The national debate over gun violence spurs more requests for concealed weapons permits in the Valley, a Fresno County jail inmate accused of a 2011 murder is found dead in his cell, and opponents of home trash service outsourcing collect -- and deliver -- boxes of anti-outsourcing petitions.
Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers at fresnobee.com.
What happened: More concealed weapons permits are being taken in the central San Joaquin Valley, just as a debate about firearms reaches a fever pitch nationwide.
Sheriffs departments in Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties report issuing more of the permits in 2012 than in 2011.
What it means: Firearms instructors in Fresno say people want permits because crime is on the rise and criminals do not stay in jail once arrested. Sheriff Margaret Mims said the national debate over firearms has also driven more people to seek permits because of fear that new laws will make gun ownership more difficult.
What readers said:
"It's interesting to note that both guns and drugs are illegal to possess in Mexico. #1 Does Mexico have any shortage of guns? #2 Does Mexico have any shortage of drugs? Is this not the irony of all ironies?"
"Gun control rubes expect us to just sit back, unprotected, while felons are released daily from jail. Sorry, guys, someone breaks into my home, that I work hard to pay for, he's going to be taken care of. Don't blather that "it's only property" because it's MY property that I spent MY life buying. And no excuses of he's poor, on drugs or his daddy deserted him. That's not my fault. We pay through the nose to "help" those who don't work. And now you want to add insult to injury and not let me protect the few things I buy with my hard earned money I get to keep for myself. We may be saps when it comes to taxes but I'll be damned if I'll be a sap when it comes to my family's life."
"a weekend class is not sufficient for these gun nuts to walk around armed . if i even suspect i think i see a gun on a persons waistband or in a womans purse i call 911 so the police can hassle them. i also make sure to mention they look menacing."
-- allister cresswell
What happened: A Fresno man who was facing trial in a 2011 murder was found dead late Wednesday in his jail cell, and detectives believe his killing was gang-related.
Joe Anthony Aguilar Rodriguez, 20, was discovered in his cell shortly after 10 p.m. during a routine inmate count. Rodriguez was unconscious with severe trauma to his head and body, said Fresno County sheriff's detectives. He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, where he died.
What it means: His attorney, Gerald Schwab, said Rodriguez was in court Tuesday for a hearing to set the date for a preliminary hearing and told Schwab he would testify on his own behalf. Schwab said he thinks another person in the courtroom overheard Rodriguez's comment and assumed he would testify against other gang members, leading to his killing.
What readers said:
"Innocent until proven guilty is merely a legal presumption. It does not require the public to suspend disbelief. The victim did not deny committing murder. His plan was to claim self- defense. He may have prevailed is his defense, no matter how unlikely. But it does not change the fact he is an admitted gang member who killed another gang member during a drug deal. If you are going to join a gang, buy drugs and fight--and kill--rival gang members, getting killed in jail is an occupational hazard."
Catching Up is compiled by Bee editors. Go to fresnobee.com/catchingup/ to comment or learn more about these stories.