Tagged: right to bear arms
Law 32: Hate-speech-law countries v. free-speech countries
Hate speech laws in so-called “free-speech” countries
How free speech is contrived to allow governments
to discriminate at will in hate-speech-law countries
Two examples: Sweden and India, with discussion of recent incidents
1/ Quran burning and incitement against religion in Sweden
2/ Saffron bikini and defilement of religion in India
1/ Quran burning and incitement against religion in Sweden
“Turkish protesters have expressed outrage in Istanbul after a far-right politician burned a Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.” (Al Jazeera English, YouTube, Jan 22)
As there is no freedom of speech in Europe, the request to ban and punish this kind of act/speech, Quran burning, is a legitimate demand of nondiscrimination. Swedish law criminalizes hate speech out of consideration for communitarian feelings. Therefore, the failure of Swedish authorities to prosecute such acts is contemptuous: not attending to this particular community’s feelings while they claim to attend to communitarian feelings sends the message that this community is not worth attending to, according to Swedish authorities. They simply do not want this community to be protected by Sweden’s hate speech laws, and this is blatant discrimination.
My message to Swedish authorities: You are contemptible. What are your hate speech laws for? Stop discriminating against Muslims and prosecute Quran burning as hate speech.
Where is the Swedish law that bans freedom of speech out of consideration of a religion’s belief?
It is where everybody can find it. “Hets mot folkgrupp blev olagligt 1949. På den tiden var det enbart härstamning och trosbekännelse som var grunder för hets mot folkgrupp. Detta ändrades 1970 till ras, hudfärg, nationellt eller etniskt ursprung eller trosbekännelse. År 2002 tillkom sexuell läggning och år 2019 könsöverskridande identitet eller uttryck.” (Wikipedia: Hets mot folkgrupp) The important word for the asked question is “trosbekännelse,” which means religious belief. Translation: “Incitement against groups became illegal [in Sweden] in 1949. At that time, descent and creed [trosbekännelse = religious belief] were the only grounds for incitement against groups. This was changed in 1970 to race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, or creed [again]. In 2002 sexual orientation was added and in 2019 gender identity or expression.”
Who are you to dictate how I dispose of my property?
You’ll have to ask this question to the Swedish legislator. – The technical answer, however, is that you can’t criminally dispose of your property. If you dispose of your property by making a hate speech of it, you’ll be prosecuted for hate speech by Swedish authorities.
So what forms of disposal are not hate speech? Presumably, burning is ruled out.
All disposal is not in the form of calling people’s attention. – If you ask me how they dispose of their old Quran copies in Muslim countries, I don’t know. All I know is that, if a person disposes of a Quran copy in Sweden and one finds it in his trash can, or if he burns it in his backyard, this is not hate speech. But what happened in front of the embassy is blatant hate speech (against a group based on its members’ creed or religious belief) and the negligence of authorities to act accordingly proves they discriminate against Muslims. It’s not too late.
The answer from the Swedish authorities so far has been, to sum it up: “The act was very insensitive, but we are a free-speech country.” This is not true. Sweden is a hate-speech-law country: “Incitement against groups became illegal in 1949. At that time, descent and creed were the only grounds for incitement against groups. This was changed in 1970 to race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, or creed. In 2002 sexual orientation was added and in 2019 gender identity or expression.” The Swedish authorities are bound by their legislation to prosecute the wrongdoer; by their obdurate negligence to do it, they show that, as a principle, they refuse to comply with their hate speech legislation when the targeted group is Muslims. They thus discriminate against Muslims. On the one hand, they tell their national communities, their “groups” (folkgrupp), that Sweden protects them from hate speech by criminalizing hate speech; on the other hand, they claim they guarantee freedom of speech when one of these groups in particular is wronged by hate speech. You don’t need to be a Muslim to feel contempt for such malfeasance.
2/ Saffron bikini and defilement of religion in India
For a better understanding of the following, read “Saffron bikini v. national flag bikini” in Law 29.
Film Pathaan, with a saffron bikini dancing scene, was released this month amid protests. I support the protests. As the authorities disregard the outrage over saffron bikini, they should apologize to and compensate all people who have been convicted for tricolor (national flag) bikinis and other tricolor trappings, and I’m told they are not few. You’ll perhaps say in reply that India is a secular country and authorities have a mandate to ensure respect for the tricolor symbol, not for the saffron symbol, which is religious. There exist stringent laws about incitement and respect for community feelings in India: Why the negligence? Does secularism mean that a secular, atheistic elite will be granted the privilege to offend religious feelings, while the people is gagged?
No matter how Hindutva the government is, outrage over saffron bikinis is disregarded, the problem does not exist for them. They will keep focusing on hunting tricolor bikinis and other tricolor trappings. The numerous tricolor precedents, the stringent provisions of incitement laws, constitutional protection of communities’ feelings, are of no avail to a Hindutva government against the privileged few who bought a never-ending license to outrage religious feelings.
What about sadhus who wear a single saffron loincloth?
The comparison is misguided. Although there exist laws against nudity in India, they do not apply to sadhus, because a sadhu’s nudity is not the same as a paid actress’s nudity, the aim of which is to attract or arouse prurient interest. By the same token, a sadhu wearing saffron is not the same as an actress whose body is used as an object for making money through prurient interest, adding an insult to religion through saffron symbolism.
The good news is that Bollywood needs to be saved, that is, it is heading toward irreversible collapse. “Can Pathaan save the Bollywood?” (Mirror Now) You’re asking too much of a saffron bikini.
“Pathaan 1 – Saffron Brigade 0.” Why the sarcasm? Is it proper of a news media? In a country where tricolor brigades are terrorizing tricolor bikinis and other tricolor trappings, such disregard for religious feelings by the authorities is as offensive as the offense itself. And don’t tell me this is a victory for free speech: the tricolor brigade is watching you.
Their apathy will remain a stain on Indian authorities. If you think a tricolor bikini is an insult, and Indian law seems to think it is (see Gehna Vashisht and other cases), then a saffron bikini is blatant hate speech (Sections 153 and 295 of the Indian penal code). Negligence to act accordingly on the part of authorities is discriminatory remiss.
Section 295: “Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.” (Emphases ours.)
Let us examine what a saffron bikini is, according to the wording of the law. We are talking about defilement, as sacredness is purposefully associated with pruriency in the form of scant clothing and lascivious dancing. The object is not a bikini in itself but a bikini purposefully made saffron. We do not have to prove that the wrongdoing is purposeful, as Hindus’ reverential feelings for saffron are well-known. Rather it is the accused who must prove they did not do the wrongdoing on purpose; they must provide convincing evidence that none of them had realized that the saffron bikini could upset Hindus’ feelings. In the words of the law, they must prove that they had no “knowledge that any class of persons [was] likely to consider such defilement as an insult to their religion,” and good luck with that: were these people brought before a court, I don’t think they could provide the least convincing evidence of ingenuity, unless, perhaps, they wriggled on the ground like worms and cried, because where in the world is saffron known for its religious symbolism if not in India? Think about it: these people, instead of being removed behind bars for two years, are going scot free, protected by a Hindutva BJP-led coalition government.
“A battle for freedom of speech”? I didn’t see journalists battle for free speech when a FIR (first information report by police) was filed against half a dozen people dancing with Aurangzeb’s poster in Maharashtra, a few days ago (see Law 31: Aurangzeb’s Ghost). Sections 95, 153, 295 etc. of the ICP are the law. Journalists do not oppose it, they only oppose its application to defilements of religion by Bollywood.
At the same time that the Indian union government refuses to listen to its grassroots militants on Pathaan, and asks them to stop the stir, it bans a BBC documentary about the 2002 Gujarat riots in which hundreds of Muslims were murdered by mobs.
The ban is either legal or illegal. If it is illegal, there is no question of opportunity. If it is legal, there is no question of opportunity either, because the executive power is not allowed to pick up laws it will carry out from laws it will not carry out. The government must execute the whole legislation (hence its name: executive). Those who discuss the ban from the opportunity angle are wrong. If they disagree with the ban, they should, assuming the ban is lawful or constitutional, voice criticism against the law that allows such a ban, that is, they should ask to remove legislation that allows the authorities to ban this kind of speech. Let me know if they do. I assume they all discuss the opportunity and not the legality issue, because they are the opposition that wants to be the majority, and as the new majority they will want: 1) discretionary, not just executive power, 2) to ban criticism. They are all of a kind and form the political cartel.
I disagree with the idea that the executive should be granted even a minimal discretionary power: all decisions based on opportunity are discriminatory, by preventing expected benefits or sanctions of the law. Even though the idea is as commonplace as the practice, neither the idea nor the practice are constitutional, and they cannot be, as this would mean actual suspension of the separation of powers, and of checks and balances.
Despite their commonalities, both cases illustrate two different situations. In the Swedish case, one religious minority is discriminated against by the authorities. In the Indian case, the Hindu majority’s right to be protected by the law is disregarded by the authorities, which shield one sector of the society, namely Bollywood, from the legislation; in other words, against the religious majority, the Indian authorities discriminate in favor of this sector by elevating it above hate speech laws. Both actions are extralegal, namely, given the constitutional characterization of the executive power, illegal and unconstitutional. Through the practice, the will of the legislator is overlooked and the role of the judiciary undermined. The practice is defended on the ground that this overlook is needed and will occur only in situations where the generality of the law presents flaws that put the state at risk. The only possible arbitrator for this is the people and that supposes, therefore, that the people has an effective right to insurrection, which, absent a constitutional right to bear arms, is nonexistent. Otherwise, the practice should be set guidelines in the form of constitutional measures about the state of emergency. In the two cases we have discussed, the authorities are abusing their discretionary power without redeeming circumstances.
“[Female ex-BJP leader] Gets Gun License Citing ‘Life Threats’ Over Prophet Remarks.” (India Today, YouTube)
How long does it take to get a license? The authorities must verify the claim and that surely takes time. She seems to have had her license in no time, but is it the case for all Indian citizens? One day, you’ll hear that a man applied for a license because he was threatened, the claim was investigated by authorities, with a lot of red tape, and meantime the man was killed. Mark my words, you’ll hear about something like that, or I don’t know bureaucracy. An unconditional right to carry guns is the only correct alternative to a ban.
About current massive layoffs in big tech companies (Google, Meta, Twitter…). The revenue of a good deal of these so-called big tech companies is from advertising. Massive layoffs in big tech tell you manufacturing companies cut down their advertising spending because they are in poor condition. Badly impacted manufacturing and other companies first respond by cutting down on advertising. Big tech companies then have no other choice than cutting down on their workforce, because advertising is their main revenue. What massive layoffs in big tech tell you is the incoming massive layoffs in all other sectors, as advertising revenue dependent big tech companies are the first to cut down on the workforce.
“10 Palestinians Killed In ‘Deadliest’ Israel Raids in Years.” (NDTV, YouTube, Jan 27)
This headline is foolish. The raid is “deadliest in years” because of 10 casualties and one month ago 8, two months ago 9, three months ago 9 again, four months ago 6, and so on; something like that. About 200 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids in 2022 alone. (212 according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.)
“Iranian drones program’s success and what are the lessons for India.” (The Print, YouTube, Jan 27)
Given the scathing indictment regarding Indian national production (“promising the moon and failing to deliver,” etc.), one should not disregard the possibility of corruption of national authorities by foreign suppliers. If decision-makers are biased toward foreign supply through corruption money, India will never develop serious programs of her own. At this stage, you may well ask the question.
Ironically, an excuse from the Indian side is that, in Iran, things are under control of the Guardians of the Revolution: “It is easier there because everything comes under the control of the Islamic revolutionary guard corps,” says a “source in Indian defense establishment.” Well, yes, the Guardians probably better enforce the country’s own anti-corruption laws, so the excuse almost sounds like an admission, or veiled whistleblowing.
La guerre par procuration expliquée par la France
Le texte suivant complète notre essai « Casus belli : Réflexions sur la guerre en Ukraine » de mai 2022 (ici).
Un article en ligne du 5 mars 2022 du Club des juristes, « La fourniture d’armes à l’Ukraine : quel cadre en droit international ? » (ici, auteur : E. Castellarin), présente le dispositif juridique utilisé par les nations de l’OTAN pour légitimer leur action de fourniture d’armes à l’Ukraine contre la Russie. Cet article appelle plusieurs remarques.
La première est que ce cadre est purement multilatéral et que le raisonnement bilatéral que j’emploie dans mon essai semble désormais exclu du champ de la pensée ; à savoir, les accords préventifs bilatéraux de défense, dont l’idée brille par son absence dans cet article, n’entrent apparemment plus dans le raisonnement des États européens, de sorte que mon argument selon lequel les États d’Europe de l’Ouest auraient pu offrir à l’Ukraine la garantie d’une intervention armée en cas d’agression russe, doit passer pour une bizarrerie désuète aux yeux des juristes avertis. Cela les regarde. Mais quid des États-Unis ? Ces derniers n’offrent-ils pas leur bouclier militaire à plusieurs pays, dont l’Arabie Saoudite ? Qu’est-ce qui les empêchait alors d’offrir le même bouclier à l’Ukraine, par exemple après l’annexion de la Crimée par la Russie ? Il semblerait que ce puisse être en partie les dispositions du droit international elles-mêmes, dans la mesure où celles-ci peuvent désormais permettre à des États de conduire une « guerre par procuration » (proxy war) sans se voir pour autant qualifiés ipso facto de parties au conflit. Examinons les différents dispositifs juridiques présentés par l’article.
« Dans l’affaire relative aux activités militaires et paramilitaires au Nicaragua, la Cour internationale de justice a été confrontée à la fourniture d’armes par les États-Unis aux contras, un groupe rebelle actif au Nicaragua. Elle a exclu que la fourniture d’armes puisse être qualifiée d’agression armée, mais elle a affirmé qu’on peut y voir une menace ou un emploi de la force (§ 195). » Ça ne commence pas très bien pour l’OTAN, du côté de la CIJ. Le § 195 de la décision de la Cour, de 1986, pourrait en effet servir à la Russie de fondement juridique à l’invocation d’un casus belli : « menace ou emploi de la force ». (Le terme même de casus belli est sans doute devenu tout aussi désuet que les contrats bilatéraux de défense territoriale évoqués dans notre précédent paragraphe, vu que cette notion simple est à présent décomposée en agression armée, d’une part, et menace ou emploi de la force, d’autre part.)
Notre juriste considère cependant que la décision de la CIJ est inapplicable au cas de l’Ukraine : « En réalité, l’analyse de la CIJ n’est pas applicable au conflit armé international en cours en Ukraine. L’armée ukrainienne a le plein contrôle, ponctuel et global, de ses actions, si bien qu’on ne peut pas analyser la fourniture d’armes un emploi indirect de la force par les États occidentaux contre la Russie. » Voire ! Il faudrait tout d’abord s’assurer que la CIJ a bel et bien prétendu que « le plein contrôle, ponctuel et global, de ses actions » par une armée excluait a priori un emploi indirect de la force par ceux qui lui fournissent des armes. Certes, l’armée ukrainienne est différente d’une organisation comme celle des contras au Nicaragua, et le conflit lui-même est différent. Mais nous ne voyons pas ce que veut dire cette réserve émise par l’auteur : en quoi les contras n’avaient-ils pas eux aussi « le plein contrôle, ponctuel et global, de [leurs] actions » ? Que signifie cette formule alambiquée ? Un tel embrouillamini peut-il se trouver dans une décision de justice internationale ? Nous en doutons. Nous mènerons cette recherche et y reviendrons. Pour le moment, nous considérons que c’est là une simple pirouette, une argutie sans queue ni tête. L’armée ukrainienne ne se distingue pas des contras sous l’angle obscur ici présenté, et, à défaut de plus ample explication, nous considérons donc que la décision de la CIJ s’applique au présent conflit. Poursuivons.
« Du point de vue du droit coutumier des conflits armés, la fourniture d’armes est incompatible avec le statut de neutralité » Cela ne continue guère mieux pour l’OTAN, du point de vue du droit international coutumier. Les États fournissant des armes à l’Ukraine ne sont pas neutres. Mais sont-ils pour autant, comme un raisonnement fondé sur le principe logique du tiers exclu pourrait le laisser penser, des parties au conflit ? La réponse du droit international est, selon notre juriste, négative : « Cependant, cela signifie simplement que les États qui fournissent des armes ne peuvent pas se prévaloir des droits des États neutres, par exemple celui d’obtenir la réparation d’éventuels dommages collatéraux subis en raison d’un bombardement sur le territoire d’un État partie au conflit. En revanche, la perte du statut d’États neutres au conflit en Ukraine ne signifie pas que ces États sont devenus parties au conflit. »
Notre juriste croit donc qu’il existe, relativement « au conflit en Ukraine », des États ni neutres ni parties au conflit. « Cette situation, » de partie au conflit, « qui impliquerait notamment le droit de la Russie de cibler les forces armées de ces États, ne se produirait que si celles-ci prenaient directement part aux hostilités ». Les États de l’OTAN sont donc sortis de leur neutralité mais, comme ils ne prennent pas directement part aux hostilités, ils ne sont pas non plus des parties au conflit. Cela confirme l’analyse russe de la « guerre par procuration » menée par ces États. En effet, si ces États ne faisaient pas la guerre, ils seraient neutres, or ils ne sont pas neutres, et s’ils prenaient directement part aux opérations, ils seraient parties au conflit, or ils ne le sont pas non plus : ils font donc la guerre par procuration (proxy war). L’analyse russe est entièrement conforme à ces éléments juridiques.
La suite de l’article tend à montrer que ce comportement est « internationalement licite ». Tout d’abord, le Traité sur le commerce des armes n’est prétendument pas violé, car les États n’ont pas connaissance, au moment de fournir ses armes, qu’elles « pourraient servir à commettre » un génocide, des crimes contre l’humanité ou des crimes de guerre. Cette clause du traité est cependant suffisamment générale pour que des livraisons d’armes lors d’un conflit en cours soient susceptibles de servir à commettre de tels actes. L’article ne dit pas en effet que les fournisseurs n’ont pas connaissance que leurs armes « serviront à commettre » des crimes, une formule qui serait moins contraignante pour les fournitures d’armes. On rétorquera peut-être que, de la façon dont je l’entends, peu de fournitures d’armes resteraient licites, mais n’est-ce pas précisément l’intention des concepteurs et signataires du traité que de lutter contre la prolifération ? En l’occurrence, exclure que des crimes de guerre puissent être commis par l’une des parties lors d’un conflit en cours est ou bien de l’angélisme ou bien un parti pris belliqueux qui ne peut être conforme à l’esprit du traité.
Cependant, l’UE a souhaité se garantir à ce sujet, en introduisant une clause suspensive en cas de violation du droit international par l’Ukraine, ce qui est interprété par notre juriste comme une preuve de respect formel du traité par l’UE. Voire ! Cette clause montre au contraire, selon nous, que l’UE se doute que ces armes « pourraient » servir à commettre des crimes de guerre etc., et qu’elle n’a donc formellement pas le droit de fournir ces armes. En prétendant prévenir les crimes de guerre etc., elle avoue être consciente que de tels crimes pourraient être commis, et c’est précisément cette prise de conscience qui devrait l’empêcher de livrer des armes.
Enfin, la résolution ES-11/1 de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies ayant qualifié l’opération russe d’agression, l’Ukraine est « indéniablement » en légitime défense. L’auteur précise certes que la résolution onusienne est « dépourvue d’effet obligatoire et silencieuse sur la fourniture d’armes » (ce qui est un peu regrettable en termes de droit positif) mais affirme que c’est une « interprétation authentique de la Charte, objectivement valable pour tous les membres ». Ce qui est objectivement valable et en même temps dépourvu d’effet obligatoire, est surtout dépourvu d’effet obligatoire, en droit. Autrement dit, la question de l’agression et de la légitime défense reste ouverte. Le traitement des minorités nationales en Ukraine invoqué par la Russie est en débat. Or c’est la légitime défense qui est le principal élément de justification des nations de l’OTAN. En légitime défense, « [l]’emploi de la force de sa part [l’Ukraine] est licite (art. 51 de la Charte des Nations Unies) et ne peut pas engager sa responsabilité (art. 21 des articles de la Commission du droit international sur la responsabilité de l’État pour fait internationalement illicite), ni celle des États qui l’aident et l’assistent. » La légitime défense est plus qu’une légitimation, selon cette présentation, c’est un véritable blanc-seing (et la présentation est donc douteuse : certaines violations du droit naturel ne peuvent recevoir aucune justification et engagent toujours la responsabilité). Mais c’est aussi un point contestable, l’Ukraine ayant peut-être conduit sur son territoire une politique contraire au droit humanitaire envers la minorité russophone, et contraire également aux intérêts fondamentaux de son voisin, comme le prétend la Russie s’agissant des régions frontalières du Donbass et autre, dont la situation extrêmement troublée avant l’intervention russe n’a échappé à personne.
Law 19: There are no manufacturers of corpora delicti
The Female Party
“Nearly two-thirds of all Democrats are women; here we see the much-discussed gender gap as less than half of the Republicans are female.” (Maisel, American Political Parties and Elections, 2016)
From same source: “In a Gallup poll conducted in June 2015, 31 percent [of Americans] identified themselves as Democrats, 25 percent as Republicans, and 41 percent as independents.”
Assuming the ratios for party membership stand also for people who “identify as” (as a matter of fact I see no reason, no explanatory factor why both ratios should be significantly different), we’ve got the highest proportion of males among “independents.” Independent, therefore, sounds a lot like males who cannot identify with party politics.
According to my calculations, the figures are (source says “nearly two third,” and “less than half” [meaning “not significantly less,” I believe, otherwise the source is saying nothing of quantitative value], so these figures are approximations [also because 31+25+41 doesn’t add up to 100 percent]):
20.6 percent of American population are female Dem;
12.5 female Rep;
13.6 female independent;
10.3 male Dem;
12.5 male Rep;
27.3 male independent.
By order of magnitude: male independent (27.3) > female Dem (20.6) > female independent (13.6) > male & female Rep (12.5 twice) > male Dem (10.3).
There are twice as many Democratic women as Democratic men in USA. This imbalance is in dire need of an explanation.
You can check my calculations are right in this quick way: 20.6=2(10.3) “there are twice as many Democratic women as Democratic men,” which is the same as “(Nearly) two-thirds of all Democrats are women,” since if you take 9, two thirds of 9 is 6, one third is 3, and 6=2(3).
There are no manufacturers of corpora delicti
Abstract: The claim that gun manufacturers are treated differently than other manufacturers is unsubstantiated, in contract, consumer protection, and tort law. Arguments for gun control often overlook a general principle of law that may be encapsulated in the words “There are no manufacturers of corpora delicti.”
“New York Will Allow People to Sue Gun Manufacturers for Violence.” Cuomo was elected at the wrong election, in fact he wanted to be a judge. Now he is governor and he thinks he can tell courts what their decisions should be?
There already were trials against arms manufacturers, notably after Sandy Hook. But also there is the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Adoption of the act was obviously intended as a shield against the bad faith of Second Amendment opponents who want to hold arms manufacturers liable not for failing to deliver as stipulated but on the contrary for complying with business regulations and contract stipulations.
Example: “The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act shields the gun industry from nearly all civil liability for the dangers their products pose. With nearly every American industry and product, civil liability can be used as an important check on irresponsible manufacturers and sellers—but not the gun industry.” (Giffords Law Center: To prevent gun violence)
A gun manufacturer is liable if he sells a defective, hazardous gun, like any other manufacturer. What the opponents want is to make the manufacturers liable for weapons that function as stipulated in contracts and according to reasonable safety expectations, and under the rule of law there can be no such liability in this world.
Opponents talk of “dangerous products” as if the aim of a weapon were not, precisely, to be dangerous (in order to deter aggression and crime). The dangerous products of contract law are products which use is beneficial besides their dangerousness, so the category cannot as such apply to guns, which benefice lies in their very dangerousness, their purposeful dangerousness. Dangerous guns as to contract law are defective guns which use presents a danger to the user mainly; there is no liability regarding the gun’s normal danger to other people (to whom the gun is dangerous on purpose, in case they need to be deterred).
The trials that courts have examined and will continue to examine no matter what governor Cuomo says about it are cases of normal liability. But opponents want to create a new judicial category that cannot exist.
A gun is a deterrent and as such it is dangerous. It is dangerous as such.
You need explosives to drill tunnels. Explosives are “dangerous products” as to tort law because you need them to drill tunnels and at the same time their use is dangerous. Therefore liability might be involved when the danger turns out to cause injury. That is to say, when you use explosives, normally you don’t cause injury, you only open a tunnel.
On the other hand, when you use a gun, basically you harm or kill someone and–mind you–that’s the expected outcome of the lawful use of the gun (self-defense). Generally speaking you don’t need to use the guns you own because owning them is a sufficient deterrent most of the times.
Everyone (except a few “law centers”) thus sees that guns are not the usual dangerous products of tort law, as the danger guns pose is the very aim of their lawful ownership and use.
Since opponents to the right to bear arms wanted to remain blind to such crystal-clear distinctions, the legislator felt compelled to pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, in order to prevent complacent courts to call guns “dangerous” and hold manufacturers liable as if we were dealing with explosives needed to open tunnels, which would be a devious way to suppress the Second Amendment, emptying it out, without due constitutional amendment process.
Just let me know if you have ever heard of a manufacturer held liable for damages caused by the unlawful use of his products. This is what opponents to the right to bear arms want for gun manufacturers.
They say: ‘’When products cause damages, manufacturers are liable. Guns kill people, so gun manufacturers must be held liable.’’ This is nonsense. It is when their products are used in a lawful expected way and yet causing damage, due to a defect, that manufacturers may be held liable. If on the other hand someone kills another one with say a screwdriver, the manufacturer cannot be held liable for the loss of one’s life.
With guns the lawful and the unlawful uses both have the same outcome: injury or death of people (leaving aside such uses as hunting and shooting sports). When people kill others with guns unlawfully, the manufacturer is not liable. And when someone kills another lawfully, in self-defense, then his gun worked as expected. There can be no trial unless someone needed to fire a gun and it did not work as expected.
“I’ve heard of pharmaceutical companies being prosecuted for not making it hard enough to open their packages to keep the content from candy-seeking children.“
The suits my interlocutor talks about are normal liability cases, what one may expect, not necessarily what one may reasonably expect, it depends on the claims, but what one may expect within the boundaries of the rule of law. What the opponents to the right to bear arms are up to is quite different, it isn’t possible to give them reason without violating the consistency of legal principles.
Manufacturers, like the pharmaceutical companies in the example, are expected to deliver reasonably safe products–gun manufacturers too and guns have safety locks.
In the same way that you cannot sue (win a suit against) a pharmaceutical company when someone uses their medicines to deliberately poison another person to death, you cannot sue gun manufacturers for the unlawful shooting of innocent people. There’s no exception to the principle that I know or can think of.
A product turned tool of crime, a part of corpus delicti, shifts to quite another sphere. There is no “manufacturer” of that “new” object. There are no manufacturers of corpora delicti because crime is in criminal intention (mens rea) and there is nothing a manufacturer could do to prevent people from having criminal intentions. A manufacturer can improve the technicalities of his products as well as consumer information about the products’ potential hazards so that their use is as safe as possible, but his action cannot reach further than his products, that is, he has no control over people’s lives. (The impact of marketing and advertising is an entirely different issue and here we do not examine the prospects of suing manufacturers for their advertisements, only the prospects of suing them for “violence” as in the New York statute.)
Reminder: “The five elements of a crime. (1) Actus reus–The guilty act (2) Mens rea–The guilty mind (3) Concurrence–The coexistence of (i) an act in violation of the law and (ii) a culpable mental state (4) Causation–The concurrence of mind and act must produce (5) Harm.”
That leaves open tort litigation against gun manufacturers if the shooter is declared insane and criminally irresponsible. Perhaps, because then the shooting is not a crime. But then again, a manufacturer has no influence over people’s state of mind; here insanity cannot be distinguished from criminal intent. What could be argued is that gun manufacturers have an influence over the whole nation’s state of mind, making it violent, but this kind of reasoning cannot be used in judicial proceedings, which bear on individual cases, and may be food for the legislator’s thought qua legislator subject to the Constitution. (If such reasoning could be used in a court of law, that would excuse all violent criminals.)
One cannot sue (win a suit against) manufacturers for tort damages when a crime is committed with one of their products. This is what opponents to the right to bear arms push for. They push for their reform not by saying they want all manufacturers to be suable for damages when crimes are committed with their products but by saying they want the general law of torts applied to gun manufacturers as it is to any other manufacturer, but the truth is that gun manufacturers are already within the general law and if we were to give reason to the opponents to the right to bear arms we would make gun manufacturers liable in situations where the other manufacturers are not.
As to someone’s claim that “you can sue anyone for tort damages,” the opponents themselves are not so sure, as shown in the recent news “New York Will Allow People to Sue Gun Manufacturers for Violence.” A bill–or whatever state or local act–is needed in their eyes.
Another bill is the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (2005) “that protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products.” There was no need of such a bill because the described protection is a necessary consequence of foundational notions of law, is a general unwritten principle which we encapsulate in the words “There are no manufacturers of corpora delicti.”
As gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible in situations where other manufacturers are not without violating the general principle that there are no manufacturers of corpora delicti, no legislative body or court is granted the constitutional power to make such a move. If guns are to be treated in the overriding fashion that opponents want, it has to be through constitutional amendment, probably not only by removal of the Second Amendment but also by allowing expressly tort suits against manufacturers for the unlawful use of their products, or by forbidding individuals to carry guns.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Bishop of Stockholm. Complete with cassock, mitre and crosier.
“Eva Brunne is the first openly lesbian bishop of a mainstream church in the world and the first bishop of the Church of Sweden to be in a registered same-sex partnership.” (Wikipedia) (2009-2019)
Archbishop Antje Jackelén, primate of the Church of Sweden. “The first female archbishop,” since 2014 strongly dedicated to apparel tradition.
They blame Chief Justice Taney (Scott v. Sandford, 1857) for “seeing slavery in the Constitution” but if slavery was not in the Constitution, why did slaveowners and the Southern States ratify it? You had to convince them that slavery was in the Constitution to obtain their ratification, and if you turned out to be convincing then it probably is because it is true that slavery was in the Constitution, even if you did not believe it yourself and thought you were lying to slaveowners.
I disagree with late (conservative failed nominee to the Supreme Court) Robert Bork: A constitutional amendment was indeed necessary to end slavery in the United States, and Taney was a correct interpret of the Constitution.
Picture: Taney statue removed from Maryland state house (Aug 2017).
(For a discussion of Bork’s views, see Law 8.)
Charged For (Name a Crime)
Former highschool student charged for putting Hitler quote in yearbook. (New York Post, July 13, 2021)
New York Post‘s headline is sheer disinformation, of which their own article gives ample evidence. The kid is charged for “computer crimes for accessing a database used by students to alter two classmates’ entries.”
The so-called “Hitler quote” are the words “It is a quite special secret pleasure how the people around us fail to realize what is really happening to them,” which the kid “incorrectly attributed” to George Floyd. To detect that these were actually Hitler’s words requires a level of specialization far beyond the average and if, to boot, as the paper seems to say, the kid did not know they were Hitler’s words (obviously, if the kid “incorrectly” attributed the words to George Floyd, it means he did not change the author’s name on purpose, knowingly), you may not talk of a Hitler quote at all.
The second quote is thus described by NYP: “Tryon, 18, also reportedly inserted a quote in a second student’s yearbook entry referencing drugs and Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted in the April 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.” There’s not a jot of information in that, it could mean anything, the quote could either be apology of terrorism or indictment of terrorism or something entirely different for all we know. Obviously NYP doesn’t care what the content of this quote is, they had their headline with the “Hitler quote” and that was good enough for these muckrakers.
But, again, the case is not at all about a Hitler quote. The headline should not read “charged for putting Hitler quote in yearbook” because under the rule of law you charge people for crimes and a Hitler quote, even in a yearbook, is not a crime.
Libel Law and Political Cartel 2
Trust in US mainstream media hits rock bottom. (Reclaim the Net)
This is why Justices Thomas and Gorsuch’s view that New York Times Co. v. Sullivan should be reversed must not be heeded to. Libel law must remain favorable to the messenger when the message deals with public officials and public figures. Smear campaigns by disreputable media do little harm. On the other hand giving public officials (read, mainly, politicians) a convenient weapon in libel law woud Canadize U.S.A. (see Law 18: Libel Law and Political Cartel). I go as far as saying that current U.S. libel law is what has made U.S. mainstream media fall into general disrepute, as media felt unbound and that has been their fall because they lack integrity.
Taxes and Irresponsible Police
‘’Defund the police’’ is the logical sequel to Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales (SCOTUS 2005). No one needs (as no one should rely on) an irresponsible police. To pay taxes for this is madness plain and simple.
‘’Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled, 7–2, that a town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman’s three children by her estranged husband.’’ (Wikipedia)
« On n’est pas en Turquie »
Rappelez-vous. Macron réfute toute dérive autoritaire : « On n’est pas en Turquie. » (Huffington Post, 4/12/20)
Or quel pays figure avec la Turquie parmi les États « sous surveillance » (under watch) en matière de censure internet ? La France, seul État occidental dans cette catégorie avec l’Australie (et la Norvège mais seulement pour les métadonnées transnationales : « only the metadata on traffic that crosses Norwegian borders »). (Wikipédia : Internet Censorship)
A noter que parmi les « ennemis d’internet », donc la catégorie encore en-dessous dans cette classification de Reporters sans frontières, à côté des dictatures auxquelles on s’attend (Chine…), on trouve les U.S. et le Royaume-Uni. Depuis Trump, les U.S. ne cherchent même pas à garantir un principe de « neutralité du Net », donc rien d’étonnant puisque les acteurs privés font alors ce qu’ils veulent.
En résumé, 4 États occidentaux censurent internet : U.S. (libre censure privée), Royaume-Uni, Australie et France. Parmi ces quatre, seul un, la France, est membre de l’Union européenne (UE).
Si la Turquie n’a pas le droit d’entrer dans l’UE, je ne vois pas ce que la France y fait.
On n’est pas en Turquie, on est en Franquie.
Des mots inacceptables
Rappelez-vous. Macron : « On ne peut pas parler de violences policières dans un Etat de droit. » (« Ne parlez pas de “répression” ou de “violences policières”, ces mots sont inacceptables dans un Etat de droit. »)
Non, c’est en dictature qu’on ne peut pas parler de violences policières.