Back in 2005 President Bush signed the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which was passed to prohibit frivolous lawsuits like those filed by the City of New York and Washington, DC that sought to hold gun manufacturers responsible for criminal acts committed by 3rd parties who happened to use their products in their crimes.
In the face of legislation, duly passed and signed into law, that explicitly stated that any such lawsuits currently ongoing were to be dismissed, a New York judge ruled to allow one to continue. The manufacturers appealed and the US 2nd Court of Appeals ruled in their favor, overturning the lower court. NYC appealed that one to the Supreme Court. Today, the Court declined without comment to hear the case.
This looks to be the end for the NYC & DC lawsuits filed against several firearm manufacturers claiming that their legal products create a nuisance for the City. From (ironically) Bloomberg News:
The U.S. Supreme Court left intact lower court decisions shielding Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., Sturm, Ruger & Co. and other gunmakers from lawsuits pressed by New York City and shooting victims in Washington, D.C.
The justices, without comment, rejected appeals that sought to revive the two suits and challenged the constitutionality of a federal law signed in 2005 by then-President George W. Bush to protect the industry from a wave of lawsuits.
The New York and Washington suits were among dozens that sought to hold the firearms industry accountable for urban violence, claiming that manufacturers knew their weapons would fall into the hands of criminals. Most of those suits have been dismissed.
The New York suit, filed in 2000 by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, sought court-ordered changes to industry practices to keep illegal guns out of the city. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected the suit last year, overturning a trial judge.
And that, folks, should be the end of the matter. The law was passed by the people’s representatives and now has been held to be completely Constitutional. I hope this puts all of those lawsuits still hanging around on judicial life-support out of our misery.
In my previous post on weapons in a church, I pulled up the Virginia law on carrying concealed weapons in an attempt to determine whether Virginians are legally allowed to do so today. I didn’t make it out of the 1st section without running into a mistake jarring enough that it derailed my research for a short interval. Here’s Section A of § 18.2-308, from the beginning to end of item (iv):
A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or
Emphasis mine. Folks, the “flailing instrument” they’re talking about is properly identified in section (iii) with the terms “nun chahka”, “nun chuck”, or (as I call them) “nunchaku.” This is a nunchaku:
It’s 2 pieces of a hard material, usually wood but possibly weighted plastic or even metal, connected with a short piece of rope or chain. The other term, which I’ve put in boldface, is “shuriken” and here’s some examples of those:
You’ll note that the 2 weapons have precisely ZERO in common. One’s a blunt weapon, the other is bladed. One’s designed to be a melee, hand-held weapon held on to by the wielder, the other’s a projectile designed to be thrown. One’s for close-quarters combat, the other is for ranged strikes. Folks, it doesn’t get more different than this. (Unless you’re gonna make one of them out of Jello, but I digress.) The shuriken belongs in the category described in item (iv), not in item (iii) and anyone who knew the least bit about the topic would know that instantly.
Think about your line of work and ask yourself about the times that you’ve had to create a document on one topic or another. If you’ve got to include something about which you have no training at all, don’t you run the document past someone who does before you pass it up to the boss? I certainly do and I would expect our lawmakers to do so as well. Or, rather, I’d wish they would.
If you know of similar circumstances in another law, drop us a note in the comments and we’ll all have a look together.
RedState’s morning briefing for 2/10/2009 has a number of interesting items:
FEBRUARY 10, 2009
1. Specter, Snowe, and Collins Premise Their Stimulus Vote on a Lie
They said it was not as large as it turned out to be
2. Congressional Budget Office Says Recession Will End This Year Without Stimulus
With one, we’re going to see short-term gains at the expense of long-term growth.
3. The Verdict on President Obama’s First Prime Time Presser: Pain.
What we saw tonight in President Obama was a man who, flailing about for words and faiing to form cohesive sentences and responses, turned in a stumbling, meandering performance worthy of the most extreme caricature of George W. Bush.
4. Obama: Hope Gives Way To Fear
Leave aside the sardonic irony of this disingenuous young President, who campaigned for his job telling us exactly the opposite of what he says now.
5. The War On Limbaugh
Like his father, Max Blumenthal is neither a smart man nor honest.
6. Obama backs away from war on terror
In his uninspiring inauguration speech, President Obama told the world we would not waver in defense of our way of life, and he told the evil doers that “our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”
7. About Those Rejected Ballots in Minnesota
The Franken camp wanted every vote counted until it pulled into the lead. Then all stop.
These are the headlines. The items themselves are in the RedState article so I urge you to follow the link and read more.
The 2 items I wanted to address on this list are numbers 2 and 6. I’ve pointed out here before that Obama’s contention that there’s wide agreement on the need for this massive pork-fest he’s calling a “stimulus” isn’t the “consensus” he’s pitching it as. I also mentioned that there was a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showing that the bill’s spending wasn’t going to assist anything in 2009 because not even half (and, by now, not even a quarter) of the actual stimulus spending would happen this year. The item at RedState goes deeper into the CBO’s stance on things and finds that their analysis shows this recession will be over within this year and that’s without the “stimulus” package.
That’s without a “stimulus”: with one, we’re going to see short-term gains at the expense of long-term growth. You can argue that this might not be a bad thing, overall; but if we’re not actually going to need the Obama-Reid-Pelosi debt bill to get out of this recession then the biggest argument against passing it right now just went away. There is no consensus that urgent action is needed: as Rasmussen notes, while Democrats are following the President on this, Republicans are not… and independents are significantly in agreement with the GOP. A plurality of voters oppose this thing.
The biggest issue with the package, of course, being that there’s far more stuff in there that does nothing to stimulate the economy than does and all of that shouldn’t be in an emergency bill to begin with.
Item 6 talks about Obama’s attempts at “smart” diplomacy. Dan Spencer’s article there at RedState hits the nail squarely regarding Obama’s speeches and interviews since becoming President:
Obama’s “choice of words” response brings to mind the just words speech Obama stole from Massachusetts Democrat Deval Patrick. I agree that words matter, but when one’s actions speak so loudly the words can’t be heard, the words matter only to mock the speaker.
No one – not Russia, not Iran, not Europe – has been at all impressed with Obama’s America-blaming rhetoric. They don’t see it as humble, they see it as weak which is exactly what many of us on the Right said it would look like. Iran has outright called for America to apologize to Iran before they’ll even consider normalizing relations. So much for “meeting without preconditions”, eh, Mr. President?
The rest of the items are just as good so don’t miss it.
The Washington Post has a front-page story in this morning’s edition on a dawning realization by the citizens of Montgomery County, MD. After years of wagging accusing fingers at those of us who see illegal immigration as a problem precisely because it’s illegal and tends to cause a rise in crime wherever it’s allowed, it seems they’re looking at a 7.7% increase in serious crime and the cause is becoming clear. Their sanctuary, never-say-enforce attitude has had precisely the effect we on the strong enforcement support side said it would. And it appears even they are starting to realize it. Now, their police department is coming up with a proposal to actually check the immigration status of those arrested for violent and serious criminal acts.
The proposal is a departure from past practice for a police agency that has cultivated relations with immigrant communities. The department has long taken the position that delving into immigration matters could jeopardize cooperation from crime victims and witnesses, undermining public safety.
Manger, who is crafting the proposal with his senior staff, declined to comment. Assistant Chief Wayne M. Jerman said recently that “all public officials” have been hearing from residents that the county needs to be more aggressive on the issue.
While I’d love to see them admit they were wrong about the issue I have no illusions of actually seeing that. I’ll be satisfied with them enacting such a proposal and joining us in aggressively enforcing our laws. By doing so together we are more effective and that’ll work well for everyone involved. The law-abiding, in any case.
Patrick Ruffini makes his feelings plain in his tweet on the attempts by Apple to open a store in DC’s Georgetown: “DC Luddites blocking first Apple Store in the Capital.” From the linked story:
The wait for Apple’s first retail store in the nation’s capital will reportedly drag on, as local preservationists have been unable to see eye-to-eye with the Mac maker on a design for the new shop.
The Cupertino-based company acquired a building in the historic Georgetown district more than a year ago with the intention of demolishing the structure and replacing it with a flashy high-profile Apple store.
Although it’s since been cleared to raze the building at 1229 Wisconsin Ave., Apple has been unable to pass its design proposals for the new store through a review process governed by a pair of local preservationist bodies, according to the Georgetown Current [PDF].
Read all about Apple’s attempts to put in a store that doesn’t look like a re-done row house. At the end of the article it mentions that Apple has apparently not paid taxes it owes since buying the property. To be frank, I wouldn’t be paying them, either, if I was constantly getting stonewalled about actually being able to build on it. If the Georgetown board mentioned has the ability to legally stop them from building on the property then they can take the heat for the taxes being withheld. If they don’t, then I’m afraid I’d consider this 3rd refusal from them the 3rd strike and go ahead with the building process over their protests.
People who know me well know that I’m a big fan of Star Trek. And yes, that includes having gone to a number of conventions in my younger days although I never dressed in the shows’ attire. I feel a fondness and familiarity toward the characters and, by extension, to the cast members who portrayed them. That original series cast has continued to age with the rest of us and, in the last decade, some have begun to depart this Vale of Tears. Today, I read with sadness that Majel Roddenberry, wife of Star Trek create Gene Roddenberry and actress in episodes in 3 of the Star Trek series has passed away. She was 76.
Majel Roddenberry appeared in the original Star Trek pilot as the First Officer under Captain Christopher Pike (played by Jeffrey Hunter). The only other actor to do so was Leonard Nimoy, famous worldwide as the vulcan Spock. While her character in that pilot wasn’t carried into the series, Majel, herself, was and took on the role of Nurse Christine Chapel. She was one of the core group of characters throughout the series. When Star Trek: The Next Generation came on the air, Roddenberry provided the voice of the ship’s computer. Her voice was used for all Federation systems on all of the spinoff series, as well, which included Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. She returned to the front of the camera on Next Generation as the character Lwaxana Troi, mother of one of the series’ regular characters Counselor Deanna Troi (played by Marina Sirtis.)
I’d also note that she appeared in 1 episode of another made-for-TV science fiction series, Babylon 5.
Majel Barrett Roddenberry died yesterday at her home in California at the age of 76 from complications arising from leukemia. She will be missed.
Godspeed, Majel. Give our regards to Gene, De, and Jimmy as well as to He who created the final frontier we explore.
(Update: Link to the story added. Thanks to The Bulletproof Monk for reminding me.)
Users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are being urged by experts to switch to a rival until a serious security flaw has been fixed.
The flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer could allow criminals to take control of people’s computers and steal their passwords, internet experts say.
Microsoft urged people to be vigilant while it investigated and prepared an emergency patch to resolve it.
IE’s continued security flaws made it a piece of software I’ve used only in dire circumstances for years. My personal suggestion is to go with FireFox. Lots of great features and an extensible design so you can customize it to handle your particular needs makes it a smart choice. Google’s Chrome is starting to get good reviews but I’ve heard that it’s not quite there in terms of the various add-ons. Do yourself a favor and flip over to one of them.
On this date, December 7, in 1941 at close to 8:00am the first of 2 aerial attacks launched by the Empire of Japan struck the US military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a sneak attack that has been the definition of sneak attacks for at least 3 generations. Visiting there was a poignant experience for myself and my father years ago. That memory remains fresh today though that visit was 9 years ago.
I have spoken before of the remembrances of Peal Harbor Day and the thought that, now that the survivors are dwindling, the memory of this day would start to slip to nothing. There were a number of stories on the front page of the Washington Post this morning. The story about Pearl Harbor? It was 5 inches of 1 column – on page A4. Right next to an Air France ad. (Sigh.)