pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
Chilling effects and prior restraint are most often associated with free speech issues, but (inspired by an IRC discussion of the recent CT bill mandating weapon registration), I've been wondering whether they had been applied to weapon registration requirements as well, or could reasonably be. (Note to maintainer: can you add tags for topic: us: 1st amendment and theme: chilling efects ?)
aquinasprime: (Default)
[personal profile] aquinasprime
According to an article in today's Buffalo News, the lawsuit I talked about in my post below has been withdrawn "after careful consideration" by the widow.


I wonder what made her change her mind, but I'm happy for the homeowner.
aquinasprime: (Men in Tights/huh)
[personal profile] aquinasprime
Last year I wrote two posts about a local homeowner who shot and killed an intruder in his house. I'll briefly recap:

A man and his wife were sleeping in their bed. A stranger (who later was eventually discovered to be a very drunk elementary school teacher from Albany attending a party at a neighbor's house) entered their house via a door that the homeowner's thought was locked. The man called 911 and while waiting for the police to arrive, warned the intruder repeatedly that he was armed and to not move, but the intruder continued to move about the house and approached the staircase. At this point the homeowner fired his weapon and killed the intruder.
After a review of the details a grand jury decided not to file charges against the homeowner. Not many details of the incident are available - it is known that the intruder had a BAC of 0.18. Why the intruder entered the home is unknown or not released to the public.

Today there was an article in the Buffalo News about this case. The wife of the intruder has filed a wrongful death suit against the homeowner. The lawsuit accuses the homeowner of "willful, intentional, malicious" slaying of Park, and acting "without just cause [or] provocation." It was unclear how much in damages she is seeking. The lawsuit also claims that the death resulted from negligence on the part of the homeowner, "without any negligence on the part of Park contributing thereto".

I have some serious issues with this. The lawsuit is claiming that the intruder bears absolutely no responsibility for his death. Apparently, the fact that he was drunk enough to enter a strange house and ignore cautions to stop or be shot are entirely the homeowner's fault. I'm interested to see how this turned out. The entire situation is tragic, but that doesn't mean it anyone's fault.

Any thoughts?
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
I have a couple ideas for entries I hope to post eventually. Meanwhile, have some Kipling.
invisionary: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist." (Default)
[personal profile] invisionary
Things are slow around here, and I enjoy the conversations we have.

I am against the death penalty. Not because I think there are moral failings with the idea that someone should die for certain heinous crimes. The fact is we get it wrong way too often, and unless and until we can get it together we shouldn't be condemning innocent people.

But my opposition actually comes from a more utilitarian point. If a person has done something truly worthy of death, it makes sense to me that they should be kept alive and suffering for the remainder of their natural years, and then die. Death is too easy a way out. It's also much more easily reversed in the event of a mistake.

I also don't care for the policy of some countries where the death sentence date is not told to the condemned until the time of execution. This inspires a soldieresque mentality, those who are ready to die without notice, and live their lives accordingly.

I'm open to discussing any of these points, and hopefully some that you come up with as well.
cheyinka: A picture of a Metroid made to look like an engraving (engraved Metroid)
[personal profile] cheyinka

The United States Supreme Court decided today, in a 5-4 decision (who's surprised it was 5-4? not me), that the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states, under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

debates on the 14th Amendment referred to the right to keep and bear arms; also the 2nd Amendment should not be singled out, among other constitutional rights, for especially unfavorable treatment. )
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
I've always reacted poorly to people who base their worldviews and their perception of politics (and their judgment of others' political stances) on a single axis (usually conservative-to-liberal, for whichever exact definitions of those they consider relevant). I tend to view those along two dimensions instead: specifically, government involvement/intervention in economic issues and government involvement/intervention in social or personal issues. However, I never gave much thought to other dimensions or how they might combine with the two I've been considering.

This was brought home by a comment elsewhere that mentioned the fiscal axis as another dimension to look at political systems along. I never gave much thought to that axis or how positions along it might combine with positions along the two I mentioned above (or along others I haven't considered either), mostly, I suspect, because I only considered fiscal aspects as a means toward the "how to get enough money to implement our goals wrt govt. involvement in the social and economic areas" end, not an end in itself, or even a way to implement social leveling, without having a specific need or use for the money thus moved to government pockets. Anyone has thoughts (or links) on that topic?
aquinasprime: (Shaak Ti sheep)
[personal profile] aquinasprime
I had posted an article previously to this community about a shooting by a homeowner that lead to the death of a teacher from the Albany area.

More details have emerged from the incident, including the fact that the intruder was drunk (0.18 BAC).

According to this article in the Buffalo News the homeowner has been cleared by a grand jury and will face no charges.
invisionary: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." (subtext) "If you have already abandoned hope, please disregard this notice." (Abandon Hope)
[personal profile] invisionary
...is a mess we all share. I'm pretty sure everyone on both sides of the aisle agree on this. And... that the government at all levels is getting it ass-backwards.

It's quite simple to say that if we were able to effectively control immigration and eliminate the illegal parts we'd restore jobs to people legally here. But that's not so. The jobs that illegals are filling are ones that lawful residents would never take, as a rule. When was the last time you heard of an illegal immigrant getting a white-collar job? I haven't.

This is a trap for illegals that is not only a severe breach of human rights, but bad for our economy as a whole. What happens when someone is brought into the country illegally is that all other laws suddenly no longer apply. Taxes aren't paid, working conditions are terrible, and if anyone ever gets the idea to rat ICE would be at their door, putting them in a prison system more cruel than the criminal one we have now (and giving Guantanamo Bay a run for its money), and ignominiously deporting them.

The root of the problem is the employers who do this to make a profit. They are skipping out on taxes and creating blights on our communities and give nothing in return for this - not even the benefits of a functional economy. Yes, what would happen if we eliminated illegal immigration would be the jobs would set up elsewhere. But these jobs are doing our economy no good, and if they were set up as imports we would be able to levy them appropriately, and not have the ill effects that come from having illegals in our country. These people result in burdens on our communal resources (use of roads and utilities, public health measures, etc.) without making any contribution, as well as not being able to more effectively contribute because they do not have access to things like education. They're trapped.

I believe that long prison sentences are in order for the people who intentionally harbor illegal immigrants for the purpose of cheap, inhumane labor. We also have to make a choice, and I'm neutral on this one because there's good arguments on both sides - we need to open our borders and allow people to come in legally, or we need to find a way to lock down. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
aquinasprime: (WTF)
[personal profile] aquinasprime
Right now, one of the big news stories in my hometown (Buffalo, NY) is the fact that there was a fatal shooting on Saturday night. There has been little confirmed facts being published and there are tons of rumors/theories flying around. I can't permalink to any articles (they make them unavailable after a few weeks) but you can go to The Buffalo News for details. I'll summarize what has been revealed in the media so far.

On Saturday evening, there was a fatal shooting in a home in Amherst, NY. The victim was a school teacher from Albany, NY. The shooter was the homeowner. The victim was attending a "diaper party" in the area (I think it's supposed to be the male party that happens at the same time as a baby shower). He went outside of the house where the party was sometime in the evening. Around 1am the shooter heard the sounds of someone entering his home. Per the shooter (and his attorney, who specializes in these sorts of cases) he told his wife to call 911, grabbed his shotgun, told the person entering the house that he was armed and to stop. The person didn't stop, so he shot him.

According the shooter's attorney, in NYS a person has the right to shoot if they feel their house is being burglarized.

What no one is clear on is exactly what happened. Why was the victim trying to enter the house? Was he sleepwalking, drunk, did he just go in the wrong house? Was the house he entered locked or unlocked? None of these details have been released (and we may never know the answers to some)and it is causing rampant speculation.

More importantly it has sparked much debate about the homeowner. Did he have the right to shoot someone entering his home? Was the shooting justified? Will he/should he be charged? It is also sparking a discussion of castle doctrine as a whole.

I'm going to be very clear in my opinion. If he did warn the victim that he was armed and told him to stop, and the victim continued to enter the home I do feel the shooting was justified and that the homeowner should not face any charges. I'm a firm believer in the idea that if you have a legal gun in your house, you have the right to shoot someone posting a potential danger to your family or property. And I think a stranger entering your home at 1am is assumed to be a threat.

I'm posting this from work, so I can't go into a deeper discussion now, but I wanted to know what others thought.