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."
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."
The stupid, it hurts. Hey there sparky, it is quite possible that he was using an Over Under shotgun that doesn't even have an action to cycle. He could have shot his lawyer friend twice at the exact same time!
Not to mention the fact it isn't legal to hunt fowl with a rifle last I checked. I do however hunt with a semi-auto shotgun. Also shoot doubles trap with it as well.
Posted by: Barron Barnett at June 15, 2012 12:24 PM
*Also, Dave that wasn't directed at you, that was at the numb nut and the endless layers of "editorial oversight."
Posted by: Barron Barnett at June 15, 2012 12:26 PM
"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."
Should still be the standard? Far as I can tell, it still is. Last I checked, while a few states specifically require you to retreat, none have open-season like the opponents of self-defense laws would have us believe. In it's deadly force laws, TX uses words like reasonably believe, minimum, and necessary. If there are obvious other options, you'd better take 'em (see moron Raul Rodriguez, for example).
While the language varies from state-to-state, the idea is the same; shooting folks is an absolute last resort.
Posted by: Speakertweaker at June 15, 2012 01:23 PM
If you can stand it, you might want to check up on the status of duty to retreat law in Massachusetts. The last time I think I had a good reading on it, which would have been in the '80s, their high court's latest judicial nullification of the latest "this time we mean it!" law was to require retreat from one's dwelling unless your name was on the lease in the case of a rental (can't remember about homeowners since I wasn't going to stay to become one!).
Before then, I think, I followed in the Boston Globe the trial of a homeowner? who was convicted because he refused to leave his sleeping daughter to the tender mercies of a home intruder.
I find it hard to express how utterly depraved the establishments of these anti-gun localities are....
Posted by: Harold at June 15, 2012 01:44 PM
Speakertweaker: doesn't Texas allow the use of deadly force to stop a robbery after a verbal warning? I.e. someone is walking out with your stereo, you tell him to stop, he keeps on walking and you can stop him with deadly force.
That said, even Castle Doctrine works as you say, it just proceeds from the attitude that any invader of an occupied dwelling can only safely be presumed to have lethal intentions towards the occupants. Among other things, gauging his intent gives him a free shot at you.
Posted by: Harold at June 15, 2012 01:50 PM
I think the Glenn Reynolds reference you make is actually from author Michael Crichton, which he called the "Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect." To wit:
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
Posted by: Kevin Baker at June 15, 2012 09:09 PM
The Indiana Supreme Court abolished the duty to retreat in 1877 in Runyan. The jury instructions for the first 10 years that I practiced had no mention of a duty to retreat. Now it is explicitly stated that there is no duty to retreat.
As soon as Florida changed their statutes the Indiana General Assembly decided to change Indiana's law. A classic case of "me too-ism".
"When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justiciable."
Posted by: Shootin' Buddy at June 18, 2012 08:47 AM