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MistWolf
08-28-2017, 05:50 PM
I have a couple of very specific questions. Please, no "what ifs", no speculations. Just real cases and first hand experiences.

Will having a Punisher Skull or similar motif on a firearm prejudice an investigator, District Attorney's office or jury against you?

Have there been cases where having a Punisher Skull or similar motif, on a firearm used in self defense, harmed the credibility of the person claiming self defense?

I'm asking because of a discussion I was foolish enough to get involved in on another forum. The prevailing opinion is that one should avoid such motifs like the plague because it will be used against you. That it gives the perception that you wanted to live out some vigilante fantasy.

My contention is that, if it's a good shoot, the skull won't matter. If it's not a good shoot, not having the skull won't matter. That if your skull decorated firearm is on full display in court, you screwed up.

I don't advocate decorating firearms with skulls. But I think that by the time you find yourself on trial for a shooting, there are other extenuating circumstances and the skull motif is the least of your worries. Or, am I off my rocker?

PD Sgt.
08-28-2017, 05:59 PM
If it is a good shoot it should not matter, that does not mean it will not matter.

I have investigated hundreds of shootings, were I to find a Punisher logo on the firearm of a shooter I will likely look at their statement with a bit more skepticism than usual. It will not affect my final decision based on facts and evidence but it will certainly be in the back of my mind. It may also be in the mind of Grand Jurors, not many of whom have the benefit of my experience, nor are they professionally accountable.

The other thing to bear in mind is that in addition to criminal charges there will likely be civil action. The standard of proof is much lower in civil court, you can be compelled to testify, and appearance is much more important as the facts become less so.

In light of the fact logos and motifs add no performance or accuracy to the weapon and are more of a personal statement, they are probably better left off serious use firearms.

Cypher
08-28-2017, 06:00 PM
I have a couple of very specific questions. Please, no "what ifs", no speculations. Just real cases and first hand experiences.

Will having a Punisher Skull or similar motif on a firearm prejudice an investigator, District Attorney's office or jury against you?

Have there been cases where having a Punisher Skull or similar motif, on a firearm used in self defense, harmed the credibility of the person claiming self defense?

I'm asking because of a discussion I was foolish enough to get involved in on another forum. The prevailing opinion is that one should avoid such motifs like the plague because it will be used against you. That it gives the perception that you wanted to live out some vigilante fantasy.

My contention is that, if it's a good shoot, the skull won't matter. If it's not a good shoot, not having the skull won't matter. That if your skull decorated firearm is on full display in court, you screwed up.

I don't advocate decorating firearms with skulls. But I think that by the time you find yourself on trial for a shooting, there are other extenuating circumstances and the skull motif is the least of your worries. Or, am I off my rocker?


There was a Cop in I think Texas who had a personal AR15 as a patrol rifle. It had. "You're Screwed" on the dust cover. It ended up biting him in the ass.

PNWTO
08-28-2017, 06:06 PM
Wasn't there an Alberquerque SWAT Officer that got burned after an OIS because he had a dustcover that stated "You're Fucked"? I don't think it was a decisive factor but it still was a factor on the legitimacy of his shoot. Someone here probably knows the case better than I.

That said, the hardest part of having a punisher skull on your gun is coming out of the closet.

EDIT: Corrections below, thank you gents.

Sero Sed Serio
08-28-2017, 06:10 PM
I have a couple of very specific questions. Please, no "what ifs", no speculations. Just real cases and first hand experiences.

Will having a Punisher Skull or similar motif on a firearm prejudice an investigator, District Attorney's office or jury against you?

Have there been cases where having a Punisher Skull or similar motif, on a firearm used in self defense, harmed the credibility of the person claiming self defense?

I'm asking because of a discussion I was foolish enough to get involved in on another forum. The prevailing opinion is that one should avoid such motifs like the plague because it will be used against you. That it gives the perception that you wanted to live out some vigilante fantasy.

My contention is that, if it's a good shoot, the skull won't matter. If it's not a good shoot, not having the skull won't matter. That if your skull decorated firearm is on full display in court, you screwed up.

I don't advocate decorating firearms with skulls. But I think that by the time you find yourself on trial for a shooting, there are other extenuating circumstances and the skull motif is the least of your worries. Or, am I off my rocker?

https://www.google.com/amp/www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/03/robert-farago/cops-ar-15-dust-cover-inscription-used-against-him-in-court/amp/

Prosecutors are taught to create a theme that they can repeat to the jury that explains, in a few words, what the defendant did and why they deserve to be punished. I can almost guarantee the theme in this case is going to be some variation of "you're fucked," and the jury will be talking about that a lot more than they will about the suspect ignoring commands or the other relevant facts.

Another problem is that the investigating officers are going to be making value judgments based on their early observations that may color the lens through which they see a case, right or wrong. If something makes them think you were looking for a reason, right, wrong or indifferent they make look at additional evidence with a degree of confirmation bias.

Bottom line is there's no reason for the cutesy add-ons on a defensive weapon, but they can come back to bite you in a big way.

Sero Sed Serio
08-28-2017, 06:13 PM
Wasn't there an Alberquerque SWAT Officer that got burned after an OIS because he had a dustcover that stated "You're Fucked"? I don't think it was a decisive factor but it still was a factor on the legitimacy of his shoot. Someone here probably knows the case better than I.

That said, the hardest part of having a punisher skull on your gun is coming out of the closet.

The one I posted was a Mesa, AZ patrol Officer. Did ABQ have one, too?

Chance
08-28-2017, 06:13 PM
Wasn't there an Alberquerque SWAT Officer that got burned after an OIS because he had a dustcover that stated "You're Fucked"?

Mesa, Arizona (http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/31480834/questions-over-assault-weapon-used-by-mesa-officer-facing-murder-charge).

randy dragon
08-28-2017, 06:20 PM
Steven Harris (attorney with relevant experience) wrote a good article on the subject, among other modifications, at the Modern Service Weapons blog. He has a bunch of good articles over there, actually, I'd recommend reading when you have time.

"LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS OF HANDGUN MODIFICATIONS AND NON-FACTORY STANDARD REPLACEMENT PARTS"
http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=6896

voodoo_man
08-28-2017, 06:28 PM
Show me a court case where the deciding factor was a modification on a firearm. I'm not talking about something really stupid like "hello fuckface" "wait for the flash" or something stupid like that, likely that can be used against a person. I'm talking about trigger weight, barrel color, modifications like an Agency Glock or something like that. I've yet to a see single case posted.

Fact is, if it is a good shoot, it's a good shoot, having a modification other than a stupid phrase or something clearly racist/etc on it is not going to make it a bad shoot all of a sudden, and if that's the point of contention, show me evidence via such cases.

-ad-
08-28-2017, 06:32 PM
Will having a Punisher Skull or similar motif on a firearm prejudice an investigator, District Attorney's office or jury against you?

My take on it that humans are unpredictable, and there's no set answer - and it's more about probabilities and risk management. The best I can come up with is that there will be a % of a chance that it might affect prejudice of an investigator, DA or Jury - no definitive yes or no because everyone is different.

However - I do think it's safe to say that it would not have any chance of having a positive influence for you.

IMO I figure the chance of having to deploy and fire your firearm is remarkably low. Then the chance of this lining up with people who might be prejudice against you for the logo would also be low - which compounds to be a fairly low chance. But it's still not zero.

Which leaves that there's a chance that it could have a negative influence. The decision then rests on what you think that chance might be, and whether you believe the benefit of having it on the firearm outweighs the potential risk. This comes down to personal choice and opinions.


So really - in the end you just have to ask yourself "Do you feel lucky... punk" ;)

MistWolf
08-28-2017, 06:36 PM
Please, no "what ifs" and no speculation. Please cite from documented cases or first hand experience

Hambo
08-28-2017, 06:43 PM
Please, no "what ifs" and no speculation. Please cite from documented cases or first hand experience

If you want actual cases I doubt you're going to find much of anything. It's not a huge slice of the gun owning public that puts shit on their guns, and it's a smaller subset that has been in shooting using one of those guns.

Glenn E. Meyer
08-28-2017, 06:47 PM
1. It is not a good shoot if you go to trial. The issue is in question. So the good shoot meme is stupid. If you don't get charged, it may be a good shoot. If you are on trial it is not. Then you need to worry what happens in your ambiguous situation.

2. The Jury will decide if it is a good shoot.

3. There is compelling evidence that appearance issues influence juries. Has there been a specific trial on that logo? Who knows. Looking for a case on that is not the issue as your case will be unique and you don't know if a jury decided to ignore an appearance issue they will ignore in yours.

4. The decision is not made on the sole basis of the logo, gun type, etc. The jury decision is a composite of many factors. Thus, asking if an appearance issue is the sole determinant is to misunderstand decision making.

5. The best model of jury decision making is that the jury looks for a coherent story that makes sense to them. What makes sense depends on presentation and the information that they regard as relevant. Appearance issues can be potent as seen in real world cases and in simulation research.

There was a case on CourtTV when it existed. An officer shoots a mentally challenged individual with a rake. It is ambiguous. He goes to trial. At the time of the shooting, his picture is one with sidewall haircut and a glowering tough guy pose. At trial, he is wearing a three piece suit. His hair has grown out and stylish. He wears half reading classes when looking at exhibits. Why?

To be blunt, I don't give a flying mating dance if you ignore such with the 'good shoot' or 'show me a case' BS - as that means you don't understand the issue. Being a competitor has come up in trials, training as come up in trials, statements quoting your instructors saying "Have plan to kill everyone" has come up in trials. Prosecutors make a point of displaying the weapon in exquisite detail to prime negative attitudes. Then simulations have shown that influences some folks.

I wouldn't want to have an immature logo to be even a small portion of the variance in a trial. Remember if you ask if it is the sole factor, you don't understand the process models either.

Lester Polfus
08-28-2017, 06:50 PM
For some reason I just couldn't resist:

If you don't put the Punisher skull on your gun, you don't have to worry about it.

There. I did it. Next time I get the urge to post in a topic about 1) Punisher Skulls on guns 2) 5.11 pants/vests or 3) 9mmvs40vs.45vs356TSW, I'm just going to slam my hand in a car door until the urge passes.

breakingtime91
08-28-2017, 06:57 PM
Please, no "what ifs" and no speculation. Please cite from documented cases or first hand experience

We had a directive come down in 2010 that said any offensive writing, patches, or markings on rifles could negatively impact us at trial if we had a shooting that was questioned.

This was from our head legal guy and for us being in Afghanistan. So yea, I think it could get you in a pinch in the states. I took it to heart and would point it out to others. YMMV

voodoo_man
08-28-2017, 07:07 PM
1. It is not a good shoot if you go to trial. The issue is in question. So the good shoot meme is stupid. If you don't get charged, it may be a good shoot. If you are on trial it is not. Then you need to worry what happens in your ambiguous situation.

2. The Jury will decide if it is a good shoot.

3. There is compelling evidence that appearance issues influence juries. Has there been a specific trial on that logo? Who knows. Looking for a case on that is not the issue as your case will be unique and you don't know if a jury decided to ignore an appearance issue they will ignore in yours.

4. The decision is not made on the sole basis of the logo, gun type, etc. The jury decision is a composite of many factors. Thus, asking if an appearance issue is the sole determinant is to misunderstand decision making.

5. The best model of jury decision making is that the jury looks for a coherent story that makes sense to them. What makes sense depends on presentation and the information that they regard as relevant. Appearance issues can be potent as seen in real world cases and in simulation research.

There was a case on CourtTV when it existed. An officer shoots a mentally challenged individual with a rake. It is ambiguous. He goes to trial. At the time of the shooting, his picture is one with sidewall haircut and a glowering tough guy pose. At trial, he is wearing a three piece suit. His hair has grown out and stylish. He wears half reading classes when looking at exhibits. Why?

To be blunt, I don't give a flying mating dance if you ignore such with the 'good shoot' or 'show me a case' BS - as that means you don't understand the issue. Being a competitor has come up in trials, training as come up in trials, statements quoting your instructors saying "Have plan to kill everyone" has come up in trials. Prosecutors make a point of displaying the weapon in exquisite detail to prime negative attitudes. Then simulations have shown that influences some folks.

I wouldn't want to have an immature logo to be even a small portion of the variance in a trial. Remember if you ask if it is the sole factor, you don't understand the process models either.

Clearly in response to my post so I will respond.

1. A good shoot can and often times will go to trial because of shitty DA's. Why are the vast majority of LE trials non-convictions? Just a DA being a d-bag trying to look "tough on cops" when they are afraid to make a decision to not prosecute - hundreds of cases to back this up.

2. If it's a jury trial. Locally we opt for bench trials and win nearly 99% of the time an officer charged through the bullshit of a DA, see above.

3. Every deadly force case is unique, water is wet.

4. Direct contradiction of your points, it either matters and is unique or it does not. Cannot be both.

5. ...which is why guys like Massad Ayoob, and others make lots of dollars explaining concepts to jurors, and proving what a good shoot is to those who may otherwise react emotionally(knee jerk). Again, if it's even a jury trial.

Have you actually sat through a homicide or OIS trial? Vastly different and I can understand you saying what you're saying, experience it for yourself, if by just sitting in the court room watching, huge eye opener.

Of course being a competitor will come up. Of course any martial art will come in court. Of course any of your FB posts or social media posts will come up in court. Of course they will, to think they won't is shortsighted and no one has said any of it won't. But will the fact you have a TiN barrel over a stock barrel matter? How about an SCD on your gun rather than a standard backplate will that matter? If you say yes, show me the case to support it. Very likely someone, somewhere has shot someone with a modified firearm and there would likely be some sort of record of what happened somewhere. Fact is we don't see that on the forums. Why is that? Furthermore, taking classes from instructors who are willing to come to court and stand their instruction up is important.

If you put a swastika on the side of your gun and shoot a black guy or Jew, guess what, you'll have a really bad day. If you put some Arabic script that happens to be something about greatness and you shoot some "infidels" you'll have a really bad day, probably in the same cell as the Nazi guy.

If you modify your gun with random parts that otherwise don't make you more likely to ND, you will be perfectly fine if it's a good shoot. If it's a good shoot.. If it's a bad shoot it doesn't really matter what's on your gun. If it's a good shoot then the only way it becomes a bad shoot is if the investigators can prove malicious intent of some kind. This is why you don't post Nazi shit on FB or whatnot. If you're into that type of thing, and if you are please go pound sand elsewhere.

Again, prove me wrong, show me the cases.

txdpd
08-28-2017, 07:37 PM
As far as cases not going to trial, double jeopardy doesn't apply to grand juries or DA decisions to not prosecute. If it's within the statute of limitations, and it hasn't been to trial it's fair game. Different day different DA can make a huge difference. I was involved in a suicide by cop and that was no billed, many years later I found out that I had been no billed a second time after the DA took it, along with several other OIS's, to another grand jury to try to indict cops.

I don't want to go through a trial, but not getting charged doesn't mean all that much either.

GardoneVT
08-28-2017, 07:38 PM
Again, prove me wrong, show me the cases.

Why? This is America. Decorate your carry gun however you please. Just know that freedom of choice also means accepting the results of that choice,for good or bad.

Peally
08-28-2017, 07:42 PM
FWIW, the OP has asked, twice now, that people cite relevant documented cases or first hand experience (which probably means this should/would be a pretty short and boring thread).

Vague question (a booger in your nose could tweak someone's judgement for god's sake) + extremely specific and unusual request for answers = no replies ;)

voodoo_man
08-28-2017, 07:45 PM
Why? This is America. Decorate your carry gun however you please. Just know that freedom of choice also means accepting the results of that choice,for good or bad.

I mean, that's my point without actually saying it.

Deadly force is deadly force, gun, knife, rock, hammer, hotdog, car or shallow puddle of it's a good deadly force use the method of force doesn't matter nor does the instrument.

People are quick to throw out non-truths they hypothesize in their heads without actually having the evidence to back it up. Especially true in the deadly shoot criminal justice arena, when done by people who don't frequent it. This means precedent and case law either exist or they do not. If they do, show me. If they do not show me why these cases weren't appealed, opinions are fine but post the cases. That's all. Otherwise it's just conjecture.

MontWyDaho
08-28-2017, 07:56 PM
Ignore political correctness and put a Punisher Skull on it... But I'd stay away from any depiction of a 'Roman War Helmet'. :p
What?!

BehindBlueI's
08-28-2017, 08:03 PM
I've investigated hundreds of shootings, presented findings to prosecutors for file/no file decisions, and am familiar with both the grand jury process, civil lawsuit depositions, etc. from experience.

If we're talking STRICTLY criminal, in my experience, it has not mattered. This answer could easily be different in another jurisdiction, if your case becomes "a media case", etc. However "the norm" has the file/no-file decision being made with the prosecutor having no idea what the weapon looks like. I have never been asked what color the gun was, if it has any alterations* or markings, type of firearm, etc.

Civil is different. The photos of your weapon are discoverable by the opposing side. They have much greater leeway in what they can ask in both the depo and the trial (I've been through depos, not to trial). I was asked about such personal things as hobbies, and that would not be asked in a criminal depo. You can bet your ass that if a photo showed something that could paint you in a bad light, it's going to come up in a depo and then come up in court. It is the opposing attorney's JOB to paint you as having some level of responsibility for the person's death, it not their job to discover and introduce the truth. It's their JOB to dig in depos for ways to find dirt on you. It's their JOB to ask questions that have no good answers, lock you into something, and then ask the same thing in court and beat you over the head as a liar or fool if your answer varies slightly.

There's also the notion that a good shoot is always identified as a good shoot. Particularly if you do the "don't talk to the police" routine, you may very well go to grand jury even if you don't end up going go to trial. A grand jury gets to ask their own questions. We've had a grand jury ask a cop why he didn't shoot the gun out of a bad guy's hand, and this was one where it started with a cop getting shot.

A jury will see photos of your weapon. Juries are unpredictable and are hugely influenced by what they think they know from watching TV. The grand jury member really expected a cop to shoot a gun out of a bad guy's hand because TV told him they could. And the cop had to answer how that's stupid and what reality was. What's your explanation for why there is a punisher skull on your weapon when that guy, the guy who is one of the people deciding if you indicted for murder or not, asks why you have a punisher skull on your gun. Do you want that subconscious association with a vigilante? Criminal juries get to ask questions, too, but they are much more constrained in which ones the judge/attorneys will actually allow to be asked in open court. I still get asked about why we didn't CSI some shit, and it's because TV.

From my experiences, there is no way in hell I'd put anything on a gun I couldn't explain to the biggest moron who could find the court house to serve on a grand jury to.


*not counting altered/obliterated serial number, which is illegal by itself

ssb
08-28-2017, 08:08 PM
A reason why bleating "show me the cases" isn't really dispositive here is because you don't get a written opinion from a trial judge in a criminal trial that's later published in various reporters, nor do you get a similar written report of the jury's thought process. Another reason why bleating "show me the cases" isn't really dispositive here is because the "the prosecutor talked about the murder weapon having a Punisher skull/TiN bbl/Gadget/fiber optic sights" issue probably won't constitute grounds for an appeal and thus is unlikely to show up in case law.

Off the top of my head, the two most likely areas for a modification to show up in an appeal are a) a claim of insufficiency of the evidence and b) a claim of inappropriate comments/questions by the prosecutor. The former claim will involve a discussion of the evidence followed by laughter/frustration from the Court of Appeals and a summary dismissal of the claim after a cursory cut-and-paste of some case law and a "a reasonable juror could find..." line. The latter will first require an objection at trial from defense counsel followed by a ruling from the judge in order to be appealable. So, when he's busy trying to fuck over a good cop or citizen or something, the shitty DA must first get past both defense counsel and the judge to even get the Court of Appeals in order for that issue to show up in that case law thing whose presence or absence is apparently going to prove everybody's point. Neither route is particularly likely to show up in an appeal in my opinion because one is simply an appellate review of the evidence submitted at trial and the other is simply the prosecutor examining the evidence in front of the jury/commenting upon the same, so barring something outlandish from the State I think that's pretty safe. Finally, the Court of Appeals isn't generally going to go digging for other questions to answer: they only answer those they were asked, and they have rather strict rules which determine which questions you're allowed to ask them.

Of course, the above would require an understanding of both trial practice and appellate procedure but I suppose you could, like, pick that up from watching a trial or something.

I'm aware of a case where a shooter inscribed a particular symbol into the wooden grip of his revolver. Did we ask the witness used to lay a foundation for that gun about that at trial? Yup. Is that an improper comment meant to do nothing more than inflame the jury? Nope, that's simply asking the witness to describe the weapon the jury later brought with them to the jury room. Did we comment on it during closing arguments? Yup. Was our objective to use that inscription to make the jury's decision to convict easier? Absolutely. Are you going to find in the case of State v. Dickhead, 123 S.W.3d 456 (2015) a paragraph from the Court of Appeals saying "yeah, it's totally cool to have a stupid carving in your revolver grip" or "no, don't carve dumb stuff into your revolver grip because that makes it automatically murder?" No, because that's not the issue that was appealed.

Massad Ayoob noted in the Zimmerman thing that the absence of a safety on Zimmerman's PF-9 was indeed an issue at trial -- not a big one, but certainly something somebody (Zimmerman) had to pay somebody to explain. The point of mentioning that is that we do pay attention to things in order to help create a narrative for the jury, and we will use anything we can to paint the picture we want. Some of us do it poorly (Angela Corey). Others do it responsibly.

MistWolf
08-28-2017, 08:41 PM
Asking for cases isn't mere bleating. When I'm told something is a fact based on opinion and conjecture, I grow skeptical, especially when my questioning incurs a strong emotional response along the lines of "YOU MUST BE AN IDIOT IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE OBVIOUS!!" (To be clear, I'm not being told this in this forum.) As a kid, I was fed a lot of gun mythology and was embarrassed to learn the real facts. What I am trying to do is separate what people believe will happen from what actually happens. There are some excellent, eye opening answers in this thread, in response to my questions.

Personally, I don't care if someone has a skull on their firearm. I have one lower with some sort of "tribal skull" engraved on it, but that's because there was a drought of AR parts and it was the first one to come along at a reasonable price, like $70 when everything else was $200 or more.

Am I wrong in thinking this subject is given far more weight than it deserves?

Lester Polfus
08-28-2017, 08:55 PM
Am I wrong in thinking this subject is given far more weight than it deserves?

If you mean the "Punisher skull on a carry gun" issue specifically, unequivocally yes.

If you mean, in general, "Think carefully about the image you are portraying to the world, as it could come back to haunt you in a criminal or civil proceeding," then no. If somebody wants to walk around in attired in 5.11 from head to toe, carrying a gold plated taurus with an engraved swastika and a CCW badge with a Punisher logo while wearing a "I don't dial 911" T-shirt, that's their lookout. A prudent person would examine each one of those choices and ask whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

Here's an example: I'm going to get a clinch pick. It's a knife designed for one purpose: stabbing people. The average asshole from Berkeley would have an attack of the vapors at there mere thought. I think it's reasonable to think that I might run into some image issues with it as opposed to the ordinary, garden variety pocket knife if a actually cut somebody with it. But I can articulate why as I responsible gun toter I have an obligation to be prepared for a fight over the gun, etc. So I've decided the juice is worth the squeeze.

For purely cosmetic things, it's harder for me to justify. The Punisher logo isn't going to make you more accurate or faster, or help you make better decisions.

Just the mere fact that you are toting a gun around can get you painted as a junior danger ranger that is looking for an excuse to cap somebody, so the safest bet there would be to just not carry one at all. But obviously the juice is worth the squeeze there for alot of us.

JohnO
08-28-2017, 08:55 PM
My opinion is simple.

1. There is nothing I can put on my pistol like a Punisher skull, "Smile and wait for the Flash" or the like that will improve the gun's performance or capabilities. Therefore I find it pointless to do so.
2. While no one can site case law where some adornment caused a problem for the owner there is a first time for everything. Better safe than sorry.

ssb
08-28-2017, 08:58 PM
Asking for cases isn't mere bleating. When I'm told something is a fact based on opinion and conjecture, I grow skeptical, especially when my questioning incurs a strong emotional response along the lines of "YOU MUST BE AN IDIOT IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE OBVIOUS!!" (To be clear, I'm not being told this in this forum.) As a kid, I was fed a lot of gun mythology and was embarrassed to learn the real facts. What I am trying to do is separate what people believe will happen from what actually happens. There are some excellent, eye opening answers in this thread, in response to my questions.

I agree. However, when you (generally) paint yourself into a corner of "I need to see XYZ in order to prove to my satisfaction," and you don't actually know what goes into XYZ (i.e. what makes the sausage), you may find your position wanting. A lot of self-appointed experts do that, including in this thread -- thus my ire, since this forum is one of those ones where you're expected to, you know, be qualified about the things you talk about and stuff.


Personally, I don't care if someone has a skull on their firearm. I have one lower with some sort of "tribal skull" engraved on it, but that's because there was a drought of AR parts and it was the first one to come along at a reasonable price, like $70 when everything else was $200 or more.

Am I wrong in thinking this subject is given far more weight than it deserves?

I think it's a mixed -- and very polarizing -- bag, one that isn't helped by taking the topic from extreme A (the backplate which paints you as a wannabe avenging hero) and extreme B (a Gadget, night sights, or other commonplace purpose-driven modification). Glenn Meyer has published research on the impact of appearance before a jury, and in my opinion is worth listening to. Personally, I wouldn't want to put anything on my gun that The Average Registered Voter might notice and say "hey, that's weird/scary/questionable/objectionable." So, no "inspirational" Bible verse grip plugs or Punisher skull back plates or Molon Labia slide engravings or anything of the sort for me. Does that mean I won't put a Gadget on my Glock? No. It's an object which adds an additional layer of safety to the pistol, and it says that right there in the product literature.

LorenzoS
08-28-2017, 09:20 PM
Why would someone over the age of 14 want a Punisher skull sticker on anything he owns?

MistWolf
08-28-2017, 09:36 PM
I agree. However, when you (generally) paint yourself into a corner of "I need to see XYZ in order to prove to my satisfaction," and you don't actually know what goes into XYZ (i.e. what makes the sausage), you may find your position wanting.

A fellow has to start someplace


]Glenn Meyer has published research on the impact of appearance before a jury, and in my opinion is worth listening to

Glenn's response is among the excellent. It feels as if it has the weight of first hand experience and knowledge

OnionsAndDragons
08-28-2017, 09:37 PM
.

Here's an example: I'm going to get a clinch pick. It's a knife designed for one purpose: stabbing people. The average asshole from Berkeley would have an attack of the vapors at there mere thought. I think it's reasonable to think that I might run into some image issues with it as opposed to the ordinary, garden variety pocket knife if a actually cut somebody with it. But I can articulate why as I responsible gun toter I have an obligation to be prepared for a fight over the gun, etc. So I've decided the juice is worth the squeeze.

.

I don't have expert opinions to add to this, but the one opinion I have is related to this so I'm gonna say it anyway!

Dude; the Clinch Pick is a great blade for gardening and fruit/veggie eating. Seriously, peel an apple or something with it and you will get it.

The example is explanation. If you have an easily articulable explanation that can be so obvious it's hard to argue with, the item or mod is not worth worrying about. I use my Clinch Pick regularly, in front of friends, family and coworkers, to do everyday stuff like eat or sharpen my kids pencils. That's an explanation in and if itself before you even gave to go to the responsibility to not let some fuckwit gangbanger take my firearm explanation level.

The Punisher skull is a particularly poor example, because it is the symbol of an admitted murderous vigilante. It's easy game for a civil attorney. It's a rotten can of worms with all downside zero upside.

I would heed the memorandum Breakingtime mentioned above re: appearances in a frakking combat zone.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Malamute
08-28-2017, 09:46 PM
This doesnt directly answer the question, but may bear on the question, and some of the answers, such as, "You dont always know exactly why things turn out the way they do with juries".


http://www.thejuryexpert.com/2009/09/will-it-hurt-me-in-court-weapons-issues-and-the-fears-of-the-legally-armed-citizen/

TR675
08-28-2017, 09:46 PM
I'm not going to cite case law on this because there isn't going to be any. Whether a gun has a Punisher skull on it is not an element of an offense that is going to show up in a judicial opinion.

A similar question came up at the HiTS Shotgun class this weekend - "should I use an AR (or NFA weapon) in a self-defense situation." FWIW, a former street police officer (DB) and a practicing attorney with prosecution, criminal defense and civil litigation experience (me) both said "probably not a great idea" (and "NO"). Glenn's studies were mentioned. Others who didn't have our (very different) experiences with the legal system were not convinced. That's fine. Not my role to convince anyone of anything in that setting.

The bottom line is this: if ISIS terrorists are shooting toddlers in a mall playground it doesn't matter what kind of gun you shoot them with or what is written on it. But if you shoot an unarmed black teenager who broke into your garage it very well might. You don't get to control how other people are going to react to the facts. But you can, to some extent, control certain aggravating or mitigating facts before an incident happens. The cops, the ADA, the judge, the jury - they all bring their own perceptions to the dance and a lot of them do not like guns, period, really don't like evil black rifles, and are horrified at the idea that you can own a silenced SBR.

I have, in fact, seen this with my own eyes in one of the reddest counties in Texas. Easily half of a recent jury pool in a criminal trial HATED guns. If the shoot isn't "good" but is maybe, maybe-not "ok", how might their perceptions change if the shooter is an 86 year old with a six-gun? If he is a fit 27 year old with face tattoos and "Kill 'em all, let God sort them out" on the side of their SBR?

To me, it makes sense to mitigate unnecessary risk whenever possible. Other people don't seem to care about that. That's fine with me. I call some of those people "clients."

MistWolf
08-28-2017, 09:57 PM
I'm not going to cite case law on this because there isn't going to be any. Whether a gun has a Punisher skull on it is not an element of an offense that is going to show up in a judicial opinion.

A similar question came up at the HiTS Shotgun class this weekend - "should I use an AR (or NFA weapon) in a self-defense situation." FWIW, a former street police officer (DB) and a practicing attorney with prosecution, criminal defense and civil litigation experience (me) both said "probably not a great idea" (and "NO"). Glenn's studies were mentioned. Others who didn't have our (very different) experiences with the legal system were not convinced. That's fine. Not my role to convince anyone of anything in that setting.

The bottom line is this: if ISIS terrorists are shooting toddlers in a mall playground it doesn't matter what kind of gun you shoot them with or what is written on it. But if you shoot an unarmed black teenager who broke into your garage it very well might. You don't get to control how other people are going to react to the facts. But you can, to some extent, control certain aggravating or mitigating facts before an incident happens. The cops, the ADA, the judge, the jury - they all bring their own perceptions to the dance and a lot of them do not like guns, period, really don't like evil black rifles, and are horrified at the idea that you can own a silenced SBR.

I have, in fact, seen this with my own eyes in one of the reddest counties in Texas. Easily half of a recent jury pool in a criminal trial HATED guns. If the shoot isn't "good" but is maybe, maybe-not "ok", how might their perceptions change if the shooter is an 86 year old with a six-gun? If he is a fit 27 year old with face tattoos and "Kill 'em all, let God sort them out" on the side of their SBR?

To me, it makes sense to mitigate unnecessary risk whenever possible. Other people don't seem to care about that. That's fine with me. I call some of those people "clients."

Ok, but let's scale it back. The extremes help illustrate the point, but at the risk of getting off topic, what about a mid fifties guy with no tats, grey hair, dad bod and armed with a suppressed AR pistol? Not trying to be confrontational, I'm actually curious

Malamute
08-28-2017, 10:07 PM
^^^ Ive considered that point. My conclusion isnt authoritative by any means, but I decided Id prefer to have a shortened model 11 Remington than an AR pistol for similar perceived use, or a common pistol, classic S&W revolver as likely as anything. Short Winchester lever carbines are also pretty handy.


I also just happen to like any of those things more than AR pistols. Heresy, I know.

BehindBlueI's
08-28-2017, 10:30 PM
Ok, but let's scale it back. The extremes help illustrate the point, but at the risk of getting off topic, what about a mid fifties guy with no tats, grey hair, dad bod and armed with a suppressed AR pistol? Not trying to be confrontational, I'm actually curious

I think it was Massad who talked about an attorney making hay because of a weapon mounted light, comparing it to a well known serial killer who had taped a flashlight to a shotgun. However the individual was able to explain the utility of a light for someone in their position. Can you explain the utility of a suppressor as someone in your position?

Do you have tinnitus or hearing loss? Do you have something from a doctor that says so? Something like that makes it an easier sell.

Attorney: MW, why do you have a silencer on your firearm?
You: Sir, I have (hearing issue) and have been advised by my doctor that exposure to loud or repeated noise could further exacerbate (hearing issue). A suppressor isn't actually a "silencer" and the gun still makes a fairly loud sound when fired, but it does reduce the noise of a gunshot to hearing-safe levels. As such, I use a suppressor routinely, in combination with other safety measures, to protect my remaining hearing.

That leaves the attorney without much to hook on to. Joe the Juror knows that guns are loud and he knows Papaw has hearing loss because he worked at the noisy factory. He'll probably understand and potentially empathize with that answer. It paints you as human (good), you admitting weakness/injury means you're not trying to play the badass (good), and you've given a reason that doesn't sound like an excuse to play ninja-assassin with cool toys.

If don't have hearing loss, can you convincingly make the point about protection from hearing loss preemptively?

Remembering there are no absolutes, try this with any hypothetical you have.

Pretend you have to explain to someone has never seen or held a real gun, and who knows nothing about guns other than what he's seen on tv. He may believe you can stick your finger in the barrel and make a gun pointed at you explode when the bad guy pulls the trigger. Can you explain the modification/accessory you have to his satisfaction and without getting emotional yourself or potentially raising negative emotion in them? Is having to explain that, and knowing there are no absolutes, worth whatever real or perceived advantage you have from using that equipment?

I think it's significantly easier to explain a regular long gun or handgun than most anything NFA or anything that resembles NFA to the uninformed.

GardoneVT
08-28-2017, 10:33 PM
It should be noted that a practical "trial of your peers" won't equate to twelve members of your local USPSA club.

Just because one lives in a "Red" area does not automatically translate to "universal acceptance of all firearms". Many NRA affiliated, taxpaying residents of red state America take a dim view to any use of arms not involving a skeet or gun range.

SeriousStudent
08-28-2017, 10:39 PM
I'm not going to cite case law on this because there isn't going to be any. Whether a gun has a Punisher skull on it is not an element of an offense that is going to show up in a judicial opinion.

A similar question came up at the HiTS Shotgun class this weekend - "should I use an AR (or NFA weapon) in a self-defense situation." FWIW, a former street police officer (DB) and a practicing attorney with prosecution, criminal defense and civil litigation experience (me) both said "probably not a great idea" (and "NO"). Glenn's studies were mentioned. Others who didn't have our (very different) experiences with the legal system were not convinced. That's fine. Not my role to convince anyone of anything in that setting.

The bottom line is this: if ISIS terrorists are shooting toddlers in a mall playground it doesn't matter what kind of gun you shoot them with or what is written on it. But if you shoot an unarmed black teenager who broke into your garage it very well might. You don't get to control how other people are going to react to the facts. But you can, to some extent, control certain aggravating or mitigating facts before an incident happens. The cops, the ADA, the judge, the jury - they all bring their own perceptions to the dance and a lot of them do not like guns, period, really don't like evil black rifles, and are horrified at the idea that you can own a silenced SBR.

I have, in fact, seen this with my own eyes in one of the reddest counties in Texas. Easily half of a recent jury pool in a criminal trial HATED guns. If the shoot isn't "good" but is maybe, maybe-not "ok", how might their perceptions change if the shooter is an 86 year old with a six-gun? If he is a fit 27 year old with face tattoos and "Kill 'em all, let God sort them out" on the side of their SBR?

To me, it makes sense to mitigate unnecessary risk whenever possible. Other people don't seem to care about that. That's fine with me. I call some of those people "clients."

That was an excellent discussion this weekend, and one of the great reasons to attend training.

There is a lot of learning that occurs "at" the range, but not "on" the range.

Glenn E. Meyer
08-29-2017, 09:18 AM
It should be noted that a practical "trial of your peers" won't equate to twelve members of your local USPSA club.

For what it is worth, I know of two studies that indicate gun friendly folk are more negative to incompetent or 'evil' gun users than the average schmuck. Since they know about guns, if you are a doofus, they pick it up.

Don't assume that looking like a gun clown will look good to gun knowledgeable people. How many of you would be friendly to the Chipolte Twins if one of them came in front of you in an ambiguous situation. Don't say that you would be coldly rationale as that is a laugh in decision making processing?

This is an old debate. I will say that the Jury Expert article was one of its top downloads for its time period. I don't want to move away from the OP charge of can you find a case where a clearly innocent person was charged and convicted because of a specific logo. How many of you have such logos as we need to establish that population and then sample how many of them were in a 'good shoot' and charged.

I've only seen one 'professional' with a chromed up 1911 and skulls engraved on his grips. Looked cool. Hope it works for him.

Dagga Boy
08-29-2017, 11:20 AM
Please, no "what ifs" and no speculation. Please cite from documented cases or first hand experience

You are asking the wrong question. I am going to hit and run this thread because of my schedule for the next week, but I will add this from a guy who did the gun stuff in support of litigation and criminal court preparation for a police agency for almost two decades in a highly litigious area. You assume there are court cases. Reality.....very few cases go to juries. Most are settled well ahead of time either via a plea bargain, dropped charges, or some other adjudication. That is on the criminal side. On the civil side it is a game of adding and subtracting zero's and coma's. Most are handled in arbitration of some sort well before trial, and even when they go to jury trial, they are often bargained again prior to the jury deliberating.
So....only the outlier cases ever see a courtroom. If we based police policies on criminal court cases, you would see massive differences in those policies and training protocols. Those are often based on litigation settlement on civil cases as to what areas have been questioned and attacked by plaintiff counsel.
My short answer is this...can you beat a Punisher logo in a criminal case...yep. How much time and money is that worth? Can you beat it in civil court....maybe, but again, how many zero's and coma's and attorney's fees is that logo worth?
I have been the guy that has had the Chief's administrative guy hit me up regularly in meetings to answer lots of insane questions that have come out of depositions and discovery. The one area where I actually made somebody's Christmas card list was making those questions go away with my answers to them and the plaintiff's attorney's had to look for a new chink in the armor to find dollars. You can take that experience as relevant, or not. Doesn't bother me either way. If you want your criteria to be "show me the court case"...you will be getting some very skewed info. The shenanigans I have seen within the total legal system regarding firearms and use of force is simply astounding. How much you want to add tinder into that fire pit is up to you.

PNWTO
08-29-2017, 12:19 PM
We had a directive come down in 2010 that said any offensive writing, patches, or markings on rifles could negatively impact us at trial if we had a shooting that was questioned.

This was from our head legal guy and for us being in Afghanistan. So yea, I think it could get you in a pinch in the states. I took it to heart and would point it out to others. YMMV

Derail to add a funny note, we had scout sniper team attached to us in Helmandfest '09 and their M40A3 has "Blood For the Blood God" in red paintpen on the fore-end. It was awesome.

Kukuforguns
08-29-2017, 12:59 PM
Long post. The short version is, listen to attorneys who UNIFORMLY tell you that decorating your defensive gun with logos like a skull is a bad idea. We all say the same thing. That's called a clue.

Here's a list of quotations and citations to appellate opinions that relate to the admissibility of tattoos. Note, these cases are not ones where the tattoo was being used solely for identification, but rather where there was at least a concern that evidence of the tattoo would be used to create an unfavorable impression of a party or witness. While these cases did not involve decorations on guns, the issue is exactly the same -- is artwork admissible for intent, motive, etc.[See Footnote.]


Here defendant's affinity for guns as demonstrated by his desire to have them inscribed on his body had some probative value. "[T]he existence of a gun tattoo on someone's body gives rise to the inference that that person may be familiar with and be around guns...." (People v. Kennedy (2005) 36 Cal.4th 595, 619, overruled on other grounds in People v. Williams (2010) 49 Cal.4th 405, 459.)
People v. Ragan, No. C063253, 2010 WL 4546696, at *4 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 12, 2010)


DNA from several individuals on the gun marked it as a gang gun rather than solely for Guerrero's use, and Guerrero stored the backpack containing the gun and ammunition in an area he saturated with paraphernalia inscribed with gang markings, including a planner, photo album, sunglasses, and a belt, photographs of individuals wearing gang colors, and documents containing gang graffiti. (See Sanchez, at p. 677 [gang expert properly may testify to the meaning of symbols used by gangs, beyond jurors' common experience].)
People v. Guerrero, No. G049687, 2017 WL 1326320, at *7 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2017), review denied (July 19, 2017)


The district court in the present case, however, gave a jury instruction specifically relating to the tattoo evidence, stating that "[e]vidence of the [ ] tatoos [sic] must not be considered by you in determining if the Defendant committed the offense charged in the Indictment." We will presume that the jury followed this instruction, United States v. Neuhausser, 241 F.3d 460, 469 (6th Cir.2001) ("We have often stated our presumption that jurors follow their instructions.") (citing several cases), unless we conclude that the evidence that was admitted was so prejudicial that Newsom was deprived of a fair trial. United States v. Burns, 298 F.3d 523, 543 (6th Cir.2002) ("The presumption is overcome only where evidence has been admitted that is so prejudicial that, even with a limiting instruction, the defendant's right to a fair trial is compromised."). Although we conclude that the tattoo evidence was improperly admitted (see Part II.A.2.a., above), the degree of prejudice to Newsom *605 did not rise to such a level that he was deprived of a fair trial.
United States v. Newsom, 452 F.3d 593, 604–05 (6th Cir. 2006)


14. Plaintiffs' Motion In Limine To Exclude Evidence Of Decedent's Tatoos: This Court EXCLUDES evidence of decedent's tatoos except to the extent such evidence is necessary to show location of wounds and similar matters.
Galvan v. Yates, No. CVF050986LJO GSA, 2008 WL 650282, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 5, 2008)


Appellants also challenge the court's decision to exclude evidence of Petrash's tattoo of a confederate flag. Appellants contend that it is probative, arguing that "a sizeable percentage of the population believes the confederate flag to be a symbol of slavery and Jim Crow Attitudes. Second, they assert that any prejudice stemming from the introduction of the tattoo is not "unfair" prejudice.
The record contains an extensive discussion by the court providing its reasons for excluding evidence of the tattoo. The court's primary reason focused on the time frame in which Petrash made the decision to apply the tattoo. Petrash got the tattoo in 1958, at age 19, while on shore leave in the Navy and apparently under the influence of alcohol. Accordingly, any racial animus that might be associated with such an act was too remote to be probative of discriminatory intent.Henderson v. City of Houston, 273 F.3d 1108 (5th Cir. 2001)


Lexie Smith, Jr. is apparently now sporting a tatoo on his forearm styled "THUG." The defendant seeks to prevent the government from making any reference to the tatoo. The government shall not mention or seek to introduce evidence concerning Lexie Smith, Jr.'s "THUG" tatoo without first approaching the bench.
United States v. Smith, No. 95-40083-03-SAC, 1997 WL 50301, at *1 (D. Kan. Jan. 22, 1997)


Second, defendant argues that references to Nazism prejudiced the outcome of the trial. We find that the prosecutor's reference during the cross-examination of Kelley to defendant's swastika tatoo was clearly inappropriate. This evidence bore no relevance to the case and could be viewed as inflammatory and an attack on the character of defendant.
State v. Weisheit, No. 61821, 1993 WL 127062, at *4 (Ohio Ct. App. Apr. 22, 1993)

Those cases should give you an idea of what would happen in a case involving a person who used a gun decorated with a punisher logo to shoot another human. Why do you think one attorney wanted to introduce evidence that the defendant had a Nazi tattoo?

This gets me to a common misconception regarding what trial looks like. I think a lot of non-lawyers have an inaccurate impression that trial involves the introduction of evidence that can only be used for its logical value.

Bullshit.

Aristotle identified three different rhetorical devices to persuade an audience: logos, pathos, and ethos. Lawyers use all of them.

Logos is logic.
Pathos is an appeal to the audience's emotions designed to induce the audience to reach the desired result. Lawyers use pathos in limitless ways. We've all heard decedents referred to as choir boys. A lawyer will use evidence of a decorated gun to create a negative emotional response to the gun's owner.
Ethos is convincing the audience that the speaker has sufficient moral competence, expertise, and/or knowledge to be believed. Here again, lawyers use this in many ways. For example, lawyers frequently try to hire an expert who is the author of a definitive treatise -- even if the author is not the most knowledgeable person in the field. There's value to having the opponent's expert testify that she used your expert's textbook in school and still refers to it. My expert is better than yours.


There are rules of evidence that are intended to try and minimize the use of pathos. For example, Federal Rule of Evidence 403 states:


The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.


However, Rule 403 expressly requires a balancing test. How useful is the evidence to logically prove an issue versus how unfairly (emotionally) prejudicial it is. Lawyers are creative. They want to get emotional content before the jury and will spend lots of brain cycles trying to figure out how to get emotionally charged evidence in front of a jury by promoting the logical utility of the evidence.


Q: Is this the gun you used to shoot my client's only son in the head, killing him?
A: Yes.
Q: And you know it's your gun because of the Punisher logo you put on it, right?
A: Yes.

So, the attorney can legitimately claim he introduced the logo to establish ownership. But, the the jury now knows the defendant put the logo on the gun. The attorney also played on the jury's emotions by calling attention to the fact that a mother lost her only son.

My conclusion is simple. Don't do it. Attorneys are paid to win -- especially plaintiff's attorneys. They frequently don't get paid unless they win. Attorneys will use everything they can to win. They will take a little piece of insignificant evidence and try to convince the jury that the evidence is concrete proof of an important issue. Think about how much better you are with a gun than random street thug because you practice to win. That is lawyers with words.

A logo like the Punisher's is ammunition for an attorney. Your carry firearm should be about function. If you want to decorate a gun, decorate your barbecue gun.

Footnote: Yes, I looked for appellate opinions involving drawings, logos, and inscriptions on guns. There are many opinions stating inscriptions on guns can be used to establish the gun is an article of interstate commerce. There are lots of cases of people drawing guns (both in the sense of deploying a gun and in the context of sketching a gun). There are cases that a manufacturer's logo on a container gave officers probable cause to believe a gun was inside the container. My search query returned hundreds of responsive cases. I did not read them all to find out if any of them involved the issue we're discussing here.

MistWolf
08-29-2017, 01:51 PM
If you want your criteria to be "show me the court case"...you will be getting some very skewed info. The shenanigans I have seen within the total legal system regarding firearms and use of force is simply astounding. How much you want to add tinder into that fire pit is up to you.

Easy, there. Note that I also included first hand experience, which from your post, I judge you clearly have.

I'm not trying to prove anything because it's become obvious I have nothing I can prove. I started this thread in this forum because I trust you guys

Stephanie B
08-29-2017, 01:58 PM
Quote Originally Posted by MistWolf
Please, no "what ifs" and no speculation. Please cite from documented cases or first hand experienceYou are asking the wrong question. I am going to hit and run this thread because of my schedule for the next week, but I will add this from a guy who did the gun stuff in support of litigation and criminal court preparation for a police agency for almost two decades in a highly litigious area. You assume there are court cases. Reality.....very few cases go to juries. Most are settled well ahead of time either via a plea bargain, dropped charges, or some other adjudication. That is on the criminal side. On the civil side it is a game of adding and subtracting zero's and coma's. Most are handled in arbitration of some sort well before trial, and even when they go to jury trial, they are often bargained again prior to the jury deliberating.
So....only the outlier cases ever see a courtroom. ... How much time and money is that worth? Can you beat it in civil court....maybe, but again, how many zero's and coma's and attorney's fees is that logo worth?

^^^^^ This. Even in a cheap jurisdiction for trying civil cases, your legal fees will be easily into five figures for a civil case. It could get easily into matters of psychology, which will call for a Battle of the Experts.

So fine, go ahead, engrave "The Punisher" logo on your carry gun. Hell, engrave "Smile and Wait for the Flash" on the muzzle while you're at it. And if you do shoot somebody, you may have just bought the opening ticket in the case of "The Other Guy (or His Survivors v. You." What the hell, your local litigators have bills to pay. (Remember, defense work is billed by the hour.)

Jeep
08-29-2017, 02:20 PM
I've never seen a case in which a slogan is on a gun. But I will tell you that every competent trial lawyer will tell you that you increase your real-world risks for the reasons set forth above and those Glenn Meyer and DB explained.

The basic reason is that there is a lot of randomness in the judicial system. Juries are notoriously random, but there is a lot of randomness in bench trials and you never know what people will seize upon as "proof."

Now the truth is that civilians are unlikely to ever have to pull a carry gun, and even more unlikely to have to use it. But if and when that happens, having a "punisher" logo on it will increase your risks by some unquantifiable--but not necessarily immaterial--amount. And it would be a shame if a PF member were the test case for what happens.

Hambo
08-29-2017, 02:40 PM
Long post. The short version is, I'm giving you at least $800 in free legal advice. Try to follow it.

Translated to laymen's terms. ;)

Kukuforguns
08-29-2017, 02:49 PM
Originally Posted by Kukuforguns View Post
Long post. The short version is, I'm giving you at least $800 in free legal advice. Try to follow it.

Translated to laymen's terms. ;)

I don't always take free legal advice from the interwebz, but when I do, I trust people named Kukuforguns.

Jeep
08-29-2017, 02:51 PM
^Post of the day!^

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 05:19 PM
I have a couple of very specific questions. Please, no "what ifs", no speculations. Just real cases and first hand experiences.

Will having a Punisher Skull or similar motif on a firearm prejudice an investigator, District Attorney's office or jury against you?

Have there been cases where having a Punisher Skull or similar motif, on a firearm used in self defense, harmed the credibility of the person claiming self defense?

I'm asking because of a discussion I was foolish enough to get involved in on another forum. The prevailing opinion is that one should avoid such motifs like the plague because it will be used against you. That it gives the perception that you wanted to live out some vigilante fantasy.

My contention is that, if it's a good shoot, the skull won't matter. If it's not a good shoot, not having the skull won't matter. That if your skull decorated firearm is on full display in court, you screwed up.

I don't advocate decorating firearms with skulls. But I think that by the time you find yourself on trial for a shooting, there are other extenuating circumstances and the skull motif is the least of your worries. Or, am I off my rocker?



Let me make this really easy.

I'm a lawyer. I do criminal defense work among my various jobs.

In all cases, my job is to convince people of things, so essentially, I'm a part time salesman, part time actor, part time writer & researcher...but full time bullshit salesman.

What am I selling?

I'm selling you.

I need to take you, your situation, your gear and your back story...then present it to the po-po/prosecutor/judge in a way in which they are comfortable accepting that, in conformity with the law, you committed horrifying acts of well executed violence upon your fellow man leaving someone either maimed, dead &/or in multiple pieces.

Now - self defense is based on reasonable choices, i.e. the reasonable man in your situation would have put a bullet in someone's head because it was the reasonable thing to do in that situation.

Reasonable is subjective and objective. Subjective as to you (what did you observe, how did you interpret it, did you have a good faith belief that what you observed and interpreted was a real threat that justified the actions you took?) but Objective as to the finder of fact (does the person evaluating your actions believe your actions, based on your observations/interpretations, was something that, for lack of a better term, made sense& are something that society will tolerate - given the right situation, blowing limbs off people with shotguns is acceptable...because the sales pitch is everything).

I mentioned sales - some situations sell themselves.

A home invasion in which the home owner decapitates Pookie & T-Dawg via Flite Control 00 delivered from a Beretta Tactical Shotty as they are coming up the stairs is like a porterhouse (medium rare, seasoned with salt & fresh ground pepper) & a bottle of Cabernet (or chardonnay if you are a heathen...don't be a heathen...).

You don't need to dress it up much, because it sells itself.

They kicked in your door, you defended the homestead. Absent some weird factual circumstances it is very clean. It tastes 'right' to a government official reviewing the reason why the morgue has new occupants.

An ambiguous circumstance in which things aren't clear...one in which we don't quite know what happened, cross racial shooting or shooting a 6 foot tall, 200 pound "kid" who is "troubled"? A situation in which you have entry wounds in the back either due to a struggle or bad guy turning as you were getting ready to shoot?

Well. That's like me trying to sell you on eating roast cat.

I can cook it up fancy. I can put some sides with it...

But it is still a cat.

You aren't going to eat it unless I do a LOT of work.

In that case, your punisher logo is not going to help me make the sale.

It will not help me connect with the jury.

It will not help you convince people that you were acting as a reasonable person because unfortunately, packaging matters.

PNWTO
08-29-2017, 05:26 PM
Let me make this really easy...

Fantastic post and really the truth of the matter. Take that nice porterhouse with some Heinz ketchup on it.

Your post reminds me of a friend of the family who is a very successful criminal defender in this area; he once said "I hated law school but I like reading and I've always loved the theater and being on a stage". Seeing him in the courtroom fighting an uphill battle is a thing of beauty.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 05:42 PM
Show me a court case where the deciding factor was a modification on a firearm. I'm not talking about something really stupid like "hello fuckface" "wait for the flash" or something stupid like that, likely that can be used against a person. I'm talking about trigger weight, barrel color, modifications like an Agency Glock or something like that. I've yet to a see single case posted.

Fact is, if it is a good shoot, it's a good shoot, having a modification other than a stupid phrase or something clearly racist/etc on it is not going to make it a bad shoot all of a sudden, and if that's the point of contention, show me evidence via such cases.

Caselaw.

Sigh.

Rant on:

RE: People on the inter-webx.net who, in the context of a discussion of any issue related to firearms or self defense, demand you "Show them the caselaw!"

They are just showing their ass.

We have 50 different states. We have 94 US District Courts in the federal judicial system. That is 144 different trial court systems in the USA - assuming I haven't missed any (tribal courts...not sure if they have felony jurisdiction?).

Even assuming something went to judgment on a motion or after trial (to a judge – juries don’t make caselaw because they don’t write decisions) a ruling of a trial court is not binding on anyone other than the litigants involved…not even the judge.

(Do they try to be consistent with prior rulings of that court, yes. Are they bound to do so, no.)

We have 50 state courts of intermediate appeal & 50 different state supreme court. We have 12 federal circuit courts of appeal in the federal system.

Above then all is the US Supreme Court.

Got a Kentucky case directly on point? Don’t fucking care – I’m in Connecticut.

Have District Court for the District of Connecticut caselaw directly on point? Wait…still don’t care because I’m in a State of Connecticut trial court while you are citing a federal judge’s ruling which may be persuasive but not binding.

Got another judge’s ruling on a similar issue that came from the judge down the hall? Great – Your judge thinks the other judge is a raving alcoholic and should retire because he doesn’t keep up with the times.

Something from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals which is an appellate court in the federal system which covers Connecticut that is on point for the same issue…OK, now I’m interested, but still, not controlling in a state court so I’ll use it to bolster my argument, not make my argument.

So now – appellate courts!

The first level of court of appeals is an appeal by right and you usually only get a hearing before a 3 judge panel, not the entire appellate bench. Those three judges write a decision binding on lower courts – but not their own peers on the appellate court of that jurisdiction, appellate courts of other jurisdictions or any supreme courts (that state’s or SCOTUS). (Do they try to be consistent with prior rulings of that court, yes. Are they bound to do so, no.)

Appeals beyond that 3 judge panel (rehearing en banc, certification to the state supreme court or SCOTUS) are by certification only and are rare.

Oh, and guess what – appeals do not deal with the underlying facts of the case.

Appeals of all levels deal with the application of law to the facts and decide only if the lower court’s rulings were inconsistent with law.

But let’s go further down the caselaw rabbit hole to show why asking for caselaw is showing one’s ass, OK?

You do not get caselaw when:
1) The case is dismissed before trial.
2) The case results in an acquittal at trial.
3) The case results in an agreed upon disposition (99% of all cases, both criminal & civil, result in settlement).
4) The case results in a conviction at trial but an appeal is not filed.
5) The case results in an appeal but the issue of the modification of the gun was an issue of fact at trial, not an issue of law which was preserved for appeal.
6) The case results in an appeal but the issue of the modification of the gun was an issue of fact at trial & was preserved correctly for appeal; however, an inadequate record was presented on appeal resulting in the appellate court saying “Fuck off & die!” in legalese meaning that the record presented by the appellant didn’t contain sufficient information for the appellate court to conclude that the trial court was incorrect. That’s pretty common.

OK – let’s say you do have an issue and want to find cases which are helpful to your client (or you want to find out how badly he’s fucked – same difference…) so you power up the tablet, grab a starbucks espresso & a shortbread cookie (can’t practice law without them!) and log into Westlaw or Lexis for some legaling!

Oh, yeah – you don’t have access to westlaw, do you? That’s because it isn’t free like Wikipedia, gun forums or facebook…Sorry.

What do you (well… “I”) search for?

Well, for those of us who went to an ABA approved law school (I do not hold a degree from the University of Google, Wikipedia College of Research or Facebook College of Law) we are taught to do something called “Issue Spotting”.

That means we look at the facts of the case and we try to fit the facts into established legal doctrines so we can persuade a court to view the facts presented in light of a legal doctrine that is most similar, well developed & helpful to our interpretation of the facts.

OK – Modified gun involved in a use of force incident.

We have:
1. Laws related to homicide/manslaughter/self-defense – Well developed with a lot of cases on the topic, but not really looking like it will help us address the issue of the equipment.
2. Automobile & industrial incident cases in which someone changed parts in machinery and people were injured – well developed are of law…likely not having to do with guns, self-defense or other tactical things, but highly relevant to the issue of modified items being used in place of OEM/properly maintained items.

Guess where I’m going to look to mine for caselaw (after another coffee…)

OK.

So, you still want caselaw regarding a modified gun – too fucking bad, you aren’t likely to find much.

You are going to find some decent cases on negligence & equipment like:
“Under statute, failure to have motor vehicle provided with brakes, adequate safely to control its movement or to maintain brakes at all times in good working order is ‘negligence per se’, regardless of whether defect is due to any negligence of owner or operator.” Smith v. Finkel, 130 Conn. 354, 34 A.2d 209 (1943).

I duno know bout you, but that’s pretty controlling on the issue of equipment needing to be in good working order to me…

For Connecticut. That notation at the end is a Connecticut Supreme Court citation. It's only controlling law for my State...

I'm not going to look up shit fo your state because I don't care...

But then again, I’m not really going to convince people online why demanding caselaw is showing their ass, so…eh.

So there you are. Why asking for caselaw is like showing your ass to people in the know.

There is a time and place for caselaw.

That is when you have purchased an attorney’s time for a legal opinion on a particular issue and want to know the state of the law on this matter, when you are trying to make a case to a judge in court or trying to get a government agency to fuck off/do what you want by citing it to the agency in a letter.

Want ask for it on the internet so you can feel superior to people who know of what they fuck they speak when you say, “You can’t show me any caselaw on this issue!” not realizing they could literally present you with a winning argument and you wouldn’t know it if you were beaten to death with it (seriously, have you ever seen how thick some pleadings are? Like one time it was 2 reams of paper because the judge wanted the entire history of the case so I was like, “No problem!” and re-filed EVERYTHING just to be an asshole.) – not playing the game.

Rant off.

PNWTO
08-29-2017, 05:46 PM
Can Mitchell's last two posts get stickied since topics akin to OP spring up time to time?

blues
08-29-2017, 05:49 PM
Let me make this really easy.

Very well said. Even though I always sat at the government's table, over the years I've had the privilege to do battle with some truly excellent defense attorneys, some of whom I came to have great respect for. Two of those gentlemen I actually told that if I ever were in need of an attorney they would be the first I'd reach out for.

They weren't overly dramatic but they were dogged, brilliant, and dare I say it, honest men who won me over with their work ethic. Sadly, one, is no longer with us. The other I've lost track of.

I've been in enough courtroom dogfights to know that every little bit of ammo on one's side can be the difference in a battle. Fortunately, I always had enough to prevail but certainly with a jury there's no way of being certain that any given day is not the day that the fickle winds of fortune blow in a different direction.

Ignore the good counselor's advice at your peril.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 05:51 PM
Oh - I also forgot...

Lawyer obsessively argue about what the case actually says in that we don't really present cases - we present snippets of cases.

I've filed pleadings in which 60% of the writing is snippets of other cases which I've weaved into a convincing argument to make a point I want to make.

Unless you have a case that is directly on point (even then, someone will dispute it) a lawyer is likely making an argument with parts of a lot of different cases that range from land use, evictions, civil rights, criminal law & family law to cherry pick the quotes he wants so that in a contract dispute a convincing argument can be made.

I'll take from a criminal case quotes on statutory interpretation...a civil case on service of process...a land use case on the court's inherent authority to enforce an order...

So, caselaw really doesn't mean...anything.

Unless it is directly on point.

Mine is always directly on point. The other side just disputes it all the time for bullshit reasons & they find some other case that SEEMS to contradict mine, but for some other reason they are convinced the caselaw they show up with is directly on point, not mine...

So it goes.

Trooper224
08-29-2017, 05:54 PM
I could care less about case law or liability. All I need to know is this: putting that shit on my weapon makes me look like Captain Dill Weed, in command of a fully crewed Douche Canoe. That's good enough for me. I saw a middle aged man at the range a while back wearing a Punisher T-shirt. Guess what kind of impression he was making.

voodoo_man
08-29-2017, 06:03 PM
Caselaw.

Sigh.

Rant on:

RE: People on the inter-webx.net who, in the context of a discussion of any issue related to firearms or self defense, demand you "Show them the caselaw!"

They are just showing their ass.

We have 50 different states. We have 94 US District Courts in the federal judicial system. That is 144 different trial court systems in the USA - assuming I haven't missed any (tribal courts...not sure if they have felony jurisdiction?).

Even assuming something went to judgment on a motion or after trial (to a judge juries dont make caselaw because they dont write decisions) a ruling of a trial court is not binding on anyone other than the litigants involvednot even the judge.

(Do they try to be consistent with prior rulings of that court, yes. Are they bound to do so, no.)

We have 50 state courts of intermediate appeal & 50 different state supreme court. We have 12 federal circuit courts of appeal in the federal system.

Above then all is the US Supreme Court.

Got a Kentucky case directly on point? Dont fucking care Im in Connecticut.

Have District Court for the District of Connecticut caselaw directly on point? Waitstill dont care because Im in a State of Connecticut trial court while you are citing a federal judges ruling which may be persuasive but not binding.

Got another judges ruling on a similar issue that came from the judge down the hall? Great Your judge thinks the other judge is a raving alcoholic and should retire because he doesnt keep up with the times.

Something from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals which is an appellate court in the federal system which covers Connecticut that is on point for the same issueOK, now Im interested, but still, not controlling in a state court so Ill use it to bolster my argument, not make my argument.

So now appellate courts!

The first level of court of appeals is an appeal by right and you usually only get a hearing before a 3 judge panel, not the entire appellate bench. Those three judges write a decision binding on lower courts but not their own peers on the appellate court of that jurisdiction, appellate courts of other jurisdictions or any supreme courts (that states or SCOTUS). (Do they try to be consistent with prior rulings of that court, yes. Are they bound to do so, no.)

Appeals beyond that 3 judge panel (rehearing en banc, certification to the state supreme court or SCOTUS) are by certification only and are rare.

Oh, and guess what appeals do not deal with the underlying facts of the case.

Appeals of all levels deal with the application of law to the facts and decide only if the lower courts rulings were inconsistent with law.

But lets go further down the caselaw rabbit hole to show why asking for caselaw is showing ones ass, OK?

You do not get caselaw when:
1) The case is dismissed before trial.
2) The case results in an acquittal at trial.
3) The case results in an agreed upon disposition (99% of all cases, both criminal & civil, result in settlement).
4) The case results in a conviction at trial but an appeal is not filed.
5) The case results in an appeal but the issue of the modification of the gun was an issue of fact at trial, not an issue of law which was preserved for appeal.
6) The case results in an appeal but the issue of the modification of the gun was an issue of fact at trial & was preserved correctly for appeal; however, an inadequate record was presented on appeal resulting in the appellate court saying Fuck off & die! in legalese meaning that the record presented by the appellant didnt contain sufficient information for the appellate court to conclude that the trial court was incorrect. Thats pretty common.

OK lets say you do have an issue and want to find cases which are helpful to your client (or you want to find out how badly hes fucked same difference) so you power up the tablet, grab a starbucks espresso & a shortbread cookie (cant practice law without them!) and log into Westlaw or Lexis for some legaling!

Oh, yeah you dont have access to westlaw, do you? Thats because it isnt free like Wikipedia, gun forums or facebookSorry.

What do you (well I) search for?

Well, for those of us who went to an ABA approved law school (I do not hold a degree from the University of Google, Wikipedia College of Research or Facebook College of Law) we are taught to do something called Issue Spotting.

That means we look at the facts of the case and we try to fit the facts into established legal doctrines so we can persuade a court to view the facts presented in light of a legal doctrine that is most similar, well developed & helpful to our interpretation of the facts.

OK Modified gun involved in a use of force incident.

We have:
1. Laws related to homicide/manslaughter/self-defense Well developed with a lot of cases on the topic, but not really looking like it will help us address the issue of the equipment.
2. Automobile & industrial incident cases in which someone changed parts in machinery and people were injured well developed are of lawlikely not having to do with guns, self-defense or other tactical things, but highly relevant to the issue of modified items being used in place of OEM/properly maintained items.

Guess where Im going to look to mine for caselaw (after another coffee)

OK.

So, you still want caselaw regarding a modified gun too fucking bad, you arent likely to find much.

You are going to find some decent cases on negligence & equipment like:
Under statute, failure to have motor vehicle provided with brakes, adequate safely to control its movement or to maintain brakes at all times in good working order is negligence per se, regardless of whether defect is due to any negligence of owner or operator. Smith v. Finkel, 130 Conn. 354, 34 A.2d 209 (1943).

I duno know bout you, but thats pretty controlling on the issue of equipment needing to be in good working order to me

For Connecticut. That notation at the end is a Connecticut Supreme Court citation. It's only controlling law for my State...

I'm not going to look up shit fo your state because I don't care...

But then again, Im not really going to convince people online why demanding caselaw is showing their ass, soeh.

So there you are. Why asking for caselaw is like showing your ass to people in the know.

There is a time and place for caselaw.

That is when you have purchased an attorneys time for a legal opinion on a particular issue and want to know the state of the law on this matter, when you are trying to make a case to a judge in court or trying to get a government agency to fuck off/do what you want by citing it to the agency in a letter.

Want ask for it on the internet so you can feel superior to people who know of what they fuck they speak when you say, You cant show me any caselaw on this issue! not realizing they could literally present you with a winning argument and you wouldnt know it if you were beaten to death with it (seriously, have you ever seen how thick some pleadings are? Like one time it was 2 reams of paper because the judge wanted the entire history of the case so I was like, No problem! and re-filed EVERYTHING just to be an asshole.) not playing the game.

Rant off.

Thanks for the long post.

All of which I waiting for someone, who actually practices law in some form, to post.

/speaking generally, not directed towards the quote above/

This is stuff which is obvious to anyone who works in the legal system in any state, my request for case law, or any examples was more rhetorical than anything. Of course, there isn't going to be anything that pops up, especially not on any circuit level. Know how I know? I've done the research, because I've investigated cases where modified guns were used (that's first hand experience/knowledge for those who want to get technical) and the result is, as I have stated in rebuttal to a post earlier, a non-issue. This is my first hand experience, it may be completely inapplicable to someone in CA or CT, obviously that goes without saying, that is a given on this particular subject matter.

The fact is, this entire old and tired conversation is brought up repeatedly by people who truly are curious, but then its constantly populated by completely inaccurate information, this is due to people who do not work in any legal field making assumptions (as I've already stated), especially so concerning the criminal justice system. People need to start accepting that they know even less about something they think they know about, especially when those who actually do the investigating and charging for certain topics (like this one) are saying something completely different than the gun-forum, dogma nonesense.

Yep, that's what I'm talking about, if you have never investigated a shooting with a modified firearm and never made a decision based on what information was available in that investigation to charge a person or not, and all the research which goes into that process, well you aren't going to tell someone (like the LEO's in this thread speaking from experience, like myself) who have that you know better. If you were an ADA or a defense attorney who has either prosecuted or defended someone who has used a modified firearm, by all means please post and give your experience on the topic. If you happen to not fall into the above two categories of jobs who would have direct experience with such a topic, there should be more reading and doing research, less posting.

As usual, remove the dogma, accept you do not know what you do not know and #truthhurts.

Drang
08-29-2017, 06:06 PM
Mitchell, Esq., tough act to follow. My 14 hours of undergrad "law" classes never felt so irrelevant...

I think part of the problem is that people tend to treat legal issues like they were math.

There must be a formula to determine whether a shoot is a Good Shoot or not; plug in all the variables and it comes up "1" or "0". (Or heads or tails, or...)

The real world, of course, is not so easy, leading to some saying when these topics coming up "Sounds plausible, are you volunteering to be the test case?"

I would also add before I retreat to my corner, furiously taking notes from Mitchell, Esq., Kukuforguns, and Glenn E. Meyer, among others, that there might not be a lot of case law on the specific issue, but Mas Ayob's MAG40 (and MAG20 classroom) is chock full of Lessons Learned from defense shootings, and when Mas says "the only modifications to your gun should be intended to make it more accurate and reliable without compromising safety; any cosmetic mods should be carefully considered" I believe him.



EDIT TO ADD: I meant to include in my "there must be a formula" thing that this issue should be included in the list that includes 9mm v .45, Glock v. 1911, as "topics that will never be resolved."

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 06:15 PM
Can we also agree on what modified actually means?

Are we talking about a gun that has had work done on it by a reputable gunsmith, had the gun owner drop in some OEM parts that change the configuration but don't affect safety are we talking cosmetic modification that just make somebody look like a dick & The removal of safety because they will get you killed in the streets!

MistWolf
08-29-2017, 06:45 PM
It seems that "modified" means what ever the lawyer arguing the case wants it to

Stephanie B
08-29-2017, 07:04 PM
You know what?

FINE!

You've had cops from several jurisdictions chime in. You've had lawyers from several states chime in. And they are all saying, in one way or the other, the very same thing when it comes to stuff like adding "The Punisher" logo to self defense guns. You've been given well-considered advice. Plus, said advice has been given to you, free, by some people whom, if you walked into their offices and asked the very same question, would charge you some serious folding money for their time.

That advice boils down to nine words.

They are: I wouldn't do that shit if I were you.

But if you and some other dudes don't want to take that advice seriously and, instead, debate the point ad nauseum, fine.

I, for one, am done, here.

BehindBlueI's
08-29-2017, 07:20 PM
It seems that "modified" means what ever the lawyer arguing the case wants it to

To a point, that's true.

Go back to my post on "can you explain..."

High visibility sights/night sights are an easy explanation. It makes you more accurate, less risk of misses, safer for the community blah blah blah. Textured grip, easy to explain. Sweaty when nervous, makes it harder to drop, increases safety for the community (especially if it's a P320...:)), etc. A light, etc.

"Their" lawyer wants to paint you as a reckless jackass with a hard on to kill somebody. "Your" lawyer wants to paint you as someone who reluctantly had to take a life and who is a pillar of the community, concerned with the well-being of all.

I was asked where on the body I aimed at when I shot "X". Does that really make the difference in a good shoot/bad shoot? Of course not. But no matter what the answer, the next question is going to be "why?" I was able to truthfully answer "because that's how I was trained" and that ended it. I would never ask this as an investigator, because it's irrelevant to me. It's incredibly relevant to a lawyer looking for hooks.

Moving into the realm of hypothetical, say you took a head shot.
"Where did you aim on my client's body?"
"The head"
"Why?"

What he wants is a hook. "I wanted to kill him" is a hook. If he can get you angry or worked up and get you to answer without thinking and you say something stupid, he wins. If you say something reasonable, he just moves on. (Side note, in depositions ALWAYS take a breath before answering a question. Only answer the question. Do not elaborate on your answer once the question is answered. If they are silent, sit there and STFU, they are waiting for you to start rambling to fill the silence.)

That's the point. Any modification can be used to fish for a hook. Some are much easier than others to actually be a hook.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the long post.

All of which I waiting for someone, who actually practices law in some form, to post.

I've actually had that rant canned for years. I change it every now & then...

But...

Yeah.

I'm old.

Very old...

So old when I was young Glocks were the new hotness.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire...

Sigh...

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 08:05 PM
A reason why bleating "show me the cases" isn't really dispositive here is because you don't get a written opinion from a trial judge in a criminal trial that's later published in various reporters, nor do you get a similar written report of the jury's thought process. Another reason why bleating "show me the cases" isn't really dispositive here is because the "the prosecutor talked about the murder weapon having a Punisher skull/TiN bbl/Gadget/fiber optic sights" issue probably won't constitute grounds for an appeal and thus is unlikely to show up in case law.

Off the top of my head, the two most likely areas for a modification to show up in an appeal are a) a claim of insufficiency of the evidence and b) a claim of inappropriate comments/questions by the prosecutor. The former claim will involve a discussion of the evidence followed by laughter/frustration from the Court of Appeals and a summary dismissal of the claim after a cursory cut-and-paste of some case law and a "a reasonable juror could find..." line. The latter will first require an objection at trial from defense counsel followed by a ruling from the judge in order to be appealable. So, when he's busy trying to fuck over a good cop or citizen or something, the shitty DA must first get past both defense counsel and the judge to even get the Court of Appeals in order for that issue to show up in that case law thing whose presence or absence is apparently going to prove everybody's point. Neither route is particularly likely to show up in an appeal in my opinion because one is simply an appellate review of the evidence submitted at trial and the other is simply the prosecutor examining the evidence in front of the jury/commenting upon the same, so barring something outlandish from the State I think that's pretty safe. Finally, the Court of Appeals isn't generally going to go digging for other questions to answer: they only answer those they were asked, and they have rather strict rules which determine which questions you're allowed to ask them.

Of course, the above would require an understanding of both trial practice and appellate procedure but I suppose you could, like, pick that up from watching a trial or something.

I'm aware of a case where a shooter inscribed a particular symbol into the wooden grip of his revolver. Did we ask the witness used to lay a foundation for that gun about that at trial? Yup. Is that an improper comment meant to do nothing more than inflame the jury? Nope, that's simply asking the witness to describe the weapon the jury later brought with them to the jury room. Did we comment on it during closing arguments? Yup. Was our objective to use that inscription to make the jury's decision to convict easier? Absolutely. Are you going to find in the case of State v. Dickhead, 123 S.W.3d 456 (2015) a paragraph from the Court of Appeals saying "yeah, it's totally cool to have a stupid carving in your revolver grip" or "no, don't carve dumb stuff into your revolver grip because that makes it automatically murder?" No, because that's not the issue that was appealed.

Massad Ayoob noted in the Zimmerman thing that the absence of a safety on Zimmerman's PF-9 was indeed an issue at trial -- not a big one, but certainly something somebody (Zimmerman) had to pay somebody to explain. The point of mentioning that is that we do pay attention to things in order to help create a narrative for the jury, and we will use anything we can to paint the picture we want. Some of us do it poorly (Angela Corey). Others do it responsibly.

I love this post.

MistWolf
08-29-2017, 08:24 PM
You know what?

FINE!

You've had cops from several jurisdictions chime in. You've had lawyers from several states chime in. And they are all saying, in one way or the other, the very same thing when it comes to stuff like adding "The Punisher" logo to self defense guns. You've been given well-considered advice. Plus, said advice has been given to you, free, by some people whom, if you walked into their offices and asked the very same question, would charge you some serious folding money for their time.

That advice boils down to nine words.

They are: I wouldn't do that shit if I were you.

But if you and some other dudes don't want to take that advice seriously and debate the point ad nauseum, fine.

I, for one, am done, here.

You're smart, articulate and knowledgeable and I respect you for it. That said, I wouldn't do that shit if I were you is not an acceptable answer from anyone.

When I started this thread, I didn't think the Punisher Skull and other motifs were that big of a deal, because to me, they aren't. But after reading the information the experts have taken the time out of their busy day to post for me, I have to acknowledge that I'm living in a different world and revise my views accordingly.

My take from experts is that Punisher Skulls, tattoos, modifications, etc., mean whatever the arguing attorney wants them to mean to gain an advantage over their adversary. The defendant either pays their attorney to counter the meaning or suffer for it. The fewer skulls, motifs, tattoos, modifications and so on a defendant has hanging from them, the less money they have to pay to their attorney to counter the meanings the opposing attorney cooks up. That's not debating the experts. That's restating in my words what I think they're telling me

GardoneVT
08-29-2017, 08:26 PM
That advice boils down to nine words.

They are: I wouldn't do that shit if I were you.


Moderators/ Your Honors , I motion to close the thread here with an additional request to dismiss Original Posters petition with prejudice.

ssb
08-29-2017, 08:29 PM
One more thing on image and prosecutors looking for stuff:

Hypothetically, some guy on parole somewhere tried to shoot a cop who was picking him up on a parole violation. His crappy little revolver was hypothetically loaded with a type of ammunition which may or may not say "ballistic tip" somewhere on the box. Hypothetically, a coworker asked me to identify the ammunition and I did. That coworker must have later googled her way into the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violins or something, because a few days later she used the phrase "cop-killer bullets" to describe the ammunition in a hearing, and opposing counsel later (correctly, in my opinion) did a motion in limine to prevent her from saying that phrase at trial. The judge -- who noted on the record he had hollow-point ammunition in the pistol he had on his person at that time -- ruled for the defense.

Does that make her a bad prosecutor out to fuck over some responsible citizen? Not in my opinion. She was using what she had in front of her to start painting a picture of a violent asshole who wanted to shoot at cops. Was she technically incorrect? Yeah, because she doesn't know much of anything about terminal ballistics and what it takes to get a bullet through a soft vest and so she relied on bad information which happened to look "good" to somebody ignorant on that topic to color her argument.

The point of all this? Once again, for the cheap seats: we'll use anything we can to make you look like the turd we think you are.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-29-2017, 09:01 PM
I want you to know I will use your case as:

See State v Dickhead, 123 S.W. 456 (2015); accord State v. Shitbird, 357 Conn 556 (1974); cf State v. Asshole, 308 U.S. 357 (2002) in the future...

Dagga Boy
08-29-2017, 09:25 PM
Court is a game. Shouldn't be, but is. I had to be called in on an emergency rebuttal in a murder case where the defense attorney was able to get the judge to declare him a "firearms expert" during the trial. He testified in front of the jury that his client could not possibly be the shooter because when our officers caught him fleeing the scene he was carrying a .357 Magnum and not a .38 special that the Medical Examiner ruled the victim was killed with. I had to come in at the last minute to explain that .38 special is able to be shot in a .357 Magnum and is a normal thing. To say that both the jury (who had totally bought into he defense attorney's argument) and especially the judge were pissed was an understatement. So....you think that attorney would make a big deal about a logo, modification or some other b.s. based on his ethical standards?

PNWTO
08-29-2017, 09:26 PM
You're smart, articulate and knowledgeable and I respect you for it. That said, I wouldn't do that shit if I were you is not an acceptable answer from anyone.



I think it is a very acceptable answer and, combined with Mitchell's replies, represents the zenith of this thread.


Moderators/ Your Honors , I motion to close the thread here with an additional request to dismiss Original Posters petition with prejudice.

+1

ssb
08-29-2017, 09:37 PM
Court is a game. Shouldn't be, but is. I had to be called in on an emergency rebuttal in a murder case where the defense attorney was able to get the judge to declare him a "firearms expert" during the trial. He testified in front of the jury that his client could not possibly be the shooter because when our officers caught him fleeing the scene he was carrying a .357 Magnum and not a .38 special that the Medical Examiner ruled the victim was killed with. I had to come in at the last minute to explain that .38 special is able to be shot in a .357 Magnum and is a normal thing. To say that both the jury (who had totally bought into he defense attorney's argument) and especially the judge were pissed was an understatement. So....you think that attorney would make a big deal about a logo, modification or some other b.s. based on his ethical standards?

Yet another thing I didn't learn in law school... How in the hell does that even happen?

Cypher
08-29-2017, 09:50 PM
It seems that "modified" means what ever the lawyer arguing the case wants it to

That right there should tell you everything you need to know about putting Punisher grips on your gun

Dagga Boy
08-29-2017, 09:56 PM
Yet another thing I didn't learn in law school... How in the hell does that even happen?

It is the combination of California, and judges who truely feel they can do whatever hey want in THEIR courtroom. This is likely why he judge was furious after I testified because it was obvious that the defense attorney took advantage of the judge making a concession to him. I have seen some really insane stuff over the years. I loved testifying in court and was very good in front of a jury. I was used by numerous DA's for expert testimony and to come in and crush defense experts. Many of the defense experts were either terrible, or severally ethically challenged.

ssb
08-29-2017, 10:00 PM
It is the combination of California, and judges who truely feel they can do whatever hey want in THEIR courtroom. This is likely why he judge was furious after I testified because it was obvious that the defense attorney took advantage of the judge making a concession to him. I have seen some really insane stuff over the years. I loved testifying in court and was very good in front of a jury. I was used by numerous DA's for expert testimony and to come in and crush defense experts. Many of the defense experts were either terrible, or severally ethically challenged.

All I'll say is that I hope somebody had the presence of mind to file a bar complaint. I've seen judges work in mysterious ways before, but your situation is... "different."

Erick Gelhaus
08-29-2017, 10:35 PM
The incident involving the Mesa, AZ officer and the after-market dust cover was cited on the first page of this thread. It likely should have been closed then with the answer.

There have been a number of correct comments and yet people are wanting to argue about them. Fine, rock on.

If one looks just a little bit here, you'll find a couple threads about a shooting involving a cop who is an author and instructor. In those threads you'll see how even inocuous things and legitinate commentary can get one beaten up badly in the court of public opinion.

My understanding of the OP's query was whether or not this has happened. It has, the references are above. You are not going to find a case law cite on previous event because that alone would had to have been the issue appealed.

If those posters want things like that on their gun, they can go ahead and instal them. For me, I won't ... won't even put on a US flag or a Pat Rogers FD NY PD patch. Leave a defensive or work gun plain without things like that.

Zincwarrior
08-29-2017, 10:35 PM
Derail to add a funny note, we had scout sniper team attached to us in Helmandfest '09 and their M40A3 has "Blood For the Blood God" in red paintpen on the fore-end. It was awesome.

Khorne followers eh? Excellent. You needed to answer with "skulls for skull throne"

MistWolf
08-29-2017, 10:50 PM
That right there should tell you everything you need to know about putting Punisher grips on your gun

It does

PNWTO
08-29-2017, 11:05 PM
Khorne followers eh? Excellent. You needed to answer with "skulls for skull throne"

As any good servant would..

19451

Mitchell, Esq.
08-30-2017, 12:12 AM
Court is a game. Shouldn't be, but is. I had to be called in on an emergency rebuttal in a murder case where the defense attorney was able to get the judge to declare him a "firearms expert" during the trial. He testified in front of the jury that his client could not possibly be the shooter because when our officers caught him fleeing the scene he was carrying a .357 Magnum and not a .38 special that the Medical Examiner ruled the victim was killed with. I had to come in at the last minute to explain that .38 special is able to be shot in a .357 Magnum and is a normal thing. To say that both the jury (who had totally bought into he defense attorney's argument) and especially the judge were pissed was an understatement. So....you think that attorney would make a big deal about a logo, modification or some other b.s. based on his ethical standards?


Wait.

The lawyer was the expert witness?

Sigfan26
08-30-2017, 12:15 AM
Wait.

The lawyer was the expert witness?

A setup for disaster!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mitchell, Esq.
08-30-2017, 12:16 AM
Yet another thing I didn't learn in law school... How in the hell does that even happen?

Cocaine is one hell of a drug.

The judge should share his...

Shotgun
08-30-2017, 07:00 AM
The lawyer was the expert witness?

It's difficult to imagine a court allowing one of the lawyers involved in a case to testify as an expert witness on anything other than an attorney's fee claim, even in Kalifornia. Sounds like an ethical violation for the lawyer.

farscott
08-30-2017, 07:43 AM
I have a couple of very specific questions. Please, no "what ifs", no speculations. Just real cases and first hand experiences.

Will having a Punisher Skull or similar motif on a firearm prejudice an investigator, District Attorney's office or jury against you?

Have there been cases where having a Punisher Skull or similar motif, on a firearm used in self defense, harmed the credibility of the person claiming self defense?

I'm asking because of a discussion I was foolish enough to get involved in on another forum. The prevailing opinion is that one should avoid such motifs like the plague because it will be used against you. That it gives the perception that you wanted to live out some vigilante fantasy.

My contention is that, if it's a good shoot, the skull won't matter. If it's not a good shoot, not having the skull won't matter. That if your skull decorated firearm is on full display in court, you screwed up.

I don't advocate decorating firearms with skulls. But I think that by the time you find yourself on trial for a shooting, there are other extenuating circumstances and the skull motif is the least of your worries. Or, am I off my rocker?

Not LE and not an attorney, but I have been a juror -- and likely will be called to serve in the future. So my answer: While I would have no issue separating the modification from the actual reasons for the shooting, I sure would be VERY interested in if the defendant could have avoided the shooting or was the defendant looking to be Frank Castle. In other words, the presence of the modification would be a clue for me, as a juror, to look much harder at the defendant's actions, claims of self-defense, and state of mind. This is not speculation as I sure looked at the defendant and how he presented himself and his actions in the trials on which I served as a juror. I wanted to be sure that the story hung together as a whole and was not legal smoke and mirrors.

And while the judge instructed the jury that the defendant's refusal to testify in his defense should not be considered in jury deliberations, you can be sure it came up in discussions -- even if the foreman had to shut it down. So imagine what kind of discussion a Punisher marking would generate.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-30-2017, 07:52 AM
How valuable was connection to one party or the other in determining the outcome of the case?

Dagga Boy
08-30-2017, 08:02 AM
Wait.

The lawyer was the expert witness?

Trust me, I was shocked when the call came. Apparently when the defense attorney brought this up, there was a question of his knowledge. As it was explained to me when the DA called me, "he fancy's himself to be a gun expert and got himself voir dired as one in the case so he could testify in front of the jury". It ended up being good because it allowed for the prosecution to bring me in to counter him, and I am sure there is a big difference between me coming in and destroying some ex cop whore who was testifying than the defense counsel in the eyes of the jury and judge. I almost understood in this case as the attorney was dealt the worlds guiltiest asshole as a client who should have taken any plea bargain....so there is that.

Jeep
08-30-2017, 11:58 AM
Trust me, I was shocked when the call came. Apparently when the defense attorney brought this up, there was a question of his knowledge. As it was explained to me when the DA called me, "he fancy's himself to be a gun expert and got himself voir dired as one in the case so he could testify in front of the jury". It ended up being good because it allowed for the prosecution to bring me in to counter him, and I am sure there is a big difference between me coming in and destroying some ex cop whore who was testifying than the defense counsel in the eyes of the jury and judge. I almost understood in this case as the attorney was dealt the worlds guiltiest asshole as a client who should have taken any plea bargain....so there is that.

The People's Republic of California doesn't need to secede from the US--it obviously already has done so. That is one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. The defense lawyer being declared an expert witness in the same case (an expert witness who is so much an expert that he has no clue that .38 specials are routinely used in .357 magnums). Apparently "due process" has a very different meaning in Southern California.

No wonder you moved out. The climate is terrific, but the craziness makes New Jersey look almost sane.

Chance
08-30-2017, 01:59 PM
You've had lawyers from several states chime in.

Lawyers providing information for free is a fascinating phenomenon, hitherto unknown to science. I propose these specimens be captured and dissected, so that we may gain a better understanding of their kind.

/sarc, obvi.

Anytime I come across legal advice, it makes me want to hire a lawyer to understand what I just read, so I don't have to. It's kind of like finances: I'll receive a detailed explanation on some subject and then be asked, "Do you have any questions?" And I'm like, "Yeah: what the fuck does literally everything you just said mean?"

Answering the WTF questions ahead of time is an academic luxury. Answering those WTF questions when it counts? You won't be able to afford luxury for a while thereafter.

Dagga Boy
08-30-2017, 02:40 PM
The People's Republic of California doesn't need to secede from the US--it obviously already has done so. That is one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. The defense lawyer being declared an expert witness in the same case (an expert witness who is so much an expert that he has no clue that .38 specials are routinely used in .357 magnums). Apparently "due process" has a very different meaning in Southern California.

No wonder you moved out. The climate is terrific, but the craziness makes New Jersey look almost sane.


Oh, trust me he knew that .38 and .357 was interchangeable. I was not there for his testimony, but I am sure he used enough word games to avoid a flat perjury issue. Something like "the gun recovered on my client was a .357 magnum and not a .38 special. The ME determined a .38 special was the round used to kill the victim". Typical court word games.
After the looks the attorney got from the key and judge when I testified was enough to likely have his little stunt not be repeated. I would think the judge learned a lesson as well. Many of our Judges were former public defenders and were often hostile to the prosecution. Like I say, what happens in court is a legal system that has nothing to do with justice or what is right.

Jeep
08-30-2017, 02:56 PM
Had the lawyer been smart he wouldn't have "testified" but would have saved that for his closing argument. It very well might have worked since the prosecutor couldn't present new testimony and couldn't have pointed out the truth on his own since it wouldn't have been supported by evidence.

Interesting about the judges, though. Where I come from the judges tend to be ex-prosecutors. Very few former public defenders get appointed because the politicians doing the appointing know that the public wants tough-on-crime judges.

Dagga Boy
08-30-2017, 03:14 PM
Had the lawyer been smart he wouldn't have "testified" but would have saved that for his closing argument. It very well might have worked since the prosecutor couldn't present new testimony and couldn't have pointed out the truth on his own since it wouldn't have been supported by evidence.

Interesting about the judges, though. Where I come from the judges tend to be ex-prosecutors. Very few former public defenders get appointed because the politicians doing the appointing know that the public wants tough-on-crime judges.

Yep. I do think if he tried it on closing out of the blue, it may have brought attention to it from the judge and the prosecution. For all I know, that may have been what happened and then the judge let him establish his expertise, but also gave the prosecution a chance to counter it.
Judges...where I was, it was the polar opposite. Most of the judges had come from the public defenders office and leaned that way. Hell, one of our most senior judges had not only been a public defender, but she was an ACLU attorney. She actually chastised me in court on a dope case. While my P.C. and arrest were all good and no issues, she said that it was obvious that I was on a "fishing expedition" and let the guy go. Yea, no shit. Proactive police work is a giant fishing expedition. I learned early not to get emotionally attached to cases because court and the legal system was a gigantic bullshit process on both sides, especially with "plea bargains" on both sides.

blues
08-30-2017, 03:20 PM
I gotta say, Darryl, that's a new one on me. I'd have loved to be sitting with the Ass't U.S. Attorney at the prosecution table to have an opportunity to rebut. I can't even imagine something like that being allowed in NY or South FL (at least on the federal side). Unreal.

Jeep
08-30-2017, 03:25 PM
Yep. I do think if he tried it on closing out of the blue, it may have brought attention to it from the judge and the prosecution. For all I know, that may have been what happened and then the judge let him establish his expertise, but also gave the prosecution a chance to counter it.
Judges...where I was, it was the polar opposite. Most of the judges had come from the public defenders office and leaned that way. Hell, one of our most senior judges had not only been a public defender, but she was an ACLU attorney. She actually chastised me in court on a dope case. While my P.C. and arrest were all good and no issues, she said that it was obvious that I was on a "fishing expedition" and let the guy go. Yea, no shit. Proactive police work is a giant fishing expedition. I learned early not to get emotionally attached to cases because court and the legal system was a gigantic bullshit process on both sides, especially with "plea bargains" on both sides.

I live in a deeply blue state, but enough of our Dems are hardcore on law and order that ACLU lawyers don't get appointed to the bench. What she did was, quite simply, a violation of her judicial oath since unless it is actual entrapment even real fishing expeditions are allowed. But, I have to guess that she didn't want anything to interrupt her own supply of pot.

As for the lawyer, he didn't need to claim expertise in the closing. All he needed to say was "You've heard from the State's witnesses that my client was caught with a .357 magnum. But what they didn't remind you of is that the ME testified that the victim was shot not with a .357 magnum but with a .38 Special--a different cartridge. In other words from the State's own witnesses you know that my client was not responsible. If the bullet don't fit, you must acquit!" Well, ok, the last two lines might not be wise, but it wouldn't have taken any testimony from the lawyer at all. All he needed to do was to rely on the State's testimony.

It wouldn't work in most of Texas--too many jurors who know something about shooting. But it might have worked in the PRC.

Jeep
08-30-2017, 03:33 PM
I gotta say, Darryl, that's a new one on me. I'd have loved to be sitting with the Ass't U.S. Attorney at the prosecution table to have an opportunity to rebut. I can't even imagine something like that being allowed in NY or South FL (at least on the federal side). Unreal.

It's hard to imagine it being allowed anywhere where the rule of law even semi applies.

It could make for interesting jury speeches in the future, though. "Members of the Jury: I can tell you for a fact that the defendant is not guilty because that very night he and I were sitting in his crib planning our defense to the prior murder charge."

It could get real fun.

blues
08-30-2017, 04:12 PM
It's hard to imagine it being allowed anywhere where the rule of law even semi applies.

It could make for interesting jury speeches in the future, though. "Members of the Jury: I can tell you for a fact that the defendant is not guilty because that very night he and I were sitting in his crib planning our defense to the prior murder charge."

It could get real fun.

Jeep, I probably should have checked myself regarding NYC. Even back in the early 80's I can recall some federal judges who would allow a Rule 29 (judgment of acquittal) or cave in to an allegation of "outrageous government conduct" when it was clear from the get-go the predisposition (and overt acts) of the defendant in regard to entering into a criminal conspiracy or committing the crime for which he or she was indicted. But some judges preferred not to let the facts stand in the way of their personal politics.

In South FL...not so much. At least during the 17 years I spent in that sunny clime.

But still, Darryl's example above is a head shaker for sure.

The rule of law doesn't seem to mean what it used to. I find that unfortunate in the extreme (in most all cases).

Dagga Boy
08-30-2017, 06:01 PM
Just FYI, my cases cited were in County Superior Court. Judges are elected.
Much of this is super regional. I have had weird stuff in Texas where I replaced Chris Kyle as an expert here in court. I called ahead about my firearm in court and was told I could not have it from the judge. Same as recent changes we had in California. When I got to court, I was scolded by the deputies to never leave a gun in my car at their court house nor to ever stand in line with the people coming to court and that they take LEOSA seriously. Got to court....judge had the bailiff have me place my gun in a lock box in the courtroom (which o was told might happen). After we won the case judge comes out to read me the riot act about how Federal law don't apply in his court. Told him I followed the instructions from the Sheriff's deputies and apologized with a lot of "sirs". Guy was an arrogant super cowboy jack ass. Talked to the deputies before I left and they said they were prepared for the fall out as that judge just doesn't think The federal LEOSA should apply to his little Texas kingdom. This is actually really typical of many judges. They are as diverse and as entitled as every politician I have ever been around. Like any "authority figure", there can be lots of issues.
Also...like my case with the fishing expedition judge...nobody gives a crap on one of a hundred preliminary trials with no jury on just another street level dope case. For the DA, one less case and not his problem, public defender thinks they are saving humanity, judge feels like they are keeping a balance and reigning in cops/crooks depending on their personal leanings politically, and for the cops....overtime is overtime, who cares if the judge lets some crack dealer off. Saves some liberal President from commuting their sentence later.

blues
08-30-2017, 07:17 PM
Ah, judges and their fiefdoms. I remember it well. One of the AUSAs I worked with closely for years was the daughter of the federal judge for whom the courthouse was named (while he was alive, no less :rolleyes:). Few had the temerity to approach him and presume to tell him anything that his omniscience didn't already incorporate.

One particular day in one of his moods he decided to punish the government by stating that we would pick a jury and go to trial that day. I knew that the prosecutor wasn't prepared and that if the judge would just allow a pre-trial motion conference that the defendant would agree to take a plea.

I approached him with my idea in chambers for which he was ready to bite my head off...but conceivably he had a golf date and decided to grant my request with the understanding that if I was wrong it was my ass. I took the gamble.

I took the stand and once the testimony and evidence was entered before the court the defense requested the opportunity to work out a plea with the prosecutor. Everyone went home happy. (That day.)

Thanks, DB, for disabusing me of any romantic musings and notions about the "good old days". :p

vcdgrips
08-30-2017, 09:28 PM
1. I am not your lawyer, I am not giving legal advice.
2. I posted this sometime in 2012 on another forum so I did not have to really do any more work to post it here as I am very late to the party.
3. ssb, Mitchell and others have plowed much of this ground


Fellow [PFers], as a practicing atty for the better part of 25 years and a prosecutor for 20 of those, I would offer the following:


Not being able to find reported cases is not the same thing as the modified gun issue being a detriment to the shooter/help to the shooter issue having not reared its head in both the criminal and civil contexts.



The vast majority of both civil and criminal cases are settled or plead out. In many civil cases, there are non disclosure agreements.

Most criminal cases are resolved via plea. Most of those receive very little press and the press they receive is often mistaken regarding key issues within the matter.



Even when a case goes to trial, many of them are not appealed such that their results are not "reported". Therefore, no easily searchable legal database (Lexis or Westlaw) has the results. Even when a case is appealed, many of them are not "reported" to those same legal publishers again making finding out what happened in those cases very difficult.



In short, it is only a small fraction of civil and criminal cases that actually go all the way thru appeal and have their results " reported or published". Even in those cases, they were often selected and indexed based on other specific points of law ( i.e. search and seizure, instructions to a jury on lesser included offense i.e. manslaughter in a homicide case, errors in jury selection/composition etc, general sufficiency of the evidence etc. ) such that there may be little or no mention of how a "gun modification" fit into the larger case.



All of this to say, it behooves us to be very familiar with the lay of land where we happen to be. In some parts of the country, if you shoot a known bad guy, "who deserved to get shot", you are going to get a ride home from the police from the scene. In other places, you are going to spent the night in jail but that will likely be it. In other places, all dead body cases resulting from gunfire mandate that the "shooter" gets arrested and that the "shooter" gets charged giving a jury the opportunity to sort it out. (Further, in some jurisdictions, a defendant cannot waive a jury without the opposing side's approval as well i.e. Federal Criminal Court).

I always get a little concerned when I hear people relying on Mas re some finer points of the law.

While Mas is particularly know for the legal aspects of his training, he is not a practicing atty at all and has a relatively narrow law enforcement experience set relative to many police officers/agents. From my very limited training with him (4 hr block, Tactical Conf, Tulsa 09 or 10), much of his general advice is a good starting point but may be completely off base in your neck of the woods. At the expense of being accused of trying to gin up business for lawyers, it is imperative you talk to a experienced person from your area re your rights/responsibilities/liabilities should you become involved in a shooting.

Now for some trite tidbits

I fully understand that we have to solve the "carried by 6" problem before tackling the " tried by 12" problem.

The "odds" of the punisher in your case hurting your case may be very small, but what are the "stakes" if the punisher logo does hurt your case?

YMMV greatly,


David
www.vcdgrips.com

Maple Syrup Actual
08-30-2017, 10:14 PM
^^^^^ This. Even in a cheap jurisdiction for trying civil cases, your legal fees will be easily into five figures for a civil case. It could get easily into matters of psychology, which will call for a Battle of the Experts.

So fine, go ahead, engrave "The Punisher" logo on your carry gun. Hell, engrave "Smile and Wait for the Flash" on the muzzle while you're at it. And if you do shoot somebody, you may have just bought the opening ticket in the case of "The Other Guy (or His Survivors v. You." What the hell, your local litigators have bills to pay. (Remember, defense work is billed by the hour.)

Why would anyone wait for the Flash? He is super fast. People should be engraving "Smile while the Flash waits for You" on their guns if they really want to have DC comics stuff on their guns.

Sero Sed Serio
08-31-2017, 12:22 AM
Not being able to find reported cases is not the same thing as the modified gun issue being a detriment to the shooter/help to the shooter issue having not reared its head in both the criminal and civil contexts.

The vast majority of both civil and criminal cases are settled or plead out. In many civil cases, there are non disclosure agreements.

Most criminal cases are resolved via plea. Most of those receive very little press and the press they receive is often mistaken regarding key issues within the matter.

Even when a case goes to trial, many of them are not appealed such that their results are not "reported". Therefore, no easily searchable legal database (Lexis or Westlaw) has the results. Even when a case is appealed, many of them are not "reported" to those same legal publishers again making finding out what happened in those cases very difficult.

All of this to say, it behooves us to be very familiar with the lay of land where we happen to be. In some parts of the country, if you shoot a known bad guy, "who deserved to get shot", you are going to get a ride home from the police from the scene. In other places, you are going to spent the night in jail but that will likely be it. In other places, all dead body cases resulting from gunfire mandate that the "shooter" gets arrested and that the "shooter" gets charged giving a jury the opportunity to sort it out.

To add a little to what vcdgrips said so well, there are key battles to win or lose in every criminal case, some of which are largely or completely outside the jurisdiction of any court: if the police never submit charges or the prosecution never seeks an indictment, no judicial authority can force them to do so. Likewise, if the grand jury "no bills" a case and refuses to indict, then the prosecution has no redress (although they can resubmit charges). If there is an indictment, the prosecution has no obligation to offer a plea, and if they choose to offer a plea it is completely up to them how harsh or lenient that plea will be. At trial, while a jury has certain legal obligations, there are virtually no checks and balances on whether they actually follow those obligations, and virtually no consequences if they don't.

The significance of all of this is that it behooves you to have as many of these key players on your side, or at least not against you, as you can. Winning by having the police drive you home with an property receipt for your gun is far, far preferable than having to stand there, shitting your own heart, listening to "we the jury, duly empaneled..."

To this effect:

I have seen the grand jury indict (on their own--recommended charges were not presented) a Border Patrol Agent as an accomplice to a negligent non-death shooting case--still-in-training Agents A, B, and C were arguing about C wanting to hook up with a girl on the side while he had a pregnant girlfriend. A and B thought this was inappropriate, and as they were arguing, A jokingly grabbed a duty weapon from one of the duty belts dumped on a counter after shift, dropped the mag (but did not clear the chamber), handed it to B, and joked "Will you shoot this asshole?" What seems like a harmless joke can get you indicted.

A close friend of mine recently had a call out where there was a fatal shooting that, while debatable as to whether it was justified under the self-defense statute, was a very clear case of justification under the state's "crime prevention" statute, which permits one to use lethal force to prevent certain felony offenses, even if there is no immediate risk of death or serious physical injury. However, she received quite a bit of push back from the panel of prosecutors reviewing the case, particularly from one individual who kept arguing that the shooter was "a bad guy" and therefore needed to be charged. I have also known prosecutors who (rightly, in my view) took simple marijuana possession cases to a full jury trial because of a defendant's criminal history, with the idea that they could at least lock up a bad guy and buy the public a year or so before he got out and resumed victimizing people. Having a cop or prosecutor who thinks you are an asshole/danger to society/bad person can lead to you getting charged.

I have had to argue with a supervisor to dismiss a case against a teenager who shot person A in legitimate self defense (no charges for shooting A), but non-fatally struck bystander B with a subsequent shot because his girlfriend dragged his arm down as he was shooting. I'm pretty sure this particular supervisor had never held a gun outside of a jury trial, and I had to explain splits to explain why he might not have been able to immediately stop shooting as a different person literally forced his gun from a legitimate target to a bystander. Having a prosecutor who isn't familiar with guns/shooting may mean that your case goes forward when it shouldn't.

I have seen a woman sentenced to an aggravated sentence in a DUI homicide, in large part due to a jail tape that became infamous where her friend made an incredibly callous, insensitive, and despicable remark about a legitimately good person victim, and she just laughed in response. Pissing off the judge, even unintentionally, can have consequences that are measured in years of your life.

I got a conviction in an aggravated assault case where a transient was harassing a teenage girl at a bus stop, and when her father asked him to stop, the transient pulled a knife. The transient claimed that the knife was closed and buried in his backpack. The arresting officer testified that the knife was open in the transient's pocketed hand when the officer made contact. One juror only voted to convict because the victim told 911 that the transient had "pulled" a knife, and said she would have voted to acquit if the victim had said the transient "had" a knife. I asked her if she attached any weight to the fact that the police officer's testimony completely contradicted the transient's story, and she said she did not. However, she clearly believed the officer because she said she would have voted to convict the defendant of aggravated assault on the officer for pulling the knife out when contacted. She was an attorney and should have understood the concept of impeachment evidence. Jurors will latch onto the tiniest details and make the most absurd decisions.

None of the situations that I mentioned here are appealable issues that will ever show up in case law, but how the different players in the criminal justice system view you can play a major role in whether you are treated as a victim or a suspect, whether you get arrested or released, whether or not the investigating officer and prosecutor pour over the statute books for an hour trying to find every possible thing to charge you with, what kind of plea you get or whether you get no plea at all, whether a jury has any interest in hearing your side of the story or not, and what a judge decides to do with you if you do end up convicted.

Whether or not a Punisher skull or similar thing on your gun is going to play a big role, a small role, or no role in the thought process of all of these players depends a lot on them, but unless your jury is picked directly from a Marvel convention, the best case scenario is that it has zero impact.

As a p.s. knowing how much legal and expert witness fees are, I have to say it is AWESOME the number of professionals who have voluntarily contributed their hard-earned expertise, experience and advice (or not advice, in the case of the not-your-lawyers :) ), and another example of why P-F is such a great resource and community.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-31-2017, 04:17 AM
2012?

I now feel old. That's like...wow.

Long ago...
Awesome post!


1. I am not your lawyer, I am not giving legal advice.
2. I posted this sometime in 2012 on another forum so I did not have to really do any more work to post it here as I am very late to the party.
3. ssb, Mitchell and others have plowed much of this ground


Fellow [PFers], as a practicing atty for the better part of 25 years and a prosecutor for 20 of those, I would offer the following:


Not being able to find reported cases is not the same thing as the modified gun issue being a detriment to the shooter/help to the shooter issue having not reared its head in both the criminal and civil contexts.



The vast majority of both civil and criminal cases are settled or plead out. In many civil cases, there are non disclosure agreements.

Most criminal cases are resolved via plea. Most of those receive very little press and the press they receive is often mistaken regarding key issues within the matter.



Even when a case goes to trial, many of them are not appealed such that their results are not "reported". Therefore, no easily searchable legal database (Lexis or Westlaw) has the results. Even when a case is appealed, many of them are not "reported" to those same legal publishers again making finding out what happened in those cases very difficult.



In short, it is only a small fraction of civil and criminal cases that actually go all the way thru appeal and have their results " reported or published". Even in those cases, they were often selected and indexed based on other specific points of law ( i.e. search and seizure, instructions to a jury on lesser included offense i.e. manslaughter in a homicide case, errors in jury selection/composition etc, general sufficiency of the evidence etc. ) such that there may be little or no mention of how a "gun modification" fit into the larger case.



All of this to say, it behooves us to be very familiar with the lay of land where we happen to be. In some parts of the country, if you shoot a known bad guy, "who deserved to get shot", you are going to get a ride home from the police from the scene. In other places, you are going to spent the night in jail but that will likely be it. In other places, all dead body cases resulting from gunfire mandate that the "shooter" gets arrested and that the "shooter" gets charged giving a jury the opportunity to sort it out. (Further, in some jurisdictions, a defendant cannot waive a jury without the opposing side's approval as well i.e. Federal Criminal Court).

I always get a little concerned when I hear people relying on Mas re some finer points of the law.

While Mas is particularly know for the legal aspects of his training, he is not a practicing atty at all and has a relatively narrow law enforcement experience set relative to many police officers/agents. From my very limited training with him (4 hr block, Tactical Conf, Tulsa 09 or 10), much of his general advice is a good starting point but may be completely off base in your neck of the woods. At the expense of being accused of trying to gin up business for lawyers, it is imperative you talk to a experienced person from your area re your rights/responsibilities/liabilities should you become involved in a shooting.

Now for some trite tidbits

I fully understand that we have to solve the "carried by 6" problem before tackling the " tried by 12" problem.

The "odds" of the punisher in your case hurting your case may be very small, but what are the "stakes" if the punisher logo does hurt your case?

YMMV greatly,


David
www.vcdgrips.com

Chance
08-31-2017, 01:40 PM
This thread should be a sticky, so far as I'm concerned. Too much awesome information.

For the sake of discussion, let's flip the question: is there anything you could do to a firearm that would be beneficial under the scrutiny of a self-defense shooting?

Heavier trigger? FMJ rounds? 'My Little Pony' stickers?

Kukuforguns
08-31-2017, 02:13 PM
This thread should be a sticky, so far as I'm concerned. Too much awesome information.

For the sake of discussion, let's flip the question: is there anything you could do to a firearm that would be beneficial under the scrutiny of a self-defense shooting?

Heavier trigger? FMJ rounds? 'My Little Pony' stickers?

A prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney will use anything s/he can to tell a better story. WTF were you carrying a gun in the first place? You were looking for trouble, weren't you?

That being said, a WML is fairly innocuous and has an excellent justification.

Joe in PNG
08-31-2017, 02:15 PM
This thread should be a sticky, so far as I'm concerned. Too much awesome information.

For the sake of discussion, let's flip the question: is there anything you could do to a firearm that would be beneficial under the scrutiny of a self-defense shooting?

Heavier trigger? FMJ rounds? 'My Little Pony' stickers?

To make the question more specific, let's make it a "standard" PF owned Gen 4 Glock 19 that will likely have a SCD, nights sights, and a NY-1/ "-" trigger combo.

Sero Sed Serio
08-31-2017, 02:29 PM
This thread should be a sticky, so far as I'm concerned. Too much awesome information.

For the sake of discussion, let's flip the question: is there anything you could do to a firearm that would be beneficial under the scrutiny of a self-defense shooting?

Heavier trigger? FMJ rounds? 'My Little Pony' stickers?

Can't think of anything modifications-wise. The use of hollow point ammo was a big deal in the Fish case in Coconino County AZ (retired teacher shoots crazy transient who charges him as he's ending a long hike), but my suggestion be for ammo is find out if a local LE agency carries that's on Dr. GKR's list. Kind of takes the wind out of the "evil man killer bullets" case theme if you ask the case agent to pop their mag out on cross examination and show the nice jury the boolits. This is also reason # 764 why I would never carry RIP ammo or some other flashy "it kills their soul or your money back" snake oil brand.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-31-2017, 02:54 PM
This thread should be a sticky, so far as I'm concerned. Too much awesome information.

For the sake of discussion, let's flip the question: is there anything you could do to a firearm that would be beneficial under the scrutiny of a self-defense shooting?

Heavier trigger? FMJ rounds? 'My Little Pony' stickers?

You can set things up so that you are able to present the best picture of yourself possible.

As to training Self Defense is based on the idea that you made the reasonable decision. What is a reasonable decision in this case? One that is subjectively & objectively reasonable. Assuming the decision you made is based on rational & honestly held beliefs use of force was needed, subjective is covered.

Objective reasonabilityyou need to be able to convince other people your decision was rational & prudent; therefore, training needs to be as contextually appropriate & non-controversial as possible with the best pedigree you can get. It is hard to argue with excellence. It is hard to say your decision is not reasonable when you acted in conformity with The Textbook(s) as taught by The Expert(s).

If your decision process & actions are in conformity with those who are respected on the issue it becomes a very easy sell.

We expect people in dangerous situations to act with reasonable care (that is a buzz word for lawyers). If you act with reasonable care as evidenced by your decisions & actions conforming to The Textbook(s) as taught by The Expert(s) it makes the decision by a police officer/prosecutor to say to his boss that the incident is kosher notwithstanding the awesome gruesomeness of how well you did in packing the morgue that much easier.

After all, if your actions were in conformity with the law, everyone who matters has the ass covered right?

Because this is all about ass covering.

You think a prosecutor in a staff meeting will say Boss, I think its questionablebut Im inclined to let it go becausereasons & thingsplus, Im a gun guy! NRA 4 Life, yo!
Nope. Hes going to need to cover his ass.
You need to make it easy for him.

You need to make his case to his boss for him.

You need to be able to let him tell his boss, Based on the forgoing, the shooter acted in conformity with the applicable law as well as best practices. Accordingly, I recommend this case not proceed as no criminal action is present and have him able to defend his choice.

Pedigreewhat is that?
Well, whos respected? For what?
Shooting is only part of it.
Force on force & phycology for decision making.
Martial arts whos teaching realistic things so that you can say Yes, I know how bad being on the ground can be. I train inand it still sucks because I know the disadvantages of being hit/knocked down/otherwise disadvantaged

Who is non-controversial? Im not naming names (Please dont go there) but there are people in the industry who, while they may be good on the field, I just dont want as an expert becausebaggage.

Equipment Got a reason for that modification? Does it help sell your case? What does it do for you?

Does it make you shoot fasteror increase your visual feedback allowing you more information & time to process it so you can make a better decision?
Does anything you do to your gun make top people in the field look at you as if to say, Huhwut?

Reasonable people can disagree.
Reasonable people WILL disagree on a lot of things, but if a consensus of experts would look at something, then say, I wouldnt do that shit if I was you

Well.

Who decides what is reasonable?
Ultimately, the po-po & the prosecutor.
Who do they consult?

Experts. If experts look at something you did to that gun saying Nah, dawg! You roll that wayIm gonna not go with you (Backing away SLOWLY from the nutball) you probably shouldnt do it.

Again, reasonable people disagree. If Tom Givens is saying you dont need tritium because in his students experience in 50+ incidents he says they arent needed, but (Im reaching for a nameCraig? Well use himbut you can use Ayooob...or, well...Clint Smith...someone...) says that they are a necessity because in his incidents & all the police shootings hes investigated show that guns demands tritiumyou have a reasonable disagreement based on data.

Generally speaking (I hate that term) if you have to sell something hard, it is shit.

I dont need to hard sell a guy with training within the past 2 years from a reputable shooting school run by a non-controversial instructor who is using equipment that is not illegal to carry in good working order which is modified within the scope of normal modifications (Glock stock trigger changed to NY-1/3.5#, M&P with an Apex Duty/Carry kit/1911 with carry package from Colt or a reputable shop) who didnt set up/provoke a situation, attempted to avoid trouble but then defended himself.

Steak & Red wine. Sells itself.
You just put that shit out there and people eat it.

If you need to do mental contortions or take people down a twisted path of Becausewell to explain why something was done
Roast cat.
You can package that as Authentic Chinese Food! all you want.
Im not paying for it. If given it, I wont eat it. Sell it yeah, not on commission.

If you do things that alienate others, expect a reaction.

I once argued with a client over the idea But it wasnt illegal! My response was, In family court it doesnt matter. It only matters if the Judge likes youor, more simply, if you didnt alienate him.

Act like a freak, get treated like one.

Freaks dont get to slam the prom queen. Freaks are socially isolated because nobody wants to be friends with them.

You want to slam the prom queen.
(Or, for the females, the prom king. Unless it is the prom queen you are afteror for men who want the prom kingforget ityou know what I mean...)

You want to be a freak who shot someone?

OK...

Then you get a prosecutor who is convinced he needs to work on that case because he's taking his job to protect the public seriously...

Looking at you as a threat.

He has resources he's going to throw at the case. Police officers who have went to "The Top Schools for Guns" as well as attended State & Federal training on "How to be a good witness" & "Connecting with the jury - a LE Seminar for testimony."

Hambo
08-31-2017, 03:35 PM
Then you get a prosecutor who is convinced he needs to work on that case because he's taking his job to protect the public seriously...

Or is running against his boss for the top job...or is running for judge and wants a high profile win...or...well, you get it.

Again, thanks for the free consultation.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-31-2017, 03:41 PM
Or is running against his boss for the top job...or is running for judge and wants a high profile win...or...well, you get it.

Again, thanks for the free consultation.

Ah.

Prosecutors in my area aren't elected so I didn't think of that, but yeah.

That too...

BehindBlueI's
08-31-2017, 05:49 PM
I had a case years back where I went to bat for the shooter, who's actions were actually illegal.

A female passenger on the back of a motorcycle was OC. A male teen attempted a surprise gun grab, but did not defeat the retention of the holster. The male teen (along with two additional male teens) then beat feet. There was no assault, no threat, no weapon displayed. Essentially, a purse grab from behind but going for a gun instead of a purse.

The passenger dismounts and fires several rounds at the teens. She hits no one. Her back drop was a 3 story apartment building, which was not damaged.

Her actions were not legal. There was no imminent threat, she did not act reasonably, etc. The prosecutor wanted her charged for criminal recklessness. I pushed back and got it no-filed because she acted foolishly but not with malice. She cooperated with the investigation, she didn't realize what she did was illegal, and she simply presented herself as someone who was...foolish but not mean. She simply acted without thinking. She acted criminally, mind you, but without thinking.

If she'd have hit someone, she was bought and paid for. If she'd damaged something, she was probably bought and paid for. But, she only shot dirt. I was able to go to bat and argue it was not in the best interest of justice to prosecute the victim, we had no witnesses we could make testify as the teens had not stuck around to make a report and the person with her was her husband, and that I had been able to educate her that what she did was both stupid and had great potential consequence, thus her risk to the public safety was minimal.

I would not have went to bat for someone who presented themselves as a vigilante or an asshole. There is no public record of the reasoning that this case was not filed. There is no "case law", etc. However I am telling you the ONLY REASON this person was not charged is they presented themselves in such a way the detective (me) viewed them favorably enough to push for a no-file. This is the way shit really works.

**Edit**
If you looked at the official reason this was a "no file", it is "evidentiary issues". That's sort-of-kind-of true if you squint. We had a confession, shell casings, and a gun that would match those shell casings...even the slow kids on the jury would piece that together. There's literally no way, other than me or the screening prosecutors telling the story, that you could know the "real reason" this wasn't filed.

Mitchell, Esq.
08-31-2017, 06:24 PM
There is also the issue of cases which are not prosecuted being subject to erasure in some jurisdictions.

In Connecticut, a police report which does not result in prosecution is destroyed after a certain period of time. Literally there would be no record of the incident so even if somebody was looking for incidents which did not result in prosecution they would have to limit their search to those files which are still available at that time.

VolGrad
08-31-2017, 07:50 PM
I don't feel like reading this whole thread but here's my general take - If you ask a question like this it generally means you already know the answer.

Jeep
09-01-2017, 10:06 AM
For the sake of discussion, let's flip the question: is there anything you could do to a firearm that would be beneficial under the scrutiny of a self-defense shooting?

'My Little Pony' stickers?

You mean everyone here doesn't already have My Little Pony stickers on their carry pistols?

Might go better with the jury than a Punisher sticker, though you might get a few odd looks.

Peally
09-01-2017, 10:34 AM
I don't feel like reading this whole thread but here's my general take - If you ask a question like this it generally means you already know the answer.

I'm amazed threads like these go past 2 pages.

blues
09-01-2017, 10:35 AM
You mean everyone here doesn't already have My Little Pony stickers on their carry pistols?

Might go better with the jury than a Punisher sticker, though you might get a few odd looks.

Just make sure no unicorns as they're clearly brandishing weapons...the brutes.

Glenn E. Meyer
09-01-2017, 10:43 AM
Same OP, similar question, similar conclusions - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/puniskull.825665/

Same misconceptions.

About what is good:

This is from a commonly cited article:

March 2007, Page 34 Defending the Self-Defense Case By Lisa J. Steele


Ideally, the client will also have some formal training in the use of deadly force which will allow the clients teacher to testify about the clients training in order to show that the clients actions were subjectively reasonable. If the client has not had any formal training, counsel may still seek an expert to testify about use of force issues. However, the attorney may encounter difficulty showing that the experts opinion is relevant if it was not the basis for the clients subjective decision. The attorney could offer expert testimony to show that the clients actions were objectively reasonable.


From Marty Hayes' outfit:

Larry Hickey From The Three Headed Monster: Defending a Disparity of Force Shooting (from the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network)

The practice jury said that Larry had too much training
and he should have known better. So how much we were going to get into [his training] was always very difficult to figure out because it was absolutely important to show Larry as this person that isnt just out there with a gun and doesnt know how to handle it.

the prosecutor would have forced their hand at trial. He harped endlessly on the various shooting classes Hickey had completed. like a broken record, the prosecutor asked each expert and material witness about each class Hickey had completed, what it covered, challenging why a private citizen would need that knowledge "


I note that the training should emphasize reasonable SD practices. Quotes like "Having a plan to kill everybody in the room" have come up.

Totem Polar
09-01-2017, 11:29 AM
I feel so moved to weigh in here for a sec, just to thank the experts who chimed in on thisthe attorneys, and the folks with the blue lines above their profile pics. You know who you are, and so do we, as it's not the first time y'all have chimed in with the voice of experience in the middle of a useful thread.

I especially want to thank Mitchell, noting:

Jesus, dude... you dropped some epic long-term strategic knowledge bombs here.


I remained uncharacteristically silent while folowing this thread, because I knew nothing of the subject... at least until good people started piling on the info.

Learning has occurred.

Probably enough that I could go make a convincing ass of myself in a lesser-quality forum, should I desire.
:D :D

Yeah, let's pin/sticky this one for posterity. Awesome.

Glenn E. Meyer
09-01-2017, 12:02 PM
Yep, this should be a sticky.

Mr_White
09-01-2017, 01:16 PM
I really appreciate all the experienced commentary in this thread. Many thanks for taking so much of your time to discuss the issues here!!!

wrmettler
09-01-2017, 04:11 PM
Couple of years ago, dead guy's family sued the shooter, who received CCW training here in Arizona. She talked about her training in her deposition.
After that, Plaintiff's attorney seriously thought about suing the CCW teacher. The CCW trainer was giving bad advice, but had no money, or otherwise he would have been brought into the lawsuit.

In that case, training actually hurt the defendants. They had to pay a bunch of money of their own money.

Mitchell, Esq.
09-01-2017, 05:08 PM
Thank you.

I tried to be informative as well as entertaining.

Mitchell, Esq.
09-01-2017, 05:27 PM
As for dropping some more...

Think about how you would explain what alterations you made to your car if you were in a fatal accident.

You could easily explain why you chose to have tires that were better than the original equipment manufacturer. It would not be hard to explain why you chose upgraded headlights which better vision at night. Why was the steering and suspension system works over by a professional mechanics to make the car handle that much more smoothly and precisely? Because control while you are on the road is appropriate and eminently reasonable.

Conversely if you are driving a car that is poorly maintained are on tires that are not acceptable for a speed rating for your vehicle then it is not hard to paint you as someone who caused the death of another person through your own disregard of other people's safety.

Dagga Boy
09-01-2017, 05:38 PM
As for dropping some more...

Think about how you would explain what alterations you made to your car if you were in a fatal accident.

You could easily explain why you chose to have tires that were better than the original equipment manufacturer. It would not be hard to explain why you chose upgraded headlights which better vision at night. Why was the steering and suspension system works over by a professional mechanics to make the car handle that much more smoothly and precisely? Because control while you are on the road is appropriate and eminently reasonable.

Conversely if you are driving a car that is poorly maintained are on tires that are not acceptable for a speed rating for your vehicle then it is not hard to paint you as someone who caused the death of another person through your own disregard of other people's safety.

So, I should take my "I can't drive 55" sticker" off my truck"? Show me the case law where a I can't drive 55 sticker was the issue in a conviction for a speed relatated injury/fatal collision.......I have rights��.

Mitchell, Esq.
09-01-2017, 05:45 PM
So, I should take my "I can't drive 55" sticker" off my truck"? Show me the case law where a I can't drive 55 sticker was the issue in a conviction for a speed relatated injury/fatal collision.......I have rights��.

You live in America. You are a tax paying citizen. You have no rights.

RevolverRob
09-01-2017, 06:04 PM
Steak & Red wine. Sells itself.
You just put that shit out there and people eat it.

If you need to do mental contortions or take people down a twisted path of Becausewell to explain why something was done
Roast cat.
You can package that as Authentic Chinese Food! all you want.
Im not paying for it. If given it, I wont eat it. Sell it yeah, not on commission.

From your keyboard to babe's eyes...

Some of the best analogy for not being a fuckup I've ever read.

In fact, I'm gonna just start implementing this into my lexicon. Next time someone comes to me and asks for advice on not being a fuckup, I'll respond, "Would you rather sell roasted cat masquerading as "authentic Chinese food", or steak and red wine?"

Maple Syrup Actual
09-01-2017, 07:39 PM
I feel so moved to weigh in here for a sec, just to thank the experts who chimed in on thisthe attorneys, and the folks with the blue lines above their profile pics. You know who you are, and so do we, as it's not the first time y'all have chimed in with the voice of experience in the middle of a useful thread.

I especially want to thank Mitchell, noting:

Jesus, dude... you dropped some epic long-term strategic knowledge bombs here.


I remained uncharacteristically silent while folowing this thread, because I knew nothing of the subject... at least until good people started piling on the info.

Learning has occurred.

Probably enough that I could go make a convincing ass of myself in a lesser-quality forum, should I desire.
:D :D

Yeah, let's pin/sticky this one for posterity. Awesome.

I can honestly say that about 90% of the reason I made a joking post in this thread is that I actually thought it was finished. Like I literally actually read it, thought, "Okay, this is over. We have actually seen the maximum level of quality informational input that can be achieved in a thread on this subject on the internet."

So I was like "what the hell, make a joke, all the good info has been laid out and handled anyway"

But actually...it just kept going, approaching some kind of informational singularity.

GardoneVT
09-01-2017, 07:53 PM
As for dropping some more...

Think about how you would explain what alterations you made to your car if you were in a fatal accident.

You could easily explain why you chose to have tires that were better than the original equipment manufacturer. It would not be hard to explain why you chose upgraded headlights which better vision at night. Why was the steering and suspension system works over by a professional mechanics to make the car handle that much more smoothly and precisely? Because control while you are on the road is appropriate and eminently reasonable.

Conversely if you are driving a car that is poorly maintained are on tires that are not acceptable for a speed rating for your vehicle then it is not hard to paint you as someone who caused the death of another person through your own disregard of other people's safety.

An appropriate analogy,given the planeloads of people who die weekly driving a car.

As a car guy with the keys to a Camaro on his nightstand, I find it equal parts sad and ironic that it's harder to buy a gun then it is a 400 HP sports car: even though the latter exponentially more likely to kill someone.

Spats McGee
09-01-2017, 08:05 PM
So, I should take my "I can't drive 55" sticker" off my truck"? Show me the case law where a I can't drive 55 sticker was the issue in a conviction for a speed relatated injury/fatal collision.......I have rights��.
Just because one has rights does not mean that exercising those rights is always without consequence.

OlongJohnson
09-01-2017, 08:45 PM
From your keyboard to babe's eyes...

Some of the best analogy for not being a fuckup I've ever read.

In fact, I'm gonna just start implementing this into my lexicon. Next time someone comes to me and asks for advice on not being a fuckup, I'll respond, "Would you rather sell roasted cat masquerading as "authentic Chinese food", or steak and red wine?"

A guy whose name you might recognize, Mike Kojima, expressed it simply, "Do you want to go fast, or do you want to suck?"

Trooper224
09-01-2017, 08:45 PM
"I can't drive 55" sticker"

You sure dated yourself with that one.

HCM
09-01-2017, 08:48 PM
So, I should take my "I can't drive 55" sticker" off my truck"? Show me the case law where a I can't drive 55 sticker was the issue in a conviction for a speed relatated injury/fatal collision.......I have rights��.

Speaking of dating yourself ..., ;-)


http://youtu.be/RvV3nn_de2k

Glenn E. Meyer
09-03-2017, 11:34 AM
Here's some pictures of prosecutors displaying weapons at trials in
San Antonio:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/150years/article/A-look-back-at-murder-weapons-used-as-evidence-in-6018414.php

There is a car bumper for Darryl.
A gun pointed at the prosecutor's head.
A machete
Some ARs and AKs. Particularly fun is the use of an AK as a pointer.
A piece of junk 25 ACP, looks like.

Chance
09-04-2017, 12:36 PM
If a Shit Mod doesn't make this a sticky, I will throw an Internet conniption.


Dude; the Clinch Pick is a great blade for gardening and fruit/veggie eating. Seriously, peel an apple or something with it and you will get it.

The example is explanation. If you have an easily articulable explanation that can be so obvious it's hard to argue with, the item or mod is not worth worrying about. I use my Clinch Pick regularly, in front of friends, family and coworkers, to do everyday stuff like eat or sharpen my kids pencils.

Okay, I get this, but I don't really get this. What's wrong with carrying something that's specifically intended for self-defense (and I realize this will vary widely based on jurisdiction, so let's play "worst case scenario")?

The SOB Puncher (https://sobtactical.com/sob-puncher) recently became legal in Texas (the "dagger/dirk" provision was repealed... I think). I've never bought one because it was, "specifically for self-defense." When I asked how that accusation could be addressed in court, I received the reply, "Nonsense. It's a plastic gardening implement."

Why is it somehow more credible to claim that you just happen to carry around a "plastic gardening implement" at all times, rather than to say, "I have it for self-defense"? I don't understand why we have to be seen using a knife for "common tasks" to explain the fact that we carry it all the time.

<And this isn't directed specifically at you, Mr. O&D, just a question in general.>

OnionsAndDragons
09-04-2017, 01:27 PM
If a Shit Mod doesn't make this a sticky, I will throw an Internet conniption.



Okay, I get this, but I don't really get this. What's wrong with carrying something that's specifically intended for self-defense (and I realize this will vary widely based on jurisdiction, so let's play "worst case scenario")?

The SOB Puncher (https://sobtactical.com/sob-puncher) recently became legal in Texas (the "dagger/dirk" provision was repealed... I think). I've never bought one because it was, "specifically for self-defense." When I asked how that accusation could be addressed in court, I received the reply, "Nonsense. It's a plastic gardening implement."

Why is it somehow more credible to claim that you just happen to carry around a "plastic gardening implement" at all times, rather than to say, "I have it for self-defense"? I don't understand why we have to be seen using a knife for "common tasks" to explain the fact that we carry it all the time.

<And this isn't directed specifically at you, Mr. O&D, just a question in general.>

And I agree with you that it shouldn't be an issue and in many places it may not be.

I am very aware of the fact that we as Americans are a gun culture far more than we are a knife culture. Shooting someone in self defense is a scenario that many, if not most, Americans could imagine themselves in given the right setup. It is far more impersonal than stabbing the shit out of a guy on a concrete floor because he slammed your head into it. Speaking psychologically, regarding the ability of random American to empathize with the circumstances.

I really don't want to ever be the bloody horror show picture of a guy that just prevailed in a knife fight to the death. But if I do, I want a dozen friends and coworkers that can help paint the other picture of a friendly bud that peeled their apple once because he always has that funny knife that he picks his tomatoes with. I'd rather have to use flying in a Craig Douglas to testify on my behalf as a 3rd line of defense than my first if possible.

MistWolf
09-04-2017, 01:33 PM
Why is it somehow more credible to claim that you just happen to carry around a "plastic gardening implement" at all times, rather than to say, "I have it for self-defense"?

I'm not an expert, but I'll take a stab at this- Plausible deniability. People often think that if someone is carrying a self defense weapon, they are out looking for trouble, or are inclined to poke their noses into other people's business when they shouldn't

octagon
09-04-2017, 02:30 PM
I'm not against a thread like this or having a reasonable and respectful conversation. However I am a bit surprised that this topic has made 14 pages. This for an item that has only aesthetic value. The addition of such an item makes zero difference in function,speed or accuracy of the weapon or system of use and can be viewed negatively in some prosecutor,judge,juries or general public eyes so what is the point?

At best it doesn't have a negative impact. At worst it has people making critical decisions about the person using a tool and their choices look poorly,unprofessional,biased,blood thirsty/trigger happy etc... All for what vanity?

BehindBlueI's
09-04-2017, 03:00 PM
Why is it somehow more credible to claim that you just happen to carry around a "plastic gardening implement" at all times, rather than to say, "I have it for self-defense"? I don't understand why we have to be seen using a knife for "common tasks" to explain the fact that we carry it all the time.


I originally typed out a much longer response, but realized it boils down to this for my jurisdiction:

1) You don't. Carrying a knife for self-defense is as accepted as carrying a gun. Trial and screening prosecutors have both told me it doesn't seem to make any difference to local juries. It has also not made any difference if it was a "dual use" item, carried for work or not, etc. I figured box cutters would be seen as "evil" due to association with 9/11, but the prosecutors said it hasn't made a difference, either.

2) If you make some "it's a gardening tool" claim and I call you on it, you better have proof. Lying to the investigator is a good way to get him against you, particularly if it's a "insult your intelligence" type lie. It makes me question your integrity, wonder what else you're covering up, and I'll use it to impeach you if I can. Victims lie almost as much as suspects, we're watching for it.

OnionsAndDragons
09-04-2017, 03:42 PM
And I would certainly admit that self defense is a factor for carrying my CP, especially the position of the knife.

Mine isn't a gardening tool. It's a knife that I keep very accessible, that I use everyday in the garden and at the dining table. It's also very good for cutting clothes off someone, or a seatbelt. :)

To me, as long as I'm not obfuscating that it is a weapon and has a self defense role, the fact that I use it a lot for everyday tasks is the opposite effect of the Punisher logo stuff. Basically no downside with possible upside.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MistWolf
09-04-2017, 05:11 PM
I'm not an expert, but I'll take a stab at this- Plausible deniability. People often think that if someone is carrying a self defense weapon, they are out looking for trouble, or are inclined to poke their noses into other people's business when they shouldn't

I didn't fully explain myself. On movies and TV shows, it's common to give the badguy a better weapon than the goodguy. Badguys get selfloading pistols and rifles, while the goodguy has to do with running and hiding while armed with a baseball bat or other improvised weapon. Writers do this to create tension through a disparity of arms. Goodguys almost never arm themselves before being put into mortal danger. If they do, it's because they needed the tool for some other job. So, John Q. Public, even if it's subconscious, tends to think the only reason for a civilian to go armed is for nefarious purposes.

Then, there are those who think they are clever when they tell others "No, that's not for self defense. It's a gardening tool." Wink, wink

Mitchell, Esq.
09-04-2017, 05:55 PM
I didn't fully explain myself. On movies and TV shows, it's common to give the badguy a better weapon than the goodguy. Badguys get selfloading pistols and rifles, while the goodguy has to do with running and hiding while armed with a baseball bat or other improvised weapon. Writers do this to create tension through a disparity of arms. Goodguys almost never arm themselves before being put into mortal danger. If they do, it's because they needed the tool for some other job. So, John Q. Public, even if it's subconscious, tends to think the only reason for a civilian to go armed is for nefarious purposes.

Then, there are those who think they are clever when they tell others "No, that's not for self defense. It's a gardening tool." Wink, wink

Don't worry about the public.

Worry about the people who take the reports, write the reports, them the decision makers who read the reports.

If they are writing & reading things like "Condescending", "Untruthful", "Indicative of a lie" then they will take one path.

If they are writing & reading things like "Polite", "Asked for his attorney, then was cooperative once same arrived" & "Statement was consistent with the evidence - Actions consistent with the law" things take another.

Plausible deniability...isn't.

It is for when the POTUS meets with the President of the Russian Federation at a summit meeting and tells him "We didn't assassinate Ivan the Nuke Scientist who was selling H-Bomb tech to Iran." relying on the fact the bullet that killed him was a genuine, 100% Russian manufactured bullet fired from a former South African SF guy who lived in Thailand who was suspiciously friendly with a Brazilian who worked for an Israeli import/export firm...paid in Euros.

Sure.

OK.

Can't pin it on you.

Know what happens when a prosecutor sees plausible deniability?

He takes the case to trial because that is what he does.

You aren't guilty?

No problem. Get acquitted.

HCM
09-04-2017, 06:30 PM
I didn't fully explain myself. On movies and TV shows, it's common to give the badguy a better weapon than the goodguy. Badguys get selfloading pistols and rifles, while the goodguy has to do with running and hiding while armed with a baseball bat or other improvised weapon. Writers do this to create tension through a disparity of arms. Goodguys almost never arm themselves before being put into mortal danger. If they do, it's because they needed the tool for some other job. So, John Q. Public, even if it's subconscious, tends to think the only reason for a civilian to go armed is for nefarious purposes.

Then, there are those who think they are clever when they tell others "No, that's not for self defense. It's a gardening tool." Wink, wink

You know what we call that in real life? stupid. I'm referring both to the disparity of arms fantasy and the idea of lying to investigators or a grand jury. The cover up is always worse than the crime.

MistWolf
09-04-2017, 06:55 PM
Know what happens when a prosecutor sees plausible deniability?

He takes the case to trial because that is what he does.

Yes. I'm not trying to justify it. If I can see through the thin veil of "plausible deniability", I know the investigating officer can as well. I was just trying to answer why someone would play that kind of ridiculous game in the first place. Some people think it's clever. It's not


You know what we call that in real life? stupid. I'm referring both to the disparity of arms fantasy and the idea of lying to investigators or a grand jury. The cover up is always worse than the crime.

Yes

BehindBlueI's
09-04-2017, 06:57 PM
So, John Q. Public, even if it's subconscious, tends to think the only reason for a civilian to go armed is for nefarious purposes.

That has not been my experience.

Mitchell, Esq.
09-04-2017, 07:06 PM
I agree.

They tend to want to know more about why someone was with someone, or what they were doing at "That motel..."

MistWolf
09-04-2017, 07:25 PM
That has not been my experience.

Yeah, my statement about John Q. Public was poorly worded general statement based on experiences I had with a number of people I knew when I lived in Southern California

HCM
09-04-2017, 09:51 PM
/thread.

19677

wrmettler
09-09-2017, 10:49 AM
In the Mesa case, the judge ruled that the dust cover inscription is inadmissible in trial. He said the inscriptions are too prejudicial.

Erick Gelhaus
09-09-2017, 11:46 AM
In the Mesa case, the judge ruled that the dust cover inscription is inadmissible in trial. He said the inscriptions are too prejudicial.

Interesting, thank you for that. By chance, do youhave a link, a pointer to a ruling, an article, etc?

Sero Sed Serio
09-09-2017, 11:55 AM
Interesting, thank you for that. By chance, do youhave a link, a pointer to a ruling, an article, etc?

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2017/09/08/profane-etching-ex-mesa-officer-phillip-mitch-brailsford-gun-inadmissible-daniel-shaver-murder-trial/648709001/

Maricopa County Superior Court has a decent public "case lookup" online system where anyone can view minute entries in cases, which may or may not contain some of the legal analysis of a ruling.

http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/LawLibrary/SelfHelpResources/FindYourCase.asp

Erick Gelhaus
09-09-2017, 12:18 PM
Maricopa County Superior Court has a decent public "case lookup" online system where anyone can view minute entries in cases, which may or may not contain some of the legal analysis of a ruling.

Thank you! Too often we are stuck with "I heard" or "Somebody said ... "

wrmettler
09-09-2017, 02:35 PM
There is no formal ruling - a minute entry - filed with the clerk's office that I can see.

The Court held oral arguments on various motions yesterday afternoon. One motion that was addressed was the motion to exclude the dust cover on the AR.

I suppose the Court ruled from the bench and a newspaper reporter, who was present in the courtroom wrote the article based on that verbal ruling. A minute entry should be filed on Monday or Tuesday which will be viewable. I'm interested in reading the ruling.

Glenn E. Meyer
09-09-2017, 04:39 PM
Yes, the details are interesting to say the least. Does it mean that the DA cannot specifically mention the dust cover? If the gun is in evidence and shown to the jury, won't they see it? I might see how a judge wouldn't let the DA take down your pants to show your punisher tatoo over your butt crack but can they exclude the weapon in question entirely? When I posted the San Antonio pictures, they were waving the rifles around.

It does make the point, that DAs will try to bring these sort of things up. It is a crap shoot if your judge decides that it is useful info or not.

wrmettler
09-09-2017, 11:06 PM
Don't know. we need to look at the minute entry, but it may be that the dust cover is simply removed from the AR if and/or when it is introduced into evidence.

There is a case in Arizona that says the prosecutor can't ask about a tatoo.

Erick Gelhaus
09-09-2017, 11:22 PM
What is interesting is that the judge believed its presence was too inflamatory to a jury.

Sero Sed Serio
09-10-2017, 12:59 AM
Does it mean that the DA cannot specifically mention the dust cover? If the gun is in evidence and shown to the jury, won't they see it? I might see how a judge wouldn't let the DA take down your pants to show your punisher tatoo over your butt crack but can they exclude the weapon in question entirely? When I posted the San Antonio pictures, they were waving the rifles around.

The quote in the news article was that the dust cover inscription was "totally prejudicial," which leads me to believe that the evidence was excluded under Rule 403, which actually states that "relevant evidence" may be excluded "if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of...unfair prejudice...." Ariz. R. Crim. P. Rule 403. It's important to note that the rule requires "unfair prejudice," as any evidence of criminal activity is "prejudicial," but not necessarily "unfairly prejudicial."

Whether or not the dust cover is actually probative is questionable (the prosecution argued that it indicated Brailsford's mindset at the time of the shooting, but he was charged with second degree murder, which does not require premeditation), but in any event it appears that the judge determined that the danger of unfair prejudice from any evidence regarding the dust cover substantially outweighed any probative value.

As such I would expect that any mention of the dust cover in the prosecution's case-in-chief would be prohibited, including the crime scene photographs. Because of the nature of this particular case, where both parties are going to acknowledge from their opening statements that Brailsford fired the bullets that killed Shaver, the actual rifle's relevance is going to be a lot lower than it might be in random street shooting where the gun is recovered during three months later during a probation search after having changed hands three times, and the defendant was identified as the shooter after "cooperating witness" or "snitch," (the terminology depends on whether you are POST certified or in custody) Adam Henry does a free talk when he gets arrested based on a traffic stop where they recovered 2 grams of meth and 6 different people's stolen credit cards. Off the top of my head, there are several ways they could handle this in regards to the actual weapon, including stipulations that the rounds fired came from Brailsford's rifle, admitting photographs of the rifle instead of the weapon itself, securing the rifle in a box so that the dust cover cannot be exposed, or even physically removing the dust cover from the rifle.

Precluded evidence can, in some circumstances, be admitted if the precluding party does something to "open the door." For instance, if a defendant takes the stand and testifies that he thought he was selling a bag of oregano and that he was as shocked as anyone to learn it was marijuana, the prosecution can rebut that testimony by introducing his five prior possession of marijuana convictions, the photos of him blasting a bong while wearing a 420 hat and a "Rocky Mountain High" shirt, his positive drug test from Pretrial Services, the fact that he paid more for Doritos than he did for rent last month, etc. etc. etc.

And, just to fully respond to your post, (at least in AZ), the prosecution CAN in fact ask you to take down your pants and show the Punisher tattoo over your butt crack. Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 15.2(a) (which I suspect has equivalent rules in other states) requires a criminal defendant to, among other things, provide fingerprints, handwriting samples, stand in a lineup, or submit to a reasonable physical examination. What this means in the real world is that when a defendant has a giant swastika tattoo, the defense is going to argue Rule 403 unfair prejudice, while the prosecution (who wants to "dirty up the defendant") is going to argue that it's necessary to establish the defendant's identity. However, when we're talking about our furry little rat Adam Henry, the prosecution will argue unfair prejudice, while the defense argues that the jury needs to know every dirty little secret in order to properly assess his credibility.

OlongJohnson
09-10-2017, 09:15 AM
I listen to some Adam Carolla podcasts, in which Mark Geragos sometimes appears. Geragos says he is representing the decedent's widow, and has some interesting comments on the case from time to time.

Glenn E. Meyer
09-13-2017, 07:36 PM
Since I am not a lawyer, this is speculation. We are discussing the issue of the dust cover. It has made the Internet and media coverage. How can one be sure that a juror (despite a Judge giving a speech about not doing this or that) hasn't seen it mentioned in the media or searched for it. Do lawyers search jurors' internet history? Do they think of such?

Was the cover mentioned in the press before trial started? Even if a juror says that won't influence me - can you trust that? Folks give socially correct answers and then happily go on their way, deliberately or even subconsciously. Decision making is emotional and rational. The former might just kick in when the sum of factors for the 0,1 decision has to be made.

ssb
09-13-2017, 08:51 PM
Since I am not a lawyer, this is speculation. We are discussing the issue of the dust cover. It has made the Internet and media coverage. How can one be sure that a juror (despite a Judge giving a speech about not doing this or that) hasn't seen it mentioned in the media or searched for it. Do lawyers search jurors' internet history? Do they think of such?

Was the cover mentioned in the press before trial started? Even if a juror says that won't influence me - can you trust that? Folks give socially correct answers and then happily go on their way, deliberately or even subconsciously. Decision making is emotional and rational. The former might just kick in when the sum of factors for the 0,1 decision has to be made.

We get jury panels prior to voir dire. We try to look at social media when it's available. There are various tools available to do that, some that are freely available and some that aren't.

Depending on the case and the type of coverage it received, I may or may not strike a juror who admits during voir dire to having seen media coverage. I'm not a defense attorney but I'd imagine somebody who admitted to that would be a high priority to strike.

Obviously, there's nothing we can do about them doing homework outside the jury room either before or during the trial unless they tell us they're doing it. They take an oath and all, but...

Glenn E. Meyer
09-17-2017, 12:26 PM
Here's an interesting nuance on 'show me a case'. This is the recent Stockely police trial in Missouri (http://fox2now.com/2017/09/15/read-the-judges-entire-ruling-in-the-stockley-murder-case/). The officer was found not guilty by the Judge. The point which caught my interest is this from his ruling:

20066

It's a screen shot. So, it's clear that:

1. Prosecution will try to use the EBR or pistol as evidence of evil mindset.

2. Violation of policy or presentation of such things that might present you in a bad light - isn't the best idea.

So here is case of the general principle we've debated and folks deny.

That it didn't work out - with a judge, that's good for defendant but is that a guarantee that it always will?

gtae07
09-17-2017, 12:32 PM
Here's an interesting nuance on 'show me a case'. This is the recent Stockely police trial in Missouri (http://fox2now.com/2017/09/15/read-the-judges-entire-ruling-in-the-stockley-murder-case/). The officer was found not guilty by the Judge. The point which caught my interest is this from his ruling:

20066

Am I the only one that noticed "Baretta service revolver"? Was this department still issuing revolvers in 2011? I'm not in law enforcement but I thought everyone had transitioned away from revolvers as primary weapons a long while ago...

SeriousStudent
09-17-2017, 12:38 PM
Am I the only one that noticed "Baretta service revolver"? Was this department still issuing revolvers in 2011? I'm not in law enforcement but I thought everyone had transitioned away from revolvers as primary weapons a long while ago...

You are not the only one.

VT1032
09-17-2017, 12:39 PM
Am I the only one that noticed "Baretta service revolver"? Was this department still issuing revolvers in 2011? I'm not in law enforcement but I thought everyone had transitioned away from revolvers as primary weapons a long while ago...

Beretta 92D's and they still issue them as far as I know.

Glenn E. Meyer
09-17-2017, 12:45 PM
Kind of frightening that the Judge displayed such ignorance. Good thing that he wasn't scared of a thing that goes up on the AK.

HCM
09-17-2017, 01:49 PM
Am I the only one that noticed "Baretta service revolver"? Was this department still issuing revolvers in 2011? I'm not in law enforcement but I thought everyone had transitioned away from revolvers as primary weapons a long while ago...

No. "Service revolver" is simply being used here generically as a term for a duty handgun by someone who doesn't know the difference.

HCM
09-17-2017, 01:50 PM
dounle tap

Ed L
09-18-2017, 12:57 AM
This is kind of timely, since I have decided to take the plunge to buy my first select fire rifle. I decided to buy an STG44 Sturmgewehr. This was the first majorly adopted select fire assault weapon used by the Germans toward the end of WWII.

20110

I realize that with the expense of ammo for it and the fact that it is an older weapon, I will not be able to fire it nearly as much as a more modern select fire weapon. But the bottom line is that it excites me more than the more modern guns--so that is my reason for wanting to buy one.

If it proves reliable I plan to press it into service as a home defense longarm. I cannot think of anything cooler than that. I will ultimately have to buy a second one to give me one to practice with a little bit, and another that has proven reliable to have for a home defense gun. The home defense longarm will stay in the safe until I am in for the night and go back to the safe when I am ready to go out. Obviously it will not be my main home defense gun as I have other guns that are kept ready as well as my carry guns.

Ideally, I need to find a way to mount an Aimpoint micro to it. I really like the gun, but for fuck sake this isn't WWII!

I am also going to see if I can get some type of custom handguard replacement made. The stock one is metal and heats up. I will approach Centurian arms about making a modern handguard for it that will let me mount Magpul rail panels to make it more manageable when it heats up and to allow me to mount a Surefure light.

Here is a video on the gun for those unfamiliar:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AL_efDIc3M

I realize that some people may think that using a WWII German rifle may have a negative connotation. I prefer to think of it as the gun used by Brad Pitt in the movie Fury. I am going to try to reclaim the gun's image just like the character Randall tried to reclaim the term "Porch Monkey" in the Kevin Smith film Clerks 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYITxGniww4

rcbusmc24
09-18-2017, 01:51 AM
Your planning to press a 20 to 30 k weapon with 100 to 200 dollar mags into the home defense role..... Your money brother but if it was me then I'd rethink that some...

Don't get me wrong I'm all about the collectible stuff, but none of my WW1,WW 2 , preban originals or registered MG's are getting placed into home defense duty expect in the most extreme of circumstances. No matter what when the use of a MG for home defense comes up I always think of the Gary Fadden incident. While it was a while ago, I think a lot of the same bias is still there regarding full autos, SBR's and suppressors are "relatively" easy to explain, use of a machine gun.... not as easy. In the end Gary won, but it cost him alot.

WobblyPossum
09-18-2017, 08:41 AM
I think he's being satirical.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Zincwarrior
09-18-2017, 08:49 AM
This is kind of timely, since I have decided to take the plunge to buy my first select fire rifle. I decided to buy an STG44 Sturmgewehr. This was the first majorly adopted select fire assault weapon used by the Germans toward the end of WWII.

20110

I realize that with the expense of ammo for it and the fact that it is an older weapon, I will not be able to fire it nearly as much as a more modern select fire weapon. But the bottom line is that it excites me more than the more modern guns--so that is my reason for wanting to buy one.

If it proves reliable I plan to press it into service as a home defense longarm. I cannot think of anything cooler than that. I will ultimately have to buy a second one to give me one to practice with a little bit, and another that has proven reliable to have for a home defense gun. The home defense longarm will stay in the safe until I am in for the night and go back to the safe when I am ready to go out. Obviously it will not be my main home defense gun as I have other guns that are kept ready as well as my carry guns.

Ideally, I need to find a way to mount an Aimpoint micro to it. I really like the gun, but for fuck sake this isn't WWII!

I am also going to see if I can get some type of custom handguard replacement made. The stock one is metal and heats up. I will approach Centurian arms about making a modern handguard for it that will let me mount Magpul rail panels to make it more manageable when it heats up and to allow me to mount a Surefure light.

Here is a video on the gun for those unfamiliar:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AL_efDIc3M

I realize that some people may think that using a WWII German rifle may have a negative connotation. I prefer to think of it as the gun used by Brad Pitt in the movie Fury. I am going to try to reclaim the gun's image just like the character Randall tried to reclaim the term "Porch Monkey" in the Kevin Smith film Clerks 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYITxGniww4

Wait you have that kind of money? Yowsa.

Ed L
09-18-2017, 12:56 PM
I think he's being satirical.

It was satire. My apologies. I had some unsated Pfestivus left over in my system.

I am interested in buying an STG44, but I don't see using that as a home defense gun for reasons that are numerous and would derail the thread.

Ed L
09-18-2017, 12:57 PM
Since you stated via PM that you attempted to troll the PFestivus thread with this and got no traction, I'm going to assume you are doing the same here and ask that you please stop.

Again, my apologies.

Zincwarrior
09-18-2017, 01:41 PM
It was satire. My apologies. I had some unsated Pfestivus left over in my system.

I am interested in buying an STG44, but I don't see using that as a home defense gun for reasons that are numerous and would derail the thread.

Well now I feel stupid: translation situation normal for me. :cool:

Ed L
09-18-2017, 03:35 PM
Well now I feel stupid: translation situation normal for me. :cool:

Don't feel stupid. It was a carefully crafted piece that started out realistic and gradually veered into a parody.

Anyway, here is my view on the matter of punisher Logos and such.

I would try to stay away from any custom engraving that trivializes the serious, sober nature of the firearm. Thus, no Punisher logos, nothing with Zombies, etc. It doesn't add to the gun's defensive capabilities and can be seen as looking immature or goofy.

Ed L
09-18-2017, 04:04 PM
Don't get me wrong I'm all about the collectible stuff, but none of my WW1,WW 2 , preban originals or registered MG's are getting placed into home defense duty expect in the most extreme of circumstances. No matter what when the use of a MG for home defense comes up I always think of the Gary Fadden incident. While it was a while ago, I think a lot of the same bias is still there regarding full autos, SBR's and suppressors are "relatively" easy to explain, use of a machine gun.... not as easy. In the end Gary won, but it cost him alot.

A few factors about the Fadden incident:

1. It took place in the early 1980s when ARs were not the most commonly sold long arm in America, were not the most commonly carried long arm in police cars; it was a time when many police still carried revolvers often loaded with hollowpoints.

2. The shooting was the result of an escalated road rage incident where the shooter was viewed as a participant, as opposed to a home invasion situation where the homeowner is viewed as a victim:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1984/09/18/gun-salesman-cleared-in-fatal-va-shooting/cf8a4299-fd03-4708-bbdb-cd00e1f9fded/?utm_term=.6ef57270a447

Mitchell, Esq.
09-20-2017, 06:21 AM
No worries. This thread just developed into something I didn't expect, a compendium of actually useful legal advice from real no-shit legal professionals, and I didn't want to sully it with too much General Discussion (ne Romper Room) shenanigans. :)

And yes, I'll be making this thread "sticky" or, more likely, copying a subset of the posts to a new thread in the Reference Section (https://pistol-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?24-Reference-Section) (since I really dislike stuck thread). Soon. :cool:


Excuse me, but as a legal professional I must point out that I and my brethren of the bar are all full of shit...

It's what we do.

HCM
09-20-2017, 08:52 AM
20201

blues
09-20-2017, 09:09 AM
20202

"Wait, so as my counsel you're saying the Punisher Skull on my firearms isn't worth worrying about?"

Wondering Beard
09-20-2017, 10:04 AM
That guy reminds me of someone:

https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/headhuntershorrorhouse/images/4/45/Frankenstein_Monster_-_Young_Frankenstein_001.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140818194236

blues
09-20-2017, 10:14 AM
That guy reminds me of someone:

https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/headhuntershorrorhouse/images/4/45/Frankenstein_Monster_-_Young_Frankenstein_001.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140818194236

I hate to denigrate the memory of Peter Boyle that way, (may he rest in peace),...but you have a point.

Kanye Wyoming
11-01-2017, 10:50 PM
Im a little late to the party but I just read this thread tonight and wanted to say how terrific it is and how much I appreciated it and learned from it. Although not a criminal lawyer, I am a lawyer and the posts by Mitchell and the other lawyers and LEOs rung all too true. Much of the time, for better or worse, the law is but human nature in action.

I also wish to add that the Mods are shit.

Not because they are, they seem pretty great to me, but because every time I see that it makes me laugh, often out loud.

Wendell
11-02-2017, 05:13 AM
Related thread:

Good Article On Gun Modifications / Legal Consequences in the November ACLDN Journal (https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?28349-Good-Article-On-Gun-Modifications-Legal-Consequences-in-the-November-ACLDN-Journal)
<https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?28349-Good-Article-On-Gun-Modifications-Legal-Consequences-in-the-November-ACLDN-Journal>

Glenn E. Meyer
12-26-2017, 04:07 PM
Back from the Dead - Don't have a Marvel Executive on your jury!

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/12/26/marvel-comics-take-further-legal-action-over-skull-use/

BehindBlueI's
10-05-2022, 07:22 PM
Thread moved to the reference section. Well worth the read, IMO.