The AP had an article today on the increased popularity of four cylinder auto engines, noting that designers are boosting their power and efficiency in three ways. First, direct injection (which is hardly new), and which the author explained "mixes air and gas in the chamber that surrounds the piston." Like the cylinder, I suppose. He got turbocharging roughly correct. Then, "some vehicles shut off their engines automatically at stoplights. They can run pumps and other devices off the battery rather than a belt that sucks power from the engine."
I think it was Glenn Reynolds who remarked that after you keep spotting errors and misunderstandings in areas where you have some knowledge, you start to wonder if journalists are as ignorant in all other areas, it's just that you lack the background to spot their errors there.
Which brings us to "no retreat laws," the story-writing fad of the day.
The Daytona Beach News Journal lists local cases where "no retreat" applied.
1. A fellow jumped by a knife-armed attacker, who tried to start his car to flee and fired when it wouldn't start. "No retreat" hardly governs there -- he tried to retreat.
2. A person who shot a burglar who had threatened to kill him. Even in the minority of States that require retreat, most if not all make an exception inside your own house.
3. Another response to a burglary.
4. A case where the defendant shot another person in an argument, and his attorney can't say whether "no retreat" applies.
The Chicago Sun-Times editorializes that "For centuries, the law has said you can’t kill someone if there’s a way to avoid it. That should still be the standard." Fact: the vast majority of American States (I'm told forty) have never had a retreat requirement. (My own State's Supreme Court rejected it in the 19th century). Even those that have a retreat requirement recognize that it doesn't apply if retreat would be dangerous (which is usually the case if you're being attacked).
On other fronts, the Muskegon Chronicle editorializes regarding "assault rifles," that "The real danger here is the risk of one of these assault weapons hitting a fellow hunter. Consider what might have happened if former Vice President Dick Cheney had been toting a semiautomatic when he nearly bagged a lawyer deep in the heart of Texas."