Story here. He was a heck of a nice guy, and died in harness, as Shakespeare said. I am told he was doing his job at the September NRA Board meeting when he suddenly collapsed, I assume a massive coronary or stroke. They gave him CPR but he didn't make it. Gad, he was only 55, and slender. My brother in law nearly died of a massive coronary at age 52, coming off a tennis court, but fast CPR (and a cardiologist and a defib unit nearby) pulled him through.
A good summary at Reason.com. I've heard of similar things happening in California. Regulatory "inspections" are traditionally given only loose Fourth Amendment protections by the courts, because they usually are no big deal. But some locals send the "inspectors" in with real law enforcement, supposedly to protect them. The team with them then uses the opportunity as a chance for a warrantless search (at least as to anything in "plain view.")
Here, a barbershop inspector, entitled to make sure the barbers were licensed and presumably to see that they were following regulations (combs dipped in disinfectant, etc.) made a completely unnecessary inspection, accompanied by a SWAT-style team, for purposes of looking for drugs and recruiting informants (i.e., catching someone with them). The Eleventh Circuit upholds the resulting lawsuit and denies the officials "qualified immunity" (a court-created defense for actions that a reasonable actor would not have known were unconstitutional).
It's strange to reflect that the Supreme Court only got around to putting the teeth in "unreasonable search" five or ten years ago. Until then, all the case law was over whether they had probable cause, whether they had a warrant or fell within an exception for a warrant, etc.. Whether the search was, overall, an unreasonable one was largely ignored. Perhaps that was before SWAT tactics became almost the default, searches tended to be reasonable in their approach. When serving a search warrant meant sending out a few squad cars to knock, show the warrant, and search the place, "unreasonable search" was rarely a major issue.
"As busy as the gun lobby is in promoting macho myths about self-defense -- stand your ground and outshoot the bad guys -- it is no less dedicated to spinning myths for lawmakers to use as excuses to avoid enacting laws to deal with the shooting sprees that regularly afflict the nation. This was clear at the opening Senate hearing on gun controls this week, where Judiciary Committee members seemed to have largely swallowed gun lobby propaganda that the evidence shows the original 10-year ban on assault weapons was ineffective.... The false statistics comfort members of Congress who fear the gun lobby or their more conservative constituents, or both, and are blocking a new and stronger ban on assault weapons proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein."
NY Times Editorial, "The Moment for Action on Gun Control, January 15, 2013:
"Some lawmakers are already talking about focusing on the background checks and bowing to gun lobby's opposition to an assault weapons ban. That shouldn't stop the administration and its allies from demanding that all these provisions be passed immediately. With the deaths of Newtown's children still so fresh, the public will be repulsed by lawmakers who stand aside and do nothing."
"But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don't kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago."
Story here. Brady will sue on behalf of the parents of a child killed in the Aurora CO shooting, against the dealer who sold the ammunition and some unnamed others.
I cannot figure this one out. First, the tort law is pretty clear that (with very narrow exceptions) a person does not have a duty to prevent someone else from committing a crime that harms someone else. Second, how can an ammunition dealer, of all people, be expected to know that a buyer whom he has never met plans on using the ammo in a crime? In other words, even if there was a legal duty, where is the negligence? Third, unless the killer bought all his ammo from that one dealer, how can the dealer be shown to have any involvement?
And to top it off... the murders were committed on July 20, 2012. From what I can see, Colorado has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury. So the statute ran nearly two months ago. Oops. Now, Brady could contend that it's suing for a minor, and the statute of limitations doesn't begin to run until a minor's 18th birthday. BUT the minor died, and the article says the suit is actually brought on behalf of her parents (wrongful death statutes differ somewhat in this respect, in some the suit is brought on behalf of the decedent's estate, in some it's brought by the survivors in their own right).
It does sound like a civil action that is a sure loser, brought in hopes of gaining publicity. That of course runs a big risk of getting hit with sanctions.
Protestors picket national police championships, as if learning to shoot accurately had much to do with questions about whether a shooting was justified. Of course, it's being consistent to some degree. Most just assume that firearm skills = being an accessory to crime applies only to the general citizenry.
From one of their spokeswomen: "Green said women and girls should be aware that lax gun laws lead to gun violence which can beget domestic violence."
Some 19th century wag wrote something like: "If a man engages in casual murders, next he will descend to excessive drink and pilfering, and thence sink to profane oaths and sabbath-breaking, and so become utterly lost."
From Glenn Reynolds, "The Second Amendment as Ordinary Constitutional Law," arguing that the 2A has become a normal part of Con law, legal doomsday did not come, and courts might as well accept that. Then, from David Wolitz, comes "Second Amendment Realism," suggesting that that just means the courts will screw it up like they have all the rest of the field. He phrases it a little more tactfully.