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We should reserve judgment, but it seems that Zimmerman acted lawfully.
by John R. Lott Jr.
President Obama, Jesse Jackson, and others have chosen to personalize the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., highlighting the racial issues by expressing concern for people who look like they do or live where "blacks are under attack." Many conservatives and liberals have also already concluded that the shooter committed a crime. All of these reactions are premature.
In response to the shooting, Florida governor Rick Scott has set up a commission to review the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Gun-control organizations, including the Brady Campaign, have gone beyond this and even more drastically called for the end of right-to-carry laws.
But such outrage should be restrained until we have all of the facts. Zimmerman's call to the police, which has been heard over and over again, does not appear to tell the whole story. There is other information that appears to back up the shooter's account. That evidence, rather than racism, might well be the reason that police chose not to arrest the shooter. Fox 35 in Orlando spoke to one eyewitness, identified as "John," the day after the shooting. He explained: "The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: 'Help, help' . . . and I told him to stop and I was calling 9-1-1."
The witness further indicated that it was the guy on top who was doing the hitting, and that the shot occurred while that attack was taking place. The man who shot Martin, George Zimmerman, was the man in the red jacket. The police report corroborates the witness's account: "While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and back of his head." Zimmerman told the police, "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me."
Zimmerman and his neighbors seem to have had reason for forming a neighborhood-watch group: During the past year, the Miami Herald reports, eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting occurred in their gated community. And Zimmerman had even caught at least one thief himself.
Canton police officer who threatened to execute concealed carry licensee is trying to get his job backSubmitted by cbaus on March 30, 2012 - 7:00am.
by Chad D. Baus
The Canton Repository is reporting that notorious Canton Police Officer Daniel Harless, who was fired after being caught on his own police dash cam video last June verbally assaulting a concealed carry license holder and threatening to "execute" him, is trying to get his job back.
From the article:
Patrolman Daniel Harless is proceeding with the arbitration process, said Kristen Bates Aylward, an assistant city law director.
In January, Safety Director Thomas Ream fired Harless.
Bates Aylward said she was contacted Wednesday by the attorney representing Harless about arbitration. Following his firing, Harless had filed for arbitration, but the process to select a neutral third-party arbitrator had not started until now, she said.
An arbitrator would rule if the firing was proper or decide if Harless should be reinstated.
Harless is being represented by attorney Michael Piotrowski of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, not the Canton Police Patrolmen's Association.
The article notes the internal affairs division of the Police Department had investigated three traffic stops involving Harless, each one filmed by a cruiser dash camera. Investigators said the officer had violated rules for conduct, cooperation with the public and handling persons.
Harless was accused of violating police department rules during the June 8, 2011 traffic stop during which police cruiser video shows Harless berating and threatening a man pulled over around 1:30 a.m. on Newton Avenue NW.
In the dash cam video, the officer can be heard unleashing a profanity-laced tirade, yelling, "I should blast you in the mouth right now...I'm so close to caving in your head," and "you're just a stupid human being!" He continued to berate the license-holder, shouting, "You want me to pull mine and stick it to your head?" "People like you don't deserve to f#$%*@g move throughout public. Period!"
After the June cruiser video was posted on the Internet, it went viral. Soon, other videos turned up, revealing a long pattern of deplorable behavior.
The Repository uncovered a video from another incident, in which Harless threatened to send the suspects "to the grave" if they moved, adding, "I will shoot you in the face and I'll go to sleep tonight."
In a third dash cam video uncovered by Cleveland's ABC affiliate, Harless can be heard engaging in yet another profanity-laced tirade, saying, "If you scratch your balls wrong, I'm going to pull my gun and I am going to shoot you."
WSYX (ABC Columbus) is reporting that a gunmen held up the employees at the Applebee's on Morse Rd. near Easton about 1:45 a.m. last Wednesday. What the report doesn't mention is the fact that this Applebee's, along with others in Ohio, posted "no-guns" signs in response to the passage of Ohio's restaurant Carry bill last year.
From the article:
The restaurant was closed at the time when the masked gunman got inside through an unlocked door.
Columbus police detectives on the scene say the robbery only lasted about five minutes, but the robber got away with money from the safe.
There were two women and a man who were inside closing the restaurant at the time of the robbery.
No one was seriously hurt.
Right now, police believe this robber could be responsible for five other robberies in the Columbus area.
This article was originally published at the ThirdBasePolitics blog. Republished with permission.
by Nick Mascari
One month ago we all witnessed the terrible tragedy that claimed three lives in Chardon. While most of the state was mourning, we saw a suspicious website pop up almost immediately.
Anti-gun group Ohio Ceasefire has created a website for people to send their thoughts and prayers to students and staff in Chardon.
The catch, they don't make it clear who is sponsoring the site and require that you leave an email address so they can contact you later to "let you know when they get it."
I'm going to take them at their word and trust that I won't start getting anti-gun emails as a result of my participation. I really hope that Ohio Ceasefire isn't going to use this horrible tragedy as a way to increase their email distribution list for future communications.
I hope that I am wrong about their intentions with this site, because playing politics with the lives of those murdered is simply wrong.
Sad to say, our suspicions were correct. I used the website to send my own condolences and prayers. I never did receive notice that "they got my message", but I did start receiving other emails that I had never received before.
by Jim Irvine
Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) has introduced HB495, a bill designed to reform Ohio concealed carry law to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and continue a trend toward making Ohio law similar to other states.
Currently, the gun laws in the Ohio Revised Code contain a number of ambiguities, and a number of "poison pill" provisions that have created confusion for law-abiding Ohioans, law enforcement agencies and the courts. Nine years ago, Governor Robert Taft refused to sign Ohio's concealed carry legislation unless it contained language to address so-called "safety concerns" of anti-gun activists. None of these provisions have proven helpful in protecting public safety, nor is there any evidence they have reduced gun-related crime.
Once adopted, HB495 would eliminate hundreds of words from the Ohio Revised Code without making any material changes. This will make the law easier to read, understand, comply with and enforce – a win for everyone.
"This important legislation addresses real problems with Ohio law," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a grassroots gun advocacy organization. "It continues the trend to remove problems and align Ohio law with commonly understood concepts."
In addition to that technical fix, the bill would make three changes to Ohio law. First, Ohio would join many other states in automatically honoring other state's concealed carry licenses, and allowing the Attorney General to sign more agreements with other states. Second, HB495 would also remove a vague and unenforceable "demonstrated competency" requirement, and third, the law would clarify the definition of a "loaded gun."
by Rep. Dennis Baxley
The tragic story of Trayvon Martin's death in Sanford, Florida has ignited a great deal of passion and concern regarding the circumstances of his death and the defense applied by the attacker, George Zimmerman. The fact that Trayvon Martin unnecessarily lost his life is troubling and an investigation into the surrounding circumstances is certainly warranted.
First of all I'd like to extend my condolences to the Martin family. I have been in the funeral services profession for over 40 years; I've walked with families through many tragic circumstances and I know how difficult it is.
I would like to emphasize that the approach that is currently developing in this situation, to convene a grand jury, is the proper one in which to discern the facts of this case. I certainly agree with everyone that justice must be served.
During the debate concerning this incident, some have brought into question the "Stand Your Ground" law, more commonly referred to as the "castle doctrine," which has been used by the attacker to pardon his actions.
PASA Park, Barry, IL -- In the election held Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the voters of Pike County, Illinois, approved a firearms concealed-carry ordinance by a 3,214 to 550 margin. It was one of the largest voter turnouts in county history. The ordinance directly contradicts current Illinois state law. As presented on the ballot, the ordinance took effect upon passage, and applies only to Pike County. The ordinance was placed on the ballot by a citizen initiative petition process that garnered three times the number of signatures required by law.
The new "Constitutional Carry" Pike County initiative was spearheaded by local Second Amendment activist Dr. Dan Mefford of Pittsfield, who drafted the successful ordinance in conjunction with noted outdoor journalist and firearms law expert Dick Metcalf, who is also a resident of Pike County. According to Dr. Mefford, "The people are speaking, and what the people are saying is, 'Trust the people.'"
by Chad D. Baus
The latest issue of the NRA's American Hunter magazine features an interesting article by Philip Schreier, senior curator at the National Firearms Museum in suburban Washington D.C.
Entitled "Gun Show Fever!," the article celebrates the sights, sounds and smells, the excitement and celebration of freedom that are today's gun show.
From the article:
The great thing about gun shows is that no two are ever the same. You never know what you might find - some hidden gem, a rare bauble, possibly something totally unrelated to your interest in firearms but yet something so unique, so cool you never knew you couldn't live without it until you actually saw it on some dealer's table.
At a gun show you can shop for deals that beat buying something on line, hands down. Here you can pick up a gun, hold it, feel it, run your hands along its side, smell the Cosmoline, look down the sights. All of your senses are rewarded, and you don't have to pay shipping charges. You can accessorize as well: Within six feet of the guy from which you purchased a six-digit M1 Garand is another dealer selling locking bar rear sights, web slings and bayonets. A few aisles over is a guy selling original World War II HBT Pacific theater uniforms and M1-C helmets. Before you know it you have completed another museum exhibit for your growing collection of cool stuff your spouse doesn't understand.
Schreier also notes that gun shows "are a great place to renew old acquaintances and to make new ones in the gun collecting/shooting/ hunting worlds," saying that at his favorite show in Oklahoma, "everyone is there, from Hank Williams Jr. to the college pal of yours you had no idea was into shooting sports."
The article also informs readers on something which I suspect many are not aware - it all began in the Buckeye State.
Deer and turkey hunters' input sought on Ohio's automated game-check system
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) Division of Wildlife invites anglers, hunters and trappers to visit www.wildohio.com to take a new online survey.
The online survey asks fishing and hunting license buyers to provide feedback on their experience with the newly implemented license sales system. Deer and turkey hunters will also be given the opportunity to provide their input on the automated game-check system.
The online survey is available now and will run through April 30. Responses to the survey are confidential. Information provided by anglers, hunters and trappers is important to the successful management of Ohio's wildlife resources. The Division of Wildlife encourages all sportsmen and women to participate.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit ODNR's website at www.ohiodnr.com.
by Chad D. Baus
The National Rifle Association reported on March 13 that U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) have introduced S. 2188, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012." According to the press release, the bill is the Senate companion to H. R. 822, which was approved by the U. S. House last November by a vote of 272-154.
S. 2188, like H.R. 822, would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. A state's laws governing where concealed handguns may be carried would apply within its borders.
Today 49 states either issue carry permits or otherwise authorize law-abiding people to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense. 41 states have fair "shall issue" permit systems that allow any law-abiding person to get a permit.
In contrast to dire predictions from anti-gun groups, Right-to-Carry laws have been enormously successful. Interstate reciprocity will serve as a fundamental protection of the right to self-defense by providing people with the ability to protect themselves not only in their home states, but anywhere they travel where carry concealed carry is legal.
Contrary to the false claims of some, these bills would not create federal gun registration or gun owner licensing, nor would they allow any federal agency to establish a federal standard for a carry permit or impose gun control restrictions of any kind.
These bills would have no effect on permitless carry laws, currently on the books in Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming and Vermont, that allow concealed carry without a permit. In addition, Vermont residents would be able to take advantage of S. 2188 and H.R. 822 by obtaining a permit from one of the many states that offer non-resident permits.
Meanwhile, HumanEvents.com is reporting that another bill to protect concealed carry permit holders, sponsored by Sen. John R. Thune (R-SD) and Sen. David B. Vitter (R-LA), has been introduced with strong Republican support in the Senate.