Friday, June 19, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

Reason Magazine: Sotomayor's 'fundamental' flaws:
Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor claim that her Second Amendment rulings are examples of "judicial restraint." The problem is that she's restraining the Second Amendment.

Judge Sotomayor has ruled twice that the right to keep and bear arms is not a "fundamental right." The second time was after the U.S. Supreme Court said that it is.
On Jan. 28, 2009, Sotomayor was a member of another three-judge Second Circuit panel, which considered a Second Amendment challenge to New York's ban on "the in home possession" of a nunchaku, a weapon made of two sticks connected by a rope. In Maloney v. Cuomo, defendant James M. Maloney, an attorney, was charged with six violations including a felony, for nothing more than private possession of a nunchaku. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of "disorderly conduct," agreed to destruction of his nunchaku, and reserved his right to appeal. On appeal, he argued, among other things, that the state law violated his Second Amendment right, his liberty interest and privileges and immunities under the 14th Amendment.

Six months after the Supreme Court's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, Sotomayor joined an unsigned six-page opinion in Cuomo, that Second Amendment rights are not "fundamental": "Legislative acts that do not interfere with fundamental rights or single out suspect classifications carry with them a strong presumption of constitutionality and must be upheld if ‘rationally related to a legitimate state interest.'" The Supreme Court has granted Maloney an extension of time to file his petition seeking review. ...

Crimes against elderly show need for guns:
In the wild, large predators like wolves and lions tend to select old or sick animals from the herd to attack. The reason is simple, these are the weakest animals, increasing the chance of a successful kill and decreasing the chance for injury to the predator.

It is no different with human predators. Muggers, robbers, carjackers, home invaders, etc. all look for the easiest target that will give them the greatest chance of success with the least chance of injury to themselves. This is demonstrated by the recent increase in crimes against the elderly in the Columbus area, rising from an average of 55-60 incidents per month to a reported 110 for April (nearly double).
Very few people in their seventies or eighties can fight off a mugger who is in his prime if they are unarmed. But give that person a defensive firearm, and suddenly the odds for survival jump significantly. Firearms are known as equalizers for a reason. An armed senior citizen is more than capable of defeating a criminal attack by a much younger and stronger assailant. ...

Gun control places women in danger:
The United Kingdom and Australia instituted gun bans in 1997. Between 1995 and 2006, women in the United Kingdom suffered a 76.5% increase in rape; by 2007 Australian women experienced a 29.9% increase. Meanwhile, rape decreased 19.1% in America.*

Today, women are raped twice as often in the UK as America, and Australian women are raped three times as often. This is damning evidence that gun control places women at greater risk. American women are hearing this message, and more and more are arming themselves every day, not only to protect themselves and their families from harm, but to ensure our government doesn’t enact laws which disenfranchise women. [emphasis added] ...

[Nebraska] City Council wants gun sellers' fingerprints recorded:
A proposed change in Omaha's gun ordinances could help police connect more criminals to their crimes.

Dealers of secondhand guns would be required to collect the fingerprints of people selling guns to them under an ordinance proposed by City Council President Garry Gernandt.

"I think this is a move to keep honest people honest and provide law enforcement with an additional tool in their investigation process," said Gernandt, a former police officer.

Currently, only pawnshops are required to collect fingerprints from gun sellers. Secondhand-gun shops such as Scheels, Carl Jarl Lock, Safe and Gun Co., and Guns Unlimited are not.

"We just want to be able to track back people who sell guns," said Police Chief Eric Buske. ...

[New York] Op-ed opposes microstamping:
Shifting political sands in Albany can cause just about any lawful gun owner heartache these days. If you haven't heard about it already, New York Senate Bill 4397A is a big reason.

Known as the crime gun identification act of 2009, this bill is being moved in the name of resolving those gun homicide cases that go unsolved for one reason or another.

According to the bill, "firearm micro-stamping is an evolutionary forensic technology that produces an alpha-numeric and geometric code onto the rear of the cartridge casing each time a semiautomatic pistol is fired."

The idea is that law enforcement can then use that code to identify the owner of the pistol and generally aid investigations.

Every new semiautomatic pistol sold in New York state would have to have this micro-stamping technology built into the gun, or it could not be sold here.

To those of us who legally own guns, this just doesn't make sense. To the non-gun owner, this bill sounds logical and that's the danger here. We need the folks who don't own guns to understand what this bill will go beyond its intent. Law abiding gun owners recognize the bill will not do anything to either solve homicides or reduce illegal gun trafficking.

Let me explain. The basic principle of the bill is that by requiring semiautomatic pistols to micro-stamp ammunition, law enforcement will able to trace the shell casings to the gun that micro-stamped it. Do you think criminals are going to run out and get one that can micro-stamp their ammunition?

Criminals who do bad things with any gun don't follow gun regulations regardless of what the law prescribes. If anything, micro-stamping laws may actually increase illegal gun trafficking. ...

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