Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Parrot Squawks

Every time there's an internet post mentioning that skulls, lightning bolts, coiled rattlesnakes, and crap like that are bad things to have engraved on a carry gun, some knob always comes along and squawks "Show me the case law! Show me the case law!"

It's like they're trying to show off the fact that they know there's a thing called "case law", as opposed to "statutory law" or "regulatory law".

Basically, we all know that no legislature has enacted a law making it a Class Z Misdemeanor to shoot somebody while you have a Punisher skull slide cover plate on your Glock (statutory) and the BATFE has not held that a Punisher skull slide cover plate renders your Glock an AOW (regulatory) and so they want to see case law.

In other words, they want you to find the case of State of West Dakota v. Cletus Johnson and show them in the black letter text of the verdict where Cletus was held guilty because he had a Punisher skull slide cover plate on his Glock.

But that's not how trials work.

A lawyer friend on the intertubes likes to point out that, once you're in the courtroom, it's all about selling your side of the story to the judge and jury. You don't want to make it harder for your attorney to sell that story.

Nowhere in the black letter print of case law is it going to say "The jury found Cletus Johnson guilty because he was a thoroughly unlikeable asshole," but you'd better cool believe his unlikeable assholishness influenced how the judge viewed his side of the story and affected the deliberations in the jury room.

Do you think your lawyer will want you to wear a Punisher skull t-shirt in the courtroom? Why not? It's not against the statutory law.

Do you know what else will be in the courtroom and visible to the jury as "Exhibit A"? Do you think your future hypothetical defense attorney would like the jury to see a Punisher skull slide cover plate on "Exhibit A"? Why not? There's no case law!