Linkdump for February 26th from 08:00 to 08:06

Sometime between 08:00 and 08:06 on February 26th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery: "The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says 'State' instead of 'Country' (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote.  Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too."
  • Gun Rights, ‘Positive Good’ and the Evolution of Mutually Assured Massacre: "In the abstract, where no humans actually exist, there’s actually a compelling logic to this. If I know you’re armed, I’ll be on my best behavior. You will too because you know I’m armed. Of course, in practice, almost everything is wrong with this logic."
  • The AR-15 Is Different: What I Learned Treating Parkland Victims: "With an AR-15, the shooter does not have to be particularly accurate. The victim does not have to be unlucky. If a victim takes a direct hit to the liver from an AR-15, the damage is far graver than that of a simple handgun-shot injury. Handgun injuries to the liver are generally survivable unless the bullet hits the main blood supply to the liver. An AR-15 bullet wound to the middle of the liver would cause so much bleeding that the patient would likely never make it to the trauma center to receive our care."
  • Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns: "There's no telling how many guns we have in America—and when one gets used in a crime, no way for the cops to connect it to its owner. The only place the police can turn for help is a Kafkaesque agency in West Virginia, where, thanks to the gun lobby, computers are illegal and detective work is absurdly antiquated. On purpose."
  • Why the Second Amendment does not stymie gun control: "Nearly every gun regulation under discussion today—from expanded background checks to bans on military-style weapons—would seem to pass constitutional muster."
  • Slavery, the Second Amendment, and the Origins of Public-Carry Jurisprudence: "The idea that citizens have an unfettered constitutional right to carry weapons in public originates in the antebellum South, and its culture of violence and honor."

Linkdump for January 17th through February 26th

Sometime between January 17th and February 26th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

The Proverbial Sausage Factory

This is a fascinating look at a trial from a juror’s perspective: hearing the evidence, trying to balance all the factors and evidence in coming to a decision, and watching the legal system at work. Perhaps of particular interest to me as a Law and Justice student, but the kind of thing that I think would be interesting no matter what.

From Tux Life: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:

These are the facts we were given as a jury, facts upon which we were to decide if a boy was guilty of a crime that would put him in prison for 10 years. We were admonished to consider all of the facts but nothing outside of them. Don’t consider the sentence, or the age, or the race, or anything unrelated to what we heard while sitting in the juror box. Just focus on the facts that are presented. Yet, we were also told, time and again, that our Constitution is absolutely unwavering in its mission to protect the innocent, that no matter how clear-cut the evidence may seem, the burden of proof in criminal cases always, always, always falls on the prosecution. The boy sitting in that chair next to a pair of public defenders, possibly wearing borrowed clothes to look presentable in court, is innocent until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

[…]

All I could think as I walked to my car after being excused was this: from chaos comes order. This system that we look at and think that it’s in disrepair, that nobody can possibly fix it or in which you have “activist judges” on one side and uncaring, throw-the-book-at-them judges on the other side just isn’t a fair characterization. What you truly have is a proverbial sausage factory: it’s incredibly messy, nothing seems to make sense, nothing looks good or reasonable or even real, but at the end of the line there is something like justice. It doesn’t always look right. It doesn’t always feel right. It doesn’t even always taste right. But it’s at least palatable. And no matter how it is, it’s never for a lack of sincerely trying.

(via kottke)