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https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/11/how-the-rittenhouse-verdict-threatens-first-amendment-right-public-protest.html

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Republican legislators have a new favorite tactic in waging the culture wars. Red states have passed a series of laws that outsource enforcement to private citizens on hot-button issues like abortion and equal protection. By unleashing legal bounty hunters, these laws create an end-run around constitutional review and “institutionalize opposition to fundamental rights.” The most controversial is Texas’ S.B. 8, which effectively outlawed abortion in the state.

The Supreme Court will soon render a decision on S.B. 8, and experts expect that at least one challenge to the law will be allowed to proceed. Meanwhile, Friday’s verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial highlighted another constitutional right suffering at the hands of private citizens: the freedom of assembly.

That freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment, which prevents discrimination on the basis of viewpoint. So, despite what repeated instances of police violence against protesters might suggest, the police cannot punish protesters for protesting police killings. But what if police stand by while private so-called militias attack and intimidate protesters, forcing them to flee and causing others to stay home? That happened time and again during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, without repercussion for the police. The result is a system in which vigilantes armed with assault rifles and uniformed in combat gear can trample protesters’ rights with government endorsement. ....

 


 

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4 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Scuttlebutt is that something will be in the final bill.  It might be something that phases out at $400,000 or $500,000 of income, or it might be what is in the bill now.

NJ/NY/PA/CA really need to bring something like this home.  I get the optics that it benefits people that are already comparatively wealthy BUT:

1.  Combined top NYC marginal rate will be well over 60%.  You say “fine”, but the people that this will hammer are, in fact, quite mobile, particularly post-pandemic.  There is a significant comparative advantage to being in TX, FLA, or even, say, a VA or MA.  The representatives in these states need to be mindful of potential erosion of their tax bases, and also the ability of R candidates to use this as a wedge issue in marginal districts.  

2.  High tax states lose on the balance of payments vis a vis federal dollars.  Part of that is that they provide a number of services from their own budgets that in other states are provided (less well) with federal dollars.

3.  Without the deduction, I do think that the high tax states will, in fact, be under tremendous pressure to cut taxes to stay competitive.  This, of course, is self-defeating, but I think it will occur. It’s one thing to raise the national rate that is generally applicable to everyone. The problem with state and local rates is that they are just that, state and local.

This makes a lot of sense if you live in the high tax states and especially in NYC (as I do), but it's hard to see how it will make anyone else happy. NYC rakes in an amazing amount of cash; the 2020 budget (created in 2019 and thus not accounting for the various pandemic era emergency distributions) was at $92.5B which amounts to over $10K per resident. And this is just the city itself -- the state has a different (and larger) budget part of which also goes to the city. Why would anyone in Florida or Arizona or the other competitive states want to subsidize such lavish budgets?

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1 hour ago, Altherion said:

This makes a lot of sense if you live in the high tax states and especially in NYC (as I do), but it's hard to see how it will make anyone else happy. NYC rakes in an amazing amount of cash; the 2020 budget (created in 2019 and thus not accounting for the various pandemic era emergency distributions) was at $92.5B which amounts to over $10K per resident. And this is just the city itself -- the state has a different (and larger) budget part of which also goes to the city. Why would anyone in Florida or Arizona or the other competitive states want to subsidize such lavish budgets?

Oh for true (though NY subsidizes the rest of the country too....).  But the reality is that because of the razor thin margins, individuals in the legislature have outsize influence if they are willing to stand their ground.  NYS already has made some moves to keep wealthy people who do business through pass through entities (read: lawyers, doctors, accountants, real estate, private equity, etc.).  But it may have to do more.  A top effective income tax rate of 62% may be good policy very generally (or may not!  I actually don't know at that rate!).  However, right now that effective tax rate is not evenly distributed geographically.  So, it will be interesting to see what happens.  People put up with NY because it is a very livable city and we get a lot of bang for our expenditure buck (we do! It isn't the crime ridden hellscape Faux News would sell you).  I hope that continues....

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On 11/23/2021 at 8:11 PM, Ran said:

I would have liked to see a poll checking how informed respondents were about basic and uncontestable facts about the case (e.g. did Rittenhouse cross state lines with a weapon.) As I've remarked earlier, there's a tremendous lack of knowledge even among people one would consider better equipped than most to parse facts and weed out misinformation (I.e Pulitzer-prize winning journalists, politicians.)

Would be interesting to have seen if greater knowledge of the facts of the case changed responses.

Disclaimer - I only read what was said about the poll in thread, I didn't read the poll itself.

Asking if people approve of the verdict is really too simplistic a question as there are multiple dynamics to it. Personally I'd say I don't approve of the verdict, and I don't think the verdict is fair, but I do accept that there's a decent chance it's the legally correct legal decision* based on the current laws of the state. The poll seemed to lack any scope for condemning the laws while accepting the verdict needed to be reached under said laws.

* This is in regard to the most serious charge, I'm not so convinced it applies to all the charges.

At the absolute barest minimum even if you accept that being fearful for your life with questionable justification (IE the fear was real but a more experienced and disciplined individual would not have reacted in this way) due to circumstances that you substantially contributed to causing, leading to you killing others in perceived self defense, then you should be prohibited from possession of firearms for a considerable period of time. And violation of this prohibition should result in a serious felony conviction since apparently the baseline for firearm possession isn't even serious enough to be taken into consideration in a murder trial.

But if the US was interested in sensible firearm restrictions to avoid people killing others due to inadequate experience then this whole problem wouldn't exist in the first place.

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20 hours ago, SerHaHa said:

One thing regarding this whole "crossing state lines" narrative -

Crossing state lines with a non NFA rifle, ie the type of rifle Rittenhouse used, is NOT illegal.  So even if he HAD crossed state lines with the rifle, he wouldn't have been breaking the law (he obviously did NOT bring the rifle from one state to the other anyway).  If you have a concealed weapons permit for handguns, yes, there are states which do not recognize one another's permits through reciprocity (and states that don't have CCW really much at all), and then crossing state lines "MAY" have been an issue, but again, Rittenhouse had a rifle, not a handgun.

An eye opening thing to me was how many major media outlets, after it became clear that Rittenhouse had not transported his rifle across state lines (illegally or otherwise) merely adjusted their language to claim that it was Rittenhouse himself who crossed state lines (while leaving viewers to assume he did so by carrying the rifle).

This is a clear case of using technically true language for deceptive purpose.  The only possible purpose of mentioning "crossing state lines" was to imply that Rittenhouse was doing something illegal.   But of course, it is perfectly normal for someone who lives at or near a state border to cross state lines.

Edited by Mister Smikes
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Very pro-BLM (wasn't even able to say "Black Lives Matter" on TC's white power hour) and this:

Very unracist activity.

Amazing that Mr. Smiley was able to get through that whine without any "left wing MSM" snark. Such a nothing-burger with respect to the poor quality of the media.

Edited by Week
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10 minutes ago, Week said:

Very pro-BLM (wasn't even able to say "Black Lives Matter" on TC's white power hour) and this:

Very unracist activity.

Amazing that Mr. Smiley was able to get through that whine without any "left wing MSM" snark. Such a nothing-burger with respect to the poor quality of the media.

Yeah he also likes cops which is also proof he’s racist.

1 hour ago, karaddin said:

IE the fear was real but a more experienced and disciplined individual would not have reacted in this way)

I don’t really see that as being likely; if a gun-expert is dealing with someone attempting to grapple away their gun and saying they’ll kill the gun-expert I can see the gun-expert shooting.

 

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20 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Yeah he also likes cops which is also proof he’s racist.

I don’t really see that as being likely; if a gun-expert is dealing with someone attempting to grapple away their gun and saying they’ll kill the gun-expert I can see the gun-expert shooting.

Purely using your description of the events of this case Rosenbaum was in a poor state of mind and attempting to provoke armed individuals, and it reads like an implication there may have been a "suicide by cop" dynamic at play. 

The only person that felt sufficiently threatened by this behavior to act on it was the 17 year old who shouldn't have been there. No one else felt the need to shoot Rosenbaum, he didn't assault anyone or take anyone else's gun and shoot them.

If you take all the above as given it's reasonable to infer from this that the inexperienced teenager misinterpreted the situation due to his inexperience and less advanced control of his emotional response which resulted in the deaths of two people. People experiencing mental health crises, especially in a society where they do not receive adequate care and support, deserve to be able to live in that society without being killed by people who are overly scared of them.

Of course those people are far too frequently are police who, despite their training and the responsibility they are invested with, get held to an even lower standard than this (at the time) teenager.

And for the record I'd absolutely volunteer myself as having too strong a fear response and too intense emotional waves to be toting firearms around. I'd put myself on that list, so it's not like I'm saying this is damning of a person - simply not possessing a temperament suited to being armed.

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1 hour ago, karaddin said:

Disclaimer - I only read what was said about the poll in thread, I didn't read the poll itself.

I'd be more interested to know if you watched the trial.  But of course, you are free to have an opinion in any event.

1 hour ago, karaddin said:

Personally I'd say I don't approve of the verdict, and I don't think the verdict is fair, but I do accept that there's a decent chance it's the legally correct legal decision* based on the current laws of the state.

By that standard, the verdict was correct.  Unless you believe in giving the Almighty State the power deprive citizens of their freedom for conduct that was not illegal when they did it.

For those who watched the trial, the verdict has a simple explanation - the jury accepted that Rittenhouse shot people only when attacking him and only when in reasonable fear of an imminent threat to his life -- or at least that the contrary was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

I would be curious as to how you think the laws should be changed, so the jury could reach "correct" verdicts in future cases.

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8 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

I'd be more interested to know if you watched the trial.  But of course, you are free to have an opinion in any event.

By that standard, the verdict was correct.  Unless you believe in giving the Almighty State the power deprive citizens of their freedom for conduct that was not illegal when they did it.

For those who watched the trial, the verdict has a simple explanation - the jury accepted that Rittenhouse shot people only when attacking him and only when in reasonable fear of an imminent threat to his life -- or at least that the contrary was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

I would be curious as to how you think the laws should be changed, so the jury could reach "correct" verdicts in future cases.

Get rid of open carry would be a huge start 

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19 minutes ago, karaddin said:

Purely using your description of the events of this case Rosenbaum was in a poor state of mind and attempting to provoke armed individuals, and it reads like an implication there may have been a "suicide by cop" dynamic at play. 

The only person that felt sufficiently threatened by this behavior to act on it was the 17 year old who shouldn't have been there. No one else felt the need to shoot Rosenbaum, he didn't assault anyone or take anyone else's gun and shoot them.

If you take all the above as given it's reasonable to infer from this that the inexperienced teenager misinterpreted the situation due to his inexperience and less advanced control of his emotional response which resulted in the deaths of two people. People experiencing mental health crises, especially in a society where they do not receive adequate care and support, deserve to be able to live in that society without being killed by people who are overly scared of them.

Of course those people are far too frequently are police who, despite their training and the responsibility they are invested with, get held to an even lower standard than this (at the time) teenager.

And for the record I'd absolutely volunteer myself as having too strong a fear response and too intense emotional waves to be toting firearms around. I'd put myself on that list, so it's not like I'm saying this is damning of a person - simply not possessing a temperament suited to being armed.

In our society, apparently the juror approved solution to people having a mental health crisis is to shoot them dead.

John Wayne justice!

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It's not like my post was burying the lede that my criticism is of the laws. As for things I'd change, my comment on what I think should be the bare minimum is literally in the post you're quoting so perhaps start with reading that rather than acting like it's a big mystery which will obviously be highly unreasonable.

My primary criticism has consistently been that outcomes like this lead society in a direction which I believe to be bad. As such my bare minimum suggestion is a suggestion for an attempt at minimizing the influence of such cases on wider society and making people safer by removing guns from those who demonstrate a poor temperament for them.

Obviously I'd go further, much like many of the other non Americans who think the threshold for lethal action in self defense is too low in the US. This bare minimum I suggested gives up on the idea of punishment for those that kill in such circumstances in favor of prioritizing harm reduction. The family and friends of the dead won't feel like they're getting justice, but hopefully it would stop any further bodies joining their loved ones.

ETA: this is directed to MS

Edited by karaddin
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15 minutes ago, karaddin said:

The only person that felt sufficiently threatened by this behavior to act on it was the 17 year old who shouldn't have been there.

Rosenbaum screaming at a group of people he doesn't like is a very different from his rushing a lone individual who is far away from any of the people he had been hanging out with. It's not possible to say what any other armed individual that day would have done if they were alone on the street when Rosenbaum charged at them and then chased them a good distance until they felt they were cornered. Rittenhouse was the only one that Rosenbaum attacked.

@1066 Larry

Little hope of that, sadly. But I do think maybe there would be more opportunity to restrict any firearms -- open or concealed -- in any location declared a place of civil unrest by authorities, with a possible exception for carrying arms within the bounds of your own private property so as not to run into complaints about castle doctrine and so on.

How to effectively police that, I do not know. There were way too many carrying guns in Kenosha, in any case, and a lot might have changed if police made it known they'd arrest anyone with a gun in the riot/protest area.

 

 

 

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Looking forward to the discussion of the Arbery decision.  So far the people who really like the Rittenhouse decision and think there are no issues beyond 'he felt in danger of his life', have demonstrated zero concern or interest about the Arbery case.  As mentioned, looking forward to seeing the discussion of how the Arbery situation isn't the same as Rittehouse's, or is the same, since the defense of the murderers is they felt their lives threatened by Arbery.  Which just so happens to be the stance that was taken by the defense of the white supremacists in the Charlottesville trial -- they felt threatened, and it was the cops' fault.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Ran said:

 

Rosenbaum screaming at a group of people he doesn't like is a very different from his rushing a lone individual who is far away from any of the people he had been hanging out with. It's not possible to say what any other armed individual that day would have done if they were alone on the street when Rosenbaum charged at them and then chased them a good distance until they felt they were cornered. Rittenhouse was the only one that Rosenbaum attacked.

@1066 Larry

Little hope of that, sadly. But I do think maybe there would be more opportunity to restrict any firearms -- open or concealed -- in any location declared a place of civil unrest by authorities, with a possible exception for carrying arms within the bounds of your own private property so as not to run into complaints about castle doctrine and so on.

How to effectively police that, I do not know. There were way too many carrying guns in Kenosha, in any case, and a lot might have changed if police made it known they'd arrest anyone with a gun in the riot/protest area.

 

 

 

I think that type of specific targeted legislation would essentially be useless, largely for the reasons you mentioned.

If you have a bunch of people carrying guns around openly, the Rittenhouse situation is going to happen at some point.

Of course, we've been through this post Sandy Hook.  There's no political will to make effective changes, and the ones that do go through (like the SAFE act in NYS) often are relatively toothless or target weird aesthetic aspects of guns and just further alienate and amp up the paranoia of the guns-rights crowd.

Dunno [shit] about WI law but could a municipality ban open carry?  Open carry when you aren't hunting makes sense in like, Alaska, maybe, but that's about it.  

Edited by 1066 Larry
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20 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Looking forward to the discussion of the Arbery decision.  So far the people who really like the Rittenhouse decision and think there are no issues beyond 'he felt in danger of his life', have demonstrated zero concern or interest about the Arbery case. 

I referenced it here.

The prosecution has a far stronger case in the Arbrey case, because those men almost certainly did not meet the standard required to be lawfully effecting a citizen's arrest (at least as I understand it -- they had no direct knowledge or immediate knowledge that he had committed a crime, merely a suspicion), and so from the perspective of Arbrey were stalking, harassing, and unlawfully detaining him under threatening circumstances. The fact that one of them is quoted as having "trapped" Arbrey "like a rat" is not going to help at all.

I feel comfortable in saying the jury found correctly in Wisconsin, and am hopeful the jury finds Arbrey's killers guilty in Georgia.

15 minutes ago, 1066 Larry said:

Dunno [shit] about WI law but could a municipality ban open carry?  Open carry when you aren't hunting makes sense in like, Alaska, maybe, but that's about it.  

Is concealed carry all that much better, though? A bunch of people had handguns there, and I suspect a number of them did not have CCW licenses. If Rosenbaum had charged at one of them, the same exact situation might have happened in terms of people being killed and injured.

 

Edited by Ran
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