Apr 30, 2013

Stand Your Ground Defense?

Zimmerman says not yet anyway, and that's subtle good news for those of us who believe SYG is a proper legal doctrine, permitting a citizen to defend himself anywhere.

His attorneys want to gamble to the extent of hearing the state's case before abandoning the Florida SYG protection altogether. They claim the law permits a SYG hearing any time, not just before deciding on whether to risk it before going to trial. The prosecution may resist but that is  another issue.

My reading persuades me there's a near-consensus that Zimmerman has only a traditional self-defense case to make, that SYG was written and intended only to     prevent  prosecution in a clear case of defense against unprovoked attack.  Zimmerman created the confrontation when he had other reasonable options, such as calling the cops from the safety of his car.


My state had a fair chance of getting SYG protection until the Zimmerman case stopped it cold. If, when the dust settles, it can be made plain that such law is inoperative in cases like this, it will be back on the table. Talk it up.

Apr 27, 2013

Saturday in Paradise

The second straight day of glorious is upon Smugleye-on-Lake. Yesterday brought not the slightest notion of writing to my ambition reservoir.

There was an annoying drive to DNR headquarters to renew my dock permit -- annoying because it's 15 miles one way and because the Only Woman in the World legally authorized to give me a form to fill out and to take my $125 decided to leave an hour and a-half early.

Otherwise it was a day of progress, mostly in rearranging leaves and getting the world's ugliest pile of logs rearranged into something that looks a little more like a classy redneck's firewood supply..

I'm not going to detail much about the work done because that might lead to mentioning the work still pending. I fear it might remind you of the tale she told you about Augean Stables. (You know who I mean, your high school history teacher, the lady with a mustache and  two dresses, one for each semester.)

I'm not thinking much about it myself because it would ruin two joyful feelings. One is that I can still swing the splitting maul after the accident. The other results from cubic miles of fresh indoor air as the big old 1960s GE window fan races on "high" in front of an open pane.

I'm also trying not to remember the prophesy from the NWS seers, namely that March begins again on Wednesday.

Apr 25, 2013

Hold me bitter and watch this, Cyril

I had a $20 rifle. I spent about ten hours and $50 to turn it into a $65 rifle.  If nothing else it proved that a Brit relic from the Days of Empire could be made less ugly. Grind off protuberances. Polish. Blue. Finish up a semi-inletted stock set  from Herter's final going--out-of-business sale.

The SMLE actually looked nice and sporty, and I fear I was guilty of the sin of pride.

Then comes my friend K over dinner one Friday night and says something like, "Yeah. Looks okay. Too bad it's such a weak action."  (He had been reading one expert gun writer. I had been reading another.)

"Weak action?! I'll show you, you SOB."

Yours Truly to the loading bench in a paleo-Mythbusters mood.

After concocting one round of this load I dug out a spare SMLE and a hank  of cordage. I carried the whole works to the K acreage for the annual sweet corn fest, a great party; folks came from miles around. Some shooting was always a featured attraction before we tapped the kegs.

With much advice (and damned little actual assistance), I lashed the rifle to a tractor tire lying in the shootin' pasture and hitched the pull cord to the trigger. After all, the cartridge about to be chambered was getting awful close to IED territory.

Final bets were placed as the crowd ambled toward whatever shelter was available.   I don't know the details of every wager, but the gist of all was whether  "He'll blow the sh*t out of it."   We didn't burden ourselves with precise definitions of terms. My position was, roughly, that the improbable bomblet would probably stretch the action and create visible but minor damage without "blowing up."


The extractor left for parts unknown. A big hammer was needed to open the bolt and a dowel to pound out the brass. That's not a blowup. I claimed victory. My adversaries said "Well, yeah, but...," and I don't recall ever collecting my winnings.

Then we drank a beer or two and argued about something else.

Apr 24, 2013

Indictment Blizzard Smacks Maryland; Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Lots of hanky panky going on in a big Baltimore jail. Narco dealing, boffing the guards, and other things that could get a guy locked up.

Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday in a federal racketeering indictment.

The perps already adjudged guilty of something-- without need of further indictment  -- seem to make up the other 12 accused.  They're reported to be stalwarts of something called the Black Guerrilla Family.

I suppose finding this on the hilarious side makes me insensitive to cultural differences, politically incorrect if you will. Still, there's a redeeming social purpose.

What is more firmly under control of a government than its prisons? If said government cannot even maintain order there, why are we to believe that it will do a better job when placed in charge of free men and women -- our medical care system, access to the means of self-defense, and dietary habits  (care for a Big Gulp?).