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Washington, DC: Making The Right Moves

In the latest action in the long-running Heller v. District of Columbia lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently issued a ruling bringing further relief to the beleaguered law-abiding gun owners of the nation s capital. The decision struck down four provisions of D.C. firearms law:

-The court overturned the limitation on registration of one handgun per month. -The court struck down the three-year re-registration requirement, which imposed a never-ending burden on gun owners in the District. -The court invalidated the requirement that the registrant physically bring the firearm to police headquarters to register it. -The court struck down the requirement that applicants pass a test on D.C. gun laws, citing the lack of any public safety benefit.

Never in my wildest dream did I expect to be sacrificing my life giving up my boat and airplane and other things to continue fighting for the Second Amendment. Today s ruling is a substantive win for the Second Amendment and the residents of our nation s capital, said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director. For too long, the D.C. government has violated the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. The city has among the most restrictive gun laws in the nation; and yet one of the highest crime rates. This opinion makes it a little easier for lawful D.C. residents to own firearms for self-defense. Dick Heller, the D.C. security guard who has been a plaintiff in this case and its historic precursor for more than 12 years, said the ruling was an important one, with some good and some bad aspects.

We still have to be registered and fingerprinted, so the worst part is we will still be treated like criminals, but the criminals won t be standing in line to get in, he said. On the positive side, the big win is you do not have to re-register your firearm every three years, and accidentally become a paper criminal by forgetting. Number two would be the one-gun-a-month restriction is now gone. Heller said that thought never crossed his mind back in 2003 that he might still be fighting this battle in court a dozen years later.

As a citizen I thought it was simply you win or lose, up or down, live or die, maintain the right or have it infringed upon forever, he said. Never in my wildest dream did I expect to be sacrificing my life giving up my boat and airplane and other things to continue fighting for the Second Amendment.

State sees prison guard shortage

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Corrections is implementing a new overtime policy as it deals with a shortage of prison guards.

Corrections officials said overtime will be assigned on a rotation system instead of forcing the newest officers to work those shifts when no one else has volunteered. Veteran guards and sergeants will now be assigned overtime, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Corrections Secretary Ed Wall recently put the policy into effect, saying it will make prisons safer and would be fairer to all guards. Wall in a memo said it would cut down on fatigue caused by multiple days of overtime for some employees.

“This is about spreading the work across a larger pool of people to lighten the load for everyone,” Wall wrote in his memo. Wisconsin prisons are facing severe staff shortages, with one in 10 security positions open as of Oct. 31, according the Department of Corrections. The problem was worse at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, with roughly 20 percent of jobs unfilled as of August according to a Legislative Audit Bureau review. Paul Mertz, an officer at Redgranite Correctional Institution, said the new overtime policy is hurting morale. Veteran employees feel likely they shouldn’t be tapped for overtime because they did that early in their careers, and Mertz said newer staffers no longer have a time to look forward to when they’ll work less overtime.

Wall said in the memo that the overtime policy would be re-evaluated when the department’s job vacancy rate falls to 6 percent.

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the new policy will drive away employees. He and many officers argue that employees would stick around if they were paid more, given more training and treated better.

“This policy is going to do the opposite of what they want it to do,” Erpenbach said. “People will quit.”

2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.[1]


  1. ^ 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (

Protesting Racial Bias, Students Trade Placards For Pillows

Student protesters staged an Occupy-style protest inside Occidental’s Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center for nearly a week. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kirk Siegler/NPR Protesting Racial Bias, Students Trade Placards For Pillows

Sympathetic professors have even held classes in the building. Where are the administrators?

“They’re gone; they completely cleared out,” Haynes-Venerable says. These students gave administrators a list of 14 demands to address what they say are systemic racial biases on campus.

The student activists say their voices often aren’t heard in classes, they feel isolated on campus, and they are routinely profiled by security at night. Among their list of demands is a fully funded Black Studies program, an increase in tenured faculty of color and the creation of a vice president for diversity.

“I think through the teach-ins we’ve been hosting, the workshops and the personal dialogues we’ve been having with each other, we’ve really created the Occidental that we were promised and that we wanted,” Haynes-Venerable says. What’s happening here at Oxy is not unique. At nearby Claremont McKenna College, student protests led to the resignation of a high-ranking administrator over comments that were seen as racially charged.

At Princeton, students celebrated after school administrators promised to consider removing tributes to President Woodrow Wilson, a supporter of racial segregation. In all these protests across the country, students say they feel marginalized. Benjamin Reese, chief diversity officer for Duke University in North Carolina, says it’s a frustration that’s long been raised in the wider black community, especially now with the recent outcry against police shootings of unarmed black men.

“I examine and see what’s happening on college campuses as happening in the context of the kind of struggle that’s going on nationally around race,” he says. Reese says it’s a movement to take seriously, but it’s far too early to compare it to the black student protests of the civil rights era, as some have though he says some of the early successes are remarkable.

Protesting Racial Bias, Students Trade Placards For Pillows

At Occidental, administrators have already outlined, and in some cases are showing, how they’ll comply with all but one of the students’ 14 demands that of the resignation of the president.

“We want the students to know that we’re ready and we know we must join them at the table,” says Marty Sharkey, the college’s spokesman. Why didn’t they act sooner?

“That’s a great question. I think there are some items on there that I think have been issues that have been out there for awhile, others are newer requests, so that’s why they haven’t been responded to,” Sharkey says. The student protesters say they plan to hold the administrators accountable to that in the weeks and months ahead, even though their occupation of Occidental’s administrative building has ended.


  1. ^ attended Occidental for two years (