Friday :: Oct 1, 2004

I Feel Safer Already - NOT!

by pessimist

"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

So goes the infamous NRA canard. Since there is no law against owning assauilt rifles now, what are we to make of these stories?

Man charged with felony over firing of AK-47

Waukesha - A felony charge has been issued against a man accused of firing an AK-47 assault rifle into a Hartland apartment building. A criminal complaint says the bullet was fired from an assault rifle into the building on Capitol Drive late Friday. The complaint says that [the suspect]'s former girlfriend lives in the building, that he had been pestering her and that he knocked on her door shortly before the shot was fired.

Michigan Teen Caught With AK-47 On Tape

A 14-year-old Michigan teen faces charges of plotting an attack at his high school. A videotape has surfaced of the teenager handling an assault rifle. On the home video, the boy can be seen taking target practice with an AK-47. The teen is also seen wearing a "White Power" T-shirt in the video. Police moved in after getting a tip that the boy talked about a killing rampage. Prosecutors believe the boy's father was videotaping him, and is heard encouraging him on the tape. "We averted a disaster here, by luck and some good police work," said Clinton Township police Detective Jeffery Barbera. "We got to him before be was able to act out." Both the boy and his father were charged with weapons violations.

Slideshow: Michigan Teen Caught With AK-47 On Tape

Tape Shows Teen With AK-47

School invite to first lady yanked
'88 Hubbard Woods shooting cited

Hubbard Woods School officials last week withdrew an invitation to first lady Laura Bush to spend 30 minutes reading to school children after meeting resistance from local Democrats and gun-control advocates. Bush's visit came less than two weeks after the expiration of a federal ban on assault weapons, which President Bush said he would sign off on if Congress approved an extension. Bush, who had not formally accepted the invitation, was in Winnetka Friday afternoon for a fund-raiser luncheon at the home of Aon Corp. Chairman and CEO Patrick G. Ryan, who is also President Bush's Illinois Finance chair.

Invoking memories of a shooting rampage at the school 16 years ago, members of two gun-control lobby groups told the school's principal, Maureen Cheever, there was no place in the "sacred" halls of Hubbard Woods School for a representative of the Bush administration, which they argued has a lax stance on gun control. Cheever had extended the invitation early last week after learning of Bush's upcoming visit but called the White House two days before Bush arrived to retract the offer.

Jeanne Bishop, who is on the steering committee of the anti-gun violence group Million Mom March, called Cheever on Wednesday to express the group's "great pain and distress over what we felt was a really insensitive juxtaposition of location and timing." Bishop, whose pregnant sister and brother-in-law were gunned down in their Winnetka home in 1990, said such a visit could anger those who watched the tragedy of the school shooting unfold.

"When I think of those people having to see children at Hubbard Woods School be political props as part of a campaign swing from a president who has been so closely associated with the NRA (National Rifle Association) and has done so little to promote sensible gun laws, it was just hurtful to me," Bishop said. "Just as we would not want to politicize the World Trade Center site or Columbine (High School), this place ought never be politicized," Bishop said.

Earlier that day Cheever met with the vice chairman of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Bob Williamson, whose two daughters were at Hubbard Woods School on May 20, 1988 when 30-year-old Laurie Dann shot six students, killing one. During the meeting, Williamson told Cheever he planned to hold a press conference across the street from the elementary school if the first lady's visit went ahead. For Williamson, the fear of dampening the excitement of Bush's possible visit to the school was outweighed by the memory of that joyless spring day in 1988 when police helicopters were whirling above Winnetka searching for a killer. "It was as if the blades of their helicopters were knocking chunks of sky right out of thin air and they were crashing at my feet," Williamson said. "To have a representative of this presidency in that school, this close to an election, I was prepared to stand before a microphone and point out the hypocrisy." Williamson said the president took a "two-faced" position on the ban, saying publicly he supported the extension but doing little to help the measure pass.

Superintendent Rebecca van der Bogert acknowledged having conversations with Cheever over a number of calls that had come in. Van der Bogert agreed with Cheever's decision to pull the invitation, which she said was driven by the meeting with Williamson.

Maybe you could have said something to that guy you're married to, Laura. Back when it might have made a difference.

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pessimist :: 7:29 PM :: Comments (14) :: Digg It!