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Judge admits the obvious
Mar 5th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Mary­land Hand­gun Per­mit Restric­tions Found Uncon­sti­tu­tion­al by Fed­er­al Judge.

Hap­py
details from the Asso­ci­at­ed Press
:

Maryland’s require­ment that res­i­dents show a “good and
sub­stan­tial rea­son” to get a hand­gun per­mit is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al,
accord­ing to a fed­er­al judge’s opin­ion filed Mon­day.

States can chan­nel the way their res­i­dents exer­cise their Sec­ond
Amend­ment right to bear arms, but because Maryland’s goal was to
min­i­mize the num­ber of firearms car­ried out­side homes by lim­it­ing
the priv­i­lege to those who could demon­strate “good rea­son,” it had
turned into a rationing sys­tem, infring­ing upon res­i­dents’ rights,
U.S. Dis­trict Judge Ben­son Everett Legg wrote.

A cit­i­zen may not be required to offer a ‘good and sub­stan­tial
rea­son’ why he should be per­mit­ted to exer­cise his rights,” he
wrote. “The right’s exis­tence is all the rea­son he needs.”

Plain­tiff Ray­mond Wool­lard obtained a hand­gun per­mit after
fight­ing with an intrud­er in his Hamp­stead home in 2002, but was
denied a renewal in 2009 because he could not show he had been
sub­ject to “threats occur­ring beyond his res­i­dence.”
Wool­lard appealed, but was reject­ed by the review board, which
found he hadn’t demon­strat­ed a “good and sub­stan­tial rea­son” to
car­ry a hand­gun as a rea­son­able pre­cau­tion. The suit filed in 2010
claimed that Mary­land didn’t have a rea­son to deny the renewal and
wrong­ly put the bur­den on Wool­lard to show why he still need­ed to
car­ry a gun.

The Sec­ond Amend­ment Foun­da­tion
spon­sored the suit, and Woollard’s lawyer was Sec­ond Amend­ment
vin­di­ca­tor Alan Gura, who also won the 
Heller
and 
McDon­ald
suits at the Supre­me Court that estab­lished our right to own
com­mon­ly used weapons for self-defense in the home, again­st both
fed­er­al and state encroach­ment. By mov­ing the Sec­ond Amend­ment
argu­ment here beyond the home, this case promis­es to help expand
Sec­ond Amend­ment rights even beyond the Heller and
McDon­ald stan­dard.

My July 2009 
inter­view with Gura
. My 2008 book on the Heller case,

Gun Con­trol on Tri­al
.

UPDATE: Thanks com­menter Chris Bren­nan:

The full deci­sion
.

[Hit and Run]

It will be inter­est­ing to see where this goes (if any­where) as Cal­i­for­nia has rough­ly the same law. In prac­tice, “good and sub­stan­tial rea­son” is a euphemism for “rich and/or pow­er­ful.” For exam­ple, some years ago I was told that I could get a con­cealed weapon per­mit in Orange Coun­ty for a $15,000 bribe “cam­paign contribution”–certainly not a sum that an ordi­nary per­son stuck liv­ing in a high-crime neigh­bor­hood could read­i­ly afford. Iron­i­cal­ly, that price was too low, and that sher­iff was eject­ed from office for it.

The good news for us peas­ants is that the gov­ern­ment seems to have final­ly caught on that they real­ly don’t need to wor­ry about an armed cit­i­zen­ry demon­strat­ing the pur­pose of the Sec­ond Amend­ment, for the rea­son I quot­ed a few years ago, but it is a good way to lose the next elec­tion. While elec­tions are mean­ing­less in terms of their impact on the gov­ern­ment, they do mat­ter to the indi­vid­u­al politi­cian who loss­es his place on the gravy train.

Series on Copyright History
Jan 27th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

His­to­ry of Copy­right [Falkvinge on Infopol­i­cy]

Given the recent fuss raised by cor­rupt politi­cians (SOPA and ACTA) and thugs enforc­ing the “laws” of the Evil Empire on its pup­pet states, its inter­est­ing to look at this sev­en part series on the his­to­ry of copy­right.

The best legal system money can buy
Jul 21st, 2011 by Ken Hagler

Fea­ture: A pound of flesh: how Cisco’s “unmit­i­gat­ed gall” derailed one man’s life.

High-tech entre­pre­neur Peter Adekeye’s year­long night­mare began after he dropped his wife off at the Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al air­port and head­ed down­town to The Wedge­wood, a posh bou­tique hotel. Inside a taste­ful board­room adorned with gilt-framed mir­rors, the US Dis­trict Court for North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, San Jose divi­sion, had con­vened a spe­cial sit­ting to hear Adekeye’s depo­si­tion as part of a mas­sive antitrust action he had launched again­st his for­mer employ­er, the com­put­er giant Cis­co Sys­tems. An offi­cial court video cam­era record­ed the pro­ceed­ings on May 20, 2010—Adekeye affa­bly answer­ing ques­tions in an ele­gant black suit accent­ed with a pale blue shirt and a coral tie.

At 5:15pm, how­ev­er, two plain­clothes women—the short­er one bran­dish­ing a badge—and two uni­formed police offi­cers entered the room. Adekeye was con­fused, as were his two Wall Street lawyers and the spe­cial judi­cial mas­ter con­duct­ing the hear­ing. But the four lawyers for Cis­co knew exact­ly what was going on.

I’m from the RCMP,” the taller wom­an said, “I’m sor­ry I have to inter­rupt your meet­ing here.”

[Ars Tech­ni­ca]

From this arti­cle we learn that if you annoy Cis­co, by bring­ing a law­suit again­st them for exam­ple, they can get the KGB’s immi­gra­tion peo­ple to keep you out of the coun­try (and away from the court­room), and if you find a workaround for that they can get a pros­e­cu­tor to charge you with a pho­ny “crime” and arrest you in the mid­dle of tes­ti­fy­ing for the law­suit (thus keep­ing you from being heard). Clear­ly Cis­co is get­ting their money’s worth from their bribes “cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions” to elect­ed offi­cials.

In the end their use of bla­tant cor­rup­tion didn’t help Cis­co, as they still lost the law­suit, so appar­ent­ly their bribes where misplaced–it seems like it would have been more effec­tive for them to bribe the judge in the law­suit. Still, this case pro­vides an exam­ple of how cor­rupt the US legal sys­tem is, and how it can be sub­vert­ed by an orga­ni­za­tion with a lot of mon­ey.

Lobbyists are mandatory
Aug 5th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

From the August 2010 issue of Rea­son Mag­a­zine:

It’s a dou­ble stan­dard,” Akram Allos, own­er of Sin­bad Café in Dear­born, com­plained to the Detroit Free Press. “Just because we didn’t have a lob­by­ist, why should we have to suf­fer?”

That is why you have to suf­fer, Mr. Allos. Wel­come to the land of the fee and the home of the slave.

Quote of the Day
Aug 4th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

These people are so crooked they screw their socks on in the morning...

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