If you are anti-guns, or afraid of guns, or just don't like them and don't want them in your house, then this blog is for you.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Police Have No Duty To Protect Individuals

by Peter Kasler

Self-Reliance For Self-Defense -- Police Protection Isn't Enough!

All our lives, especially during our younger years, we hear that the police are there to protect us. From the very first kindergarten- class visit of "Officer Friendly" to the very last time we saw a police car - most of which have "To Protect and Serve" emblazoned on their doors - we're encouraged to give ourselves over to police protection. But it hasn't always been that way.

Before the mid-1800s, American and British citizens - even in large cities - were expected to protect themselves and each other. Indeed, they were legally required to pursue and attempt to apprehend criminals. The notion of a police force in those days was abhorrent in England and America, where liberals viewed it as a form of the dreaded "standing army."

England's first police force, in London, was not instituted until 1827. The first such forces in America followed in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia during the period between 1835 and 1845. They were established only to augment citizen self-protection. It was never intended that they act affirmatively, prior to or during criminal activity or violence against individual citizens. Their duty was to protect society as a whole by deterrence; i.e., by systematically patrolling, detecting and apprehending criminals after the occurrence of crimes. There was no thought of police displacing the citizens' right of self-protection. Nor could they, even if it were intended.

Professor Don B. Kates, Jr., eminent civil rights lawyer and criminologist, states:

    Even if all 500,000 American police officers were assigned to patrol, they could not protect 240 million citizens from upwards of 10 million criminals who enjoy the luxury of deciding when and where to strike. But we have nothing like 500,000 patrol officers; to determine how many police are actually available for any one shift, we must divide the 500,000 by four (three shifts per day, plus officers who have days off, are on sick leave, etc.). The resulting number must be cut in half to account for officers assigned to investigations, juvenile, records, laboratory, traffic, etc., rather than patrol. [1]
Such facts are underscored by the practical reality of today's society. Police and Sheriff's departments are feeling the financial exigencies of our times, and that translates directly to a reduction of services, e.g., even less protection. For example, one moderate day recently (September 23, 1991) the San Francisco Police Department "dropped" [2] 157 calls to its 911 facility, and about 1,000 calls to its general telephone number (415-553-0123). An SFPD dispatcher said that 150 dropped 911 calls, and 1,000 dropped general number calls, are about average on any given day. [3]
It is, therefore, a fact of law and of practical necessity that individuals are responsible for their own personal safety, and that of their loved ones. Police protection must be recognized for what it is: only an auxiliary general deterrent.

Because the police have no general duty to protect individuals, judicial remedies are not available for their failure to protect. In other words, if someone is injured because they expected but did not receive police protection, they cannot recover damages by suing (except in very special cases, explained below). Despite a long history of such failed attempts, however, many, people persist in believing the police are obligated to protect them, attempt to recover when no protection was forthcoming, and are emotionally demoralized when the recovery fails. Legal annals abound with such cases.

Warren v. District of Columbia is one of the leading cases of this type. Two women were upstairs in a townhouse when they heard their roommate, a third woman, being attacked downstairs by intruders. They phoned the police several times and were assured that officers were on the way. After about 30 minutes, when their roommate's screams had stopped, they assumed the police had finally arrived. When the two women went downstairs they saw that in fact the police never came, but the intruders were still there. As the Warren court graphically states in the opinion: "For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers."

The three women sued the District of Columbia for failing to protect them, but D.C.'s highest court exonerated the District and its police, saying that it is a "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [4] There are many similar cases with results to the same effect. [5]
In the Warren case the injured parties sued the District of Columbia under its own laws for failing to protect them. Most often such cases are brought in state (or, in the case of Warren, D.C.) courts for violation of state statutes, because federal law pertaining to these matters is even more onerous. But when someone does sue under federal law, it is nearly always for violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983 (often inaccurately referred to as "the civil rights act"). Section 1983 claims are brought against government officials for allegedly violating the injured parties' federal statutory or Constitutional rights.

The seminal case establishing the general rule that police have no duty under federal law to protect citizens is DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services. [6] Frequently these cases are based on an alleged "special relationship" between the injured party and the police. In DeShaney the injured party was a boy who was beaten and permanently injured by his father. He claimed a special relationship existed because local officials knew he was being abused, indeed they had "specifically proclaimed by word and deed [their] intention to protect him against that danger," [7] but failed to remove him from his father's custody.

The Court in DeShaney held that no duty arose because of a "special relationship," concluding that Constitutional duties of care and protection only exist as to certain individuals, such as incarcerated prisoners, involuntarily committed mental patients and others restrained against their will and therefore unable to protect themselves. "The affirmative duty to protect arises not from the State's knowledge of the individual's predicament or from its expressions of intent to help him, but from the limitation which it has imposed on his freedom to act on his own behalf." [8]
About a year later, the United States Court of Appeals interpreted DeShaney in the California case of Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Department. [9] Ms. Balistreri, beaten and harassed by her estranged husband, alleged a "special relationship" existed between her and the Pacifica Police Department, to wit, they were duty-bound to protect her because there was a restraining order against her husband. The Court of Appeals, however, concluded that DeShaney limited the circumstances that would give rise to a "special relationship" to instances of custody. Because no such custody existed in Balistreri, the Pacifica Police had no duty to protect her, so when they failed to do so and she was injured they were not liable. A citizen injured because the police failed to protect her can only sue the State or local government in federal court if one of their officials violated a federal statutory or Constitutional right, and can only win such a suit if a "special relationship" can be shown to have existed, which DeShaney and its progeny make it very difficult to do. Moreover, Zinermon v. Burch [10] very likely precludes Section 1983 liability for police agencies in these types of cases if there is a potential remedy via a State tort action.

Many states, however, have specifically precluded such claims, barring lawsuits against State or local officials for failure to protect, by enacting statutes such as California's Government Code, Sections 821, 845, and 846 which state, in part: "Neither a public entity or a public employee [may be sued] for failure to provide adequate police protection or service, failure to prevent the commission of crimes and failure to apprehend criminals."

It is painfully clear that the police cannot be relied upon to protect us. Thus far we've seen that they have no duty to do so. And we've also seen that even if they did have a duty to protect us, practically- speaking they could not fulfill it with sufficient certainty that we would want to bet our lives on it.

Now it's time to take off the gloves, so to speak, and get down to reality. So the police aren't duty-bound to protect us, and they can't be expected to protect us even if they want to. Does that mean that they won't protect us if they have the opportunity?

One of the leading cases on this point dates way back into the 1950s. [11] A certain Ms. Riss was being harassed by a former boyfriend, in a familiar pattern of increasingly violent threats. She went to the police for help many times, but was always rebuffed. Desperate because she could not get police protection, she applied for a gun permit, but was refused that as well. On the eve of her engagement party she and her mother went to the police one last time pleading for protection against what they were certain was a serious and dangerous threat. And one last time the police refused. As she was leaving the party, her former boyfriend threw acid in her face, blinding and permanently disfiguring her.

Her case against the City of New York for failing to protect her was, not surprisingly, unsuccessful. The lone dissenting justice of New York's high court wrote in his opinion: "What makes the City's position [denying any obligation to protect the woman] particularly difficult to understand is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law [she] did not carry any weapon for self-defense. Thus, by a rather bitter irony she was required to rely for protection on the City of New York which now denies all responsibility to her." [12]
Instances of police refusing to protect someone in grave danger, who is urgently requesting help, are becoming disturbingly more common. In 1988, Lisa Bianco's violently abusive husband was finally in jail for beating and kidnapping her, after having victimized her for years. Ms. Bianco was somewhat comforted by the facts that he was supposedly serving a seven-year sentence, and she had been promised by the authorities that she'd be notified well in advance of his release. Nevertheless, after being in only a short time, he was temporarily released on an eight-hour pass, and she wasn't notified. He went directly to her house and, in front of their 6- and 10- year old daughters, beat Lisa Bianco to death.

In 1989, in a suburb of Los Angeles, Maria Navarro called the L. A. County Sheriff's 911 emergency line asking for help. It was her birthday and there was a party at her house, but her estranged husband, against whom she had had a restraining order, said he was coming over to kill her. She believed him, but got no sympathy from the 911 dispatcher, who said: "What do you want us to do lady, send a car to sit outside your house?" Less than half an hour after Maria hung up in frustration, one of her guests called the same 911 line and informed the dispatcher that the husband was there and had already killed Maria and one other guest. Before the cops arrived, he had killed another.

But certainly no cop would stand by and do nothing while someone was being violently victimized. Or would they? In Freeman v. Ferguson [13] a police chief directed his officers not to enforce a restraining order against a woman's estranged husband because the man was a friend of the chief's. The man subsequently killed the woman and her daughter. Perhaps such a specific case is an anomaly, but more instances of general abuses aren't at all rare.

In one such typical case [14] , a woman and her son were harassed, threatened and assaulted by her estranged husband, all in violation of his probation and a restraining order. Despite numerous requests for police protection, the police did nothing because "the police department used an administrative classification that resulted in police protection being fully provided to persons abused by someone with whom the victim has no domestic relationship, but less protection when the victim is either: 1) a woman abused or assaulted by a spouse or boyfriend, or 2) a child abused by a father or stepfather." [15]
In a much more recent case, [16] a woman claimed she was injured because the police refused to make an arrest following a domestic violence call. She claimed their refusal to arrest was due to a city policy of gender- based discrimination. In that case the U. S. District Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that "no constitutional violation [occurred] when the most that can be said of the police is that they stood by and did nothing..." [17]
Do the police really harbor such indifference to the plight of certain victims? To answer that, let's leave the somewhat aloof and dispassionate world of legal precedent and move into the more easily understood "real world." I can state from considerable personal experience, unequivocally, that these things do happen. As to why they occur, I can offer only my opinion based on that experience and on additional research into the dark and murky areas of criminal sociopathy and police abuse.

One client of my partner's and mine had a restraining order against her violently abusive estranged husband. He had recently beaten her so savagely a metal plate had to be implanted in her jaw. Over and over he violated the court order, sometimes thirty times daily. He repeatedly threatened to kill her and those of use helping her. But the cops refused to arrest him for violating the order, even though they'd witnessed him doing so more than once. They danced around all over the place trying to explain why they wouldn't enforce the order, including inventing numerous absurd excuses about having lost her file (a common tactic in these cases). It finally came to light that there was a departmental order to not arrest anyone in that county for violating a protective order because the county had recently been sued by an irate (and wealthy) domestic violence arrestee.

In another of our cases, when Peggi and I served the man with restraining orders (something we're often required to do because various law enforcement agencies can't or won't do it), he threatened there and then to kill our client. Due to the vigorous nature of the threat, we went immediately to the police department to get it on file in case he attempted to carry it out during the few days before the upcoming court appearance. We spent hours filing the report, but two days later when our client went to the police department for a copy to take to court, she was told there was no record of her, her restraining order, her case, or our report.

She called in a panic. Without that report it would be more difficult securing a permanent restraining order against him. I paid an immediate visit to the chief of that department. We discussed the situation and I suggested various options, including dragging the officer to whom Peggi and I had given the detailed death threat report into court to explain under oath how it had gotten lost. In mere moments, an internal affairs officer was assigned to investigate and, while I waited, they miraculously produced the file and our report. I was even telephoned later and offered an effusive apology by various members of the department.

It is true that in the real world, law enforcement authorities very often do perpetuate the victimization. It is also true that each of us is the only person upon whom we can absolutely rely to avoid victimization. If our client in the last anecdote hadn't taken responsibility for her own fate, she might never have survived the ordeal. But she had sufficient resolve to fend for herself. Realizing the police couldn't or wouldn't help her, she contacted us. Then, when the police tried their bureaucratic shuffle on her, she called me. But for her determination to be a victim no more, and to take responsibility for her own destiny, she might have joined the countless others victimized first by criminals, then by the very system they expect will protect them.

Remember, even if the police were obligated to protect us (which they aren't), or even if they tried to protect us (which they often don't, a fact brought home to millions nationwide as they watched in horror the recent events in Los Angeles), most often there wouldn't be time enough for them to do it. It's about time that we came to grips with that, and resolved never to abdicate responsibility for our personal safety, and that of our loved ones, to anyone else.

1. Guns, Murders, and the Constitution (Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1990).
2. A "dropped" call in police dispatcher parlance is one that isn't handled for a variety of reasons, such as because it goes unanswered. Calls from people who get tired of waiting on hold and hang up are classified as "drops" as well.
3. KGO Radio (Newstalk 810), 6:00 PM report, 09-26-91, and a subsequent personal interview with the reporter, Bernie Ward.
4. Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981).
5. See, for example, Riss v. City of New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579, 293 NYS2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 860 (N.Y. Ct. of Ap. 1958); Keane v. City of Chicago, 98 Ill. App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1968); Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1983); Calogrides v. City of Mobile, 475 So.2d 560 (S.Ct. A;a. 1985); Morris v. Musser, 478 A.2d 937 (1984); Davidson v. City of Westminster, 32 C.3d 197, 185 Cal.Rptr. 252, 649 P.2d 894 (S.Ct. Cal. 1982); Chapman v. City of Philadelphia, 434 A.2d 753 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1981); Weutrich v. Delia, 155 N.J. Super 324, 326, 382 A.2d 929, 930 (1978); Sapp v. City of Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla.Ct. of Ap. 1977); Simpson's Food Fair v. Evansville, 272 N.E. 2d 871 (Ind.Ct. of Ap.); Silver v. City of Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (S.Ct. Minn. 1969) and Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 61 (7th Cir. 1982).
6. 109 S.Ct. 998 (1989).
7. "Domestic Violence -- When Do Police Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect?" Special Agent Daniel L. Schofield, S.J.D., FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin January, 1991.
8. DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 109 S.Ct. 998 (1989) at 1006.
9. 901 F.2d 696 (9th Cir. 1990).
10. 110 S.Ct. 975, 984 (1990).
11. Riss v. City of New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579, 293 NYS2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 860 (N.Y. Ct. of Ap. 1958).
12. Riss, Ibid.
13. 911 F.2d52 (8th Cir. 1990).
14. Thurman v. City of Torrington, 595 F.Supp.1521 (D.Conn. 1984).
15. "Domestic Violence -- When Do Police Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect?" Special Agent Daniel L. Schofield, S.J.D., FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin January, 1991.
16. McKee v. City of Rockwall, Texas, 877 F.2d409 (5th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 110 S.Ct.727 (1990).
17. McKee v. City of Rockwall, Texas, Id. at 413.

COPYRIGHT - 1992 - Peter Alan Kasler


Flash Mobs - Not Just For Philly And Milwaukee

When I think of flash mobs of urban teens who have gathered to rob and cause mayhem, I think of large cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, or Milwaukee. I need to readjust my thinking.

Thanks to Doc Wesson's Gun Nation Podcast, I found out about a flash mob in my hometown of Greensboro, NC in late July. While I have not lived in Greensboro for thirty years, I still have my late mother's house there and visit on a regular basis. To say I was shocked by the news is an understatement. Greensboro's population is in the mid-200 thousand range which puts it in the mid-size city category with cities like Buffalo, Ft. Wayne, Birmingham, or St. Pete, Florida. While I am biased, I think most would say it is a very liveable city and a number of corporations have moved operations there in recent years.

According to the report above, one man was injured in an attack and the Carolina Theater was vandalized - all within view of the Greensboro PD headquarters.

There are conflicting reports on whether this was actually a "flash mob" or not. The Greensboro News-Record contends it was not and they reported that GPD spokeswoman Susan Danielson denies that they had any reports of attacks or a flash mob. Obviously, Greensboro station WFMY-TV above believes a flash mob attack happened and so does former Mayor Keith Holliday who now runs the Carolina Theater.

Regardless of the conflicting reports, the potential for violence when large groups of youth suddenly converge on a location due to a call posted on Facebook or Twitter is there. Combine bored youth with a bad economy and the potential rises. The best advice given by people I respect is not to be in a location where the mobs would gather in the first place and, if you are, to get out as fast as you can. If it can happen in a Greensboro, it can happen in Knoxville or Richmond or other small-to-moderate sized cities.



Vol. 19, No. 03      01/20/12

NRA will appeal yesterday’s decision by a federal court in Texas, which held that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect any right to keep or bear arms outside the home.

The decision, handed down by U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas, came in the case of Jennings v. McCraw, in which a group of law-abiding 18- to 20-year old adults challenged the state law prohibiting issuance of concealed handgun licenses to persons under 21, who are treated as adults for virtually every other purpose under the law.  (NRA is also a party on behalf of its members in this age group.)  Judge Cummings ruled that it was unnecessary to address the state’s discrimination against young adults because “the right to carry a handgun outside of the home … seems to be beyond the scope of the core Second Amendment concern articulated in Heller [v. District of Columbia].”

Chicago:  Challenge to Ban on Guns Outside the Home Goes ForwardOn January 19, a federal judge in Chicago allowed NRA-supported plaintiffs to move ahead with a challenge to that city’s laws that ban anyone from possessing or carrying a handgun except in his or her home, and that ban possession or carriage of a long gun anywhere outside his or her home or place of business.

Congressional Action Needed to Stop Obama/Holder Gun Registration SchemeLast week, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. issued a ruling upholding an Obama administration policy that requires federally licensed firearms retailers in states bordering Mexico to report multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles.  The case was brought by two NRA-backed firearms retailers and by the National Shooting Sports Foundation acting on behalf of its affected members.  Plaintiffs have already filed an appeal—but while we await the outcome, your help is urgently needed in seeking congressional action to end this illegal policy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Will Open Carry Finally Pass in OK?

by: Burt Mummolo

43 states have some sort of open carry law, but Oklahoma isn't one of them; until, perhaps, maybe, later this year.

"I think the state is ready to address this issue," said Oklahoma state senator Steve Russell's bill would require people to be 21 years of age or older, to properly holster and display the weapon, and to abide by restrictions at private establishments.

"A nation that can not trust its law abiding citizens to bear fire arms is not a free nation," he said.

"I wear my empty holster openly on a daily basis," said Scott Hannaford, his holster a campaign sign for open carry. One of his main arguments for it?

"If a potential perpetrator sees a target and then catches a second glimpse and they have a openly displayed firearm, they're gonna think twice," he said.

Maybe, but at 2A Shooting Center, even though the right to bear arms is obviously supported....

"I'm very much pro second amendment," said Eric Fuson. That doesn't mean he's clamoring to openly carry.

"Personally I wouldn't choose to carry a firearm in the open," he said. 

why? Cause Scott's theoretical perpetrator might think twice about Eric.

"Even though it's unlikely, the possibility if there was a crime going to take place while I happen to be there that would make me an obvious target," he said.

But debating do or don't is academic at this point, cause as it is now, Scott's holster remains empty, and if you ask him, he'll be happy to tell you why.

"Because the state of Oklahoma doesn't allow it to be filled," he said.

Brady Center Runs Out of Time; Suffers Stinging Defeat in Lawsuit Against a Firearms Retailer Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/13/brady-center-runs-out-of-time-suffers-stinging-defeat-in-lawsuit-against-a-firearms-retailer/#ixzz1k44iy0P9

By  Lawrence G. Kean
Connecticut Appellate Court recently issued an order dismissing an appeal in Gilland v. Sportsmen’s Outpost, Inc. – a Superior Court decision granting a firearm retailer’s motion to dismiss all claims against it pursuant to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”).

The PLCAA was passed in 2005 with broad bipartisan support. The purpose of the act is to prevent firearms manufacturers and retailers from being held liable for crimes committed with their products. In this case, the plaintiffs, who were represented by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, sought to hold the firearms retailer liable in a wrongful death and negligence claim because a firearm had been stolen from his store.

In 2010, after the plaintiffs had already amended their pleadings twice, the White Plains NY-based Renzulli Law Firm, representing the retailer, filed another motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint on PLCAA grounds. In response, the Brady Center led an aggressive attack on the defendants, as well as the PLCAA, including a challenge to its constitutionality. On May 26, 2011, however, Judge Robert B. Shapiro granted the motion to dismiss, upheld the constitutionality of the PLCAA and rejected the Brady Center’s other challenges.

After the Superior Court granted the motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs continued their attack against the PLCAA by renewing their motion to file a third amended complaint and separate motion to reargue the order dismissing their case. Unfortunately for the Brady Campaign, their attorneys filed their paperwork four minutes after the filing deadline. The Superior Court subsequently denied the motion to reargue as untimely and denied their motion to amend — in part because the plaintiffs had already been granted several opportunities to establish that their claims were not barred by the PLCAA and failed to do so each time.

The court then granted a motion by the defendants to dismiss the appeal, and an Appellate Court denied another motion by the plaintiffs for reconsideration.

Congratulations to the Renzulli Law Firm. This is a stinging defeat for the Brady Center — adding to their growing list of defeats in their ongoing effort to sue members of the firearms industry and their desperate and futile attempt to find a court to rule the PLCAA unconstitutional. It’s “time” for the Brady Center to stop filing frivolous lawsuits against members of the firearms industry.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to Consider Rule Change to Allow Hunting with Suppressors

By the NRA

At its next meeting on Wednesday, January 25, the Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will present proposed amendments to the 2012-2013 Statewide Hunting Proclamation. It will seek permission for them to be published in the Texas Register for public comment.  These amendments include a regulatory change that would expand the use of lawfully-possessed suppressors on firearms while hunting non-nuisance species.  This common sense reform will help prevent hearing loss and mitigate noise complaints against sportsmen in the Lone Star State.  Importantly, reducing noise complaints will help to keep hunting opportunities open well into the future.

Testimony will not be heard at this committee meeting on January 25, or at the full Commission meeting the following day.  We will report back to you with instructions on how to weigh-in on this proposal after it has been formally submitted for public comment.

To view a copy of this proposed rule change, please click here and scroll down to Committee Agenda Item No. 2, Exhibit A. 

For more information on suppressors and their benefits, please click here.


Judge dismisses Texas gun-law challenge

By Mike Ward
A federal judge in Lubbock today threw out the National Rifle Association’s move to overturn a Texas law prohibiting 18-20 year-olds from carrying concealed weapons.

In dismissing the case that had drawn national interest, U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings ruled that “Texas has identified a legitimate state interest — public safety — and passed legislation that is rationally related to addressing that issue.”

Under current law, Texans must be age 21 or older to get a concealed-handgun permit. Members or veterans of the armed forces who are younger than 21 can also be licensed.

The ruling was seen as a win for the State of Texas and gun-control advocates and university groups — including two student-government groups at the University of Texas at Austin — who had argued that most Texans under age 21 should not be licensed to carry concealed weapons.

The case was filed by three Texans between 18 and 21 — Rebekah Jennings, Brennan Harmon and Andrew Payne — and the National Rifle Association, which argued that the Texas handgun-licensing law was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

In his decision, Cummings ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — the right to bear arms — “does not confer a right that extends beyond the home.” He noted that under current law, Texans can possess guns in the homes without a state license.

Cummings, who gained notoriety several years ago by upholding the constitutional right to bear arms in a separate case before the U.S. Supreme Court did so, noted in his ruling that a 2008 decision by high court underscored that “the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Texas’ licensing law “does not burden the fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” Cummings wrote in his opinion, rejecting arguments made earlier in the case by the NRA.

The opinion suggests that the age issue raised in the case should be settled at the State Capitol — “either to petition the Texas Legislature for a change in state law or, on a national level, to rally for a constitutional amendment.”

Cummings last September had dismissed a separate lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association challenging the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting the sale of handguns to people under 21.
Representatives for the NRA and several Texas groups that had intervened in the case in support of the state law — Mothers Against Teen Violence and Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas — could not immediately be reached for comment.

Daniel Vice, a senior attorney at the Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project in Washington, hailed the decision. The Brady Center was an intervenor in the case. “We are pleased the court rejected the NRA’s extreme claim that the Second Amendment means that we must allow armed teens on our streets,” Vice said. “This ruling follows those from more than a dozen other courts around the country that have held there is no right to carry loaded semi-automatic weapons in our communities, parks and playgrounds.”

Like other supporters of the state law who had filed briefs in the case, the Brady Center had cited studies concluding that people 18-20 often lack the same ability as adults to “govern impulsivity, judgment, planning for the future, and foresight of consequences. They also within the age range of offenders with the highest rates of homicide and criminal gun possession, filings stated.

Today’s ruling marked the latest of four decisions in the past week that have dismissed gun-lobby challenges to state and federal firearms laws.

A week ago, in a ruling affecting thousands of high-firepower rifle sales in Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., dismissed a gun lobby challenge to an Obama Administration rule requiring that gun dealers in the four border states notify law enforcement of bulk sales of semi-automatic rifles, such as AK-47 assault rifles.

Last Friday, a federal judge in California upheld Los Angeles County’s strong concealed carry laws as another federal judge upheld New Jersey’s strong restrictions on the public carrying of guns.


US allows import of 86,000 M1 rifles from Korea

By Lee Tae-hoon

Washington has agreed to allow the importation of M1 Garand rifles from Seoul, reversing its earlier decision to ban the shipping of the weapon used by South Korean and U.S. soldiers during the 1950-53 Korean War, a senior defense official said Wednesday.

“The U.S. government approved the imports of some 86,000 of the rifles,” said Lee Sun-chul, deputy defense minister for force and resources management.

“The historic firearms are expected to be sold to American Korean War veterans and their families in time for the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War, which falls on June 25 this year.”

The Obama administration blocked the purchase of 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines in 2010, saying the American-made antique rifles could “potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.”

The move, however, triggered strong criticism among gun collectors, who said the U.S. government was being excessively concerned about possible firearm incidents involving the aging semiautomatic rifles.

In February last year, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Cynthia Lummis proposed bills for an amendment of the Arms Export Control Act to guarantee that U.S.-made military firearms classified as “curios and relics” will not be blocked from importation.

The legislations allow firearms more than 50 years old, considered antiques or relics and lawfully possessed by a foreign government, to be imported into the United States through properly licensed groups and sold without written permission from the U.S. State or Defense Departments.

A senior defense ministry official, however, raised the possibility that the U.S. government may cancel the plan to allow the purchase the M1s, saying Seoul has yet to finalize negotiations with Washington. 


NYPD, Feds Testing Gun-Scanning Technology, But Civil Liberties Groups Up In Arms

Terahertz Imaging Detection Out To Detect Illegal Concealed Weapons

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD is stepping up their war against illegal guns, with a new tool that could detect weapons on someone as they walk down the street.

But is it violating your right to privacy?

Police, along with the U.S. Department of Defense, are researching new technology in a scanner placed on police vehicles that can detect concealed weapons.

“You could use it at a specific event. You could use it at a shooting-prone location,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez on Tuesday.

It’s called Terahertz Imaging Detection. It measures the energy radiating from a body up to 16 feet away, and can detect anything blocking it, like a gun.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union is raising a red flag.

“It’s worrisome. It implicates privacy, the right to walk down the street without being subjected to a virtual pat-down by the Police Department when you’re doing nothing wrong,” the NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman said.
“We have involved our attorneys as we go forward with this issue. We think it’s a very positive development,” Kelly said.

 “If they search you, you’re not giving consent, so they can do what they want, meaning they can use that as an excuse to search you for other means. I don’t think that’s constitutional at all,”

“I don’t agree with it. I have the belief that if you forgoe some of your freedom then it’s not freedom at all,”


Victim Confronted Again By Attackers 3 Days After Charges Were Dismissed

A local St. Louis man was confronted and followed by his attackers three days after charges were dropped against them.

Two of the attackers confronted the victim in a grocery store parking lot after they nearly killed him in October.

The teens nearly killed the victim in an attack back in October. The victim’s jaw was shattered and wired shut. There were several broken bones on his face.
KMOV reported:
A south St. Louis man, who was a victim of the “knockout game,” was confronted by two of the seven accused attackers that left him bloody and unconscious in October.
Matt Quain, 52, was leaving an area grocery store when he was confronted by the accused attackers only three days after charges were dismissed because a key witness did not show up for court. Quain recognized the accused attackers as they followed him down a nearby hill.
“I looked up and I was flinching because he had his fists up in the air,” Quain said.
Quain then pulled out a can of pepper spray and the accused attackers fled the scene.
This latest incident has disgusted Mayor Francis Slay, who found Quain bloody and nearly dead in October.
“It’s outrageous that these thugs can feel like they can move around the neighborhoods and just be tough and intimidate people,” Mayor Slay said. “The police know who they are…they know where they go to school. The juvenile authorities are watching them. They are certainly putting on the heat and they are going to know they are being watched.”


why the gun IS civilization.

why the gun is civilization.

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang-banger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.