The gun thread

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Dangerousman
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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:16 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:The punishment for taunting should never involve the death penalty, especially if the one taunted is a trespasser.


Well of course not, and he didn't shoot in response to the taunts, he shot at the moment somebody lunged at him. That's a significant difference, don't you think?

My understanding, and from all appearances on the video tape, Rodriguez was standing in the street in front of the offending house. That is not trespassing.

I'd be interested in hearing the 911 call so we could hear both sides of the conversation he was having with the dispatcher.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:26 pm

Kenneth Ellis, who lived across the street from Rodriguez, testified Friday that on the night of the shooting, he saw that Rodriguez was “agitated and angry.” As he left his home, he was saying “Shut up. Shut up.”

Johnson attempted to introduce evidence showing that Rodriguez had a history of threatening neighbors by brandishing his gun. But state District Judge David Mendoza did not allow the evidence.

Op. cit.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:32 pm

Your exact words were "I personally have never thought standing one's ground was a behavior I valued, even in a verbal altercation. To me it just looks like stubbornness, which I see as negative."

Not speaking on your behalf, but based on your subsequent comments I think you'd probably amend your earlier one to say "there are times to stand your ground and times not to stand it." If so, I won't argue about that. We'd agree on the principle, if not every application of it. Fair enough?


Closer, I guess.

Note the word "never" in paragraph 1 above refers to how often I've thought I valued the behavior in principle of standing one's ground, which is not the same thing as thinking "there are times to stand your ground and times not to stand it." One is valuing a principle (or in this case not valuing it), the other is a judgment of the rightness of an action. S-y-g is a principle I do not value highly, and to demonstrate that I could go way off topic and list a dozen principles (or behaviors illustrating those principles) I value more highly.

But yes, you found where I used the word "never." On reflection, I'd say I can stand by it because I'm talking only about my own thoughts which aren't known by anybody but me, and I believe I made a true statement about them.

That aside, could I agree with your wording "there are times to stand your ground and times not to stand it?" as a statement applicable to other people? I suppose in the universe of all events, it's possible there could occur a time for standing one's ground (and I'm assuming we aren't talking about verbal altercations, nor when under military orders). I can't remember reading any examples you gave over the last few months where I thought standing one's ground was unequivocally the best choice, but that doesn't remove the universal possibility in general. The most likely places I might agree could involve defending children, but I'd still prefer to consider all possible alternatives to traumatizing them by causing them to witness a shooting.

Making statements about the universe of all possible actions isn't very useful, but that doesn't mean we don't make them on a regular basis.

That's the best I can do with regard to agreeing with your statement, but logically, it's a yes. So, fair enough.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby DCB » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:56 pm

snoqueen wrote: I linked earlier to a discussion of the effect of the stand your ground law in Florida, though I'm not going to dig back and find the article again.

I think you're referring to this article

DMan insists that 'every state has some form of stand-your-ground law'. But the article makes clear that when Florida changed its law it had a significant effect on the kinds of actions that were prosecuted.

The type of law matters.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:11 pm

You found a different article, but yours has more details especially concerning how differently various judges and prosecutors are treating the cases in their courts.

If nothing else, some good investigative journalism.

I thought the following, which comes at the end of the article, makes some good points:

"I think the (stand your ground) law has an emboldening effect. All of a sudden, you're a tough guy and can be aggressive,'' said George Kirkham, a professor emeritus at Florida State University who has worked as a police officer.

Criminologists say that when people with guns get the message they have a right to stand and fight, rather than retreat, the threshold for using that gun goes down. All too often, Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant state attorney for Pinellas-Pasco counties, sees the result.

"I see cases where I'll think, 'This person didn't really need to kill that person but the law, as it is written, justifies their action,' " Bartlett said about incidents that his office decides not to prosecute due to "stand your ground." "It may be legally within the boundaries. But at the end of the day, was it really necessary?"


That last question speaks my own mind better than I've been able to do.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:47 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Kenneth Ellis, who lived across the street from Rodriguez, testified Friday that on the night of the shooting, he saw that Rodriguez was “agitated and angry.” As he left his home, he was saying “Shut up. Shut up.”

Johnson attempted to introduce evidence showing that Rodriguez had a history of threatening neighbors by brandishing his gun. But state District Judge David Mendoza did not allow the evidence.

Op. cit.


The problem I have with this is that the term "brandishing" is bandied around much, but the definition of it is very broad. Some states, I don't know how many off hand, actually have a specific "brandishing" statute that provides a definition. California has a brandishing law that defines it as drawing or exhibiting a weapon (gun or otherwise), "in a rude, angry, or threatening manner" (other than in acting in self-defense.) Wisconsin has no brandishing law, and as far as I can determine, neither does Texas. By the dictionary definition, "brandishing" is also defined as displaying something "ostentatiously." In places where there is no legal definition of the term, it becomes somewhat subjective and subject to debate. Even among gun-people there is disagreement. I've had gun people try to tell me that touching or drawing your gun is "brandishing." That's nonsense, since touching and drawing your gun is necessary to do. How else are you going to load it or unload it if you're not going to touch it? In states that have no brandishing law per se, certainly some types of behavior with a weapon are going to be illegal and prosecuted as either disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, or some similar violation, depending upon the seriousness. But some people will claim that a weapon is being brandished simply by being carried or worn. Without knowing the specific behavior Rodriguez is alleged to have engaged in that the article calls "brandishing" it's impossible to make anything of it. If neighbors simply felt threatened because they saw Rodriguez wearing a gun, then that's hardly a correct use of the term "to brandish." If he actively threatened them, that's another matter. But if they simply felt intimidated by the guy or felt he looked scary, and he wasn't overtly making threats, then I'd certainly understand why that wouldn't be admitted as evidence.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:52 am

Texas man convicted in stand-your-ground case

A retired Houston-area firefighter faces up to life in prison after a jury convicted him of murder for gunning down his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over a noisy house party.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:10 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Texas man convicted in stand-your-ground case

A retired Houston-area firefighter faces up to life in prison after a jury convicted him of murder for gunning down his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over a noisy house party.



This quote seems relevant:
Johnson said Rodriguez can't hide behind the stand-your-ground law because he provoked the confrontation and then brandished his weapon against an unarmed individual, which is a crime.
But defense attorney Neal Davis said he doesn't believe Rodriguez did anything illegal. He said Rodriguez went to complain and was confronted by Danaher and the two other partygoers, and that he didn't pull out his gun until he was standing in the street and Danaher approached him in a threatening manner.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:28 am

If a jury in Texas was able to come to this very reasonable conclusion, we might over time see stand your ground laws reduced, through the normal judicial process of interpretation, to something that approximates conventional ideas of how to conduct yourself with a gun and what recourse of last resort actually is like. Now we know, for example, a neighborhood bully shouldn't expect to get off free when he grabs his gun, marches over to a loud party and kills somebody. His behavior was disproportionate from start to finish and the jury saw the evidence that way.

(Of course, there's still the appeals process -- especially if some big money hires some big-gun lawyers.)

I am still most concerned about domestic partners who will be killed in the home, with no witnesses, and their killers will never even go to court.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:38 pm

snoqueen wrote: Now we know, for example, a neighborhood bully shouldn't expect to get off free when he grabs his gun, marches over to a loud party and kills somebody. His behavior was disproportionate from start to finish and the jury saw the evidence that way.

(Of course, there's still the appeals process -- especially if some big money hires some big-gun lawyers.)

I am still most concerned about domestic partners who will be killed in the home, with no witnesses, and their killers will never even go to court.


Outside of military operations, nobody should expect "to get off free after shooting another person." The only thing you should "expect" is to be arrested and to let the legal process work.

I wish you'd explain your "concern" about domestic partners with some detail. As far as there being no witnesses, that's not anything unique to domestic situations. One can't ever rely on the presence of witnesses, or if there are witnesses, that they'd be good. What's the alternative? Cameras everywhere inside and outside of our homes?

As far as the Rodriguez case, I'm not particularly surprised by the outcome. Rodriquez "says" the right things "I fear for my life" etc. But it comes across as forced and insincere on the video. If he truly feared for his life he wouldn't just stand there arguing about loud music. The escalation of the incident to the point of violence seemed somewhat mutual by both parties, and sure, he had a right to stand in the street and argue about it, but one is not allowed to continue to provoke someone in order to have an excuse to shoot them. I can understand why the jury watching the video might take it as what Rodriguez was trying to do. To me the worse part was when he said to the dispatcher "please help me" because he was not helpless at the time. He was capable of adequately defending himself, he wasn't under attack at that moment-- other than verbally-- and he could have moved to a safer location or gone home. Bottom line, he came across as too willing to fight, rather than as a reluctant participant. That's not the best way to cash in your get out of jail free card. He was outnumbered, but apparently that didn't impress the jury. One weird thing is that the video indicates that there were police nearby talking to others. If so, why didn't they move in sooner to take control of the situation?

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Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:35 pm

I wish you'd explain your "concern" about domestic partners with some detail. As far as there being no witnesses, that's not anything unique to domestic situations. One can't ever rely on the presence of witnesses, or if there are witnesses, that they'd be good....


Oh, no way. I'm not playing that game. If you can't figure it out for yourself, I can't help you.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:36 pm

snoqueen wrote:
I wish you'd explain your "concern" about domestic partners with some detail. As far as there being no witnesses, that's not anything unique to domestic situations. One can't ever rely on the presence of witnesses, or if there are witnesses, that they'd be good....


Oh, no way. I'm not playing that game. If you can't figure it out for yourself, I can't help you.


You think it's a game? Fine.

You have no reasons to present that would justify your concern. In other words, there's absolutely no reason anyone should feel similarly concerned. Then why even bring it up?

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Re: The gun thread

Postby snoqueen » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:19 pm

You have no reasons to present that would justify your concern. In other words, there's absolutely no reason anyone should feel similarly concerned. Then why even bring it up?


I'll not state opinions or concerns on the behalf of others regarding this question. Readers already know my own.

And so do you.

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Re: The gun thread

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:58 pm

DA fights to carry gun in Winnebago County courthouse

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/ ... ewestfirst

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Re: The gun thread

Postby jman111 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:14 pm

A town of Lindina man who caught two alleged burglars on his property last week fired shots in an attempt to frighten them before following them in his car.

“Paulson said he went to the trunk of his car and loaded a magazine into his AK-47 rifle,” the criminal complaint said. “Paulson said he yelled, ‘Stay right there,’ and fired five or six rounds up in the air several feet above the top of the white pickup truck. Paulson said he did not want to shoot the two guys, he just wanted to scare them.”

A young girl in the truck later determined to be Alt’s daughter had been in the pickup all along. Paulson told authorities he did not know the child was in the pickup when he fired the warning shots.

(emphasis mine)
WI State Journal story here


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