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   Liberty Notes
11 July, 2009
Kevin L. Jamison
It is a good day for Liberty.

Today a judge accused me of posturing in court.  What he considers posturing I consider a vigorous defense of my client’s interests.  But he is the one who makes the decisions.

A man found a bullet and claiming that he did not want his children to be hurt by it, he struck it with a hammer.  In doing so he shot himself in the stomach.  It is not reported if alcohol was involved.

A man wanted to know what it felt like to be shot and so goaded his brother into shooting him in the leg.  It turns out that being shot hurts.  Surprisingly, alcohol was not involved, but he had been smoking marijuana.

On the 4th of July I attended a tax protest; it seemed appropriate.  Over 300 people attended and it was only one of several tax protests in the area that day.  A number of people driving by honked in support but this support was not universal.  A person in a “Barrak the Vote” T-Shirt hurried up in an apparent attempt to provoke something.  His first comment was to observe that there were no “people of color” among us.  He repeated this several times until one man demanded that T-shirt stop calling him a racist.  T-Shirt claimed, all innocence, that he had done no such thing, but he had.  I told T-Shirt that if that was his best observation our conversation was over.  He protested that he had many more observations.  I told him that he had fired his best shot and he knew it.  He did not leave, but did not approach me again.  He formed a knot of like-minded, self-satisfied tax advocates, one of them wearing a Handgun Control T-Shirt.  They succeeded in distracting some of our number away from their goal of communicating with people driving past.  Since communicating with people driving past was the goal, the T-Shirts were lightly successful and very pleased with themselves they were.  I passed out some WMSA materials.  President Sheila attended a similar gathering in Harrisonville and was more successful.  There will be many more such gatherings.  Our people who attend such gatherings must seize the opportunity.  We shall need many friends in the coming years.

The Washington Post newspaper proposed to sell access to the Obama administration to lobbyists at a rate of $25,000 per head.  These days newspapers have to make money somehow.

I am often asked if Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will prevent gun ownership.  By itself, it will not.  To prevent gun ownership there must be a court order committing a person to a mental health facility.  The court must first hold a hearing in which the subject has the right to counsel and to submit evidence.  Under federal law if an administrative agency finds that a person is disabled for reasons of mental incompetency AND also finds that the person is also dangerous or cannot handle his or her own affairs.  After years of research I am satisfied that if someone came back from a war and did not have PTSD, he was not paying attention.  Some handle it better than others; some have it worse than others.  Persons with strong religious beliefs or family ties deal better with PTSD, but there is no charm against it or elixir that will send it away.  Stress later in life may bring it up like some nasty infection that has festered deep in the body waiting for some weakness to give it a chance for control.  I represented a man in his divorce who attended the PTSD clinic at the Veteran’s Hospital.  After a time I determined that he did not have PTSD from Viet Nam, he got it from that woman.  He may have suffered, as John LeCarre put it, “A bad war” but it was the stress of his marriage coming apart that brought the germ to the surface.  Another man in a similar case argued with his wife.  In the aftermath he sought solace in routine activities.  As a shooter his routine activity was to load and unload rifle magazines.  This alarmed his wife and increased the tension.  Forty years after each war sees a spurt of autobiographies of men who have been in heavy combat or were prisoners.  Forty years after a war the warriors are retired and without work or family to occupy them and the old germs come to the surface.  They confine the old germs to paper.  This often helps, but can leave a written confession.  The victor in a gunfight will suffer from PTSD to a greater or lesser extent.  This is not a weakness; it is a fact of life.  If one suffers from stress-induced ulcers, one sees a medical doctor.  If one suffers from PTSD, one sees a doctor who is familiar with the brain-box; this is the way things are.

Missouri Attorney General Kris Kostner has signed onto a brief with thirty-three other state attorney generals in support of the Chicago gun case.  This case challenges Chicago’s arbitrary and selective restrictions on gun ownership.  The case has been submitted to the Supreme Court and the brief asks that the Court consider if the Second Amendment prevents the states from restricting gun ownership.  The Heller decision only found that the federal government cannot restrict handgun ownership in the home.  The Chicago case will be a tremendous expansion on this principle.  Mr. Kostner must be congratulated for giving us this support. 

The Missouri Sport Shooting Association has joined with the other NRA State Associations to yet another brief supporting the Chicago gun case.  WMSA has voted to support this effort.  The cost of the brief is not yet known; it may be as much as five hundred to one thousand dollars for each state, and this is to begin the briefing processes.  If the Court takes the case, it will cost more.  If we do not spend the money now, it will cost our children and grand-children many multiples of this amount.  Progress on the case may be tracked at www.Chicagoguncase.com.

A local park is overrun with deer.  The deer eat neighboring gardens and experts warn they will suffer from starvation and disease.  Experts recommend that they be hunted.  Opponents of the hunt argue that the deer were here first and local residents must endure anything occasioned by the deer.  It is over looked that when the residents moved in, the predators wisely moved out.  Without predators, the deer over-populate their range.  They die from starvation and disease; they spread the disease before death.  Deer are also killed by cars.  I see a great numbers of deer by the side of the road, the obvious result of collisions.  In the middle of Gladstone a deer ran into the side of my car.  It probably did him more harm than it did to me, but it indicates that there are entirely too many deer.  Every year a number of people are killed in collisions with deer.  I had a client who hit a deer while on his motorcycle, he lived but broke everything he had that was breakable.  This was unfortunate; I relied on his continued employment to pay my bill.  Opponents of hunting demand that deer be captured and relocated, assuming some place can be found with a shortage of deer.  They also demand that deer be injected with contraceptives.  There are logistic problems with both these plans, and they cost as much as a congressman’s favorite plan to revitalize the economy.  Hunting is the only economical approach, and results in meat to feed the hungry.

I have been hearing from gun owners that the BATF has asked to see their collection.  This is especially true of Curio & Relic licensees and multiple handgun purchasers.  The BATF appears to be interested in seeing if the collector still has the guns or has been selling them.  There have been newspaper reports from the southern border states regarding these requests for inspection, but I am hearing this from people in Missouri.  The BATF will call and ask politely for an appointment.  The gun owner is fully within his rights to decline.  However, that will only inspire the BATF to ask every thug they arrest if he has purchased guns from the person who stands on his rights.  Eventually one of the thugs will get the point and work off his own charges with a statement that will support a search warrant.  The search will not be polite.  This makes it difficult to advise gun owners facing such a call.  To stand on one’s rights will be taken as concealing evidence, suspicious behavior and will attract attention and not out of respect for standing on one’s rights.  I have explained the facts of life to callers and told them to make their own decision.  This is not a matter of being a coward; it is a matter of surviving to fight another day.

A client of mine was stopped for speeding and during the process it was discovered that he had a pistol in his pocket.  He was arrested and charged for carrying a concealed weapon.  I was astonished to hear of this case.  The statute specifically says that it is perfectly legal to carry a concealed handgun in a motor vehicle even if one does not have a License To Carry.  There were more surprises.  At the first hearing I presented a motion to dismiss based on the statute.  The prosecutor was astonished to hear of the statute, which astonished me.  The statute only allows concealed handguns, and only in motor vehicles.  I should be used to this by now.

During a home invasion in Arizona a woman called 911 to report that her husband and child had been killed and she was wounded.  During the call the invaders came back into the house, she shot at the intruders and then asked 911 how much trouble she was in for doing so.  This is not an unusual reaction for persons who have been the victor in a gunfight.  It should not be, but the attitude of society wounds the gunfight victor.

At the NRA convention I met a man who wore a cap which remembered the Tiger March in Korea during the war.  I have read about that march.  When the UN forces penetrated North Korea a North Korean officer known only as “Tiger” gathered military and civilian prisoners, told them they would march and if anyone fell behind “this would happen”.  He then shot a nearby prisoner, and it would not be the last.  He marched and murdered prisoners out of the reach of rescue.  When all the prisoners were turned over to the Chinese, he disappeared.  One hopes that such a creature died in agony and is now burning in hell.  It would be poetic justice, but one cannot count on poetry.  I am aware of American and allied soldiers who killed prisoners and civilians then and now.  War brings out the best and the worst in people.  It has brought out the worst in some of our soldiers, but our society condemns such loss of control and punishes it.  Tiger starved and murdered helpless people for weeks in public.  One does not do such things unless one expects approval.  Some nations imprison their psychotics other nations unleash them.  I have seen pictures of terrorist prisoners in Iraq being humiliated hundreds of times.  The terrorists make videos of torture and murder.  I have seen these photos, but rarely, and only in passing as if they were isolated incidents and equivalent in some way to the humiliation of prisoners.  We know that life is not fair.

We shall overcome.

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