Monday, July 28, 2003

Broomfield, Colorado is busy guaranteeing that certain public places will be safehavens for criminals & murderers.

"Three little girls played at the puzzle table at the back of the children's section of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library Wednesday as city workers mounted a sign barring guns on a nearby door."

A nice visual image is being projected that this is "for the children". In reality though it is saying that if you want to shoot a bunch of people with virtually no chance of being shot yourself, than this library & any other place with a "no guns allowed" sign is the perfect place for your next homocidal spree.

The article makes much of the thoughts of a college student named Jon Howell who agrees with the gun ban:

"I think our city governments do have the right to say when and where we can carry firearms," Howell said. "Though your average citizen may not have a criminal arrest record, if they're allowed to bring a weapon into a public building — not knowing what their intentions are and what could spark them to go on a violent rampage — I wouldn't feel safe."

& he's a criminal justice major! He actually believes that a city government has the authority to tell its citizens that the federal &/or state constitutional provisions that specifically protect the owning & carrying of firearms is invalid if a city council decides that "guns are bad".
I wonder if he's ever explored the possibility of what would happen if someone decided that they wanted to kill as many people as he/she could in a certain place? Would he conclude that A; a sign barring weapons would stop them in their tracks & make them reconsider their evil ways or B; that if everyone had the means to defend themselves that the want-to-be murderer woud pick another place entirely or C; that if someone did start shooting people at random that armed citizens would be able to stop the murderer long before the police arrived? I'd go with B & C myself.

"Resident Robert Rhatigan, who said he visits the library nearly every day, agreed. He said he recognizes Americans' constitutional right to own firearms, but he doesn't want to see them out in public places."

By that logic Mr. Rhatigan should have his right to speech recognized, but not in public.

"I think it's basically a concern that anybody having an open firearm in a municipal building, like city hall, would be of grave concern to me," City and County Attorney Roy Howard said. "Under no circumstances do we want open carry of firearms in city buildings, particularly council chambers."

Of course he doesn't want reminders of the citizens ability to defend themselves present when they vote on things like taxation. The second amendment wasn't written to keep ducks in line, but rather politicians. No politician, even on a city council, likes a reminder that they are being watched, especially by people capable of resisting their edicts.

"He said a story in a local daily newspaper about a man attending a Colorado Springs council meeting with a rifle in plain view spurred the city to expedite posting its notices."

You may find more about the incident of a Colorado man exercising his Rights here. & it was reported that he carried a shotgun, not a rifle. Again, politicians hate to see people with arms for the same reason the Klu Klux Klan hated to see black people with arms.

"The open carry ban does not apply to law enforcement officers, who may also carry concealed weapons, if they have a permit, Howard said."

Of course not. The police are a special class of citizen because they are sworn to do the bidding of the politicians, therefore said politicians have nothing to fear from the police since they'd most likely be enforcing rather than resisting the politicians will.
It's not that I think cops should be universally disarmed, but I see no reason for a cop to carry a weapon where a citizen could not.

But once again we have a piece in a newspaper that with only a few subtle changes could be a press release for an anti-gun organization. Note the complete lack of any pro-gun opinions. & saying that the Right to Arms doesn't apply outside the home is not pro-gun.

I sincerely hope there aren't any mass shootings at any of these places the city of Broomfield is designating victim disarmament zones, but if there is I hope any & all survivors & relatives of the vicitms own the city of Broomfield after their lawsuit. As with the idea about suing attorneys for attorneys' fees is failed litigiation, it's probably just wishful thinking (most governments are protected from lawsuits filed by crime victims that alledge a lack of protection) but it's a nice thought at least.

The Valor Corp. is suing the widow who unsuccesfully attempted to sue them.

Unlike said widow however, Valor Corp. is only seeking attorneys' fees caused by the initial lawsuit, & not trying to sue the widow out of existance.

"Pam Grunow's attorney, Rebecca Larson, said the widow was worried about losing her house if she was forced by the court to reimburse the gun company. The estate has no assets, Larson said."

hmmm. Now I do feel sorry for the woman as her husband was murdered. But seeing as how she successfully sued the pawnshop that sold the gun the criminal used & the legal owner from which it was stolen (both for around $300,000 if I recall) & then tried to milk the Valor Corp. for tens of millions I don't feel much pity for her current plight. Especially since the murderer was a 13 year old boy who had stolen the gun in question from its legal owner.

I could be wrong, but I do believe that it wasn't the deceased's estate that filed the lawsuit against the Valor Corp. but the widow herself. So while it may be true that her late husbands' estate had no assets it may not be true of the widow, unless she's spent the money she recieved from previous lawsuits.

& this is also just speculation, but exactly how much is the widows' house worth? I would imagine there would be a lot of public sympathy for the widow if she was facing the possibility of selling her $65,000 house to pay a gun distibutors' attorney fees for a lawsuit that only failed on a mere technicality (i.e. the gun company did nothing wrong). But if she's living in a $2,300,000 house then I don't think her attemots at garnering sympathy would be as succesful. Alas, the reporter in question fails to provide anythin other than the attorney of the widows statement & a short, yet subtly biased account of the situation.

"A jury found Valor partially responsible for the teacher's death and awarded Pam Grunow and her two children $1.2 million, but Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga threw out the verdict. The lawsuit claimed the Saturday night special handgun sold by Valor was inherently defective and should be sold only with safety locks."

It failed to mention that the verdict was thrown out because the judge considered the jury's assessment flawed in that Valor could only be found at fault if they were 100% responsible for the widows late husbands' demise.

They mentioned the widows claim in the lawsuit, that the pistol in question was inherently defective & should only be sold with a safety lock, but fail to mention the Valor Corp.'s defense: the pistol functioned exactly as it was designed to function. It just happened to be used by person with evil intent after it had been stolen from its rightful owner.

Nor do they mention that safety locks render a pistol useless for self defense, or that when stolen a safety lock can be defeated if you have about 20 minutes & a hacksaw.

They fail to mention that storing a loaded gun with a safety lock creates an elevated danger of accidental discharge, or that unloading the gun before applying a lock negates any reason to lock the gun in the first place.

& they do not mention exactly what the alledged inherent flaw in the pistol is. Given the mindest they have I assume this simply means it worked as it was designed - a pull of the trigger will discharge the gun when loaded. More or less I believe they sued because the pistol could not decide on its own who did & did not deserve to be shot.

What would be ideal though is to also sue the widows' attorney(s). I'm not sure of the details but if they worked on the condition that they'd recieve 1/3 of any awards resulting from the trial, then they should pay 1/3 of the judgement against her in this case. Although I doubt Florida law allows for that. & possibly there's a good reason for it. (if ya'll think of one feel free to point it out.)

Thanks to Alphecca as I found the story over there.