Within the last seven days two law professors suggested that we should revisit the law of self-defense and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Although only one specifically mentioned the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, there can be little doubt that his acquittal of all charges in the shooting of three men — two fatally — was a factor.
In the first, published Dec. 16, University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks suggested that the Second Amendment’s use of the term "'arms' degrades the concept of self-defense."
She argued instead that "The right to safeguard one’s life should not be conflated with or reduced to the right to use a weapon, especially a weapon that is so much more likely to inflict injury and death than to avoid it."
Essentially, Franks believes that every person has the right to self-defense, so long as a firearm isn’t used to provide it. She also wants to rely heavily on law enforcement to protect life.
"Far better would be an amendment that guarantees a meaningful right to bodily autonomy and obligates the government to implement reasonable measures to protect public health and safety," she said.
Law enforcement may provide our first line of civil defense, but it’s unrealistic to believe that police can be at all places for all people.
But then Franks’ real goal comes to light. Knowing that the Constitution is silent on the issue of abortion, she wants to use the Second Amendment to carve out a mother’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
"All people have the right to bodily autonomy consistent with the right of other people to the same, including the right to defend themselves against unlawful force and the right of self-determination in reproductive matters," her newly-proposed Second Amendment would read.
"The government shall take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of the public as a whole."
In Franks’ world every person should enjoy "the right to bodily autonomy" except for an unborn child.
She’s apparently not a follower of the late Indian lawyer and political ethicist Mahatma Gandhi, who believed that "The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."
One would be hard-pressed to find anyone more vulnerable than a child still in the mother’s womb.
The second opinion was published Tuesday, in which Duquesne University law professor Bruce Ledewitz argued for a change in self-defense statutes in light of the Rittenhouse verdict.
He claimed that the verdict was unfair and Rittenhouse was no different than the Oxford High School alleged shooter Ethan Crumbley.
Ledewitz argued that Gaige Grosskreutz, who Rittenhouse shot and injured when Grosskreutz pointed his own weapon at Rittenhouse, should have been hailed as a hero for trying to stop a mass shooter.
"As a colleague of mine asked, how is Grosskreutz any different from Tate Myre, who was shot and killed trying to disarm the gunman at a shooting incident at Oxford High School in Michigan in November?" he wrote.
"Myre reacted exactly as he should have. He was a hero. It would be absurd to imagine that the gunman in the school shooting will be permitted to raise self-defense when charged with Myre’s death."
First of all there’s the matter of intent.
Although in hindsight Rittenhouse should probably not have been in Kenosha on the night of the Black Lives Matter riot, his intent was to protect and clean up property, and render first aid as needed. Crumbley’s intent was to create havoc and kill as many people as he could.
Second, as Cam Edwards observed in Bearing Arms, the prosecution failed to present any evidence at trial that Grosskreutz believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter because "Grosskreutz was never 100% sure that Rittenhouse had shot Rosenbaum when he began following him."
Both law professors should probably get out of the classroom once in a while to see what life in the real world is about. And while they’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt them to do a little research in scripture.
Franks, who believes deadly weapons should never be employed for self-defense, may want to consult Luke 22:36, in which Jesus instructed, ". . . and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
In case she wonders, the sword was the AR-15 of 2,000 years ago.
Ledewitz, who seemed so enraged over the jury’s verdict in the Rittenhouse case, may want to take a look at Proverbs 21:15, which tells us that "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous, but terror to evildoers."
Just a thought.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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