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News, discussion and analysis on US gun laws

Gun Law News — May 20, 2009

Gun law update

Federal: Senate Votes to Allow Guns at National Parks
Publication: Washington Post

Federal: Obama Would Sign Credit-Card Bill With Gun Amendment
Publication: Bloomberg News

Federal:: Loaded guns allowed in national parks under bill
Publication: Associated Press
Location: Washington, DC

Maryland: O’Malley signs bills aimed at boosting public safety: More gun confiscation authority, allowance of speed cameras among new laws
Publication: Baltimore Sun

Maryland: Domestic violence bills, speed cameras become law
Publication: Maryland Gazette

Louisiana: LSU’s Les Miles concerned about a law that would allow guns on campus
Publication: USA Today
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana: LSU coach, conferences oppose guns on campus; House to debate bill Tuesday
Publication: Monroe News-Star
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Illinois: NRA’s gun control suit will wait for other area rulings
Publication: Daily Northwestern
Location: Evanston, IL

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Editorial

Headline: Editorial: Safer Credit Cards
Publication: New York Times

Headline: Advocates of Gun Rights Are Poised for a Victory
Publication: New York Times

Headline: Guns and Credit Cards: A Strange Legislative Fit
Publication: CQPolitics
Location: Washington, DC

Headline: Ninth Circuit misreads statute in Ileto case granting near immunity to gun industry
Publication: Jurist

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Opinions

Headline: Guns big part of domestic violence
Publication: Arizona Republic
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Headline: Hoyer says Dems beaten on guns
Publication: Politico
Location: Washington, DC

Filed under: Editorial, Federal, Illinois, Maryland

No guns in parks

Editorial of Toledo Blade

THE U.S. Senate demonstrated an amazing case of timidity the other day in voting overwhelmingly to allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks.

How sad it is that so few members of that honorable chamber are not in the pocket of, or for lease by, the powerful gun lobby.

It is difficult to think otherwise when the gun provision, cleverly tucked onto must-pass legislation reforming credit card laws, is approved on a 67 to 29 vote.

That means 27 Democrats, 39 Republicans, and one independent have no problem with visitors carrying loaded weapons in national parks and on public lands administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

It apparently makes no difference that, according to 2006 FBI data, national parks are some of the safest places anywhere in the United States.

So what, exactly, is the wisdom behind introducing loaded guns into that kind of family friendly environment?

Yes, we’ve read the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Second Amendment gun rights, but we did not skip over the part in which the justices’ held that government may still impose reasonable restrictions on weapons. And the regulation against loaded guns in federal parks could not be any more reasonable.

The Senate measure, pushed by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, is simply a backdoor attempt to negate a federal court decision in March that overturned a last-minute rule implemented by the outgoing Bush administration.

The court rightly ruled against allowing people to take loaded guns into parks and wildlife refuges even if they had a permit for a concealed weapon and the state permitted weapons in parks.

The Obama Administration had prudently said it would not appeal the court decision and, if clear heads prevail on Capitol Hill, the Senate’s misguided amendment won’t survive in the final version of the legislation.

Filed under: Editorial

Gun virus

By Ron Molen, Letter to Editor of The Salt Lake Tribune

It is interesting to observe our nation gear up for the onslaught of the swine flu virus. The medical profession provides leadership, an organization is in place to mount a defense, most people accept recommended precautions, and a responsible U.S. government cooperates with other nations to halt a potential pandemic.

In contrast, we know the gun virus kills 30,000 Americans every year, yet the recommendations of the medical profession are flipped off and leadership is usurped by National Rifle Association gun addicts. There is no bureaucracy to regulate the proliferation of guns, and citizens are expected to survive on their own or buy a gun and be willing to shoot to kill.

Citizens of every other advanced nation, where guns are tightly controlled, are stunned by the spineless politicians of a self-proclaimed superpower who are afraid to confront the NRA and halt the epidemic of gun deaths that strike 82 Americans every day.

Filed under: Comment on Gun Violence, Letter To Editor

Map of Gun Death Rate across US

This is a map based the newest data released by CDC (for year 2006) on death rate in different states in US.

gun_death_states

See source data at: http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart09.htm

Filed under: Statistics, ,

Gun Law News – May 11, 2009

Gun law update

Editorial

News report

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State

Publication: Journal News
Location: White Plains, NY

Opinions

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Local

Headline:  Minority youngsters dying weekly on Chicago’s streets
Publication: CNN.com
Location: Chicago, IL

Headline: Boy dies after Liberty County shooting
Publication: Houston Chronicle
Location: Libterty County, TX

Headline: 7-year-old Texas boy dies in off-road shooting
Publication: Associated Press
Location: Houston, TX

Headline: UW-La Crosse names eagle mascot ‘Colbert’
Publication: Associated Press
Location: La Crosse, WI

Headline: Prof. wanted in killings found dead in Ga. woods
Publication: Associated Press
Location: Athens, GA
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International

Filed under: Arizona, Editorial, Legislation move, Massachussetts, News report

Gun on the street and its havoc

by Junling Hu

Today, a 9-year-old was shot to death where she was playing on the street in York, Pennsylvania. She was a bystander in a drive-by shooting.

When I read the news, “girl, 9, shot to to death in York”, I thought it was York in England. But, wait, you normally don’t hear about shooting in England. Then I read closer: A neighbor said he frequently hears gunshots outside at night.”Frequent gunshots”? This sound even more like America. Only in America, assault-weapon ban was not implemented and limiting gun flow to criminals were considered as controversial.

Whenever drive-by shooting happens, we blame the “gang”, never the “gun”. Without guns, how can gangs wreak such havoc on the street? Gang is a world-wide phenomena among young people in every country. While they are wielding knives in European countries, their counterparts are waiving machine guns on the street of US. Is that our pride or our shame?

How many more 9-year-old have to die before we look at our gun policy? It is time to completely close gun show loophole and to renew assault weapon ban.

Do we really love gun or just a small group of people love gun? Only 25% of people own guns in this country. That means 75% people do not own gun or want to have anything to do with guns. Among these one quarter of people who are gun owners, how many hold the extremist view that we should not ban assault weapon? How many are absolutely against tracking and preventing gun fall into criminal’s hands? Unfortunately these small extremist group is vocal that their drown out rational voices.

We need not watch senseless death happening in front of us every day. Too many 9-year-olds have died on the streets. The gun lobby and gun industry has blood on their hand if they continue this blind pursuit for money and power.

Filed under: Assault weapon, Comment on Gun Violence

Gun Law News — May 8,2009

Gun Law update

NRA-sponsored ATF Reform Bill Introduced in Senate
It will further limit Agency’s license revocation power for gun dealers

US Senators push to allow guns in parks
from Jackson Hole Daily

Tennessee House passes “guns in bars” bill
From Chattanooga Times Free Press

Tennessee House approves guns-in-restaurants bill
From Memphis Commercial Appeal

Bill stopping confiscation of guns passes Tennessee Senate
Location: Nashville, TN

Lawsuit Seeks Stronger Gun Rights For California Citizens
From CBS News

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Editorial:
Why the Legislature should keep concealed weapons off Texas campuses
From Austin American-Statesman

Face of gun crime
Location: Savannah, GA

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News Report:

Obama picks fight on alien jail funds, dodges on gun tracing

Assault rifle for Sarah Palin? Won’t happen.

Teen arrested for having assault rifle at school

Filed under: Federal, Legislation move, News report, Tennessee

The Absurdity of Gun Lobby

By Junling Hu

Imagine a group of drug dealers come together to organize a political group. They actively recruit members among drug users, and they brazenly claim any regulation on recreational drugs is against constitution. They then promote drug use among young people and general population. What will happen to this country? This is exactly what NRA has been doing with guns. NRA is an organized group of gun dealers, assisted by membership of gun users. It fights against any regulation on guns, and it tries to promote guns among young people. .

The true motivation of NRA is not serving its member, many of whom have moderate views on gun regulation. The true motivation of NRA is getting huge profit from gun sale. That also means getting more people to use guns.  How to achieve that? Claiming gun as the only way of self-defense while police are not to be trusted; marketing guns as sexy, forcing states to pass laws that allow people to carry gun everywhere, forbidding lawsuits against gun dealers and manufacturers. The list goes on and on.

Far from its original mission of safety training for hunters, NRA has become an organization that promotes death, a result of putting gun everywhere. By doing so, they have wrecked havoc on this country for the last 30 years, starting from the establishment of ILA (Institute for Legislative Action), the NRA’s lobby branch, in 1975.  Today, ILA has 20 million annual budget, about 80 full-time staff members and trained lobbyists. It helps that ILA’s parent NRA has annual budget of $200 million.

ILA promotes an extremist agenda. That is: any regulation on guns is an encroachment of personal freedom. The absurdity of this argument leads to the following outcome: Any consumer product in the United States, from teddy bears to cars, is subject to government safety regulation, except guns. The lack of safety standard and child-proof features leads to many tragic accidents at home, killing children of 4 or 5 years-old. Another outcome is lack of registration or licensing for guns, making it extremely easy for criminals to get hold of guns. ILA is against assault weapon ban, and against closing gun show loophole. It is against microstamping that would allow law enforcement to trace criminals. On the other hand, ILA is pushing for concealed-weapon law in states, allowing people to carry weapons on streets. It’s pushing for weapon on university campus, in shopping mall and in churches, and most absurdly in workplace.

ILA’s lobbying effort is helped by the large member of NRA. From late 1970s to 2009, NRA membership grew 3 times, reaching 4 million today. Many of these people join because they use firearms, but they are unknowingly becomes NRA’s propaganda target. Inciting fear that the government is taking away their guns, ILA successfully creates a cohesive group that passionately write campaign letters. Promoting misinformation on gun death and gun usage, ILA promotes the myth that more guns leads to less crimes. In reality it’s the opposite. ILA further promotes an insurgent philosophy, where people defend their freedom by guns instead of by ballots.

The most dangerous result of NRA lobby is forcing guns into international domain. Right after 9-11, NRA lobbied to allow pilots to carry guns into their cockpit, which leads to many disputes with other countries where guns are not allowed. Today, NRA is arguing for arming ship crews with guns, where crew members are mostly civilians and the presence of guns simply make internal dispute more volatile and confrontation with pirates more deadly. US stance on gun issue also runs into dispute with other countries whose harbors do not welcome guns.

The profound absurdity of gun lobby has made the United States most violent country in the industrial nations. The gun death rate of US (10.3 per 100,000) is the highest among all countries with national income higher than $15,000. It’s 2 times of Canada (4.8 per 100,000), 5 times of Germany (1.6 per 100,000), 25 times of UK (0.4 per 100,000), and 100 times of Japan (0.07 per 100,000).

It is time for us the face the absurdity of gun lobby and its deadly consequence. We cannot be held hostage by a group of extremists. We ask for common sense gun laws, and demand basic public safety.

Filed under: Gun and liberty, NRA

States with Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Death

A new report from Violence Policy Center, based on data  just released for year 2006 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s division Center for Injury Prevention and Control, showed startling link between gun ownership and gun death rate. The top five states that lead gun death in the United States are: Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi and Nevada.

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates
Rank State Gun Death per 100,000 Household Gun Ownership
1 Louisiana 19.58 45.6 percent
2 Alabama 16.99 57.2 percent
3 (tie) Alaska 16.38 60.6 percent
3 (tie) Mississippi 16.38 54.3 percent
5 Nevada 16.25 31.5 percent

On the other hand, states with low gun ownership has much lower death rate.

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
Rank State Gun Death per 100,000 Household Gun Ownership
50 Hawaii 2.58 9.7 percent
49 Massachusetts 3.28 12.8 percent
48 Rhode Island 4.43 13.3 percent
47 Connecticut 4.95 16.2 percent
46 New York 5.20 18.1 percent

The complete list of all 50 states can be seen at VPC site. The original report from VPC is here

Filed under: Statistics, ,

Assault Weapon Shooting March-April 2009

Marrero, Louisiana.  April 30, 2009. A 14 year old boy died after being shot in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle.

New Orleans, Louisiana.  April 27, 2009. A man with an AK-47 assault rifle shot into a car carrying a man and his two children, hitting the 10 year old boy in the arm, after the father stopped to ask for directions.

Liberty City, Florida.  April 26, 2009. Four teenagers and a 22 year old were wounded when someone shot at them from a car with an AK-47 assault rifle as they were standing outside a home.

Moultrie, Georgia.  April 26, 2009. An intoxicated convicted felon threatened his family and shot an assault rifle out the door of the family residence.

Oakland, California.  April 22, 2009. Someone sprayed bullets from an assault rifle at two people in a car, causing the driver to crash into a utility pole.  Several cars and homes nearby were also hit with bullets.

Youngstown, Ohio.  April 21, 2009. A gunman fired repeatedly on a home with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Warren, Ohio.  April 13, 2009. Someone armed with an assault weapon fired repeatedly into a home during a drive-by shooting, killing a child and an adult, and injuring another child.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  April 9, 2009. A man armed with an AK-47 assault rifle fired at a car full of people before fleeing from police.  Nobody in the car was hit.

Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  April 9, 2009. A man shot his mother with an AK-47 assault rifle and stabbed his brother’s girlfriend during a family argument.

Beaumont, Texas. April 8, 2009. An argument between a couple going through a divorce turned violent when the couple and their friends exchanged gunfire with SKS assault rifles.  A 19 year old man was shot during the incident.

SeaTac, Washington.  April 7, 2009. A man jumped out of a car and fired an AK-47 assault rifle into another car stopped at an intersection, hitting the two men in the front seats.  One of the men died from his injuries.  A woman and a two year old boy in the back seat were not injured.  Police believe the shooting was retaliation for another shooting.

St. Petersburg, Florida.  April 5, 2009.  Two gunman sprayed more than 50 rounds from two AR-15 assault rifles into a house overnight, killing an eight year old girl who was asleep inside.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  April 4, 2009. A man armed with multiple guns, including an assault rifle, ambushed police when they responded to a domestic disturbance call, shooting and killing three officers immediately.  The gunman and police exchanged fire for several hours after the initial ambush, with more than a hundred rounds being fired, before he surrendered.  The gunman was shot in the legs but not mortally wounded because he was wearing body armor, and a forth police officer was shot in the hand.  The gunman had lost his job recently and was afraid the Obama administration was going to ban guns.

Seattle, Washington.  April 2, 2009. A 22 year old man shot and killed a man with an assault rifle outside a home.  Police believe the shooting stemmed from an earlier argument.

Pine Township, Pennsylvania.  April 1, 2009. A man assaulted a woman and shot at her with an SKS assault rifle as she ran away.  When another man arrived at the scene, the gunman attacked him before fleeing in the woman’s car.  Police arrested the gunman later that night.

Indianapolis, Indiana.  March 25, 2009. Four men in a car, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, shot two people as they were exiting a nightclub.  One victim died and the other was seriously wounded.

Seguin, Texas. March 25, 2009. A man with an assault rifle shot at a man in a car multiple times, causing him to crash.  The victim then fled on foot while the gunman continued to shoot at him.

Cincinnati, Ohio.  March 25, 2009. Three men armed with two guns, including an assault rifle, fired at least 25 rounds at a FBI agent in a car.  The agent was not injured, but the car he was sitting in, a nearby car, and two houses were struck many times.

Oakland, California.  March 21, 2009.  A man with an extensive criminal history shot five police officers, killing four of them.  The gunman shot and killed the first two police officers during a routine traffic stop, and then fled to a nearby apartment building where he shot another three police officers with an assault rifle.  The gunman died when police returned fire.

Scranton, Pennsylvania.  March 15, 2009. The same man implicated in the incident on March 14 in Altoona is suspected of shooting two people with an AK-47 assault rifle.  When police arrested the man, they found two AK-47s, 500 rounds of ammunition, and six homemade bombs in his possession.

Altoona, Pennsylvania.  March 14, 2009. A distraught man fired more than 20 rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle into the house of his ex-girlfriend.  The man had been convicted of assault and harassment previously and served time in jail.

Geneva County & Coffee County, Alabama.  March 10, 2009. A man killed 10 people, including his mother, grandmother, and other family members, as well as an 18 month old baby and her mother, and injured an additional three people.  The shooting spree spread through multiple towns, ending only when the gunman killed himself during a shootout with police.  The gunman, armed with an SKS assault rifle, an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun, taped together ammunition magazines to reload faster and fired over 200 rounds during the massacre.

Florida City, Florida.  March 10, 2009. A gunman shot two men, one fatally, from his car with an assault rifle.

Tyler, Texas.  March 9, 2009. A man on parole fired an AK-47 assault rifle repeatedly after arguing with his wife in their apartment.  Nobody was injured, but there were three children, ages five, six and 11, also present at the time of the shooting.

Indianapolis, Indiana.  March 9, 2009.  A 20 year old fired an assault rifle towards a car at least ten times, hitting and seriously injuring a seven year old boy who was climbing inside.  The gunman said the shooting stemmed from a prior incident and that he did not see the boy.

Myrtle Beach, Florida.  March 6, 2009. A man armed with an assault rifle shot at a police officer after being pulled over for erratic driving.  The gunman hit the police car multiple times with gunfire, but did not hit the officer.  The gunman was wounded when the officer returned fire.

Filed under: Assault weapon, News report, , ,