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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“Gun Violence Research Act” Would Erode Patient Privacy

A new bill intended to increase federal funding for studying gun violence as a “public health crisis” was filed last Wednesday. Authored by U.S. Rep Mike Honda, D-Calif., H.R. 3926, the so-called “Gun Violence Research Act” would build on President Obama’s 2013 executive order directing the CDC and other scientific agencies to study the causes and prevention of gun violence and would authorize appropriation of “such sums as may be necessary” to carry out this research. 

While the use of taxpayer dollars to fund studies that may become the bedrock of further anti-gun efforts is obviously problematic, one provision stands out as particularly onerous. The bill would allow doctors and healthcare workers to ask patients about gun ownership, possession, use and storage. We examine this issue in more detail here, but in short, this information would likely become part of a patient’s Electronic Medical Records and could be used to create a de facto gun registry.

Use Your Power!

Tell your representatives and senators to stop the invasion of patients’ privacy by voting NO on H.R. 3926. Call (202) 224-3121, or use NRA-ILA’s “Write Your Lawmakers” tool here.

Wisconsin Gun Ban Bill Sponsor Backpedals

Wisconsin State Rep. Lisa Subeck and her Democratic colleagues are backing down on legislation that would have outlawed numerous firearms, including popular hunting rifles and shotguns, and most semi-automatic pistols. The bill would also have required owners of the outlawed weapons to surrender them to authorities. 

Apparently the outcry from hunters and other gun owners made a difference. In an email to lawmakers Friday, Subeck announced new plans to work with the Legislative Reference Bureau, Legislative Council and other unspecified entities to change her proposed ban on “semi-automatic assault weapons.”

“After receiving feedback from some of our colleagues regarding the circulation of a preliminary draft banning semi-automatic assault weapons, the other authors of the bill and I have determined that we will work with the Legislative Reference Bureau to make some revisions to the draft bill to address some concerns that have been raised,” Subeck wrote.


Dallas Zoo’s “Gun-Free Zone” Faces Legal Challenge

After getting the Houston Zoo to abandon its “No Guns” signs and policy, Texas gun-rights attorney T. Edwin Walker has filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Office to challenge a similar prohibition on the means of self-defense at the Dallas Zoo. 

With some exceptions, Texas law allows Right-to-Carry permit holders to bring firearms onto government land. Like the Houston Zoo, the Dallas Zoo is located on public land, but is operated by a private entity. After first writing to the Dallas Zoo to protest its firearm prohibition—as required by Texas law—and getting no results, Walker has appealed to the attorney general. 

The Dallas Zoo has argued that it qualifies for an exemption under the law that allows educational facilities and amusement parks to keep their “No Guns” policies. Walker’s response is that the zoo offers no courses, degrees or rides, and therefore does not qualify.


Oklahoma Professor: Self-Defense Is A Basic Human Right

A professor at the University of Oklahoma has weighed in on the campus carry debate. David Deming says it’s time to remove the restrictions that prohibit otherwise legal guns on college campuses.

In an opinion piece for NewsOK, Deming pointed out that university administrators have no way of keeping students, faculty and staff safe. “A college campus has miles of open borders open to any terrorist or deranged individual,” he wrote. “It is irrational to believe that a policy or a sign will stop a person intent on committing mayhem.” 

Deming’s pro-safety opinion is refreshing in a world where one university has a group threatening to sue if guns aren’t banned in classrooms, and another is clamoring for “safe spaces.” Although, to be fair, Deming is clamoring for “safe spaces” as well—only his safe space is defined as one that is a “guns welcome” zone.


PETA Lashes Out At Paul Ryan, Sportsmen’s Groups

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) President Ingrid Newkirk has penned a bizarre op-ed in The Hill, attacking new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for his pro-hunting record. The article also finds time to bash Safari Club International and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and to assert that, “The panicky last gasps of the hunting industry can also be seen in the ‘right to hunt’ amendments that it has been sending to state legislatures in hopes of protecting hunting despite public opinion against it.” 

It is hard to fathom just how out of touch Newkirk is—beyond missing how thoroughly mainstream support for hunting is, she questions whether Ryan can be both a hunter and a Catholic, and asserts that, “Hunting celebrates death, exposes children to gun violence and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars every year …” If nothing else, this column makes a great case for why “right to hunt” amendments are necessary—to head off nutcases like Newkirk.

 


Armed Girlfriend Saves Michigan Man From Attacker

When Steve Miller of Macomb Township, Mich., was assaulted by an intoxicated neighbor over a leaf-blowing incident, he could easily have been killed. That is, until his girlfriend, Bonnie La Rose, grabbed her gun and came to his defense.

According to police, Miller was on the ground being severely beaten over the head by neighbor Jerry Thomas Ficht when La Rose grabbed her gun and came to his rescue. “I took a stance to shoot,” La Rose told the Detroit Free Press. “(Ficht) leaned his head and I told him three times I would shoot him and kill him.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Ficht will be charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder. After four hours of surgery, Miller is recovering in a nearby hospital.


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