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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Man who had hidden bunker filled with guns facing more charges

RINGWOOD — A borough man is facing more charges after authorities recently completed an inventory of weapons seized from a hidden bunker in his Skyline Drive home and found hundreds of high-capacity magazines, machine guns, an assault rifle and a grenade launcher.

Authorities first responded to 35-year-old Mariusz Cebula's home on July 17 to seize his weapons as part of the terms of a domestic-violence restraining order when they found a hidden room below his basement floor containing a cache of more than 40,000 bullets and a number of fully operational — and illegal — firearms, Ringwood Police Chief Joseph Walker said.

The county sheriff's bomb squad also ended up responding to the home after receiving a report of possible live explosive devices, but those devices later turned out to be deactivated ordnance from World War II.

"He's a collector (of firearms) but certain things you can collect only if they've been made inoperable," Walker said. "He had fully operational weapons."

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:00 AM (0 replies)

Automatic weapons missing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Fully automatic weapons are missing from the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, the interim sheriff says in a 19-page report.

However, the report said the sheriff’s department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working together to find the missing weapons and notes that they could have been “legitimately transferred to another agency or authorized (Federal Firearms Licensed) firearms dealer.”

The report called the missing weapons “one of the most disturbing things.”

“Additionally, silencers, suppressors, and full automatic trigger components are also gone with no paper trail,” the report said.

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:56 AM (7 replies)

Change your gun laws, America

Since 9/11, the United States has responded aggressively to the danger of terrorism, taking extraordinary measures, invading two countries, launching military operations in many others, and spending more than $800 billion on homeland security. Americans have accepted an unprecedented expansion of government powers and invasions of their privacy to prevent such attacks. Since 9/11, 74 people have been killed in the United States by terrorists, according to the think tank New America. In that same period, more than 150,000 Americans have been killed in gun homicides, and we have done . . . nothing.

Our attitude seems to be one of fatalism. Another day, another mass shooting. Which is almost literally true. The Web site shootingtracker.com documents that in the first 207 days of 2015, the nation had 207 mass shootings. After one of these takes place now, everyone goes through a ritual of shock and horror, and then moves on, aware that nothing will change, accepting that this is just one of those quirks of American life. But it is 150,000 deaths. Almost three Vietnams.

After last week’s incident in Lafayette, La., the governor of the state and Republican presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal, pointed his finger at what has now become the standard explanation for these events: “Look, every time this happens, it seems like the person has a history of mental illness.”

But it makes little sense to focus on mental health. The United States has a gun homicide rate that is at least a dozen times higher than those of most other industrialized countries. It is 50 times higher than Germany’s, for instance. We don’t have 50 times as many mentally disturbed people as Germany does — but we do have many, many more guns.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 07:33 PM (8 replies)

When the Gun Lobby Tries to Justify Firearms Everywhere, It Turns to This Guy

Yet as Lott's profile rose, his work came under scrutiny. The National Research Council, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, assembled a panel to look into the impact of concealed-carry laws; 15 of 16 panel members concluded that the existing research, including Lott's, provided "no credible evidence" that right-to-carry laws had any effect on violent crime. Economists Ian Ayres of Yale University and John Donohue of Stanford University argued that Lott had drawn inaccurate correlations: Cities had experienced a spike in crime in the 80's and 90's in part because of the crack epidemic, not because of strict gun laws. When they extended their survey by five years, they found that more guns were linked to more crime, with right-to-carry states showing an eight percent increase in aggravated assault.

Kleck reexamined Lott's work and found that he hadn't accounted for missing data. "It was garbage in and garbage out," he says. Even Kleck, who conducted a controversial, yet often-cited survey on defensive gun use, observes, "Do I know anybody who specifically believes with more guns there are less crimes and they're a credible criminologist? No." David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, has concluded that "virtually all of Lott's analyses are faulty; his findings are not 'facts' but are erroneous." Lott maintains that the missing data Kleck refers to had no impact on his final conclusions, and that the "vast majority" of economists and criminologists support his findings.

Researchers pressed Lott, then a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, to release the data behind his claim that 98 percent of defensive gun uses in the United States involved a would-be victim merely brandishing a gun. Lott claimed that it was based on a data from a survey he had conducted—but that the data had been lost in a computer crash. Lott redid the survey in 2002; of more than 1,000 people surveyed, seven said they'd used a gun to defend themselves. Of those seven, six merely flashed a firearm in self-defense. Based on these responses, plus the lost data, Lott still asserts that more than 90 percent of defensive gun uses involve brandishing a gun.

As criticism of Lott mounted, an online commenter, who identified herself as a former student of Lott's at Penn named Mary Rosh, lavishly praised her former professor and attacked his critics. "He was the best professor that I ever had," she wrote. After it came out in 2003 that Rosh and Lott shared an internet address, Lott admitted to the sock puppetry, saying that he had been receiving obnoxious phone calls when using his real name, and some of Rosh's comments were possibly written by his family members on a shared email account. "In most circles, this goes down as fraud," wrote Science editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy in the magazine. And yet, he observed in a blistering op-ed, "Legislators in a number of states are still considering liberalizing concealed-weapon laws, and Lott's book plays a continuing role in the debate. That moves this story from high comedy to a troubling challenge in social policy that isn't funny at all."

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 05:59 AM (14 replies)

Gun zealots shooting blanks

It took three horrific mass shootings in barely five weeks for a Republican presidential candidate to finally say something halfway sensible about gun violence.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — reacting to a slaughter in one of his state’s movie theaters — called for bolstering background checks by the FBI to keep firearms out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill.

- - - - - - -

“The only right you’re protecting if you're against background checks is the right of a convicted felon, of a convicted rapist, of a convicted domestic abuser to own a gun. It has nothing to do with the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Jul 29, 2015, 11:54 AM (10 replies)

Lawmakers ask gun dealers to wait for background checks before selling guns

WASHINGTON – With Congress unlikely to approve new gun control legislation, a group of senators are urging gun retailers to do what Wal-Mart has done for nearly a decade -- not sell a gun until a background check on the purchaser is completed.

A delay in completing a background check is cited in the purchase of a weapon by Dylann Roof, who is alleged to have used the weapon to shoot and kill nine people attending a Bible study at an historic black Charleston, S.C. church last month.

The FBI is given up to three days to complete the check, with the vast majority done within minutes. But some take more than the three days allowed for completion of the tests. And in those rare cases, gun control advocates said the retailer should wait, as Wal-Mart does, for the background check's completion.

"There's no inconvenience to the retailer in simply requiring that they get information back from the background checks system before they let somebody walk out of their store with a gun," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., said. "Do you know why many of them take more than three days? Because there's a criminal trying to buy the gun and it takes the background check system some time to figure out what could be a complicated criminal history."

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Jul 29, 2015, 11:44 AM (7 replies)

Parents Blame Suicide on $10 Rented Gun

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - An Orange County shooting range rented a .45 caliber handgun to a woman and let her walk out the door and kill herself with it, her parents claim in court -- and they say it's not the first time it's happened there.

The parents claim it's at least the third time the center rented a gun used for suicide or violence.

On-Target Indoor Shooting Range left 34-year-old Brooke Morrison "totally unattended" on the range after renting her the gun, then let her walk out the door with it in her purse, her parents Brian and Terri Pfahler say in Orange County Court.

Morrison then called her boyfriend and told him "she had a gun and intended to kill herself" and she did, though her boyfriend immediately called emergency personnel, according to the July 9 lawsuit.

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Jul 28, 2015, 09:37 AM (69 replies)

The Psychology of Gun Ownership

Several studies conducted in recent years have given us great insight into the psychology of gun ownership; meaning the beliefs and behaviors frequently exhibited by gun owners and the motivations behind them keeping weapons.

As it turns out, cultural context, racial biases, political affiliation, and anger issues are all related to gun ownership. Here’s a sampling of some of the exciting research that’s out there:

Those who own guns tend to be part of a “social gun culture.” In a 2015 study, Bindu Kalesan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, found that there is a strong association between exposure to social gun culture and gun ownership. According to Dr. Kalesan’s research, the average gun-owning America is “white, married or divorced, high income, and over 55 years old.” The social gun culture includes “unseen codes of behaviour and powerful predictors of behavioural intentions and health behaviours.”

Men who carry guns suffer from a “crisis of confidence.” Jennifer Carlson, author of “Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline,” explained in a recent op-ed why men feel the need to carry guns in public. One man told Carson he felt “naked” without his gun. Carlson found that men might carry guns in public “as a reaction to broader socioeconomic decline” or because carrying a gun is seen as a “masculine duty.” Psychologically, carrying a gun can help men “address social insecurities far beyond crime.” Carlson concluded by noting, “The gun rights platform is not just about guns. It’s also about a crisis of confidence in the American dream. And this is one reason gun control efforts ignite such intense backlashes: Restrictions are received as a personal affront to men who find in guns a sense of duty, relevance and even dignity.”


Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Jul 28, 2015, 07:16 AM (15 replies)

City of St. Louis Joins Mo. Supreme Court Case on Guns

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – With the city nearing 100 killings this year, including the shooting death of an alderman’s nephew, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay joins a case filed by the Circuit Attorney seeking to uphold a state law banning felons from possessing guns.

The action comes after some felons allegedly caught with guns have claimed the state law banning that is unconstitutional because, they claim, a constitutional amendment approved by voters last year gives all Missouri citizens the right to bear arms.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce filed an appeal of those cases before the Missouri Supreme Court, and now the city is joining the suit as a “friend of the court.”

“The mayor has said reducing crime is his number one priority right now,” said City Counselor Winston Calvert, “and guns are a big part of our crimes in the city.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Jul 27, 2015, 07:46 PM (0 replies)

Florida Supreme Court made good call on ‘stand your ground’

It got little notice, but the Florida Supreme Court this month clamped a big inhibition on the state’s “Stand your ground” law.

In a 5-2 ruling, the court on July 9 said that defendants who use the controversial legal defense — rather than the government — have the burden of proving it should shield them from prosecution. The ruling drew the ire of the National Rifle Association and points to renewed debate when the Legislature reconvenes.

The case concerns a 2011 road incident in which a vacationing Indiana family was heading toward Disney World in Kissimmee. A blue SUV rapidly passed them on the right side, almost side-swiping them, then cut in front and came to a halt. The SUV driver, Derek Dunning, got out of his vehicle and walked toward the family’s car. The father, Ronald Bretherick, held up a holstered handgun as a warning. Dunning, who was unarmed, returned to his vehicle.

Bretherick’s 22-year-old son, Jared, then got out and pointed his father’s handgun at Dunning’s SUV. When police arrived in answer to several 911 calls, they arrested Jared Bretherick for aggravated assault.

Posted by SecularMotion | Mon Jul 27, 2015, 05:35 AM (6 replies)
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