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Gender: Male
Hometown: St Paul MN
Home country: USA
Current location: Here
Member since: Wed Mar 21, 2012, 09:41 PM
Number of posts: 13,024

Journal Archives

Manufacturer liability

There has been some discussion on how manufacturers may be liable for (mis)use of their products. Here is a case of a company being sued for damages caused by a person using their product. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/snapchat-speed-filter-motivated-car-crash-suit-article-1.2615208

In short, Snapchat is being sued. A young woman used the filter that shows how fast you are travelling to take a picture. She was driving her parents Mercedes at 107 mph when she hit another car. The driver of that car has permanent brain damage and has filed suit against Snapchat as “the critical cause” of the crash.

Questions- Is Snapchat responsible for the accident because they put out a filter than can encourage people to drive dangerously fast?

-Should Mercedes also have liability for marketing a car that allows an inexperienced teenager to drive at more than 100 mph?

Girls involved in fatal fight at Delaware school suspended

Girls involved in fatal fight at Delaware school suspended

WILMINGTON, Del. --A schools official says three students involved in a fight at a Delaware school in which a teenager died have been suspended.

New Castle County Vo-Tech School District spokeswoman Kathy Demarest says the girls have been out of Howard High School of Technology since the assault last week. Sixteen-year-old Amy Joyner-Francis was killed in the confrontation.

The girls' removal from the school was first reported by The News Journal.

Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings says charges will be filed in the case, possibly by the end of the week.

Guns, self-defense and red-handed lies

Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director , Violence Policy Center, blogged on HuffPo about the report his group released detailing the rare use of firearms in self-defense. For proof he prominently displays a graphic, making the rounds of gun control proponents, showing that there are many more criminal homicides than self-defense homicides.
implication being the only valid DGU is one where the attacker is killed.
Much like a Republican sponsored "Abortion Rights" bill, Mr. Sugarmann hopes you do not read beyond the title.

The same report Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable16.pdf actually says firearms were used defensively 163,600 times over a three year period, per the NCVS. That gives an average of 54,433 DGUs per year. By presenting the graphic which shows 211 justifiable homicides, he has waved away 99.6% of DGUs. (Or to put it another way, armed civilians ward off an attacker without fatality 99.6% of the time)

But, you say, 54,000 or so is a fraction of the total of violent crimes in the U.S. You are correct, although to those 54,000 it is a very important fraction, but given a criminal homicide total of 7,838 guns were used to save people nearly seven times more often than to kill. Taking a cold look at the numbers, it seems intuitive that absent guns the number of those 7,838 fatalities who would survive would be more than offset by an increased number of violent crime victims. Who is willing to stand up and state how many rapes and assaults they find tolerable per life saved?

Now perhaps some deem 54,000+ victims a worthwhile price for a lower number of gun related deaths. Unfortunately that 54,000 number is also questionable. The CDC sponsored report PRIORITIES FOR RESEARCH TO REDUCE THE THREAT OF FIREARM-RELATED VIOLENCE http://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/1, ordered by President Obama after Sandy Hook, looked at studies measuring DGUs. They noted the Kleck study that puts the number of DGUs at over 2 million per year and questioned that high total due to small sample size. They also considered the number of DGUs derived from the NCVS and stated that low number to be "dubious" due to the wording of the questions on the NCVS. The CDC believes the NCVS is seriously undercounting DGUs and one of the recommendations, as yet not acted upon, is further study be done on the subject.

While I have no doubt Mr. Sugarmann and the VPC mean well they completely sacrifice all of their integrity to try and twist the data. Much like a stage magician making an item disappear, they flash the report in one hand, then use a graphic like a handkerchief in the other. They hope you are so focused on the waving handkerchief you don't stop to ask what is in the other hand. Much like gullible children, those who want to believe accept it as true magic, never noticing it is all illusion.

UPDATE: Elderly Man Defends Himself in Home Invasion, 1 Person Dead

UPDATE: Elderly Man Defends Himself in Home Invasion, 1 Person Dead

Fairmont police have identified the three people involved in Tuesday morning's deadly home invasion on the 700 block of Gaston Avenue.

Upon arriving at a residence, police said they found a man dressed in black lying in the road with a gunshot wound to his head/neck. He has been identified as Larry Shaver, 28, of Fairmont. Shaver was later pronounced dead at the scene.

They also found another man shot in the lower torso, across the street. He has been identified as John Grossklaus, 28, of Fairmont.

An 80-year-old man living in the residence said Shaver, Grossklaus and a woman attempted to rob him after the woman came to his door, asking to use his phone for an emergency, according to a press release from the Fairmont Police Department. When he let her in, two men dressed in dark clothes entered the home, showed what appeared to be a handgun, and demanded items from the victim.

Should the homeowner have taken on the three assailants bare-handed for the good of society?


You decide:

Man Arrested on Charges of Improperly Obtaining Handgun Licenses

Man Arrested on Charges of Improperly Obtaining Handgun Licenses

A member of a volunteer security force in Borough Park, Brooklyn, was charged on Monday with offering bribes to New York Police Department officials to obtain handgun permits — the first arrest directly linked to the widening federal investigation into police corruption and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fund-raising efforts.

The man, Alex Lichtenstein, 44, was arrested on Sunday at his home in Pomona, N.Y., by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives from the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, officials said. A criminal complaint unsealed on Monday in United States District Court in Manhattan charged him with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

Deputy Inspector Michael T. Endall, who heads the Police Department’s License Division, was one of three men transferred from that division on Monday, a statement from the department said. Inspector Endall was reassigned to an administrative position pending further review; Sgt. David Villanueva and Officer Richard Ochetal were placed on modified assignment, and have also been transferred.

Mr. Lichtenstein tried to bribe an officer to help him obtain pistol licenses, offering him $6,000 per license and telling him he had already obtained an estimated 150 permits over the last year through his connections at the License Division, a claim the officer secretly recorded, the complaint said.

Is anyone surprised that NYC's draconian regulations can be circumvented for a few grand?

My husband died by suicide. Here’s what happened during my awkward call with the NRA.

My husband died by suicide. Here’s what happened during my awkward call with the NRA.

It wasn’t the hardest phone call I’ve ever made, but it was certainly awkward. I was cold-calling the National Rifle Association. Because the NRA is well-known for offering gun safety training, I wanted to know whether the organization had ideas on how to reduce the number of firearm suicides. Half of all suicides in the United States are by firearm, and roughly two-thirds of all firearm deaths are suicides. Given the NRA’s opposition to virtually all gun regulation, I knew this was a touchy area.

A far harder call was the one I received from a Seattle police officer a few years earlier. The officer told me that my husband had ended his struggle with anxiety and depression with a single bullet. Suddenly, I was a 38-year-old widow and a single parent of two young children. I was left wondering how this had happened and whether it could have been prevented. I was deeply angry at myself, at my husband, at a treatment system that failed him and at a society that made it easy to buy a pistol. I wasn’t the best person to try to start a conversation with the NRA. No wonder it took me a few years to make the call.

But I learned a couple of surprising things from that call and the many follow-up meetings with a local NRA lobbyist and the executive director of the Second Amendment Foundation.

First, they were not just willing to talk but also willing to listen. There was a simple reason for their openness: They are no more immune from the pain of suicide than anyone else. Every year in the United States, about 750,000 of us experience a sudden disruption in our lives due to the suicide of a loved one or close friend. With such high rates of suicide, nearly all of us will be touched by the suicide of someone we know at some point in our lives. Gun rights advocates are no exception.

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