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Monday, April 20, 2015

Ann Arbor Votes To Define Guns In Schools As Illegal "Emergency"

Missing April Fools’ Day by some two weeks, and just days after the town celebrated its 44th-annual “Hash Bash”—this year headlined by stoner comedian Tommy Chong—the Ann Arbor, Mich., public school board voted April 15 to formally declare that henceforth, any firearm in any school shall not only be illegal, but shall also constitute an official “emergency” (unless the armed person is a law enforcement officer). Of course, that might protect the delicate anti-gun sensibilities of the board, but it also ensures that if any terrorist or insane mass killer exploits the school’s “gun-free” zone to commit maximum homicide at minimum risk, no law-abiding citizen will be able to stop him.

Next on the Ann Arbor public school board’s agenda: Votes on whether to officially define fire as “hot,” nighttime as “dark,” quantum mechanics as “really, really trippy” and Captain Crunch breakfast cereal as “the most awesome munchies in Ann Arbor, man.”


How Sen. Tim Kaine Dishonors VA Tech Victims

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., went to the floor of the U.S. Senate to mark the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings by reading the names of the 32 victims and calling for more background checks—ironically of the type that the mass murderer there had already passed.

How would a massive expansion of a system that didn’t save those victims “honor” them? On the effectiveness scale, this would rank right up there with a National Free Ice Cream Day.

If Kaine were intellectually honest, he’d call for eliminating the “gun-free” zones on college campuses that only disarm law-abiding citizens; he’d acknowledge the overwhelming data that proves carry laws do not create a much-hyped “Wild West;” and he’d admit that mass murderers only stop when they are finally confronted by a good guy with a gun.


Fallen Soldiers And Failed Logic

City leaders in Milford, Mich., are trying to decide where and of what a new Fallen Soldiers monument should consist. The good news is that some level of civility has broken out: The usual heated acrimony appears not to have stalked the entire disagreement. Size and location are being sensibly negotiated.

Less logical are the discussions of content. The 8-foot-tall memorial would consist principally of the “battlefield cross”: a sculpture of the boots, rifle and headgear of a fallen soldier. A tradition since at least the Civil War, it’s the rifle, of course, that is the sticking point. “Specifically, the gun,” said Milford Village Manager Christian Wuerth.

This aesthetic delicacy seems ever more common (as well as absurd) to A1F, and mercifully, some Milfordians agree. Councilwoman Jennifer Frankford captured it best: “If it wasn’t for the boots and the gun and the helmet, we wouldn’t have all the freedoms we have.” Tyranny and aggression are not restrained, after all, merely with stern language.


Do You Recall … ?

As Colorado-style gun control marches west, Colorado-style recall efforts are following hot on their heels. After three Oregon lawmakers expressed support of SB 941, a so-called “universal” background check measure, two Oregonians separately began campaigns to hold them accountable. Targeted in these efforts are Rep. Susan McLain and Majority Leader Val Hoyle, who will be responsible for guiding the measure through the House; and bill sponsor Sen. Chuck Riley, who was narrowly elected last fall with the financial support of Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

Jason Thiesfeld, who filed the petition against Hoyle, and Ben Busch, who filed the petition against McLain and Riley, say the lawmakers are ignoring the will of their constituents in favor of pandering to wealthy donors. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s probably because a similar situation played out in 2013 in Colorado, where two lawmakers who supported passage of egregious gun-control measures were successfully recalled, and another resigned. We wish Thiesfeld and Busch similar successes in their efforts.


House Democrats Say They’ll Block Gun Riders

In an open letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a group of more than 100 Democratic House members have said they would oppose any gun-related rider provisions in appropriations bills. “Given the renewed national focus on gun violence prevention, now is not the time to include controversial appropriations riders that negatively impact gun laws,” read the statement. “Instead, such changes to gun policy must be seriously and properly considered by Congress through the regular order.”

Of course, NRA members are more than capable of keeping up with Second Amendment legislation no matter what form it takes. While these House Democrats imply that gun riders are really a legislative back door used to reduce transparency, appropriations bills are quite logical vehicles for protecting the Second Amendment. After all, American voters have an interest in tracking where their tax dollars go, and they should be able to feel confident that their money will not end up funding expensive, do-nothing gun control programs.


Teen Looking For Trouble … Finds It

It’s been said that nothing good happens after midnight, and that was certainly the case in Gadsden, Ala., earlier this week. A woman was home alone when three armed men broke into her home around 3 a.m. One held her at gunpoint, beat her and raped her, while the other two ransacked the house. Those two eventually left.

The 17-year-old rapist would have been wise to follow their lead—but he got greedy. Instead of leaving, he demanded the victim’s money, which she said was at a neighbor’s house. So he dragged her to the neighbor’s house, where that homeowner picked up the phone to call 911. The rapist ordered him to hang up and fired two shots in the air before turning his gun on the homeowner. At that point, the homeowner—an armed citizen—raised his own firearm, firing and killing the teen.


UPDATE: Judge Says Festival Can’t Ban Guns

As we reported on Friday, organizers of this year’s Norman Music Festival, set for April 23-25 in Norman, Okla., declared guns to be unwelcome, even though the musical event is taking place on public land. The city claimed that the ban was legal because the festival should be “treated as a private business,” but a local judge has disagreed. The Cleveland County court ruled on Friday that the city may not order police to enforce the ban, meaning that festival-goers may freely exercise their right to self-defense.


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