM (7 replies)

Saxet Gun Show will not renew contract

AUSTIN -- The Saxet Gun Show will not sign a new contract with Travis County. Show organizers said they would never agree to anything that goes above and beyond what is required by state and federal law.

After an ongoing debate between Saxet Gun Show owner Gus Cargile and commissioners at the end of last month ended without a vote on whether or not to continue the show's contract, it seemed the show would have to find a new location. The issue is over background checks.

Criticism of gun shows and the lack of checks mandated for individual sellers who attend rose nationwide following mass shootings like the ones at the Colorado movie theater and the Connecticut elementary school.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Mar 1, 2014, 09:30 AM (4 replies)

More Cities Consider Gun Control

Mattie Scott stands in front of a packed house at the Mountain View City Council Chambers. She’s here to talk about her son and nephew, both of whom were killed in gun violence. As she tells her and the boys’ story, someone in the back shouts, “You’re disgusting!”

Another woman speaks about the gut-wrenching loss of her child, who was also shot and killed. Like Scott, she has come here to advocate for better gun control in her community. But not everyone has the same agenda. In the back of the chambers, a group of mostly white men are here to shout them down.

Some hold protest signs, while others wear yellow Star of David armbands. They are the persecuted—not the dead. Before the meeting ends, one of these men will tell Scott, an African American, to “go back to where you came from.”

Said one attendee, “I think there should have been a metal detector.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Feb 28, 2014, 09:43 AM (6 replies)
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