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October 10, 2015

Shooting kills one near Texas Southern University housing complex

Shooting kills one near Texas Southern University housing complex

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

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A shooting near the student housing complex of Texas Southern University, in Houston, Texas, on Friday has killed one student, and left another person injured in serious, but stable, condition.

A file photo of the University’s campus.
Image: WhisperToMe.

John Rudley, president of the university, identified the unnamed deceased victim as a freshman student. He was sent to hospital and subsequently pronounced dead, according to a press release from Eva Pickens, spokesperson of the university.

Cquote1.svg I’m most definitely concerned. I did plan on moving here. It’s really nerve-racking feeling that a person here could have a gun. Cquote2.svg

—Britnney Solomon

Students were asked to report all suspicious activities to authorities, regardless of “how minor it may seem”, campus police said in a press release. The police said they will increase presence on campus.

The school was initially locked-down soon after the shooting, but the lockdown was released for all parts of the campus but a single building, Courtyard Building 1, according to a press release. Classes were planned to resume on Monday.

Britnney Solomon, a psychology student, said that she was planning on moving to the campus dorms, and that she was “concerned” about the shooting. She described it as “nerve racking”, the Associated Press reported.

The shooting came after another shooting last week killed nine people at the campus of Umpqua Community College. The shooting caused President of the United States Barack Obama to call for stricter gun control methods in a speech lasting twelve minutes.



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October 4, 2015

Several dead in Oregon college shootings

Several dead in Oregon college shootings

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Satellite map of the college campus.
Image: US Geological Survey.

Nine people were killed on Thursday by 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. By various reports seven or nine people were also injured. Officials said Mercer killed himself during the subsequent shootout with police.

Mercer began the killing spree in a class where he was a student by shooting the class teacher, and killed eight students in that and at least one other classroom. In the next classroom, a student nurse unsuccessfully tried to save the life of her friend who was wounded by the gunman. Another student, ex-soldier Chris Mintz, was shot seven times after coming to help.

The reasons for the attack are not known but CNN reports he singled out people who identified themselves as Christian. The BBC noted Mercer may have revealed his plans via social media and possibly left a written statement. He briefly served in the US Army in 2008.

An ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agent said authorities found six weapons at the college and a further seven weapons from the gunman’s home, including a shotgun, all of which appear to have been obtained lawfully by Mercer and members of his family. State laws permit people to carry concealed weapons in higher education institutions and at least one other person at the college was armed. Oregon recently passed a new gun law in response to a shooting incident in 2012, in which a man used a stolen rifle to murder two other people in a Portland shopping center.

Cquote1.svg Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it Cquote2.svg

—Barack Obama

Later on Thursday, President Barack Obama spoke for twelve minutes about the incident and called for stricter gun controls in line with other countries like Australia and the United Kingdom. Referring to earlier similar shootings, he said “Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We have become numb to this”. This is reportedly the fifteenth occasion Obama has spoken out after such a killing spree. He expressed his belief that there would soon be a “press release” from the pro-gun lobby, who would call for a reduction of gun controls. He also predicted there would be criticism levelled at him about his politicization of the matter, but he said “this is something we should politicize.” Although no new initiative was outlined, Obama highlighted Congressional opposition which had stopped “the collection of data on shooting incidents” and stated “this is not something I can do myself.”



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August 5, 2014

James Brady, former White House press secretary, gun control advocate, dies at 73

James Brady, former White House press secretary, gun control advocate, dies at 73

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

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James Brady 1940-2014
Image: Shealah Craighead.

James Brady, former White House Press Secretary for the Ronald Reagan US presidential administration and advocate for gun control, died yesterday at age 73 in an Alexandria, Virginia retirement community. The family released a statement saying, “We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim ‘Bear’ Brady has passed away after a series of health issues”. Brady was a few weeks shy of his 74th birthday.

Brady was serving as President Reagan’s press secretary when he was the most seriously wounded out of four, in a assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981. Brady was shot in the head by a hollow-point bullet damaging his right frontal lobe. Dr. Arthur Kobrine, a neurosurgeon, operated on Brady to save his life. Brady survived but was left with brain damage, slurred speech, short-term memory loss, and partial paralysis which required use of a wheelchair.

Following the assassination attempt, Brady and his wife Sarah joined with The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, and Handgun Control, Inc., two organizations lobbying for gun control. The organizations were later renamed in honor of Brady, as Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence respectively. The organizations lobbied for the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, a law passed in 1993 which requires federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States.

Brady never again held press conferences after the assassination attempt; nevertheless, he officially remained press secretary throughout the entire Reagan administration, till 1989. In 2000, the White House press briefing room was renamed after Brady. Josh Earnest, President Barack Obama’s current press secretary, along with eleven other former White House press secretaries said in a statement, “Jim Brady defined the role of the modern White House Press Secretary. With his passing we lost a friend and mentor, and the country lost a selfless public servant who dedicated his life to service, even in the face of tragedy. […] Jim set the model and standard for the rest of us to follow. It’s been a genuine honor for each of us to stand at the podium in the briefing room that will always bear his name.”


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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan

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November 19, 2013

George Zimmerman charged in case of alleged domestic abuse

George Zimmerman charged in case of alleged domestic abuse

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

George Zimmerman when he was arrested in 2012.
Image: Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

Crime and law
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George Zimmerman, the Florida man previously acquitted in the high-profile murder trial for the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, was arrested yesterday following an alleged domestic dispute. Police were called to Zimmerman’s house after his girlfriend claimed Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her.

George Zimmerman’s girlfriend Samantha Scheibe told the 911 [emergency telephone number] dispatcher: “He’s in my house, breaking all my shit because I asked him to leave. He’s got a freaking gun breaking all my stuff right now.”

Zimmerman also phoned 911 during the incident and told the dispatcher: “My girlfriend has… for lack of a better word, gone crazy on me”. He went on to claim in the call that he did not point a gun at Scheibe: “I never pulled a firearm. I never displayed it. When I was packing it I’m sure she saw it. I keep it next to the bed”. “When she changed, she just started smashing stuff. Taking stuff that belonged to me. Throwing it outside. Throwing it out of her room. Throwing it all over the house. She broke a glass table”, claimed Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is charged with aggravated assault, a felony charge, as well as charges of battery, domestic violence and criminal mischief.

Earlier this year, Zimmerman was found not guilty in the high-profile murder case of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman shot Martin on February 26, 2012 while Martin was walking through a gated community after visiting a convenience store but Zimmerman’s lawyers successfully argued Zimmerman had acted in self defence. The case raised concerns over “stand your ground” laws, United States gun culture, and the role of race and racial profiling as a factor in the events.



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  • “George Zimmerman found not guilty in Trayvon Martin case” — Wikinews, July 14, 2013

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June 15, 2013

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo comments on North Colorado proposal

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo comments on North Colorado proposal

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

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Wikinews reached out earlier this week to former U.S. Congressman and 2014 Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo for his response to the secessionist proposal of eight Northern Colorado counties. Tancredo maintains he is better suited to repair the geopolitical gulf at the root of the proposal than Governor John Hickenlooper.

Congressman Tom Tancredo.
Image: United States Congress.

The secession idea came about last week as the commissioners from the northeastern Colorado counties of Weld, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma, and Kit Carson expressed interest in withdrawing from Colorado due to differences with the state government over gun control and the perceived overregulation of agriculture and the oil and gas industries. The commissioners proposed the formation of a new state named, “North Colorado”.

In response to the proposal, Governor Hickenlooper’s spokesman Eric Brown conceded that “[n]ot everyone agrees” with the administration’s policies, but declared “background checks on gun sales, increasing renewable energy and supporting responsible development of oil and gas are popular with rural and urban voters”.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was elected governor in 2010 over Tancredo, the then-Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate. Tancredo has since switched back to the Republican Party, under which he served as Congressman for Colorado’s 6th congressional district from 1999 to 2009. Tancredo officially announced his 2014 candidacy last month.

According to Tancredo, Hickenlooper’s policies impose barriers on rural Coloradans that he plans to remove if elected governor. In addition, Tancredo feels he can better address the rural-urban rift because, “I do not believe that rural Coloradans are, as Governor Hickenlooper has called them, ‘backward thinkers’.”

Tancredo refers to Hickenlooper’s 2010 comments, which accused rural Coloradans and other westerners of “backwards thinking” for their views on LGBT issues.

Wikinews requested, but did not immediately receive, response to Tancredo’s comments from Governor Hickenlooper’s spokesman.



Related news

  • “Colorado counties consider forming new U.S. state” — Wikinews, June 11, 2013
  • “Interview with U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo” — Wikinews, September 25, 2007

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February 3, 2013

Reports of at least fourteen dead this week due to gun-related suicides in the United States

Reports of at least fourteen dead this week due to gun-related suicides in the United States

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Correction — February 6, 2013
 
This article does not conform to our neutrality policy, due to its manner of presentation of an out-of-context selection of facts. The lapse appears to have been unintentional by all parties involved. We apologize for the error.
 
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

A number of suicides as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds took place around the United States this week with reports of deaths in Arizona, California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

Last Saturday in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston Badger died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 51 years old.

On Monday in Clark County, Nevada, Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Another suicide occurred Monday in New Jersey. Chester and Rosaria Andraka died after Chester allegedly shot Rosaria before killing himself. Chester was a former police officer and there were few signs of trouble in the relationship prior to their deaths.

Another murder-suicide shooting took place on Monday. This one occurred in Elmont, New York, where 58-year-old Audley Dennis is believed to have shot his 46-year-old wife, Karen Rodgers-Dennis, before he shot himself. The couple allegedly had a history of fighting, with a family friend telling the New York Post, “They had their altercations. They would argue and yell, have outbursts.”

Greensburg, Indiana, where one of this week’s gun-related suicides took place
Image: Dopey9928.

In Greensburg, Indiana on Tuesday, local police Lieutenant Larry G. Dance committed suicide, dying from a self-inflicted gunshot. He had joined the police force on January 1, 1995. He left behind by a wife and two daughters.

On Tuesday in Waldorf, Maryland, local police reported an attempted murder-suicide with sixty-four year old Linda Lindsey believed to have shot her husband before fatally shooting herself. Her husband was reported to have survived and be in critical condition.

Devin Peterson, a twenty-two year old, allegedly committed suicide with a state trooper’s shotgun following his alleged theft of a police cruiser, another car and a police chase on Interstate 80 in Nevada on Wednesday.

A seventy-year-old man from Renton, Washington died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on Wednesday shortly after he called 911 to tell the dispatcher he was planning to take his own life.

On Wednesday, three people died in a murder-suicide in Oxnard, California that involved at least one gun. The deceased included two women and the suspected male shooter.

On Thursday, Lee Vining Fire Chief Tom Strazdims reported an Oregon man likely commited suicide by shooting himself in the parking lot of the town’s visitor center.

Also on Thursday, the body of a suspected gunman accused of killing a call center CEO and injuring a lawyer was found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound in Mesa, Arizona. Police had been searching for the man since Wednesday following the shooting at a mediation session over a lawsuit.

In another reported suicide on Thursday, this one in the Baltimore area, a man was found dead in the parking lot of the Timonium gun range of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

In Radcliff, Kentucky on Thursday, alleged burglar Michael Strand exchanged gunfire with police after they attempted to bring him in for questioning. Following a lull of approximately an hour, police entered the apartment and found the man dead from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In Medina, Ohio on Thursday, United States Marine Andrew Baumgartner, who served in Afghanistan and had been discharged several months ago, got into an altercation with Sgt. Scott Schmoll after Schmoll felt a gun on Baumgartner’s person. Following this, Baumgartner hid in nearby woodlands, emerged to knock on the door of a local home to tell the resident he had been hit by a car, only to disappear into the woods again. He subsequently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police discovered his body alongside items they believed he had stolen.

The problem of suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound is recognized by some gun groups. The Royal Oak shooting range in Michigan stopped renting guns this week following after twelve people having attempted to kill themselves with guns rented from the range since 2001 (five of them were successful). Three of the incidents occurred in the past four months, with two of them fatal.

These suicides take place against a backdrop of gun control discussion in the United States Congress, where former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an NRA spokesperson appeared before the body this week to discuss the possible need for stricter gun control laws.

According to the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, guns are used in 85% of male suicides in the state. Debate has continued this week in the state about gun control as it relates to suicide. Iran’s PressTV published an opinion piece claiming that for every gun owner who uses their weapon in their home for self-defense, there are eleven suicide attempts involving a weapon. In the United States, veterans are more likely to use guns in acts of suicide than acts of homicide. The number of daily suicides by veterans is currently 22.

Guns are often used in suicide attempts, with PolitiFact reporting on Wednesday that there were 4,643 non-fatal gun involved suicide attempts in 2010. This number contradicts testimony by Wayne LaPierre of NRA to the United States Congress regarding unintentional deaths cause by firearms as LaPierre cited 600 deaths. Australia instituted tougher gun control regulations in 1996, including gun buy back programs. According to a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, these programs correlate to an 80% drop in suicides involving guns at a time when other methods of suicide remained consistent.

Similar research done in the United States has similar results. A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found stricter gun control in the District of Columbia was a likely cause of a reduction in the number of suicides by gun shot in D.C. compared to surrounding areas.



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December 31, 2012

Expected U.S. Senate special election taking shape in Massachusetts

Expected U.S. Senate special election taking shape in Massachusetts

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Monday, December 31, 2012

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With Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts’s nomination and likely approval as U.S. President Barack Obama’s choice to replace the retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kerry’s Senate seat is expected soon to be vacated, making necessary a special election to choose a new Senator. That potential race is now taking shape with two candidates having emerged as the frontrunners for their respective parties’ nominations: Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic Representative Ed Markey.

Republican Senator Scott Brown
Image: United States Congress.

Massachusetts law adopted in 2004 requires a vacated seat to be filled permanently through special election held 145 to 160 days following vacation. This law was passed purportedly to prevent then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, from naming a replacement for Kerry, who was at the time, the Democratic presidential nominee. No such election occurred until long-time Senator Ted Kennedy died in office, vacating his seat in 2009. At the time, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick named Democrat Paul G. Kirk as a temporary replacement. Kirk chose not to run for the seat, and instead the Democrats nominated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost to Brown. Now, Patrick reportedly wishes to again name a temporary replacement who will not run in the special election. Candidates for this position include: Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Ted Kennedy; former governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis; and the retiring Congressman Barney Frank.

Amid the Senate’s consideration of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, Brown’s 2010 election broke the Democrats’ filibuster-proof super-majority in the chamber. As the first Massachusetts Republican elected since Edward Brooke in 1972, Brown gained a reputation in the Senate as a political moderate, stressing bipartisanship. However, in the most expensive Senate race in the nation’s history in 2012, he lost the seat to the liberal Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, who tied him to conservative Senate Republicans. After the defeat, Republican Senators Dan Coats of Indiana, John McCain of Arizona, and Olympia Snowe of Maine each asked Brown to run for Senate again. He alluded to a potential return during his farewell address earlier in December, noting, “As I’ve said many times before, victory and defeat is temporary … Depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again.” Though former Governor William Weld is also considered a potential Republican primary candidate, Brown leads him in opinion polls by a wide margin. Additionally, a December 17–18 poll conducted by WBUR shows Brown with a 58 percent favorability rate in his state and ahead of potential Democratic nominees Markey, former Congressman Marty Meehan, and Congressmen Mike Capuano and Stephen Lynch.

Democratic Representative Ed Markey
Image: United States Congress.

Patrick, Kennedy, Coakley, and Meehan have all denied interest in the seat as have other Democrats speculated to jump in including actor Ben Affleck and attorney Edward M. Kennedy, Jr., Ted Kennedy’s son. Though Lynch and Capuano have expressed interest in the seat, Markey is thus far the only announced candidate. In a statement to The Boston Globe, Markey affirmed “this fight is too important” not to run and “there is so much at stake” in the election. He added that an official announcement would come in January. Markey, who has served in Congress since 1976, previously ran for the Senate seat in 1984 but withdrew before the primary; Kerry went on to win the primary and seat that year. Markey intends to focus his campaign on global warming, gun control, protection of Social Security and Medicare, and government spending for jobs. He has secured endorsements from both Kerry and Victoria Kennedy, and with a war chest of $3.1 million from his congressional campaigns, has significantly more funds than any of his potential primary opponents. According to political scientist Peter Ubertaccio of Stonehill College, that may discourage prominent Democrats thinking about entering the race. Nevertheless, State Senator Benjamin Downing has announced he is exploring a potential bid.

Though Markey has more money than Brown’s $464,000 left from his 2012 campaign, Ubertaccio, in his analysis of the race, notes Brown has more recent campaign experience than Markey, who has not had a competitive campaign lately. Moreover, he finds Markey “very much a creature of Washington, which can be problematic in a tough statewide race.” He sees the rush to support Markey as unusual, and as a way to discourage Democratic challengers to Markey. Jon Keller of Boston’s CBS affiliate notes the rush was likely to allow Markey to begin attacks on Brown rather than Democrats, but he concludes the lack of choice for Democrats may give Brown an advantage as an outsider running against the insiders’ hand-picked successor.



Related news

  • “Scott Brown wins special election for Massachusetts’s Senate seat in upset victory” — Wikinews, January 21, 2010
  • “Republican leads race to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacated US Senate seat” — Wikinews, January 15, 2010

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August 8, 2011

Wikinews interviews Andy Martin, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Andy Martin, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

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Monday, August 8, 2011

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Andy Martin
Image: Andy Martin.

U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate Andy Martin of Illinois took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Martin has questioned the validity of the birth certificate released by U.S. President Barack Obama, and is best known for his role in the spreading of rumors that Obama is a Muslim. According to CNN, Martin has retracted the Muslim claim and now believes that Obama was fathered by journalist and labor activist Frank Marshall Davis rather than Kenyan economist Barack Obama, Sr.. He also believes that the Obama presidency has been a failure and has asked for Obama to resign.

Martin has run for an assortment of public offices in the past and has previously mounted two presidential campaigns. During the 1988 election, he vied unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and in 2000, he again fell short of winning the nomination of the Republican Party.

In other areas, Martin has filed numerous lawsuits, some reportedly with anti-Jewish language. This has caused some commentators such as former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to label Martin as an anti-Semite. Martin vehemently denies the charge. He has also taken legal action against Wikipedia, which he feels is a propaganda arm of the Obama administration.

While focusing his presidential campaign in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, Martin has largely emphasized local issues. On national issues, he has taken conservative stances, as documented on his campaign website and blog.

Barack Obama and the birther movement

According to The New York Times, Martin first spread the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ rumor via press release following then-Senate candidate Obama’s 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. Amid the 2008 presidential election, Martin traveled to Hawaii to investigate Obama, who was at the time, the Democratic Party nominee for president. In October 2008, he filed a lawsuit against the state to release Obama’s birth certificate, but it was dismissed by the courts. After returning from the trip, Martin announced that he believed Frank Marshall Davis was Obama’s biological father.

Martin has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration and held a press conference on August 5 to call for the resignation of both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. He proposed that a “caretaker administration” be put in place until the 2012 election, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as president and a Republican as vice president.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png: You have been one of the leading proponents of the movement questioning the citizenship of Barack Obama. What are your views on the long-form document recently released by the White House?
Andy Martin: I did indeed found the “Birther” movement questioning Barack Obama’s origins in Hawai’i but because of the need to run a national campaign for president I have not been active in examining Obama’s latest birth certificate. I think it was/is enough that I started the movement that ultimately forced Obama to release a document. I know there has been controversy about the new document but I am not involved in that controversy. It is for others to study and comment on the latest certificate; I am a full-time presidential candidate for the foreseeable future.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: You have stated that it is your personal opinion that Frank Marshall Davis is the father of Barack Obama. What specifically led to this opinion?
Martin: My personal opinion that Frank Marshall Davis is Barack Obama’s biological father is based on my extensive research in Hawai’i.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Where specifically did you obtain the material for your research and what did it entail?
Martin: Because my Obama research in Hawai’i is ongoing and will be continuing in a research trip later this year I do not discuss my sources or methods of investigation. My writing speaks for itself.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Since announcing he would not seek the Republican nomination, Donald Trump seems to have toned down his statements on the birth certificate issue. What are your current views on Donald Trump?
Martin: I did not pay a lot of attention to Donald Trump’s “campaign” for president because his behavior seemed to suggest it was a charade. Mr. Trump has destroyed his political viability by saying initially he would only run as a Republican and then repudiating himself and suggesting he might run as an independent. Public leadership is serious business; Mr. Trump has shown he is not serious.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngHow would [you] assess the Obama presidency?
Martin: The Obama presidency is an abject failure. I predicted Mr. Obama would fail in a Psychological Profile which was the first chapter of my book Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Obama’s failure is no surprise to me.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDo you believe Obama has done any good things as president?
Martin: I can’t think of any off the top
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngYou ask Barack Obama to resign and want Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take over. What legal precedent forms the basis of this? And assuming Vice President Biden resigns as well, why should Speaker John Boehner not take over as president?
Martin: The president of the Senate is third, not the speaker, so Reid is a practical choice.[Editor’s note 1] Boehner is fourth.[Editor’s note 2]

Personal past

Martin was asked several questions about his personal past, which he declined to answer. He refused to discuss his two previous presidential campaigns, his past affiliation with the Democratic Party and would not say which candidates he supported in previous elections. When pressed, Martin stated that the questions were irrelevant.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png: You ran for president in 1988 as a member of the Democratic Party. Why did you choose to become a member of that party, and what caused you to switch to the Republican Party?
Andy Martin: [The late] Congressman Jack Kemp and Rev. Pat Robertson invited me to join the Republican Party and I did.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Are you still in contact with Pat Robertson?
Martin: No.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: What is your response to the claims from Robert Gibbs and others that you are Anti-Semitic due to the alleged anti-Jewish language used in some of your previous lawsuits?
Martin: Robert Gibbs engaged in a crude political smear based on lies, distortions and misrepresentations. For the past four or five years I have been the victim of a pro-Obama dirty tricks operation orchestrated out of Wikipedia.org and the Obama campaign apparatus. In one sense, Obama’s use of malicious smears against me shows how desperate he is to discredit my activity. In another sense, the fact that Obama goes to such lengths to attack me is a compliment to the seriousness with which he views both my research and my current presidential campaign. The national media may not yet take my presidential campaign seriously but Mr. Obama and his dirty tricksters very much do. What does Obama know that the media don’t?

Presidential campaign

Martin has centered his campaign in the state of New Hampshire and has discussed local issues. For environmental reasons, he opposes the Northern Pass transmission line, an energy project slated to connect New England to the hydroelectric resources of Hydro-Québec. When asked if the project was under the purview of the office of the presidency, he replied that it requires a presidential finding. On July 28, Martin released a press release that described a planned march against the Northern Pass as “what could be the largest campaign event generated by any presidential candidate in New Hampshire during the 2012 election cycle.” When asked to go into detail about the event, Martin responded that it was “too time consuming” to provide “personalized analysis” but remarked that “I’d say we are surprising a lot of people and we have many more rabbits to pull out of the hat as the campaign progresses.”

Martin has not been invited to any Republican primary presidential debates and has not been included in any presidential preference polls.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png: Why did you decide to run for president in 2012?
Andy Martin: I did not think and still do not believe that any of the “leading” Republican candidates are capable of waging an effective campaign against Barack Obama. I believe I could do a better job because of my extensive understanding and study of Obama’s character and personality. I predicted his ineffectiveness as a president in my Psychological Study which was published as a chapter in my bestselling book Obama: The Man Behind The Mask in 2008. I understood Obama before the American electorate did. They were not listening to me in 2008; maybe they will listen in 2012. To paraphrase former New York Mayor Ed Koch, the American people did not listen to me in 2008 and they are suffering for it. Now I’m running formally as a candidate to take my case against Obama to the American people.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Individually, what is your opinion of some of your fellow candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination, notably Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Herman Cain? Why do you feel you would be a better nominee for the party than any of them?
Martin: I have occasionally written brief profiles and short commentaries on some of my opponents. Those columns are posted on my blogs. I refer you to those comments and any that appear in the future (as no doubt they will).
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: How often do you campaign, and how has the campaign been received by people you meet?
Martin: I campaign every day. I would say I have received an extraordinarily warm and positive response wherever I have campaigned. I place my campaign in the top 10, i.e. among the top 10 Republican presidential candidates nationally. While most of the media attention is focused on the top 5, some of the top 5 are tottering and will not survive.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Which other candidates would you also place in the top 10?
Martin: the usual ones, so long as they have actually announced. I don’t count unannounced ones.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Have you received any notable endorsements?
Martin: I receive the “endorsement” of ordinary Americans every day in my campaign. That is the only endorsement that counts.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: Do you feel you can still win the nomination despite not receiving an invitation to any of the presidential debates?
Martin: I have a game plan and strategy to try to win, and we are executing that game plan well. I am very satisfied with the progress of the campaign. Actually, by excluding me from some of the debates to date, the media have been the losers. Some of the candidates they are showcasing are imploding, thereby brightening my prospects to move up on the presidential leader board.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: In your estimation approximately how many supporters does your campaign have?
Martin: I can’t give an exact number, nor would I if we tallied supporters that way. But it clear my campaign is gaining altitude and other candidates are faltering. We are executing our game plan; others rather obviously are not.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png: If you do not win the Republican nomination, would you consider running for a third party‘s nomination?
Martin: No.

Political views

On his campaign website, Martin describes himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution in opposition to stringent gun control. He opposes Cap and Trade legislation and mandated health care coverage. He identifies himself as a proponent of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and a “corruption fighter”. He writes about his issue positions on his personal blog.

Martin was asked to elaborate his answers on some of the questions, but did not respond. He labeled certain questions as “bizarre”.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.pngHow would you describe your political philosophy? Would you be best defined as a fiscal conservative, a national security conservative, a social conservative, a libertarian or something else?
Andy Martin: I am a “full spectrum” conservative with an emphasis on national security and economic issues. These are the areas in which I have the greatest expertise.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhich historical or contemporary figures serve as your political role models?
Martin: President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Dwight Eisenhower
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your thoughts on the Paul Ryan medicare reform plan?
Martin: I have my own Medicare and Social Security plans.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWould you support a Balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Martin: Yes
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngDo you oppose any parts of the current U.S. Constitution?
Martin: This is a strange question
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat necessary freedoms are currently lacking in America?
Martin: Good question
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngShould the U.S. be involved in the Libyan conflict?
Martin: I have supported limited involvement in Libya, primarily limited to support and special operations; we should not have a ground presence.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngShould the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center remain open?
Martin: I have an open mind
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat would be your first actions as president?
Martin: Jump-start the economy by encouraging the private sector to revitalize manufacturing and create immediate jobs.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links

Editor’s notes

  1. According to Article I, Section III of the United States Constitution, “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate”. Therefore, Vice President Joe Biden is President of the Senate, not Harry Reid. Reid serves as Senate Majority Leader, which is a strictly partisan position.
  2. According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, “if, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.” Therefore, John Boehner, as the speaker of the House of Representatives, follows the vice president as second in the line of succession. In the event of Boehner’s inability to assume the office, the act specifies that “the President pro tempore of the Senate shall, upon his resignation as President pro tempore and as Senator, act as President.” Therefore, President pro tempore of the United States Senate Daniel Inouye follows the speaker as third in the line of succession.


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March 27, 2009

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton says America helps fuel illegal drug trade

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton says America helps fuel illegal drug trade

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Clinton at the grand opening of the Erie Canal Harbor in Buffalo, New York, July 2008.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

United States secretary of state, Hillary Clinton stated in an interview on Mexican radio that Americans are helping to fuel the illegal drug trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Clinton was on a two day tour of the nation.

“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the death of police officers, soldiers and civilians. I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility,” said Clinton.

Clinton also gave thanks to and praised the effort Mexico was putting forth to stop the flow of drugs over the border. “Clearly, what we have been doing has not worked and it is unfair for our incapacity…to be creating a situation where people are holding the Mexican government and people responsible.”

Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón responded by saying that “binational cooperation in this area should be strengthened.” Mexico has used troops in some towns in an attempt to regain control of the cities, which has resulted in many gun battles with drug cartel members and Mexican troops. Ongoing trucking disputes between the U.S. and Mexico have also contributed to an already tense situation.

Increased drug related violence in towns and cities on the Mexico – United States border has claimed more than 6,000 lives since 2008.



Sources

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June 26, 2008

US Supreme Court rules DC gun ban unconstitutional

US Supreme Court rules DC gun ban unconstitutional

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The United States Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a 5-4 decision that a Washington, D.C. ban of personal firearms possession is unconstitutional. In a majority opinion written by Antonin Scalia, the court found that “[t]he Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Justice John Paul Stevens delivered a dissenting opinion that acknowledged an individual right protected by the Second Amendment, but disagreed about the “scope” of that amendment, writing, “[w]hether it also protects the right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting and personal self-defense is the question presented by this case.”

The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, stemmed from a lawsuit brought by special police officer Dick Heller against the Washington, D.C. city government after it refused to issue a permit for him to keep a handgun in his home for personal protection. The District of Columbia had based this refusal on the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975.

The Supreme Court decision upheld a 2007 ruling by the D.C. federal appellate court that had nullified gun possession restrictions and trigger lock requirements in the 1975 law.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty expressed disappointment in the outcome of this case, but stated that he will order the district’s police department to provide a means for citizens to register handguns within 21 days. “It is important to respect the court’s authority and to act quickly,” Fenty said.



Sources

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