Sgt Theresa Vail gets our vote in the Miss America beauty contest. The National Guard member has a range of talents - some m ore obvious than others - but we're particularly impressed that she's a crack shot with a rifle.

Snap Shots: Miss Kansas a straight shooter


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Crack-shot glamour contests Miss America; gun crime doubles in the UK despite gun ban; photographers can win prizes for feral animal snaps; The Verminator offers to shoot Brisbane foxes for free; Chicago next city to ditch gun registry; new California law bans all self-loading centrefire rifles.

She’s a marksman, an equally skilled archer, can sing, has cool tattoos, is a sergeant in the US Army, can fly a plane and studied chemistry and Chinese in college. Theresa Vail is also a beautiful woman and has gained notoriety in the US for flashing her tatts in the Miss America pageant as Miss Kansas 2013 – the first time a contestant has flaunted ink in its history. Her large tattoo is of the Serenity Prayer and she has the military medical insignia on her left shoulder. We hope the fabulous Sgt Vail goes well because if there’s one thing Miss America needs, it’s a straight shooter…

The total ban on handguns in the United Kingdom has failed with gun crime figures doubling since 1998. UK newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, reported that firearms offences had risen from 4903 in 1998 to a record 9300 last year, an increase of 90%. This proves that legislating against law-abiding firearms owners does not work. A recent double murder has prompted a summit of police chiefs, community representatives from across the country, customs and immigration officials, and the Crown Prosecution Service on Friday in a bid to tackle gun crime. It is intended to uncover gaps in legislation on gun crime and will highlight the problem of the import of guns from the Balkans.

Photographers across Australia have until Monday 30 September to submit their entries to the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) Feral Photos competition. NSW Department of Primary Industries national natural resource management facilitator for the IA CRC, Jessica Marsh, said now in its third year the competition is free to enter and continues to expose the diversity of invasive pest animals in our environment. “While many photographers are attracted by the kudos and prizes on offer, the real value of the competition is in highlighting the impact of pest animals and the way the community is coming together to protect our environment,” Ms Marsh said. With only days to go people can still submit photographs to be in the running to win computer and tablet devices, magazine subscriptions and clothing vouchers. Entry and competition details can be found online www.invasiveanimals.com/feral-photos or by contacting Jessica Marsh (02) 6391 3907 or jessica.marsh@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Got a fox problem in Brisbane? Then call The Verminator! ABC radio recently interviewed the self-styled fox controller who is offering to take care of the pest for free and he gives a very good account of himself as a professionally minded shooter. He goes a long way to dispelling the myths and sensationalism that usually goes with the idea of using firearms in the city by explaining backgrounds and the areas where the control takes place.

Chicago is the latest city to ditch its firearms registry as the gun control method continues to lose favour. The city had a gun registry in place since 1968, but that hasn’t stopped it being among the most common cities in the world for gun crime. Even the ban on handguns in the city in 1981 has failed to curb the murders committed by them with figures showing a 40% rise since then. The City Council was forced to repeal the registry after the federal appeals court ruled that concealed handguns were allowed to be carried in the state of Illinois, therefore taking control out of the city’s hands. Todd Vandermyde, an Illinois lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, called the repeal “a start.”

A new law recently passed in the US is likely to come under scrutiny after it apparently bans the use of self-loading centrefire rifles. The California Assembly, on a 44-31 vote, approved the law SB 374, which reads: “SECTION 1. Section 30515 of the Penal Code is amended to read: 30515. (a) Notwithstanding Section 30510, “assault weapon” also means any of the following: (1) A semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds.” According to website AccurateShooter.com, the scope of SB 374 is sweeping. It bans all self-loading centerfire rifles capable of using a detachable magazine, regardless of magazine capacity (or placement). The operative language of SB 374 with respect to magazines is an awkward double-negative. But the intent is clear — if a semi-auto centrefire rifle can accept a detachable magazine at all, it is banned.

 


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