With presidential and congressional elections coming up later this year, 2008 is a most important time for defending and promoting the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. To participate in significant discussions about these matters, as well as the possible fallout from a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment, and other gun rights matters, be sure to plan on attending the national 23 Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, sponsored by CCRKBA and the Second Amendment Foundation. It’s not too early to register. It’s being held September 26, 27 and 28, just a matter of weeks prior to national, state and local elections, at the Sheraton Crescent in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, please call (425) 454-7012.

“In view of the rash of shootings recently, may I suggest that what the United States needs is not gun control, but shrink control,” writes nationally syndicated columnist Charley Reese in the Fayette Daily News. “When you trace the cause of most of these shootings, it is inevitably mental health problems in the shooter, and all too often the shooter is receiving or has received treatment…It is as plain as an elephant at a tea party that when someone turns a dangerous person loose on society, he or she shares responsibility for whatever harm that dangerous person causes. We hold dog owners liable if their dog attacks someone, yet we let psychiatrists get away with unleashing people who are far more dangerous than a pit bull. Crimes are never caused by inanimate objects. They are always caused by human beings.”

In Virginia, Governor Tim Kaine vetoed two right to carry bills passed by both houses of the state legislature. One would have allowed non-concealed carry permit holders to safely store a handgun in a locked container or compartment in a vehicle or boat. The other would have allowed restaurants and clubs to decide whether or not concealed carry permit holders may carry concealed firearms in their dining establishments for self-defense, provided that the CCW permit holder does not consume alcohol. At present, 31 states do allow concealed carry in restaurants. Later, the Virginia State Senate failed to override the Governor’s veto of both bills.

Near Longmont, Colorado, a boy fired a gun and chased away a burglar who tried to break into a house north of the city one afternoon last month, reported the Times Call. Ryan Dohoney was home alone when he heard a burglar inside the house at about half-past noon, said Boulder County Sheriff’s deputies. Dohoney fired a shot to scare the burglar off. The burglar fired one shot, ran out the door and ran from the property, deputies said. The burglar was dressed in black and wore a mask, deputies said. Deputies did not say who fired the first shot, though both were fired inside the house. No one was injured. Deputies rushed to the scene after dispatchers received calls about shots being fired. Investigators did not locate the suspect immediately.

More and more women are buying weapons for self-defense in reaction to an increase in violent crime in Austria, reports the Wiener Zeitung. Johann Springer, manager of a Vienna weapons firm, Joh. Springer’s Erben, says that 20 to 25 percent of its customers in urban areas are women. Some buy pistols and revolvers, but more buy pepper spray and alarm devices, he adds. Other women are taking martial arts courses. Irmengard Hanzal, the chief instructor at the Vienna Self Defense and Martial Arts Institute, says that “rising crime is certainly a motivating factor.” Although she acknowledges that possession of a weapon increases a sense of personal security, she says that she first teaches her students how to use their bodies to defend themselves. Forty percent of her customers are women, she says, and many of them have been the victims of assaults.