Guns

An 18th century firearm.

One doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the 18th century could not rationally have been limited to the home.

– Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, overturning an Illinois law prohibiting loaded weapons from being carried in public.

(Perhaps if Posner were a historian, he’d have remembered the whole “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” clause that precedes our supposedly inviolable rights to carry around loaded hand cannons that pack the lethality of half of the Continental Army.)

Shayna Hubers

The only thing she did wrong was having bad taste in men.

Wil Zevely, a lawyer representing 21-year-old Shayna Hubers, commenting on the circumstances behind his client’s murder charge. Hubers’s alleged victim, Ryan Poston, was a 2008 graduate of Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law. Hubers claims she acted in self-defense.

If you see something, say something. Even these.

Here in New York (and in other parts of the country), there’s a major ad campaign that says, “If you see something, say something.” It’s an anti-terrorism campaign, and it works. Whether you are dealing with terrorists — international or domestic — or just random crazies, being vigilant is necessary in our violent world.

Which is too bad, because back in the day “mind your own business” used to be a fine rule. “If you see something, stop being so goddamn nosy,” is the age-old reason people move out of small towns and into big cities. Who wants to live around a bunch of busybodies? With all due respect to Kitty Genovese, my pre-9/11 inclination was “Snitches get Stitches.”

But we can’t live like that anymore. So I guess we need to applaud the law student who thought he saw a gun and contacted the proper authorities. The fact that he was wrong, completely wrong, and mistook an office supply for a firearm is, I guess, incidental to his nosy, busybody, good intention…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Scared Law Student Jumps The Gun”

Build-a-gun!

This is absurd. Over the past month, the United States hasn’t been able to go a full week without a devastating public shooting — but we still have stuff like this rising from the collective woodwork.

Meet Cody Wilson, a University of Texas Law student and founder of Wiki Weapon, a new venture aiming to merge the growing popularity of 3D printers, the internet age, and deadly weaponry.

Step right up, get your cheap, do-it-yourself gun right here. And while you’re at it, why don’t you just shoot me in the face, too….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Gun Is Your Gun, This Gun Is My Gun: A 2L’s Quest To Make Printable Firearms”

* Threatening a judge, even in song, is still threatening. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Obama’s White House microbrew is now the subject of a FOIA request. Instead of a bus tour, I think Obama should just travel around the country holding beer summits. [Legal Blog Watch]

* I’m pretty sure the social contract will be unenforceable in a Romney administration. It’s unenforceable in an Obama administration too, but Obama tries to seem sad about that. [Salon]

* I do hope that the GOP has some kind of “Rape: Accepted Definitions” seminar at their convention this week. They clearly don’t seem to understand what the term means, legally, as evidence by the Pennsylvania Republican who seems to think that a consensual out-of-wedlock pregnancy is kind of like rape. [TPM]

* Here are the top eight reasons people are stressed at work. I wonder if anybody wants to see the top eight reasons people are who are unemployed are stressed out. [Huffington Post]

* Yeah, I think we need to make it easier for people to get guns. Sure. Why not. It’s not easy enough to get a gun to carry out a mass shooting/turn a mass shooting into a mass shootout. [Forbes]

* We drafted one of the Above the Law fantasy football leagues last night (I hate my team). Professor Marc Edelman has a fun paper on the regulation of fantasy sports. I’m still pissed at him for causing me to have to spend $2 on my freaking kicker. [SSRN]

Florida State College of Law rotunda.

A third-year student at the Florida State University College of Law was arrested and charged in a shooting over the weekend.

An FSU 3L, Jeffrey Heller, allegedly shot another law student, a rising 2L, during an off-campus incident on Saturday morning. Tallahassee police confirm that Heller was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

We understand that the victim is expected to make a full recovery. The booking report is here. (Look for “Jeffrey S. Heller” on the second page of the document.)

We’ve got additional details, including a mugshot and a statement from the school

UPDATE (4:15 PM): We now also have the arrest/probable cause affidavit from the Tallahassee police. According to the police report, this shooting started with a cup of water….

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#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress ;)

– A (now deleted) tweet, posted this morning by Celeb Boutique, apparently unaware of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. The company has since apologized for the gaffe. Via Fashionista.

In the wake of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, President Obama cut short his campaign schedule and issued a call for unity. At an abbreviated stop in Florida, the president said:

I am so moved by your support, but there are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.

Good luck with that.

Our media and political environment don’t allow for reflection on much of anything in the best of times. What do you think is going to happen during an election year?

The Wall Street Journal is already wondering if this shooting is going to cause increased focus on gun laws. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out and said that both President Obama (whose administration has done nothing to restrict guns) and Mitt Romney need to clarify their positions on gun regulations. Meanwhile conservatives are criticizing anybody who brings up gun control for trying to “politicize” the moment.

I believe that tragedies are a bad time to make policy, and I choose to believe that no law could have stopped the actions of a madman who wants to kill teenagers in a movie theater. As Alfred said: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The suspect, James Holmes, allegedly had his hair painted and claimed he was the Joker.

I don’t think gun restrictions would have stopped this man (which doesn’t mean we had to make it easy for him).

If we’re going to reflect on something today, I’m not sure it’s useful to reflect on our laws, instead maybe we should reflect on our culture…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Obama Says There Will Be ‘Other Days For Politics,’ But Will There Ever Be A Day To Address the Violence In Our Culture?”

This is one law professor you don't want to trap in a closet.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there’s an interesting ongoing brouhaha at Nova Southeastern between the school and a professor who claims he was fired after the school misinterpreted some of his jokes. Jokes about shooting people, but jokes nonetheless.

Now it seems to me that any professor who actually decided to teach at Nova Southeastern would eventually contemplate things he could do with a gun. But I imagine even students willing to go to Nova Southeastern would think twice about it if they had to dodge a hail of bullets while sitting in class. So I guess they have to take even jokes about this very seriously.

And, hey, for the rest of us, it’s an opportunity to see exactly what you have to do to get fired after you get tenure….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Professor Promises He Was Just Joking About Shooting People”

* Really, Prometheus was the kind of movie that allows you to think “putting in some lawyers couldn’t have hurt.” [Point of Law]

* Republicans are just better at naming laws than Democrats. I don’t know why that is, but it is. [Recess Appointment]

* Stand your ground laws increase homicides. Tomorrow, the gun lobby will tell us that we need to arm ourselves because of the epidemic of people standing their ground and killing innocent, unarmed Americans who weren’t able to buy a gun. [WSJ Law Blog]

* I almost feel bad for Anthony Kennedy. Every objective indicator proves that he was wrong about what the impact of Citizens United would be, and every month brings a new opportunity to shame Kennedy again. [Election Law Blog]

* Do you take the Metro North home every day? Like Pete Campbell, you might need an apartment in the city. [Dealbreaker]

* Defense rests in Roger Clemens trial. I guess the jurors will have to go back to counting sheep in order to get their rest in. [NPR]

* A judge who meditated would freak me out. Especially if the judge meditated about how you shouldn’t judge people. [Underdog]

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