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February 20, 2013

Charles Oliver: Lawmaker misfires on reading his sponsored bill

Washington state Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, says it’s probably unconstitutional to require owners of some semiautomatic firearms to submit to warrantless searches of their homes by their local sheriffs to make sure they are storing those weapons safely. So why is he the prime sponsor of a gun control bill that would allow such searches? Short answer: He didn’t realize it did. “I have to admit that it shouldn’t be in there,” he said. Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, another of the bill’s sponsors, said he also didn’t realize it would permit warrantless searches of homes. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely,” he said. A spokesman for Washington Senate Democrats blamed the provision on staff members and said a new bill would be introduced. Maybe lawmakers will read that bill before introducing it.

Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was almost never seen in public without his pipe. He smoked during speeches, press interviews and campaign rallies. Opponents charged that the pipe was just a prop he used to burnish his fatherly image, and even supporters admit that he preferred cigars when no one was around. Still, Wilson, who served as prime minister from 1964 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1976, almost always had the pipe in public. And that presents a problem for BBC staff producing a new documentary on Wilson. The Daily Telegraph reports that BBC executives have told the producers to avoid showing Wilson with his pipe. The BBC denies the report.

Colin Farmer was walking down the street on his way to his favorite pub in Chorley, England, when he heard someone screaming at him and felt a thump on his back. Farmer, who is blind, fell to the ground in pain and felt someone pulling his arms behind his back and handcuffing him. He'd just been Tased by a police officer who had mistaken his cane for a sword.

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