Pretty appalling. The PSA has a kid stealing his mother's handgun, hiding it in his backpack, taking it to school, and handing it to a teacher, asking that she take it away since he doesn't feel safe with a gun in the house. Presumably, conduct the creator feels worthy of emulation.
As the web page points out, the student in the video commits five felonies -- theft, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying at a bus stop, on a school bus, and in a school. I'd add that if the teacher takes it, the teacher commits receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm in a school zone. And of course if either of them is untrained (and the kid being so scared of a gun is evidence that he is that), neither should be packing a gun in a school or anywhere else.
Tyler v. Hillsdale County -- as-applied challenge to prohibition against those who have a mental commitment.
Majority goes with strict scrutiny. Lengthy discussions of various prohibited person categories. Scalia's "presumptively lawful" treated as ambitious, with note that under any heightened scrutiny the law cannot be presumed valid.
Court concludes that statute is not "narrowly tailored" since those with mental commitments can apply for restoration of rights in States that have adopted a regime matching federal requirements (thereby getting grant money), the simple fact that Tyler's State hasn't should not leave him with a lifetime bar. Remanded for trial.
How many mistakes can the AP make in one short story? "Stand your ground" was not an issue in the Montana shooting. Nor in the George Zimmerman case. I'm sure Montana law, prior to the amendment, allowed self-defense in cases there was no tumultuous entry into a house (as in, if outside the house, or in the house if there is a reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury). "Stand your ground" laws do not give "a person the right to use force or threaten to use force to protect his or her own home from unlawful entry or attack."
That's a pretty good list of errors for a twelve-sentence story.
Prof. Volokh discusses the decision here.
Hmmm... the hostage taker had 40+ arrests for sexual assault (released on bond on all), for being an accessory to the murder of his wife (released on bond), and seven for harassing families who had lost a serviceman in Afghanistan (for which he got probation).
A member of Parliament from Victoria says ""No more useless gun laws. Because most of our gun laws now seem to be aimed at the law-abiding, not at the criminals," Mr Bourman told reporters on Tuesday."Exhibit A: Sydney. None of our gun laws stopped that.""
The Supreme Court today handed down Heien v. North Carolina. An officer stopped a car that had a brake light burned out, and in the course of the stop discovered cocaine. It turns out that the North Carolina traffic statutes say that a vehicle must have a working stop "lamp," singular. The State court of appeals ruled that this meant the stop was not supported by probable cause: no reason to believe a law was being violated. The State supreme court ruled that the stop was valid, because the officer's misunderstanding of the law was reasonable. A reasonable mistake of fact does not eliminate probable cause; does a reasonable mistake of law do so?
The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the stop was valid. Justice Kagan and Ginsburg concurred, writing to stress that (1) the question of reasonableness is an objective one, not one linked to the officer's personal thoughts or training, and (2) the test is stricter than the one used for qualified immunity (which is loose indeed). Justice Sotomayor dissented, arguing that a mistake of law, reasonable or not, means there is no probable cause.
UPDATE: I quite agree that it is incongruous to have government actors protected by a "reasonable mistake" defense, and have citizens often covered by "ignorance of the law is no excuse." It's particularly so in the area of qualified immunity where, as Sotomayor's dissent points out, civil suit is not allowed unless "anyone but a complete incompetent would have known this was illegal and unconstitutional." And that's when a government actor's pocketbook, not his liberty, is at stake.
With a private citizen, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and even when intent is required the prosecution can ask for a "willful ignorance" instruction, that essentially even if defendant didn't know, if you think he sorta shut his eyes to it, you can find him guilty.
I haven't researched it, but I wonder how this plays out in the setting of a criminal prosecution of a government actor for deprivation of civil rights. Is ignorance of the Constitution no defense, because it's a criminal case, or is reasonable failure to appreciate there was a constitutional right being violated a defense because of qualified immunity? Bear in mind that all of this is judicially created. The statutes say nothing about qualified immunity, or about willful ignorance.
Story here. I really can't see it as filed in good faith. Apart from the Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act problem (a massive one), where is the negligence (selling a lawful rifle?), how do they solve proximate causation (intentional criminal misuse of a tool usually breaks the chain of cause), and after that they have to prove facts that aren't true -- that the AR-15 platform is unsuited for sporting use or self-defense. The lawsuit may be good for PR but this is the type of thing that risks a court awarding sanctions to the defendants.
A ways back, NBC's David Gregory appeared on Meet the Press, filmed in DC, flashing around a 30-round AR-15 magazine, in public violation of DC's ban on such. DC was pressed to prosecute and, of course, declined. Legal Insurrection blog sought to obtain, via the Freedom of Information Act, data relating to the non-prosecution, and won another motion, to obtain a police affidavit that called for his prosecution.
Also at the link are emails between NBC News and the DC Police Department, before the event. NBC asks, can we bring in and show the magazine? DC PD responds no, it is completely illegal, just use a photo of it.
The only thing more ridiculous than criminalizing possession of a box and spring is refusing to enforce the ban based upon the possessor's clout and friends.
It's the latest Pew survey. They started asking the question in 1993, when "gun control is more important" led by 57-34%. Its lead peaked in 1999, at 66-34%. Today "protecting gun rights is more important" leads, 52-46%. The big change started in 2007, and from 2010 onward the two were in a dead heat.
"Compared with last January, support for gun rights increased by 6 points among Republicans and Democrats, 7 points among independents, 8 points among whites and 10 points among African Americans."
"The gun and ammunition laws were passed, our legislators said, to make it difficult for our gangs to obtain the guns and bullets they need to rob law-abiding citizens and to murder each other. These laws were first introduced about twenty years ago, and I think they have been amended once or twice. Today, all of us Belizeans know that these are laws which are abysmal failures, if we are to judge failure or success on the basis of the original intent of the laws.
What the guns laws have succeeded in doing is to intimidate and victimize innocent citizens who live in certain targeted neighborhoods. The laws are draconian, and they have contributed to the ever-growing sense in the Belizean people that we are not in control of our own destiny."
"The evidence is the weed law and the evidence is the gun law. These are not Belizean laws. These are oppressive laws. The PUDP are in bed with white supremacy. Power to the people."