California may soon be the first state in the nation to ban lead in hunting ammunition, although the NRA is fighting the government the whole way. If bill AB711 passes, hunters’ bullets will not be able to contain the toxic metal, which poisons wildlife as well as humans.
Lead bullets are already illegal in eight California counties where condors live because the material is harmful to the endangered birds. The new proposal would expand such restrictions to cover the entire state.
According to environmentalists, animals eat the fragments inevitably left behind by these bullets, and now lead is showing up in the meat supply, poisoning human consumers.
“There's no reason to keep putting toxic lead into the food chain or risking human health when there are nontoxic bullets already on the market and in use by hunters,” said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Said Dan Taylor of Audubon California, “We've removed lead from gasoline, paint and children's toys. It's clear that lead ammunition has no place in hunting when safer and more effective alternatives are available.”
In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Dakota Department of Public Health released a study indicating that meat hunted with lead bullets was too toxic for children and pregnant women to consume.
NRA lawyers are fighting the ban, claiming that people will lose their jobs if the lead-bullet market dives and that copper bullets are more expensive than lead ones. They also claim that fewer people will buy hunting licenses if they can’t use lead bullets, which will result in less funding for conservation.
The California General Assembly has already passed the proposal, and now it is up to Governor Gerry Brown to decide whether he will sign the bill to enact it into law. Even if it passes, the bill will take several years to fully kick in.
11Fox News’ Hasselbeck: Navy Yard Shooting Means We Need Video Game Registry, Not Gun Control (Video)
Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck believes “the left” is trying to use the Navy Yard shooting as an argument for more “gun control” measures, when what we really need is to monitor video game purchases and the amount of time spent playing them.
On Monday, Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old IT contractor, opened fire in Washington D.C.’s Navy Yard, killing 12 people and injuring eight others before he turned the gun on himself.
“You know, certainly, this topic has already taken a turn again, the left’s already making this about gun control,” said Hasselbeck, the latest addition to “Fox & Friends” since leaving “The View.”
Hasselbeck put forth a 25-year-old theory positing a link between gun violence and video games, despite the fact that there isn’t a single, scientific study to support such a link. According to data from the Department of Justice, the more violent video games created the larger the decrease in crime rates.
“Is this about gun control or is this about a guy who has a history of drinking a lot, playing video games a lot and a few shooting incidents?” co-host Brian Kilmeade asked.
“One thing that happens often in a situation as tragic as this is we start to spread blame where it possibly doesn’t belong, right?” Hasselbeck remarked. “I think we all know where the blame truly belongs, and that would be right in Alexis’ hands.”
“But you talk about this guy’s background, as we look into it,” Kilmeade continued. “He’s got a friend, who said, ‘Yeah, he had an obsession with video games, shooting video games. In fact, he would come over and he would be playing so long — these video games, these shooting games — we’d have to give him dinner, we’d have to feed him while he continued to stay on them.’”
“Are more people susceptible to playing video games?” Hasselbeck asked. “Is there a link between a certain age group or [demographic] in 20- to 34-year-old men, perhaps, that are playing these video games and their violent actions?”
“What about frequency testing?” she continued. “How often has this game been played? I’m not one to get in there and say, monitor everything, but if this, indeed, is a strong link, right, to mass killings then why aren’t we looking at frequency of purchases per person? And also, how often they’re playing and maybe they time out after a certain hour.”
Pennsylvania parents and students want answers after the champion rifle team was left out of Emmaus High School’s yearbook.
Parents gathered at a school board meeting in Lehigh County on Monday, but school officials offered no explanation for leaving the team out.
“This board, this administration and the East Penn School District staff all claim they are here for the students,” said Chris Donatelli, who’s son was on the team last year. “I come to you tonight to ask that all put their money where their mouth is. Produce and provide to these students an amendment packet to the yearbook highlighting this tremendous accomplishment by they and their fellow students.”
The undefeated district champions weren’t pictured or even mentioned.
When asked about the incident, School Superintendent Thomas Seidenberger simply said, “This is a high school issue.”
Dennis Ramella, director of the athletic and student activities, told parents he wasn’t involved in the production of the year book.
“The rifle team is a part of the athletic department. We include them in everything. We include their accomplishments everywhere we can,” Ramella said. “In every sense of the word, it was an honest mistake. If you look at any school’s yearbook, you’re going to find errors.”
Yearbook advisor Andrew Moxey said the photo was left out because it was submitted too late, but offered no further explanation.
“Mr. Moxey, to date, has not come back with a satisfactory answer,” Donatelli said.
The late photo still doesn’t explain when the team wasn’t even mentioned.
The yearbook photographer, And Herb, said he turned in the photographs on time, according to Guns.com.
Parents want the yearbook committee to issue an “amendment packet” to add the team’s achievements to the yearbook.
“Produce and provide to these students an amendment packet to the yearbook highlighting this tremendous accomplishment by they and their fellow students,” Donatelli said.
He said parents don’t want to believe their kids were left out simply because of the national debate over gun control.
“I’d hate to think it would be that,” Donatelli said. “We’re just trying to get answers.”
Three murders in Chicago over the weekend brought the city’s homicide total to 300 for the year, according to police.
The first victim was 24-year-old Adrian Sianez who was fatally wounded in a gang-related shooting Sunday morning and was found in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.
Sianez was walking the 5500 block of South Mozart at 3:40 a.m. when someone jumped from an SUV and started shooting. He was shot multiple times in the back and once in the buttocks, and was pronounced dead at 10:11 a.m.
An unidentified man in his 20s was found beaten to death around 7:05 a.m. Saturday morning as well. He was found in Washington Park in the South Side.
After an autopsy was performed on his body, police learned that he had died of head injuries and ruled his death a homicide.
Joanna Lopez was also found at her Lower West Side home Sunday morning, where police discovered that she had been stabbed to death. If ruled a homicide, her murder could mark the 300th of the year in the city.
Police are currently questioning a person of interest related to the case.
San Bernardino man Davion Titus accidentally shot himself Saturday after carrying a revolver in his waistband with the hammer cocked.
The 22-year-old was sitting outside his apartment with a woman when she heard a noise and asked Titus to investigate. He proceeded to retrieve his gun from the apartment and search the area for the source of the noise.
When Titus failed to discover anything, he returned to the apartment and talked with the woman for some time, keeping the revolver in his waistband.
Titus moved to adjust himself and accidently caused the gun to fire.
The shot was fired at 6:04 a.m., according to a San Bernardino Police Department news release.
“It must have dislodged,” Sgt. Gary Robertson said of the single-action Freedom Arms 454 Casull. “The only way that goes off is with the hammer cocked.”
Police arrived at an apartment complex on the 3000 block of North Golden Avenue where Titus was found suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Titus was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.
Iowa lawmakers are split on a law that allows blind residents to obtain gun permits to carry firearms in public.
Legally blind applicants only have to complete an online course. There isn’t a visual component or hands-on training involved. Several permits have already been issued, although the state is not sure how many.
While “state law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability,” law enforcement officials are worried about public safety, according to Salon.
Private gun ownership for the legally blind is nothing new in Iowa, but 2011 gun permit changes made it possible for blind gun-owners to carrying firearms in public. Since then, people who are not legally allowed to drive a car are legally allowed to carry a gun in public.
Polk County officials said they have given three permits to individuals not legally allowed to drive due to visual impairment.
“It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads, we can’t deny them [a permit] just based on that one thing,” said Sgt. Jana Abens, the spokeswoman for the Polk County sheriff’s office.
“There’s no reason solely on the [basis] of blindness that a blind person shouldn’t be allowed to carry a weapon,” said Chris Danielson, the public relations director of The National Federation of the Blind.
He said public safety concerns are unfounded.
“Presumably, they’re going to have enough sense not to use a weapon in a situation where they would endanger other people, just like we would expect other people to have that common sense,” Danielson said.
Permit advocates say that to take away the right to carry a gun in public from blind citizens is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While gun ownership is considered a Constitutional right, driving is considered a privilege.
Federal law does not prohibit blind people from gun ownership, but many states do enforce provisions, like vision tests, in order to obtain a permit.
“At what point do vision problems have a detrimental effect to fire a firearm?” asked Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere. “If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn’t be shooting something.”
Sheriff Warren Wethington of Cedar County, Iowa, said he supports the law because blind people can learn to effectively use firearms. His daughter, who is legally blind, can operate a gun and plans to obtain a permit when she turns 21.
“If sheriffs spent more time trying to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and not people with disabilities, their time would be more productive,” Wethington said.
A young girl fatally shot herself with a handgun at Yellowstone National Park on Saturday morning.
The girl’s mother called 911 after her daughter shot herself with a handgun at the Grant Village Campground near Yellowstone Lake. Emergency responders were unable to resuscitate her, according to park spokesman Al Nash.
The age and identity of the child is being held until extended family can be notified.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., added an amendment to the Credit Cart Accountaiblity Responsibility and Disclosure Act in 2009 that allowed concealed guns to be carried in national parks.
The bill was primarily "...to establish fair and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open end consumer credit plan, and for other purposes."
But section 512 concerns Second Amendment rights: “Congress needs to weigh in on the new regulations to ensure that unelected bureaucrats and judges cannot again override the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens on 83,600,000 acres of National Park System land and 90,790,000 acres of land under the jurisdiction of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.”
A debate over gun control is raging in Colorado, and a Democratic state representative is stoking the fire with her claim that guns as a means of self-defense is unnecessary. Instead, she’s putting her faith in the state legislature to protect her.
Colorado House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst said in an interview on the YouTube-based “Tim Caffrey Show” last week that firearms ownership is redundant because the government keeps citizens safe and sound.
“As a woman, I have the right not to carry a gun and to feel safe on the streets, and that’s what we provide for in the state legislature is for all of us in the state of Colorado — to feel safe on the streets without having to carry a gun,” said Hullinghorst
She added, “The thought that the only way we can protect ourselves is to wield our own weapon is completely absurd and an argument that I absolutely discount as frivolous,” Hullinghorst said.
Democrats across the state are facing strong backlash against the Colorado legislature’s sweeping gun control passed in March. State Sens. Angela Giron and John Morse, both Democrats, are facing recall elections in Sept. 10 for their votes in March in favor of the bills.
State Sen. Greg Brophy, a 2014 republican gubernatorial candidate, said Ms. Hullinghorst’s stance “speaks volumes about the Democratic agenda on guns.”
“Unbelievably naive from a citizen. Absolutely dangerous from an elected official and leader of the Democratic Party in Colorado,” Brophy told Colorado Peak Politics.
Earlier this year, democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak touched off an outcry of her own when she told a rape victim that it was unrealistic to expect that she could have repeled her attacker with a gun, saying, “Statistics are not on your side.”
“Chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you,” she said in a committee meeting.
With the Autumnal Equinox a few weeks away, Labor Day weekend is often seen as the unofficial end of summer in America. Children take to the streets to have some final adventures before school begins and winter descends. Families have cookouts and enjoy the summer sun, which sets noticeably earlier. Only the streets of Chicago seemed more like a warzone than a town bidding farewell to the sunny season because of gun violence that claimed eight lives and wounded at least 25 others.
A string of shootings—the report does not suggest that they are connected—beginning on Saturday morning shortly after 11 am and ending around 8 pm Monday evening has left a number of Chicago residents in shock and afraid of their own neighborhoods.
The victims were mostly in their early 20s, although the eldest victim was Carl Pate, 56, and the youngest was Maurice Knowles, only 16 years-old. He was shot in the chest while sitting on his porch Monday evening, succumbing to his injuries at a nearby hospital.
“I just moved here,” said David Westin, a resident of one of the affected neighborhoods, “and I’m about to move again. It’s scary. Thank goodness there were no kids playing outside.”
According to The Red Line Project, a news and entertainment site local to Chicago, the city has seen a recent increase in the numbers of homicides per year since2004. In the early and mid-1990s, Chicago had over 800 homicides per year, but those numbers decreased. 2011 saw the lowest homicide-rate since 1990, but that number jumped up significantly in 2012 and it seems as if it is on-pace to increase this year. Despite these murders, Chicago has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country which are currently facing multiple legal challenges by gun-rights advocates.
Despite what many would think, less guns does not equal less deaths.
At least, according to a new study released by Harvard.
The university recently published a study that looked at the relationship between gun ownership, gun laws, violent crimes and suicide rates across the world and concluded that less guns does not equal less deaths and more guns does not equal more deaths.
The study, conducted by Don B. Kates, an American criminologist and lawyer, and Gary Mauser, Canadian criminologist and professor, also found that while the United States has a higher gun ownership than other countries and also has high murder rates, it is not an accurate depiction of what is going on in the rest of the world.
In fact, this is quite the opposite with other countries.
The study compares other developed countries with high gun ownership rates, including Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark. These countries all have significantly lower murder rates than the U.S.
“In other words,” states Guns.com, “the high murder rate of the U,S. is the exception, not the rule, when comparing homicide rates to gun ownership rates.”
In a comparison between Russia and the U.S. shows that while Russia has a very low gun ownership in the 1990s, murder rates in that country were almost triple of those in the U.S.
As for previous studies that brought up evidence of high gun ownership resulting in high murder rates, Kates and Mauser say that such evidence was acquired through incorrect or misleading information.
For example, one study that looked at England’s strict gun control in the 1990s and low murder rates failed to see that the country already had low murder rates prior to the strict gun control, according to Guns.com.
The study remains that while there is a correlation between higher gun control and crime rates, there are other factors to be considered. Violent crimes still occur, even with lower gun ownership as other weapons are used in the killings as substitutions.
This study is not the first to refute claims of stricter gun control leads to less violent crimes. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences also released studies in 2003 and 2004 respectively, with similar conclusions.
Sources: Guns.com, Harvard Law