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  • June 30, 2008

    Special Report: Supreme Court Ruling And Reaction

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Chicago and San Fran Bans Under Fire

    From an NRA press release:

    Following up on yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment protects a private right to possess firearms that is not limited to militia service, the National Rifle Association of America today filed five lawsuits challenging local gun bans in San Francisco, and in Chicago and several of its suburbs.

    See also:

    CBS2 Chicago News

    The Earth Times


    Chicago Tribune: “Repeal The Second Amendment”

    From the paper’s editorial page:

    No, we don't suppose that's going to happen any time soon. But it should. . . .

    [The Amendment is] an anachronism.



    We won't repeal the [it], but at least we can have that debate. 



    Want to debate whether crime-staggered cities should prohibit the possession of handguns? The Supreme Court has just said, "forget about it."

    Plus:

    Download PDF Of The Entire Ruling

    McCain Praises Ruling, Slams Obama

    Does Ruling Actually Help Obama?

    Court’s Rating Soars With Ruling

  • June 26, 2008

    Breaking News: Supreme Court Declares Individual Gun Rights

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    The Supreme Court has ended the long debate. For the first time in the nation’s history, the United States Constitution officially and specifically protects your individual right to bear arms, as a result of this morning’s 5-4 decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290. The court’s landmark ruling declares: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

    Dick Anthony Heller, who carries a handgun for his job guarding federal judiciary offices, wanted to keep his gun at home. The District of Columbia said no, based on a 1976 law making it virtually impossible to legally possess a handgun in the nation’s capital. In March, 2007, a United States Court of Appeals overturned the city ordinance. And now, writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia declares that the Constitution does not allow “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home,” thus rendering the D.C. ban unconstitutional.

    For gun owners and gun-rights advocates, today’s decision is a monumental victory. But then there’s the fine print:

    In defining the Second Amendment’s hazy language for the first time and concluding that the right to bear arms belongs to the individual (and not just to states for maintaining militias), the court has ended one debate. In stating that the right is not absolute, however, it no doubt sparks many more. Today is a triumph. But the fight ain’t over.

    For more, see:

    The Chicago Tribune

    The Washington Post:

    CNN:

    The Associated Press:

    The New York Times

  • June 26, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Second Amendment Ruling Expected Today

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Washington Post:

    With its term coming to an end, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning is expected to issue its ruling on the District's handgun-ownership ban in a case that could result in a landmark interpretation of the Second Amendment. . . .

    The ruling could settle a decades-old debate over whether the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own firearms or only confers a collective right for states to form armed militias.

    And from the ABA Journal:

    SCOTUSblog predicts that Justice Antonin Scalia will write the majority opinion in the gun case, District of Columbia v. Heller. During oral arguments in the case Scalia appeared to endorse the individual rights interpretation of the amendment, which reads: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    So, are you on the edge of your seat?

    Look for an update later today.

  • June 25, 2008

    Discussion Topic: On Hunting Threatened Polar Bears

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Associated Press:

    Officials from northern Canada were in Washington on Monday to make an unpopular argument: Let U.S. hunters continue to kill polar bears for sport. . . .

    The recent decision to declare the polar bear threatened under the Endangered Species Act also means U.S. sportsmen may no longer bring home trophy skins—which is what hunting's high-rollers actually prize.

    This "will effectively wipe out our sports hunting industry," Bob McLeod, the Northwest Territory's minister for energy, industry and tourism, said Monday in an interview. . . .

    He said hunters, mostly from the United States, spend an estimated $1.6 million annually during the polar bear hunts, much of it going into the economies of the isolated villages where the hunts are organized and concentrated. . . .

    [He] insists continued hunting and protecting the species can go hand in hand.”

    What do you think?

  • June 25, 2008

    Today’s Centre-Court Match: PETA Vs. Wimbledon

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From Reuters via ESPN:

    Wimbledon came under fire from animal activists on Tuesday for using marksmen to shoot down dive-bombing pigeons.

    The tournament employs two hawks to scare away pigeons who had become a pest swooping down on Centre Court and distracting players in the middle of tense matches.

    "But unfortunately there were one or two areas where the hawks didn't deter the pigeons, so it was deemed necessary to take a harder approach," [Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins] explained. . . .

    The decision to call in the marksmen was condemned as "cruel and illegal behavior" by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which complained to the tournament organizers and the police.

  • June 25, 2008

    Florida Gator Bites Teen Swimmer’s Arm Off

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From The Sun-Sentinel:

    Kasey Edwards said he never paid "too much mind" to alligators swimming in canals in Okeechobee County.



    But early Sunday morning, an 11½-foot alligator had his full attention as Edwards, 18, struggled to free his left arm from the jaws of the reptile.



    "It's a very surreal feeling. You know, feeling like you're about to die here and you know, praying to God," Edwards said. "I have to give all the credit to God for keeping me out there."

    

He got away with his life and the gator with his left arm.

  • June 23, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Duck Hunters Vs. Waterfront Residents

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    Elkhart[, Indiana,] resident Dottie Arnold said her home has been peppered with buckshot pellets from [duck] hunters across the St. Joseph River for a few years. . . .

    "I don't care if people want to hunt," Arnold said. "That's fine. But I don't want it around my house."

    The issue has drawn the attention of state Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka. He introduced a bill last session that would have prohibited hunting in counties with more than 250,000 people along any spot in a river less than 750 feet from a densely populated shoreline. . . .

    "Sporting groups think this is some sort of infringement," said Fry, who's a member of the National Rifle Association. "I think it's a safety issue.”



    What do you think?

    (And, by the way, what do you think of newspaper editors who insist reporters get their facts and terminology (such as “buckshot”) correct—except when it come to guns and hunting?)


    For more on this story, see also “Taking Aim At Hunters,” from the South Bend Tribune.

  • June 23, 2008

    Antelope-Poaching Energy Worker Gets Jail Time and Fine

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Don’t think gas and oil exploration takes a toll on wildlife? Maybe you haven’t considered this side of the story, from the Billings Gazette:

    A magistrate in Sweetwater County has sentenced a Tennessee man to serve 100 days in jail and pay $6,000 in fines and restitution for shooting a doe antelope. . . . Officials say the case is only the latest in a disturbing pattern of out-of-state energy workers wantonly killing Wyoming wildlife. . . .

    Brett Johnson, Sweetwater County attorney, prosecuted Bowman and said he hopes the sentence sends a stern message. . . .

    "There's a real issue because of all the oil and gas exploration," Johnson said of the transient workers.
    "They're out there. There's very few other people out there, and there's a lot of wildlife. They don't think anybody's going to catch them, and most of the time, nobody does catch them. So I hope it does send a message."

  • June 23, 2008

    Man Saves Rainbow Trout From Burning Building

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Your apartment building is on fire. You have seconds to grab your most cherished possessions and bolt out the door. What do you take? A family heirloom?  Pictures of the kids? Your wedding video?

    From The News-Gazette:

    [Drew] Gifford left the apartment barefoot, carrying a cast iron skillet of rainbow trout. . . .Firefighters later got a pair of flip flops from the apartment for Gifford.

    Clearly the right decision. I mean, think how overcooked the trout might have gotten otherwise. And the flip flops are a no-brainer.

  • June 20, 2008

    Discussion Topic: Parents Claim Teacher Silenced Son On Hunting

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    From Vermont’s Rutland Herald:

    Saying their son was "silenced" by his teacher for talking about hunting in the classroom, the parents of a fourth-grade student at North Bennington Graded School took their son out of school and have taken their case to the local school board.

 . . .

    Jared Harrington's mother, Wendy Bordwell . . . said that, during snack time, Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when [Teacher Kathleen] Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of "killing" in her classroom.

    Check out the full story and tell us your reaction.

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