U. S. Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia said the best thing
avid outdoorsmen could do for
the sport of hunting is to attack the
stereotype that guns are used only
for evil purposes. Scalia, an enthusiastic
hunter, spoke before the
recent National Wild Turkey Federation
annual convention. Scalia told
the 2,000 gathered for the group’s
awards banquet that, “the attitude of
people associating guns with nothing
but crime…has to be changed.”
Scalia said, “I grew up at a time when
people were not afraid of people with
firearms.” He told the group that,
as a child growing up in New York
City, he was part of a rifle team at
the military school he attended. “I
used to travel on the subway from
Queens to Manhattan with a rifle,” he
recalled. “Could you imagine doing
that today in New York City?”
Second Amendment supporters
filed a lawsuit stemming from the
wrongful arrest of a Utah man who
was detained at the Newark, New
Jersey airport because he had a gun
in his luggage. As required by federal
law, the firearm was unloaded,
locked and stored in a case inside
Gregg Revell’s luggage. Although
federal law protects law-abiding
citizens who travel with firearms,
Revell nevertheless was arrested
for possessing a firearm without a
New Jersey state license. The Association
of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol
Clubs, Inc. says federal law should
have trumped state and local law in
the case. The Association says it is
suing the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey and one of its police
officers for wrongfully arresting and
imprisoning Revell, who spent five
days in jail before his family raised
the required $15,000 cash to bail
him out.
Several Illinois-based gun manufacturers
are mobilizing opposition
to a bill dubbed the “Blagojevich
Assault Weapons Ban.” Gov. Rod
Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor
Richard Daley are pushing the bill,
HB2414, that would prohibit the
“manufacture, delivery and possession
of semiautomatic assault
weapons, assault weapon attachments,
.50 caliber rifles, and .50
caliber cartridges” in the state. The
bill would ban “large capacity” ammunition
feeding devices that hold
more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Anyone owning such a magazine,
belt, drum or similar device would be
required to destroy it or surrender it
to a law enforcement agency within
90 days of the law taking effect. The
manufacturers say the bill, if enacted
into law, would cause Illinois a direct
loss of more than 750 jobs and $150
million in manufacturing sales.
At least 21 states, according to a
United Press International report, are
considering “Stand Your Ground”
legislation similar to Florida’s law
that allows citizens fearing an attack
to use deadly force. Supporters of
such measures tell the Christian
Science Monitor that the laws give
citizens protection from criminals
and take the debate from gun control
to crime control. Opponents say
garden-variety disputes would be
more likely to turn deadly. The law
is at odds with the long-standing
“duty to retreat” theory many state
supreme courts have upheld, according
to the Monitor, although a
1921 U.S. Supreme Court ruling did
not support “duty to retreat.”
In Canada, longstanding opponents
of the national long-gun
registry are hoping that the newly
elected federal Conservatives will follow
through with a campaign promise
to scrap the program. Dismayed at
the program’s outrageous implementation
costs and what they say
is virtual ineffectiveness at curbing
gun-related crime, many are happy
the government has begun the process.
The Conservative government
announced in February that a threemember
committee has been created
to examine the best and quickest way
of closing down the registry. Glenn
Bieleh, a former outfitter and guide,
said the hope is that the political will
on Parliament Hill exists to see the
registry eliminated. “I hope they go
ahead with it and I hope they get the
support of whatever other party so
they can actually defeat it,” he said.