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Arizona and Connecticut: Where established gun cultures and gun restrictions collide

Connecticut and Arizona have responded in dramatically opposite ways to the 2012 Newtown and 2011 Tucson shootings. The activist gun control campaigning behind Connecticut’s rapid enactment of one of the nation’s strictest package of gun laws contrasts sharply with the activist Second Amendment pressure behind continuing expansion of gun rights laws in Arizona, already the number one place to live for a gun owner, according to Guns and Ammo magazine.

Debate has changed since Newtown, but not always in predictable ways

In the run-up to the 2014 congressional and legislative elections, News21 examines the “arms race” between the gun control and gun rights advocacy forces, especially since Bloomberg consolidated some of the gun control groups and pledged $50 million for them this year alone, including their legal and tax status, finances, campaign contributions, interrelationships and rivalries, strategies and tactics.

More people can use lethal force in self defense than ever before

News21 examines the recent expansion of Stand Your Ground laws, how they have been applied in cases where shooters claim self-defense and what investigations of the laws’ impact show. Since 2005, 31 states have adopted stronger self-defense laws. The laws have been invoked for everything from road rage ending in gunfire to suspected thieves shot to death as they tried to flee.

U.S. oversight of ammonium nitrate insufficient, GAO says

Government agencies across the U.S. can’t regulate ammonium nitrate, the hazardous chemical compound that detonated in West, Texas, killing 15 people and injuring hundreds more, a congressional investigation has found. Emergency management agencies at the local, state and federal levels don’t know how many facilities in the U.S. store the hazardous chemical. A patchwork of outdated regulations, lack of communication between agencies, and a series of exemptions exist for reporting storage of ammonium nitrate, the U.S. Government Accountability Office report stated, which was publicly released May 21. These findings mirror a recent AZCIR and ABC15 investigation into Arizona oversight of ammonium nitrate.

Monday Muckreads, 1/6/14

Phoenix area residents are expected to pay out $21 million for charges against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio after a court ruled that his office racially profiled Latinos. “Maricopa County also would have to pick up an additional $10 million in staff and other costs each year beginning in mid-2015 to comply with the judge’s order against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office,” according to the Associated Press.

Monday Muckreads, 12/15/13

An Arizona Republic investigation looked at Border Patrol incidents and found “on-duty Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers have killed at least 42 people, including at least 13 Americans,” since 2005 with little public repercussions. The story package includes a glimpse into people killed due to rock-throwing, an interactive feature detailing these incident reports from 2010 to 2012, and a database of the full records of the 42 deaths.

Monday Muckreads 12/9/13

A four-part series starts with the main findings of an Arizona Republic analysis of the state’s wildfires, which found these forests to be “dangerously overgrown.” According to the Republic, this hasn’t hindered development. “Since 1990 [Arizonans] built more than 230,000 homes and other structures in wildfire-prone areas, creating risks for themselves and the firefighters called upon to protect them.”

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