"Teachers to get guns for self-defense" (Thailand)


Firearms Training in NZ apparently starts in school at age eight

police had eight and nine-year-olds shoot a human-shaped target with a BB gun in their Nelson Park School classroom last week.

Children donned police protective gear and aimed a spring-operated BB gun - which fires plastic pellets but looks like a police handgun - at a cardboard target 3m away. . . .

Eastern Police district policing development manager Inspector Dean Clifford said shooting the BB gun was part of a session teaching students about firearm safety.

The pistol was a low powered and spring-operated BB type pistol, essentially a toy, he said.

Police were concerned about children using BB guns - which can be mistaken for real weapons, he said.

The exercise was done with the full consultation of the teacher and students and there had been no danger.

The exercise had been used before with no problems, but police would review parts of the programme, such as whether shooting at a human-shaped target was appropriate.

While the point of this story in the newspaper was largely the complaints of a parent who was freaked out that police would demonstrate anything to do with guns to their children and that the police were trying to show that guns are dangerous, the more novel part of the story was that children were being taught about guns at all and that they were firing anything, even if a spring-operated BB pistol.

Will Liberals Now Want to Get Rid of NPR?

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, already embroiled in controversy because of allegations of a liberal-leaning bias in its programming, chose a former Republican Party co-chairman Thursday as its president and chief executive. . . .

Will Liberals gradually want their tax dollars going to NPR? Will Conservatives support the NPR? I doubt that the liberal bias on NPR will change much or quickly, but one can hope that Liberals will understand the dangers of having the government provide the news.


O'Connor, not Rehnquist to retire, Alberto Gonzales to replace O'Connor (Rumor)

Supreme Court eliminating the "Public Use" Clause from the fifth amendment

Over two centuries ago, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, Justice Chase wrote:

“An act of the Legislature (for I cannot call it a law) contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority … . A few instances will suffice to explain what I mean… . [A] law that takes property from A. and gives it to B: It is against all reason and justice, for a people to entrust a Legislature with such powers; and, therefore, it cannot be presumed that they have done it.” Calder v. Bull, 3 Dall. 386, 388 (1798) (emphasis deleted).

Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded–i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public–in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings “for public use” is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property–and thereby effectively to delete the words “for public use” from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly I respectfully dissent. . . .

Long ago, William Blackstone wrote that “the law of the land … postpone[s] even public necessity to the sacred and inviolable rights of private property.” 1 Commentaries on the Laws of England 134—135 (1765) (hereinafter Blackstone). The Framers embodied that principle in the Constitution, allowing the government to take property not for “public necessity,” but instead for “public use.” Amdt. 5. Defying this understanding, the Court replaces the Public Use Clause with a “ ‘[P]ublic [P]urpose’ ” Clause, ante, at 9—10 (or perhaps the “Diverse and Always Evolving Needs of Society” Clause, ante, at 8 (capitalization added)), a restriction that is satisfied, the Court instructs, so long as the purpose is “legitimate” and the means “not irrational,” ante, at 17 (internal quotation marks omitted). This deferential shift in phraseology enables the Court to hold, against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a “public use.”

I cannot agree. If such “economic development” takings are for a “public use,” any taking is, and the Court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution, as Justice O’Connor powerfully argues in dissent. Ante, at 1—2, 8—13. I do not believe that this Court can eliminate liberties expressly enumerated in the Constitution and therefore join her dissenting opinion. Regrettably, however, the Court’s error runs deeper than this. Today’s decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning. In my view, the Public Use Clause, originally understood, is a meaningful limit on the government’s eminent domain power. Our cases have strayed from the Clause’s original meaning, and I would reconsider them. . . .

Push for Assault Weapons Ban in Columbus Ohio

South Arican Gun Registration Not Working Well

PETA Breaks Promises and Kills Animals needlessly

Three stories
---"In 2003, PETA euthanized over 85 percent of the animals it took in," said a press release from the lobby, "finding adoptive homes for just 14 percent. By comparison, the Norfolk (Va.) SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals and Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent." . . .

---"Animal rights activists cross over to dark side"

---Officials of two North Carolina counties have stopped releasing strays to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, saying they were surprised the group euthanized the animals instead of finding them homes.

Two PETA employees are charged with dumping dead animals they collected in Eastern North Carolina in a shopping center's trash bins. Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, Va., and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., have a hearing July 19 on charges of animal cruelty, disposal of dead animals and trespassing.

Northampton County officials decided last week to stop working with PETA until the case is resolved. The Bertie County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to cut all ties to the Norfolk, Va.-based group, despite an apology from its president.

Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said Tuesday he thought the animals were being taken for examination and "the ones that were adoptable would be adopted," and euthanasia would be a last resort. Sue Gay, health director for Northampton County, said she assumed the same. . . .

Progress on Bill to block reckless suits against gun makers


The Dalai Lama Owns an Air Gun

More felons given the right to vote

Well that "panic button" approach worked really well


Boy stops father during murdering rampage


"Home invasion triggers shoot-out"

Lumberton, N.C.
Raymond Rogers says he is lucky to be alive after a man broke into his home and shot at him repeatedly early Wednesday morning.

Tyrell Taylor, one of two men accused in the break-in, also survived, although he was struck twice when Rogers returned fire. Taylor, 21, was wanted by police for his alleged role in an unrelated murder. He is in fair condition at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, suffering with a collapsed lung.

Rogers said he was roused from his sleep about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday by the sound of someone trying to kick in the front door of his Greenville Road home. Rogers, 24, grabbed his .20-gauge shotgun and hid in a back bedroom with his girlfriend.

When two men entered the home and found Rogers with a shotgun, one began shooting. Rogers said he shot back, striking one of the men, but the man continued shooting as he lay wounded on the floor. Rogers fired a second time, striking the man in the chest.

"He shot at me about three or four times and he never hit me," Rogers said. "I reckon' I'm lucky to be alive. I had my gun to protect myself." Rogers' girlfriend also escaped injury. . . .

Thanks to Ivan Shapiro for this article.


Did the Assault Weapons Ban Make a Difference?

"Since the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, it has been open season for criminals who want the most dangerous types of military-style assault weapons," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who in March introduced legislation to revive the old ban.
Feinstein said that the expiration of the ban she fought hard to get in 1994 "will have deadly consequences on the streets of America."

But has it really made much of a difference? Are the streets less safe?

There is no hard evidence one way or another.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has no statistics that would show whether there's been an uptick in sales of assault-style weapons, and the Department of Justice has no statistics that would show whether there's been an increase in their use in crimes.

Gun manufacturers say their shops are busy, but only because the 10-year ban created pent-up demand for weapons with features that weren't available.

"It's changed our market a bit," said Mark Westrom, president of Armalite, an Illinois company that produces the military-style weapons.

OK, here is a hint: why not look at the crime rate? Why can't anyone just mention that the murder rate FELL last year?
The FBI data for last year can be seen here.

Thanks as always to Jason Morin.