Archive for the ‘2nd Amendment’ Category

Obama’s Record Shows No Support for 2nd Amendment

May 19, 2010

From: www.bkl1.wordpress.com “The Hard Truth”

 Barack Hussein Obama’s voting records in both the Illinois & United States Senate show that he does not support the right of individual citizens to own firearms, especially handguns.

It must be realized that our Founding Fathers knew that if future generations of Americans were to remain free citizens they must have the right to bear arms. As a result they inserted into the Bill of Rights the 2nd Amendment which says: “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.”

Our courts have held, most recently in the now famous case of District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290, June 26, 2008, which declared the District’s total ban on handgun ownership unconstitutional, that “The People” referred to in the 2nd Amendment are individual citizens just the same as “the people” mentioned in the 4th Amendment that prevents unreasonable searches & seizures.

University of Maryland Research Scientist John R. Lott, author of the book More Guns, Less Crime, points out, in an article in the Philadelphia Enquirer of October 14, 2008, that while Obama said the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Heller case confirmed his own view of the 2nd Amendment, in November 2007 Obama’s campaign told the Chicago Tribune that Obama believed the DC law (banning the ownership of handguns) was constitutional.

Then, in February 2008, while being interviewed by Leon Harris, a reporter for an ABC News affiliate in DC, Obama said he supported the DC gun ban and that in his opinion it was completely constitutional.

Lott goes on to point out that the Associated Press reported that, in 2004, Obama voted in favor of a gun control bill that would not allow people who were charged with possessing firearms in violation of local gun ban laws to claim self defense after using guns in response to intrusions into their homes by criminals.The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man’s being found not guilty of possessing a gun in violation of a local gun ban ordinance after the jury found he had a right to defend himself & his home. The bill that Obama supported was designed to take away the “self defense” argument, as a matter of law, in cases where the only charge was illegally possessing a gun. The only thing a jury would be able to decide is whether or not the accused possessed a gun in violation of any given local laws.

Lott goes on to say that he first met Obama in the 1990′s while they were both law students at the University of Chicago. In a conversation they had about gun control Lott says that Obama said: “I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.”

Obama quotes & votes pertaining to the 2nd Amendment:

“I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry [of handguns].” Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

“…just because you have an individual right [to keep and bear arms] does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right…” 2008 Democratic Candidate debate in Philadelphia, PA

“I think it is a scandal that this President [Bush} did not authorize a renewal of the “assault weapons” ban.” Illinois Senate Debate #3 Obama vs. Alan Keys, October 21, 2004

“I’ll continue to be in favor of handgun registration laws and licensing requirements for training.” Chicago Defender, July 5, 2001

Obama voted to allow state & local governments to sue gun manufacturers in an effort to blame them for the criminal conduct of individuals who used guns to commit crimes. July 29, 2005; Vote 219; Senate Bill 397

Obama voted to ban nearly all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting. July 29, 2005; Vote 217; Senate Bill 397

Obama voted to allow the prosecution of citizens who use a firearm for self-defense in their home. March 25, 2004; Illinois Senate Bill 2165

Obama supports increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500%.   Chicago Defender December 13, 1999

Visit www.gunbanobama.com for more information!

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Customer Uses Own Gun To Stop Bank Robber

April 29, 2010

Posted: 4:44 pm EDT April 29, 2010Updated: 5:40 pm EDT April 29, 2010

PALM BAY, Fla. — A bank robber in Palm Bay couldn’t get away from a bank Thursday, because a customer of the Space Coast Credit Union on Malabar Road had a gun and a concealed weapon permit. The customer used his gun to stop the robber
Police are interviewing the suspect and a possible accomplice. Ruben Torres actually had his gun in his car in the parking lot. He had enough time to go out to his car, get his gun and then go back in and hold the robber for police.

 Torres went to the Space Coast Credit Union to pick up some cash for a cruise this weekend and was on his way out when he noticed a man walk in, give him a weird look, pull out a Walmart bag and put it on his head. It was the first sign it wasn’t going to be just any visit to the bank.

 “It’s not Halloween. You don’t walk in and put a bag over your head unless you’re going to do something,” Torres said.

 Torres, a trained, professional security guard with a concealed weapons permit said he didn’t even think twice about what he was about to do. He went to his car, grabbed his handgun and went back inside.

 The robber was sitting, waiting for the cash he was trying to steal. Another teller confirmed for Torres the man was trying to rob the bank and, when Torres saw an opportunity, he drew his weapon.

 “As he was walking out, I put him down with the gun in the back of his back,” Torres said.

 The Palm Bay man said the suspect didn’t fight back or try to run. Torres said he was never scared, just a little nervous, and was surprised to hear what the suspect had to say.

 “He apologized to me and I said, ‘That doesn’t matter now,'” Torres described.

 Palm Bay police arrived moments later. Police said, while they don’t encourage people to take matters into their own hands, they said what he did was appreciated and courageous.

 This is the second time Torres has been in the right place at the right time. More than 20 years ago he happened upon William Cruse, while the mass murderer was killing innocent people and police in another shopping center, and actually fired at him.

Arizona to Allow Concealed Weapons Without Permit

April 19, 2010

Governor Brewer Signs Legislation into Law

by Alia Beard Rau – Apr. 16, 2010 03:46 PM
The Arizona Republic

Starting later this summer, U.S. citizens 21 and older can begin carrying a concealed firearm without a permit in Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1108 into law Friday afternoon. It eliminates the requirement for a concealed-carry weapons permit, but does require gun owners to accurately answer if an officer asks them if they are carrying weapon concealed. It also allows officers to temporarily confiscate a weapon while they are talking to an individual, including during a traffic stop.

“I believe strongly in the individual rights and responsibilities of a free society, and as governor I have pledged a solemn and important oath to protect and defend the Constitution,” Brewer said in a news release. “I believe this legislation not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well.”

The law goes into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns for this session, which could happen in the next couple of weeks.

Arizona joins Vermont and Alaska in not requiring such permits.

“If you want to carry concealed, and you have no criminal history, you are a good guy, you can do it,” bill sponsor Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, has said of his bill. “It’s a freedom that poses no threat to the public.”

National Rifle Association lobbyist Matt Dogali said the new state law would not violate any current federal requirements.

“There is no federal requirement for a permit or lack thereof,” Dogali said.

The federal government oversees the background-check program required to purchase a weapon, which will still be required in Arizona in most cases.

Brewer last week did sign a separate law that exempts guns made and kept in Arizona from federal regulation, including background checks.

Arizona had 154,279 active permits as of April 4. Permit holders are spread across all ages, races and counties, but White males older than 30 in Maricopa and Pima counties hold the majority, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety data.

The permits generated $1.8 million in revenue last fiscal year, according to DPS. The money is used to help cover costs for enforcing laws related to the Highway Patrol, operating the concealed-carry weapon-licensing program and impounding vehicles.

Arizona’s permit process will remain in place, and many gun owners may still choose to get a permit. Permits would still be needed in order to carry a weapon into a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol. They would also be needed if an Arizonan wants to carry his or her gun concealed in most other states.

For those who do choose to get a permit, the education requirements do change under the new law. Classes are no longer required to be a set number of hours or include any hands-on use of the weapon. Those who don’t get a permit would not be required to get any training or education.

Retired Mesa police officer Dan Furbee runs a business teaching permit and other gun safety classes. He said if most people choose not to get a permit, it will put several hundred Arizona firearms instructors out of business.

“It’s going to hurt,” he said.

But he said what really concerns him is that the new law will allow people who have had no education about Arizona’s laws and no training on the shooting range to carry a concealed gun. The eight-hour class currently required to get a permit includes information on state law and gun safety, as well as requires students to be able to hit a target 14 out of 20 times. Furbee said his class at Mesa-based Ultimate Accessories costs $79, plus $60 for the five-year permit.

“I fully agree that we have a right to keep and bear arms,” Furbee said. “But if you are not responsible enough to take a class and learn the laws, you are worse than part of the problem.”

He said it’s not uncommon for students to walk into his classroom and pull a new gun out of a box with no idea how to hold it and no understanding of the laws surrounding it.

“If you are going to carry a concealed weapon, you should have some kind of training and show that you are at least competent to know how the gun works and be able to hit a target,” he said. “You owe the people around you a measure of responsibility.”

This new law is the latest of several that have passed over the past year since Brewer took over the office from former Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat.

Napolitano vetoed at least a dozen weapons bills that crossed her desk during her seven years in office, all of which would have loosened gun restrictions. In 2005, Napolitano rejected a bill that would have allowed patrons to carry loaded guns into bars and restaurants. In 2008, she also vetoed a bill that would have allowed people to have a hidden gun in vehicles without a concealed-carry permit.

In January 2009, Napolitano resigned to become U.S. Homeland Security secretary and Republican Secretary of State Brewer became governor.

During her first year in office, Brewer signed a bill allowing loaded guns in bars and restaurants, as well as another that prohibits property owners from banning guns from parking areas, so long as the weapons are kept locked in vehicles.

Feds Release Indictment Against Michigan Militia

March 30, 2010

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 29, 2010

In the wake of the FBI and Homeland Security raid on the Hutaree militia in Michigan over the weekend, the government has released its indictment.

“Nine members of a Lenawee County-based militia group were planning to ‘levy war’ against the United States and ‘oppose by force’ the nation’s government, according to an indictment released this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit,” reports the Detroit News. “The five-count indictment was unsealed this morning and alleges that between August 2008 and the present, the defendants were attempting to use bombs and other weapons to oppose the U.S. government.”

In addition to weapons charges and use of a “weapon of mass destruction” (sic), the government plans to charge the defendants with sedition.

Sedition is regarded as falling one step short of the more serious crime of treason.

The seditious conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. The charge of using a “weapon of mass destruction” may result in a life sentence for the defendants.

The accused include: David Brian Stone, 45; his wife, Tina Stone, 44; his son, Joshua Matthew Stone, 21, all three of Clayton; and his other son, David Brian Stone Jr., 19, of Adrian. Also, Joshua Clough, 28, of Blissfield; Michael Meeks, 40 of Manchester; Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.; Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio.

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, FBI special agent in charge, told the newspaper. “The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”

The Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with the Southern Poverty Law Center, long a source of conspiracy theories about militias.

In 2004, the FBI revealed the SPLC was involved with government operative and convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and the Aryan Republican Army at Elohim City. McVeigh’s contact at Elohim City was Andreas Carl Strassmeir, a former German intelligence officer. Peter Langan, the son of a retired U.S. Marine intelligence officer and said to be the leader of the Aryan Republican Army, was a government informant.

Radio talk show host and racist firebrand Hal Turner recently admitted in federal court that he worked for the FBI as a “National Security Intelligence” asset. “Turner also claims the FBI coached him to make racist, anti-Semitic and other threatening statements on his radio show, but the newspaper also found many federal officials were concerned that his audience might follow up on his violence rhetoric,” the Associated Press reported in November, 2009.

Turner’s code name was “Valhalla” and “he received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on such groups as the Aryan Nations and the white supremacist National Alliance.

The FBI, under its long-running COINTELPRO, subsidized, armed, directed and protected the Klu Klux Klan and other racist groups.

“Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April, which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time,” said Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Hutaree means “Christian soldier,” according to the group, and members say they are preparing for battle with the Anti-Christ.

The indictment accuses the Christian group of planning to kill a member of law enforcement, possibly after a traffic stop, to “prompt a response by law enforcement.” The alleged goal of this murder, according to the government, would be to “intimidate and demoralize law enforcement, diminishing their ranks and rendering them ineffective.”

The indictment says the group then intended to use the incident to spark a “war” against law enforcement, using bombs, ambushes and prepared fighting positions.

It remains to be seen if the FBI had informers and agents provocateurs in the Hutaree militia.

Militia Raids Part Of Government Effort to Provoke Violence, Purge Dissent

March 30, 2010

Steve Watson & Paul Watson
Prisonplanet.com
Monday, March 29th, 2010

Militia Raids Part Of Government Effort to Provoke Violence, Purge Dissent 290310raidRelated: Feds Release Indictment Against Michigan Militia

News of a bust on nine members of a militia group in Detroit who were planning to “levy war” against the United States and “oppose by force” the nation’s government, should be treated with extreme suspicion, given that every major terror bust in the U.S. in recent years has been contrived.

According to an indictment (PDF) unsealed this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit, eight men and one woman were training in modern combat techniques for a prophesized battle with the anti-Christ.

The indictment described the nine as gearing up to use bombs and other weapons to kill local, state, and federal law enforcement officials in an effort to act as a “catalyst for a more wide-spread uprising against the government.”

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force carried out a series of raids on group members in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio over the weekend.

Known as the “Hutaree” militia, each of the nine faces three to five charges, including sedition, attempts to use weapons of mass destruction, teaching/demonstrating use of explosive materials and two counts of carrying weapons in relation to a crime of violence.

Seven of the defendants appeared in court this morning and were ordered held without bond until Wednesday.

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” FBI special agent Andrew Arena told The Detroit News.

“The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.” Arena added.

Comments made by a well known former militia leader indicate that the Hutaree were regarded by other militia outfits as radical and reckless “low-hanging fruits”.

Mike Vanderboegh, who has close connections with the militia movement in Michigan and all over the country, was critical of the Hutaree, saying that they “have indicated in the past that, much like John Brown, they WANTED to start a civil war, which is why no responsible militia group in Michigan was willing to ally with them.”

Vanderboegh described the group as “a perfect target” for the feds, adding that the raids could have provoked a nationwide uprising if they had turned violent.

As we highlighted earlier this month, following the highly suspicious Pentagon shooting, recent history proves that domestic terror, far from being a militia plot or an “extremist fringe” threat, is a government specialty.

Just a brief reprisal of the last handful of major terror cases in the United States instantly reminds us that in every single instance the plot was artificially engineered by the federal government and then later seized upon, with the enthusiastic support of the corporate media, as justification for more funding, more power, and more authority to denounce critics of the war on terror and dissent against the state in general.

From ensuring known extremist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, now known as the underwear bomber, was able to board Flight 253 in Amsterdam last December, to allowing Fort Hood shooter Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to remain on a U.S. Army base, and even to participate in Homeland Security exercises, the actions of Federal authorities have provoked often tragic newsmaking incidents.

Dozens of terror busts and stings since 9/11 have been orchestrated by handlers aiding the accused terrorists at every turn. We have never come across a major case where the terrorists involved in a plot were not being prodded by the FBI and federal informants, or where clear prior knowledge and forewarning was not evident.

Lawyers in a case relating to the much vaunted 2007 terror plot to attack Fort Dix and kill “as many soldiers as possible” concluded that FBI informants were the key figures behind the operation and that the accused, six foreign-born Muslims, were merely bungling patsies.

Similarly, the “Toronto 18″ terrorists turned out to be “a bunch of incompetent guys who were primarily misled by a delusional megalomaniac”. The explosive fertilizer material the terrorist cell apparently planned to use was in fact purchased by an informant working for the RCMP who had radicalized the group.

In the media-lauded Miami terror case in 2007, the supposed ringleader Narseal “Prince Marina” Batiste “had heard of Al-Qaeda, but wasn’t sure what it stood for. The FBI instigators made Batiste swear loyalty to al-Qaida; then had him call on his local buddies to form an ‘Islamic army’ in Miami. None had military training. Some could barely read. But Batiste assured the group in the midst of its collective marijuana buzz of greatness ahead,” wrote Saul Landau.

These were the men who comedian John Stewart referred to as “seven dipshits in a warehouse” after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had ludicrously told the press that the group of semi-retarded gang-bangers had planned to “wage a ground war against America”.

One of the more recent examples was the case of the so-called Muslim terrorists busted in New York, who supposedly wanted to blow up synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military airplanes flying out of the New York Air National Guard base. The men were provided with fake explosives and inactive missiles by an FBI informant, reported the Christian Science Monitor. Two of the ringleaders of the “deadly” plot which was endlessly hyped by the media turned out to be semi-retarded potheads, exactly as we had predicted would be the case due to the innumerable past cases with the exact same modus operandi.

Then we have the most deadly and contrived “christian-patriot” terror plot – the OKC bombing of 1995. While the SPLC, the ADL and similar organizations are happy to play the Timothy McVeigh card over and over again, to back up the notion that hate-filled right wing extremists are taking over the country, they are less enthusiastic to mention the fact that McVeigh planned his deadly assault on the Alfred P. Murrah building under the intimate direction of a high-level FBI official. This according to McVeigh’s co-conspirator Terry Nichols, a claim voluminously backed up by a plethora of evidence that has been presented in court on several occasions.

Time and time again it is revealed that the only prominent people who call for violence in the patriot movement turn out to be working for the feds.

Radio talk show host and racist firebrand Hal Turner recently admitted in federal court that he worked for the FBI as a “National Security Intelligence” asset. “Turner also claims the FBI coached him to make racist, anti-Semitic and other threatening statements on his radio show, but the newspaper also found many federal officials were concerned that his audience might follow up on his violence rhetoric,” the Associated Press reported in November, 2009.

Turner’s code name was “Valhalla” and “he received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on such groups as the Aryan Nations and the white supremacist National Alliance.

The FBI, under its long-running COINTELPRO, subsidized, armed, directed and protected the Klu Klux Klan and other racist groups.

In light of all these cases, and the ongoing effort to re-direct the focus of the war on terror away from foreign muslim terrorists to “home grown” American “extremists”, the question must be explored – were the FBI actively involved in radicalizing the “Hutaree” militia? Were any of the militia members FBI informants?

Count the hours until the links emerge.

Starbucks: Letting Customers Wear Guns is Just Business

March 4, 2010

SEATTTLE (AP) — Coffee chain Starbucks said Wednesday it’s sticking to its policy of letting customers carry guns where it’s legal and is asking not to be put in the middle of a larger gun-control debate.The company’s statement, issued Wednesday, stems from recent campaign by some gun owners, who have walked into Starbucks (SBUX) and other businesses to test state laws that allow gun owners to carry weapons openly in public places.

  Now, gun control advocates are protesting the policy. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, launched a petition drive demanding that the company “offer espresso shots, not gunshots” and declare its coffeehouses “gun-free zones.” And Wednesday, that group planned to deliver 28,000 signatures to the coffee giant’s headquarters in Seattle.

 The group also held a press conference near Seattle’s Pike Place Market, just a few yards away from the where the first Starbucks cafe opened. Gun rights advocates showed up as well, some carrying handguns in holsters around their waists.

 Brian Mantel of the Brady Campaign said the carrying guns intimidates and frightens people, and said the group thinks Starbucks will “do the right thing” and change its policy.

 “They’re putting their workers in harm’s way by allowing people to carry guns into their stores, especially open carry,” Mantel said.

 More than a dozen pro-gun supporters, some with Starbucks coffee cups in hand, chanted during the press conference, at points interrupting speakers.

 “I think the (Brady campaign is) trying to strong-arm private businesses into banning the rights of the people,” said Bev Carman of Everett, Wash. Carman held a sign that said: “Criminal Control not Gun Control.”

 Starbucks asked both gun enthusiasts and gun-control advocates “to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue.”

 Even in some “open carry” states, businesses are allowed to ban guns in their stores. And some have, creating political confrontations with gun owners.

 Starbucks said that it complies with local laws in the 43 states that have open-carry weapon laws. Not to do so, the chain said, would make the chain “require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position.”

 It said security measures are in place for any “threatening situation” that might occur in stores.

 “Starbucks is a special target because it’s from the hippie West Coast, and a lot of dedicated consumers who pay $4 for coffee have expectations that Starbucks would ban guns. And here they aren’t,” said John Bruce, a political science professor at the University of Mississippi who is an expert in gun policy.

 The fight for retailers heated up in early January when gun enthusiasts in northern California began walking into Starbucks and other businesses to test state laws that allow gun owners to carry weapons openly in public places. As it spread to other states, gun control groups quickly complained about the parade of firearms in local stores.

 Some were spontaneous, with just one or two gun owners walking into a store. Others were organized parades of dozens of gun owners walking into restaurants with their firearms proudly at their sides.

 In one case, about 100 activists bearing arms had planned to go to a California Pizza Kitchen in Walnut Creek, Calif., but after it became clear they weren’t welcome they went to another restaurant. That chain and Peet’s Coffee & Tea are among the businesses that have banned customers with guns.

 Just as shops can deny service to barefoot customers, restaurants and stores in some states can declare their premises gun-free zones.

 The advocacy group OpenCarry.org, a leading group encouraging the demonstrations, applauded Starbucks in a statement for “deciding not to discriminate against lawful gun carriers.”

 “Starbucks is seen as a responsible corporation and they’re seen as a very progressive corporation, and this policy is very much in keeping with that,” said John Pierce, co-founder of OpenCarry.org. “If you’re going to support individual rights, you have to support them all. I applaud them, and I’ve gone out of my way personally to let every manager of every Starbucks I pass know that.”

 Gun control advocates hope the coffeehouse firearms displays end up aggravating more people than they inspire.

 “If you want to dress up and go out and make a little political theater by frightening children in the local Starbucks, if that’s what you want to spend your energy on, go right ahead,” said Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady campaign. “But going out and wearing a gun on your belt to show the world you’re allowed to is a little juvenile.”

 The coffeehouse debate has been particularly poignant for gun-control advocates in Washington state, where four uniformed police officers were shot and killed while working on their laptops at a suburban coffeehouse. The shooter later died in a gun battle with police.

 Ralph Fascitelli of Washington Ceasefire, an advocacy group that seeks to reduce gun violence, said allowing guns in coffeehouses robs residents of “societal sanctuaries.”

 “People go to Starbucks for an escape, just so they can get peace,” Fascitelli said. “But people walk in with open-carry guns and it destroys the tranquility.”

 Gun control advocates have been on the defensive. Their opponents have trumpeted fears that gun rights would erode under a Democrat-led White House and Congress, but President Obama and his top allies have largely been silent on issues such as reviving an assault weapons ban or strengthening background checks at gun shows.

 Gun rights groups are looking to build on a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban, and cheered legislation that took effect Monday allowing licensed gun owners to bring firearms into national parks. Obama signed that legislation as part of a broader bill.

 Legislators in Montana and Tennessee, meanwhile, have passed measures seeking to exempt guns made and kept in-state from national gun control laws. And state lawmakers elsewhere are considering legislation that would give residents more leeway to carry concealed weapons without permits.

 Observers say the gun rights movement is using the Starbucks campaign to add momentum and energize its supporters.

 “They’re trying to change the culture with this broader notion of gun rights,” said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University government professor who has written a book on the politics of gun control. “I think they are pressing the notion that they’ve got a rout going, so why not just get what they can while they’re ahead?”

Starbucks Position on Open Carry Gun Laws

March 4, 2010

03/03/2010 – Updated 7:00 AM ET

SEATTLE, Mar 03, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions. While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged. We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve. In this case, 43 of the 50 U.S. states have open carry weapon laws. Where these laws don’t exist, we comply with laws that prohibit the open carrying of weapons. The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores. At the same time, we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise. We will continuously review our procedures to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement. We have examined this issue through the lens of partner (employee) and customer safety. Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position. As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue. As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society. Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers. SOURCE: Starbucks CorporationStarbucks Corporation Stacey Krum, 206-318-7100 press@starbucks.com

Police: 2 Teens Killed In Break-In Attempt

September 6, 2009

From the Associated Press via the pittsburghchannel.com

3rd Teen Seriously Wounded

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Police in Texas said a group of teenagers were trying to break into a home when a resident opened fire and killed two of the youths.

 San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams said the shootings happened shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. He said two 16-year-olds died and a third teenager was seriously wounded. Another teen was unharmed and arrested in the shootings that were about 30 miles south of Austin.

 Authorities declined to release the teenagers’ identities but said the two killed were from Luling, about 20 miles from San Marcos.

 Williams said police responded to a call of a home invasion and shots fired.

 Authorities said the three people who were home at the time were not injured.

Char-Meck Detectives Investigating a Home Invasion-Robbery & Homicide

August 25, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

From crimeincharlotte.com

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is investigating a home invasion/robbery which resulted in a homicide. The victim has been identified as 15-year old, Marcus Antonio Steven Fluker.

At 12:41 p.m., North Tryon Division officers responded to a home invasion robbery where four suspects broke into a home at 7619 Grier Road.

An elderly couple was inside the residence when the suspects broke in, tied up the male victim and then proceeded to ransack the house. At least one of the suspects was armed with a handgun.

After the suspects fled the scene on foot, the male victim freed himself, had his wife call 911 and then went to look for the suspects.

A few minutes later and a short distance away, the male home invasion victim encountered the suspects on Ginger Lane. The victim fired a handgun at one of the suspects, striking Mr. Fluker at least once.

At 12:44 p.m., CMPD telecommunications received a call in reference to the shooting which took place on Ginger Lane. When officers arrived on scene, they located Mr. Fluker lying on the ground suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The Charlotte Fire Department and Medic arrived on scene, treated Mr. Fluker and transported him to CMC where he was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.

Officers detained the victim of the home invasion robbery shortly after the shooting and transported him to police headquarters. The individual responsible for the shooting on Ginger Lane is the victim from the home invasion robbery.

Detectives with the Homicide Unit, ADW Unit, Robbery Unit, Gang and Firearm Enforcement Unit and officers with the North Tryon Division conducted a neighborhood canvass. Crime Scene Search was on scene as well collecting physical evidence and photographing the scene.

Homicide Detectives are working closely with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges will be filed against the victim of the robbery who shot Mr. Fluker.

Three suspects are in custody in connection to the home invasion robbery. Their names and charges are as follows:

** Joseph Graves– Charged with 2nd Degree Burglary, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon & Conspiracy to Commit Robbery
** Matthew Everett Morgan– Charged with 2nd Degree Burglary, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon & Conspiracy to Commit Robbery
** Tahjaue Wiley- Charged with 2nd Degree Burglary, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon & Conspiracy to Commit Robbery.

Off-duty officer shoots 2 in lot after Angels game

June 25, 2009

ANAHEIM, Calif. – An off-duty police officer shot and wounded two men who had assaulted him in the crowded Angel Stadium parking lot after Wednesday night’s Colorado RockiesLos Angeles Angels game, authorities said.

The officer, who was walking to his car with his wife and two small children about 25 minutes after the game, was hit in the head with beer bottles, police Sgt. Tim Schmidt said.

“We think he was the victim of a crime,” Schmidt said.

The officer called a dispatcher at his department and asked for help, saying two men had choked him and asked him to get away from his car, Sgt. Rick Martinez said.

The off-duty officer then shot the men with his duty weapon, Martinez said. Police did not immediately identify the officer or the shooting victims.

One man was shot in the chin and was in critical condition, the other was shot in the upper arm and in serious but stable condition.

The officer also was taken to a hospital with a head wound, but was released early Thursday, Martinez said.

No one else in the parking lot was hurt, Martinez said.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office joined the Anaheim Police department in investigating the incident, which is required in officer-involved shootings.

The Angels had beaten the Rockies 11-3 earlier in the evening.

Rachel Cordova was among the startled and confused fans in the parking lot.

“We heard three shots and turned around and I thought, ‘Those are gun shots,'” Cordova told KNX radio. “One of the guys I was with said ‘No, it’s not’ but then we heard sirens.”

Cordova said she then walked toward the scene.

“I left there and saw a young, maybe 20-year-old male laying on the ground without his shirt, and they were attending to him,” she said.

The shooting was one of three major violent incidents at Southern California ballparks this season. A man died two days after getting into a fight on opening day at Angel Stadium in April, and another man was stabbed multiple times at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after that team’s home opener but survived.