Saturday, May 23, 2015

New Zealand Man on Trial for Accidentally Killing his Son on a Hunting Trip

Stephen Phillip Long after leaving the Invercargill District Court on Friday morning.
Stephen Phillip Long

New Zealand local news

A Southland man has admitted accidentally shooting dead his son during a hunting trip to Stewart Island in March. 

Stephen Phillip Long, 61, has pleaded guilty to a charge of careless use of a firearm causing the death of his 24-year-old son Samuel Phillip Long on March 23.

Long was wiping away tears in the dock as police prosecutor Phil Berryman read the summary of facts in court on Friday morning.

Samuel Long left the hut they had slept in overnight at 9am on March 23 dressed in camouflage clothing and wearing a camouflage cap and backpack.

His father left the hut 45 minutes later, also wearing camouflage hunting gear.

He reached an area of bush and saw movement in the bush which he believed were two white-tailed deer.

He told police he spent two or three minutes confirming this with both the naked eye and also looking through his rifle scope at different magnifications to identify the deer, Berryman said. Long also moved to his left and right to clearly identify his target.

He aimed and fired at what he believed was the deer's head and neck from his Tikka 7mm-08 rifle.

"The defendant then walked forward to find he had fatally shot the victim through the head," Berryman said.

Michigan 12-Year-old Accidentally Kills Sleeping Woman

Local news

A shotgun involved in the accidental shooting death of a woman while she slept Friday morning had been locked in a gun safe, said the grandfather of the 12-year-old boy who allegedly fired the shot.

The boy, who investigators said is "mentally impaired," came across the keys in the pocket of some clothing, his grandfather, Daniel Hummel, said.

"He got up before anybody this morning at 5:30 a.m.," said Hummel. "He said he was in my pocket trying to get change and he found the gun safe key."

"It's always locked up, and I always have the key on me, and so, nobody gets in it but me, he didn't even know I had it in my pocket," Hummel added.

Hummel said the boy then unlocked the safe, removed and loaded a shotgun, but knowing what he was doing was wrong, tried "to take the shell out of the gun."

"It was an unfortunate accident," he added. "The guns were locked up, you can't' do much more than lock them up."

Friday, May 22, 2015

More on the Idaho 5-Year-old Shooting Death - Charges Dismissed - No One Responsible

Image result for Rusty and Ashlee LishImage result for Noelle Aston Shawver
Local news 

Charges have been dismissed against a Chubbuck couple charged with misdemeanor injury to a child in the accidental shooting death of a 5-year-old girl last year.
Rusty and Ashlee Lish were charged for the accidental shooting death of Noell Aston Shawver, of Blackfoot, by another 5-year-old in their home.

More on the Alabama Teen Shooting - Half-Brother Charged

Local news

The half-brother of a Collinsville teenager shot and killed on Sunday in what was initially considered an accidental shooting has been charged in the boy's death.

Austin Lane Buchanan, 20, is charged with reckless manslaughter in the death of 13-year-old Eli Luis Estrada. He is being held in the DeKalb County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. 

Buchanan allegedly shot Estrada with a .38-caliber revolver that belonged to the boy's grandmother. Estrada was killed in a home on County Road 51. 

DeKalb County District Attorney Mike O'Dell said in a news conference shortly after 11:30 a.m. Thursday that Buchanan was charged following additional investigation into Estrada's death.'s news partner WHNT broadcast the O'Dell's remarks in a live stream on its website.

"It is no longer considered an accidental shooting," O'Dell said in the news conference.
The prosecutor and DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris declined to go into details of what led investigators to charge Buchanan, but O'Dell said that his office had received confidential information that led detectives to take another look at the shooting.

"It goes way beyond a standard that we would consider accidental," O'Dell said.

Majority Of Democrats Okay With Violating First Amendment

Freedom Force

A poll released Wednesday by the online pollster YouGov has found that a plurality of the American public, as well as a majority of Democrats, support limiting the First Amendment to allow a ban on hate speech.

The poll, conducted from May 8-11, asked respondents whether they would support a law criminalizing “public comments intended to stir up hatred against a group based on such things as their race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Overall, 41 percent of Americans supported such a laws, while only 38 percent were opposed (22 percent were unsure).

Among those supporting a ban on hate speech were 51 percent of Democrats, as well as 37 percent of Republicans. The higher figure for Democrats was driven in large part by the attitudes of black and Hispanic respondents. Sixty-two percent of blacks favored a ban on hate speech, as did 50 percent of Hispanics. In contrast, only 36 percent of whites wanted a ban.

YouGov found other significant demographic divides among respondents. Those age 69 or older were the most supportive of a hate speech ban, but they were followed by those aged 18-29, while those of intermediate age were more protective of free speech. Women and those earning under $40,000 a year were also more willing to ban hate speech.

A ban on hate speech, if it passes, would utterly violate the First Amendment as it is currently interpreted by U.S. courts. The Supreme Court has, among other things, upheld the legality of cross-burning and affirmed the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals and other events with hateful signs. Even hate speech calling for violence is protected in U.S. law, as long as the advocacy is general rather than promoting immediate and specific action.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Boy Scouts Of America Bans Water Gun Fights

Opposing Views

The Boy Scouts of America recently released a list of approved activities for their members and have revealed that water gun fights are prohibited.

The list also makes mention that water balloons must be no larger than a ping-pong ball.
According to the 2015 Boy Scout’s Manual, “Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn.”

The organization’s leaders released a statement on their blog on May 6 explaining why the prohibition is in place.

“Why the rule? A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?” Bryan Wendell wrote on the website.

As for water balloons, the Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Manual states that scouts must “use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping-pong ball.”

Along with the new stipulations put in place for water guns and water balloons, the organization also has a list of other banned items such as boomerangs, crossbows, potato guns, and marshmallow guns, according to the Washington Times.

House Dems Propose Mandating Background Checks on All Gun Show Sales

Image result for Carolyn Maloney

Guns dot com

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., last Friday introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, aimed at ending the “major trafficking channel” for illegal guns in the country.

The legislation would require that every transfer done at a gun show would have to pass a check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, while funding would be added to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to hire investigators specifically to patrol such events in search of regulatory violations.

“States across the country, including my home state of New York, have recognized the danger posed by this significant gap in our gun laws that allows complete strangers to buy and sell guns without the background check requirements Congress passed in the Brady Bill,” said Maloney on bill submission last week.

“I’m proud that there is momentum around the country to update our gun laws and ensure that weapons do not end up in the wrong hands — but the fact is that we need a federal solution to this national problem,” the lawmaker contended. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has cited gun shows as a ‘major trafficking channel,’ and lax gun show regulations in one state can allow guns in the hands of criminals in communities many states away.”

Maloney’s bill was filed Friday as H.R.2380 and currently has some 25 co-sponsors, all from her party. As noted in a release, the bill would require gun show operators to maintain a database of all sellers along with identifiable information for submission to the U.S. Attorney General’s office while establishing a mandate that all transfers– even private sales, which are currently not required by the federal government–undergo a background check.