Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Intent? We Don't Need No Steenking Intent!

Back to the CNN felony story:

The Countertop Chronicles
points out that INTENT has had very little influence on prior prosecutions by the BATF.
The simple fact is that CNN didn't commit a common law crime, where mens rea is an element of guilt. No, instead they violated a statute that provides for strict liability, ir-regardless of intent.
Quoting 2nd Amendment lawyer Dave Kopel's Trust the People: The Case Against Gun Control, Countertop points to several firearms cases where a lack of "intent" was explicitly acknowledged - but prosecution, conviction, and sentencing went ahead anyway. I'd like to point out, too, the case of New Jersey v. Pelleteri. The New Jersey Supreme Court went so far in that case as to state:
This is an area in which "regulations abound and inquiries are likely," and where the overarching purpose is to insure the public safety and protect against acts and threats of violence. State v. Hatch, 64 N.J. 179, 184, 313 A.2d 797 (1973); see also Burton v. Sills, 53 N.J. 86, 248 A.2d 521 (1968). "[T]he dangers are so high and the regulations so prevalent that, on balance, the legislative branch may as a matter of sound public policy and without impairing any constitutional guarantees, declare the act itself unlawful without any further requirement of mens rea or its equivalent." State v. Hatch, 64 N.J. at 184-85, 313 A.2d 797. When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril.
Too bad this sale didn't occur in New Jersey. Mr. Griffin would find himself most probably under the jail.

For those of you who've been under a rock since Saturday, Triggerfinger has a pretty comprehensive list of links to the story so far.

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