Australia is the land of ‘roos, shrimp on the barbie, and absolute gun control. Except when it isn’t. Although “Victoria already has the toughest firearm control regime in Australia, and most of the world,” the Melbourne Herald Sun and Gun Control Australia are shocked to find out that there are still gun owners in Oz who own hundreds of guns. It turns out that gun ownership isn’t as forbidden there as some there think. You have to file an application for approval to buy one, and “give a genuine reason” you need the firearm. Some of the reasons given include hunting, farming and sport shooting, although it’s hard to figure where the cannon one person owns fits into those categories. I asked a friend who lives in Victoria if he owns any guns or knows anyone who does. He replied, “No I don’t own any guns. I have only fired a gun twice, at the range, while in the US. Australia is a gun-free country. Machetes and samurai swords are more popular weapons of crime.” Meanwhile, back in the good ol’ US of A . . .
Colorado Senate President John Morse hearts Michael Bloomberg and loves him some MAIG money even more. He’s hoping Hizzoner’s money can keep him from being recalled. “Morse openly declares his fervent hope that Bloomberg rides to the rescue with some more cold hard cash for his recall defense campaign…Any Bloomberg bucks would be in addition to the at least $20,000 Morse’s recall defense campaign has already taken from Bloomberg-backed America Votes.”
New York State is serious about protecting their police. Yesterday, the State Senate passed a bill that’s now on its way to the State Assembly making it felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” an on-duty police officer by subjecting them to any physical contact. The law carries with it a maximum four-year sentence.
And Alabama is serious about protecting their police…dogs. Governor Robert Bently signed a bill on Wednesday that criminalizes “harassing or interfering with the duties of the animal or the handler, and assaulting, injuring, killing or attempting to kill the dogs and other animals … used in law enforcement.” Charges range from a class A misdemeanor to a class C felony.
Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley is on trial for felony involuntary manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm causing the death of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a raid on the house where she was sleeping. Weekley’s attorney, Steve Fishman, said the girl “died in a tragic accident” even though the bullet came from his client’s gun. “Accident” or not, we must think of the children.
Portland, Oregon is paying a $2.3 million settlement to resolve a federal lawsuit over their own police shooting. In June 2011, Portland officer Dan Reister shot William Kyle Monroe with his beanbag shotgun after he “mistakenly loaded live buckshot rounds” into his weapon. The shots “fractured Monroe’s pelvis and punctured his bladder, abdomen and colon. The fourth shot, fired from less than 15 feet away, left a ‘softball-size hole in his left leg’ and severed the sciatic nerve.” Two years later, Reister remains on administrative leave and has faced no disciplinary actions. However, he has been indicted on third- and fourth-degree assault and negligent wounding, “but whether that charge can stick is a matter pending before the Oregon Court of Appeals.” Anyone giving odds on how that’ll turn out?
It looks like they’re considering a “large capacity ammunition magazines prohibition” in Pennsylvania. House Bill 1479 “Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for large capacity ammunition magazine permit and for large capacity ammunition magazines prohibition; authorizing the Attorney General to issue permits; and imposing penalties” has been sent to the Judiciary Committee. Unless I totally overlooked it, nowhere does it define “large capacity ammunition magazine.” You can download a copy of the bill here if you want to take a look at it yourself.
Despite the MSM’s and the military’s reluctance to label the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, TX in 2011, as a terrorist attack, he all but admitted as much in court. The NY Times reports that Hasan has released his court-appointed attorneys and will represent himself. Then he asked for a three-month delay in his trial so he can change his defense to “defense of others.” When asked who he was defending he replied, “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban,” and specifically named Mullah Muhammad Omar, the founder of the Islamic insurgent group. Basically he’s claiming he was protecting Taliban leaders by killing Fort Hood military personnel deploying to Afghanistan. If nothing else that would be treason for aiding and abetting the enemy. Hopefully they’ll find him guilty of that and a lot more.
In Olympia, Washington, drug dealer Christopher Self is on trial for “for two counts of attempted first-degree murder.” The thing is, he only fired one shot. The shot hit a member of the SWAT in the arm, leading to one charge. But he’s also been charged with attempted murder of a second SWAT member “due to the alleged proximity” to the first when the shot was fired. It sounds like this gives new meaning to the term “double jeopardy.”
In another shooting, ten people were injured at a shooting club near Elburn, Illinois, when a member, thinking he had put a snap cap in his shotgun’s barrel actually loaded a live round. He pointed the gun at the floor and pulled the trigger. The ricocheting pellets hit ten people, none of whom were seriously injured. Police aren’t pressing charges but suggested the “club may want to take a look at its policies regarding snap caps.” Oh, and have some remedial training on how to handle firearms while they’re at it.
From Maryland comes a story of Patrick Stapleton who is charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment after he shot his friend in the ass with a .40 caliber handgun, saying he thought it was a BB gun. The victim was asleep in a bedroom when Stapleton grabbed the gun and fired one round. The injuries weren’t life-threatening, but their friendship is definetly on life support.
And finally, Attorney General Eric Holder says he has no plans to step down in spite of increased calls for his resignation. He told NBC News (via Yahoo! News) “There’s some things that I want to do, some things I want to get done that I’ve discussed with the president, and once I have finished that I’ll sit down with him and we’ll determine when it’s time to make a transition to a new attorney general.” He also said that he “wants to continue the Justice Department’s efforts in civil rights before he leaves.” Yeah, I guess there are still a few he hasn’t already stomped on and ground under his jack-booted heel.