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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Leland Yee Accepts Plea Deal To Avoid Gun Trafficking Charges

California state Senator Leland Yee appears to be headed to federal prison for several years, according to this story in the San Jose Mercury News. In his plea agreement to avoid an August trial, he conceded that he used his bids for San Francisco mayor and California secretary of state) as “racketeering enterprises to extort bribes for his cash-starved campaigns.”

It’s hard to say what makes the story most bizarre, but we’d nominate this component: Once called “California Senate’s Top Gun-Control Advocate,” he has confirmed his involvement in an illegal arms import deal theoretically involving Filipino Islamists. We say theoretically because it’s hard to sort out who were FBI undercover agents, and who weren’t.

Apparently, firearms that generate campaign cash are all well and good with Dr. Yee (doctorate in Child Psychology); firearms—at least in California—for self-defense or recreation, not so much.


The Well Armed Woman: Well On Its Way

Necessity is the mother of invention. That was certainly the case for Carrie Lightfoot who, as a new shooter in 2012, found precious few resources for females. Information for women was sorely lacking and so were firearm accessories.

Lightfoot saw that as a challenge, and soon thereafter founded The Well Armed Woman. The organization aims to educate, equip and empower woman gun owners. Today, there are 222 Well Armed Woman chapters in 49 states.

An even greater sign of success may be Lightfoot’s inclusion on the 100 Most Influential Pro-Gun Rights Advocates list. The powerhouse lineup includes heavyweights like Wayne LaPierre, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Oliver North and Chuck Norris. Lightfoot checks in at number 81. “To me it means that people are listening and that women are listening,” Lightfoot said. And thanks to Lightfoot, new female shooters today now have the resources they need at the ready. 


Baltimore Violence Hits New High

Forty-five homicides in July mark Baltimore’s deadliest month in 43 years, and the worst since the city recorded that same number of killings in 1972 according to the Baltimore Sun. At 189 to date, the city is tragically outpacing the 119 recorded this time last year, a 59 percent increase.

Residents accuse police of abandoning their posts after six officers were indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, and believe emboldened criminals have been settling scores with little risk of being caught.

Crime experts blame a perfect storm of factors: Police mistrust, lack of opportunities for young black men and the influx of prescription narcotics looted from pharmacies during the recent riots.

The city’s inability to contain the violence prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire her police commissioner July 8. "Too many continue to die on our streets," said Rawlings-Blake. "Families are tired of dealing with this pain, and so am I.”


CNN’s Zakaria Says Individual Right To Bear Arms Was “Invented”

Fareed Zakaria has cultivated a reputation as a moderate commentator, but in a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, he came out swinging with a radical attack on America’s Second Amendment rights. His tactics weren’t really any different from your typical Piers Morgan rant or Bloomberg-sanctioned screed—parroting biased CDC reports, trashing a few GOP candidates along the way—but one of his claims stands out for the sheer audacity of its ignorance.

According to Zakaria, in 2008 the Supreme Court “broke with 200 years of precedent” and “invented” an individual right to bear arms. This idea is so wrong-headed, so easy to refute by actually examining federal precedent, that not many have dared to make it so far. But there’s no need to take our word on it: Actual experts on Second Amendment law—of whom Zakaria is not one—have covered the topic for us in detail.


Armed Santa Stops TV Thief’s Crime Spree

A Redford Township, Mich., man who wanted a television from Santa decided he wasn’t willing to wait until Christmas. Early Friday morning, 79-year-old retiree Ron Henrick, who plays Santa every year, awoke to find his neighbor, 25-year-old Conrad Monroe, stealing his TV. He grabbed his 12-ga. shotgun, only to find that the 5’10”, 220-lb. man had spotted a weapon of his own—Henrick’s stationary bike. Before Henrick could shoot, Monroe “grabbed [the bike] and threw it at me … I [closed the door] and it tore up everything. Lucky I did that, because it probably would have killed me.” 

Monroe got the TV—but his attempt to get at Henrick’s 1933 Plymouth was what put him on this Santa’s “naughty list.” If the thief returns for the car, Henrick warned, “He’s a dead man.” 

Police believe Monroe—who was charged with home invasion—may also have stolen two TVs from a nearby house in July.


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