Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Supreme Court passes on Bloomberg gun suit: "New York's lawsuit against gun manufacturers has been declined for review by the Supreme Court. New York sued several gun manufacturers in 2000, arguing the companies violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell. There was one problem: A federal law enacted in 2005 sought to shield gun makers from lawsuits like the one New York filed, prompting a federal judge to throw the case out. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in April 2008 upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote. This was a setback--not only for anti-gun mayor Mike Bloomberg and his coalition of anti-self defense mayors, but also for the left-leaning activist judge Jack B. Weinstein, who did his best to facilitate the lawsuit's progress in spite of the clear intent of the law. Still unclear are the lengths Bloomberg & Co. went to in their zealous pursuit to gin up further restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms. We know in a tandem effort that he hired private investigators to go after private gun shops, and gave all appearances that so-called "straw sales," where someone who can pass the background check buys guns on behalf of someone who cannot, were being conducted in those stores.

SAF challenges DC handgun ban scheme : "The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents today filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of `acceptable' handguns approved by the State of California. The District is using this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense. This scheme could eventually bar the ownership of any new handguns. Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that District bureaucrats `told Tracy Ambeau Hanson her gun was the wrong color.'"

Bad legal advice: "I will bet good money that you have heard the advice "If you shoot an intruder on the porch, the first thing you do is drag him inside". I have yet to meet someone who hasn't heard this gem from an uncle, grandfather or cousin twice-removed. The person giving the advice often seeks to imbue it with authority by swearing that it was a police officer, judge or attorney who shared this sage wisdom with them. As a law student and as a self-defense instructor, I can say without fear of contradiction that this is almost certainly the single worst piece of legal advice that you have ever been given. The parameters under which one may justifiably use deadly force are extremely narrow and do not depend for their validity upon occurring in any given place. If you are justified in using deadly force upon your porch and then decide to avail yourself of this advice, the cloud this will place upon your actions will put you in a virtually indefensible legal position. Think about it. The logical implication of this anecdote is that the simple presence of an intruder in your home would provide legal justification for you to use deadly force against that intruder. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Imagine a scenario under which you and your family return home to find that a neighbor has become inebriated, broken into your house, and is passed out on your couch. Based upon the advice embedded in the "drag him inside" anecdote, shouldn't you have the right to use deadly force against this neighbor? Of course not! There is no threat embodied by the unconscious intruder and it is imminent threat that is the real legal touchstone where self-defense is concerned."

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