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…
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….
* 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]
* Do you still have to pay for legal research? I say “yes.” You have to pay for it right up until the moment you feel comfortable walking into a partner’s office and saying, “This is everything I could find on Google.” [Legal Blog Watch]
* Chinese female lawyers in China are amazingly successful compared to their Western counterparts. Theories abound as to why, but I like the theories that blame American children for being whiny brats who need their mommies all the time. [The Careerist]
* One would expect nothing less from Warren Buffett’s bodyguard. [Dealbreaker]
* The upside of having children’s birthday parties at gun ranges is that the children will get to see natural selection in action. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* At least Kwame Brown is proving that we still have campaign finance laws. [Washington Post]
Dear Lord, Florida seems like a dangerous place. The only people who are unarmed there are the criminals. Certainly, the lawyers in Florida have guns, and they apparently know how to use them.
A lot of people will see this as a cool story: cat burglars broke into a law office, and an old lawyer who was asleep at his desk defended himself. We like cool stories about lawyers defending themselves, and this one certainly fits the bill.
But what I see is a person who almost died because of Florida’s ridiculous gun laws. I see a person who was not threatened with deadly force use deadly force anyway. And I see no reason to keep praising this vigilante justice where people can take the law into their own hands, even if they are lawyers….
Apparently I’m the crazy one here. None of my co-editors think it’s that cool or surprising that a law firm would take a company trip to the shooting range. Maybe it’s because I live in the Bay Area, and the only guns near me are the ones with which gangsters shoot each other.
It’s not like we’ve never mentioned attorneys who know their way around firearms before. We’ve covered the judge who reported pulled his piece in court, and the Supreme Court justices who went hunting together. But this is the first instance we’ve seen of any sort of institutional embrace of fun times with weapons.
Regardless, this New York-based boutique firm is taking the coolest field trip ever. And they aren’t just going to any shooting range, or shooting wimpy little .22′s…
* Since you’re so funny, crack some jokes about this one, Obama. Senate Republicans will be filing an amicus brief in support of a challenge to the constitutionality of the President’s recess appointments. [New York Times]
* Thanks to this Third Circuit ruling, you can rest easy knowing that you can rely on the First Amendment to protect your homemade sex tapes from all of those strict porn record-keeping and labeling requirements… for now. [Reuters]
* Due to Kelley Drye’s EEOC settlement, the New York State Bar Association is asking firms to end mandatory retirement policies. Because old folks need to make bank till they croak. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* The ABA’s Commission on Ethics 20/20 has decided to ditch its proposal to allow limited nonlawyer ownership of law firms. Cue tears and temper tantrums from the likes of Jacoby & Meyers. [Am Law Daily]
* “If I believe that Chris Armstrong is a radical homosexual activist, I have a constitutional right to express that opinion.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell that to the judge who dismissed your suit, Shirvell. [Detroit Free Press]
* Presenting “her royal hotness”: apparently Pippa Middleton has been seen cavorting around France with gun-toting lawyer Romain Rabillard, of Shearman & Sterling. [Daily Mail]
* Alexander Wang says that he wasn’t running a sweatshop and that the former employee making the allegations was actually mean to all the other indentured servants workers. [Fashionista]
* We’re well into the phase of the Trayvon Martin investigation where people are trying to blame the victim, but until they show me a guy who was killed by a pack of Skittles, I really don’t think we’ve learned anything new. [New York Daily News]
* You don’t think your Skype chats at work are private, do you? In fairness, who still thinks anything they do at work is private? If you want to keep your privacy, you best work in disguise. I mean, you don’t really think I’m a large black man who talks about race all the time, do you? [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]
* Defending child pornographers. Somebody has to do it, and I’m so glad it’s not me. [Underdog]
After the jump, we’ve got some video footage of Lat dancing around like heathen as he throws fresh dirt on Dewey’s grave….
* Apparently attorneys at a “prestigious firm” in Washington, D.C. are fans of hobo hunting. What the hell does that mean? Well, there’s an app for that (one that Apple has rejected three times for its outrageous offensiveness). [VICE]
* Groupon: now ethical for advertising legal services in New York thanks to this recent opinion from the New York Bar Association Committee on Ethics. Will Biglaw start catering to deal hunters? Prediction: hell no. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Get off my lawn, you damn kids! A lawyer from Long Island was arrested after firing a warning shot into the air and holding a neighborhood teen at gunpoint following several rounds of “ding dong ditch.” [CBS New York]
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