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Tag: Guns

Ex-Figure in Boston’s Underworld to Testify in ‘Whitey’ Bulger Murder Trial

 
 

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Patrick Nee literally wrote the book on mob life.

And despite serious allegations that he was involved in drugs, guns and even helping bury a body, Nee remains free of jail.

The Boston Globe reports that Nee is expected soon to testify in the murder and racketeering trial of reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

The one-time well-known figure in Boston’s underworld has indicated he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

But Bulger’s attorneys said they have no plans to ask self-incriminating questions, the Globe reported.

 

Accused Gangster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Is Heard Bragging About Murder

 

Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Voice recordings of accused mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger were played at his murder and racketeering trial Tuesday, showing a different side than the relatively quiet defendant that the juror has so far seen, the Boston Globe reports.

The recordings capture Bulger talking about murder, guns and funneling cash.

“Pa-pa-pa-pa-pow,” whispered Bulger, during the recorded conversation on Oct. 13, as he mimicked the sound of machine gun fire.

Bulger was referring to a tavern owner gunned down in a Dorchester phone booth in 1975.

Bulger’s jail conversation with his niece and nephew occurred through a glass partition at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, the Boston Globe wrote.

ATF Agents in Milwaukee Face Disciplinary Action Over Handling of Storefront Operation in Milwaukee

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some ATF agents involved with a botched gun-buying storefront operation in Milwaukee face disciplinary action, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The investigation was so bungled that agents last year had their guns stolen and their storefront pillaged.

The Journal Sentinel discovered through a letter sent to Congress that the Justice Department is conducting personnel investigations in connection with “Operation Fearless.”

According to the letter, the FBI backed off helping because of concerns about how the investigation was run.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Nullification: How States Are Making It a Felony to Enforce Federal Gun Laws

By Lois Beckett
ProPublica
In mid-April, Kansas passed a law asserting that federal gun regulations do not apply to guns made and owned in Kansas. Under the law, Kansans could manufacture and sell semi-automatic weapons in-state without a federal license or any federal oversight.

Kansas’ “Second Amendment Protection Act” backs up its states’ rights claims with a penalty aimed at federal agents: when dealing with “Made in Kansas” guns, any attempt to enforce federal law is now a felony. Bills similar to Kansas’ law have been introduced in at least 37 other states. An even broader bill is on the desk of Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell. That bill would exempt any gun owned by an Alaskan from federal regulation. In Missouri, a bill declaring federal gun laws “null and void” passed by an overwhelming majority in the state house, and is headed for debate in the senate.

Mobilizing the pre-Civil-War doctrine of “nullification,” these bills assert that Congress has overstepped its ability to regulate guns — and that states, not the Supreme Court, have the ultimate authority to decide whether a law is constitutional or not.

The head of the Kansas’s State Rifle Association, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, says she put the bill together and found it a sponsor. While the NRA regularly lauds passages of states’ gun-rights laws, it stayed silent on Kansas’ law, and, so far, has kept a low profile on nullification. (The group did not respond to our requests for comment.)

Many observers see nullification bills as pure political theater, “the ultimate triumph of symbolism over substance,” as UCLA law Professor Adam Winkler put it. He said he doubts the laws will ever be enforced, and, if they are, expects them to be struck down by the courts.

Winkler and others say nullification laws violate the Constitution, which makes federal law “the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Indeed, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter last week to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, asserting that Kansas’ law is “unconstitutional.” (Brownback, who signed the bill into law, did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.)

Read more »

Column: On Gun Control, Courage in Short Supply

atf file photo

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Columnist

WASHINGTON — The gun bill was going down, but Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who reached a compromise to try to save it, went to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to give it one more try.

In an unorthodox tactic, he appealed directly to the woman taking her turn in the presiding officer’s chair, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), one of the few remaining undeclared lawmakers.

“I think there is a time in our life, a defining time in public service,” he said, “when you know the facts are on your side and walk into the lion’s den.” Manchin, usually plain-spoken, was emotional and personal, making several references to Heitkamp and her state. “Even if politics are risky,” he said, “remember the words of Andrew Jackson: ‘The brave man inattentive to his duty is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts in the hour of danger.’ ”

To read full column click here.

If Dead Kids Doesn’t Do It, What Will?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s nauseating to say the least to see how spineless our Washington lawmakers are, how fearful they are when it comes to standing up to the NRA and the people who insist that universal background checks are too intrusive and assault weapons are necessary to own.

The Newtown shootings should have been enough to give lawmakers the backbone to stand up.

No, the Gabby Giffords shootings should have been enough.

No, the Aurora movie theater shootings should have been enough.

No, the Virginia Tech shootings should have been enough.

No, the Columbine shootings should have been enough.

You get the point, nothing, not dead high school kids, not dead elementary school kids, not a dead federal judge, nothing will move some of our lawmakers.

Granted, banning assault rifles at this point won’t instantly remove them from circulation. But we have to start somewhere, and banning assault rifles will eventually make them much harder to get. And the universal background checks, well, that’s another no brainer. Currently, about 40% of guns purchased from places other than licensed gun dealer (like collectors and guns shows) do not require background checks. That would change under a new proposal in Washington that is under intense debate.

I’m afraid we’re missing the window of opportunity to enact some tougher gun laws. No, I’m not advocating taking away guns. But we need change. Now. Not after 10 more tragedies involving unstable people.

In most societies, the senseless, mass deaths of kids is enough to make politicians respond.

Apparently, not in this society.

Which really really worries me.

If dead children doesn’t do it, what will?

The Gun Issue: If Dead Kids Doesn’t Do it, What Will?

 

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s nauseating to say the least to see how spineless our Washington lawmakers are, how fearful they are when it comes to standing up to the NRA and the people who insist that universal background checks are too intrusive and assault weapons are necessary to own.

The Newtown shootings should have been enough to give lawmakers the backbone to stand up.

No, the Gabby Giffords shootings should have been enough.

No, the Aurora movie theater shootings should have been enough.

No, the Virginia Tech shootings should have been enough.

No, the Columbine shootings should have been enough.

You get the point, nothing, not dead high school kids, not dead elementary school kids, not a dead federal judge, nothing will move some of our lawmakers.

Granted, banning assault rifles at this point won’t instantly remove them from circulation. But we have to start somewhere, and banning assault rifles will eventually make them much harder to get. And the universal background checks, well, that’s another no brainer.  Currently, about 40% of guns purchased from places other than licensed gun dealer (like collectors and guns shows) do not require background checks. That would change under a new proposal in Washington that is under intense debate.

I’m afraid we’re missing the window of opportunity to enact some tougher gun laws. No, I’m not advocating taking away guns.   But we need change.  Now. Not after 10 more tragedies involving unstable people. 

In most societies, the senseless, mass deaths of kids is enough to make politicians respond.

Apparently, not in this society.

Which really really worries me.

If dead children doesn’t do it, what will?

Ammunition Found in Wealthy Dallas High School; Where Are the Metal Detectors?

Pamela Kripke

By Pamela Kripke
Huffington Post

Earlier this month, a student at my daughter’s public high school found a pile of .22 caliber bullets on the floor of a boys’ bathroom. A day before, a threatening note was discovered in the same restroom, inside a stall. On top of the tissue dispenser. In February, three similar notes were found, three days in a row, in the same place. All talked of bombs.

When the bullets surfaced, FBI agents were called to the school to assist local police officers. The next day, someone dropped another handwritten note at the top of a stairwell. Then, after a $10,000 reward was announced, someone emailed a seventh threat to the organization that receives the tips. Twice this week, a person sent intimidating messages to individual students’ telephones. One was two paragraphs long. It said that the situation is “not a hoax,” we will see, but has been “building.” Finally, today, while writing this piece, another round of messages hit students’ phones.

When something happens, the school administrators send a text message to parents. They started doing this after the first round of notes. Numbers show up on the screen and you know there is trouble. We rush to the school to pick up our kids, in pajamas, in the middle of work. My stomach pangs when the phone rings. The morning of the bullets, it was my mom. I should tell her not to call.

To read full column click here.