. . . Because it seems that I'll be eating a big dish of it. Back on Oct. 2nd, I wrote very critically about a firearms demonstration given for the benefit of the jury in the case of a shooting that killed two people and wounded another.
The idea of busing the jurors to a gun range for a ninety second demonstration of someone shooting a semi-automatic AK-47 clone seemed utterly unnecessary to me for determining someone's guilt or innocence in the shooting. It seemed to me that the real purpose of such a demonstration was some kind of politically motivated crusade against so-called "assault weapons."
As it turns out, though, I was operating on incomplete information and (my own) incorrect assumptions. I became aware of that today, when Gary Eastridge, the Investigator who conducted the demonstration, was kind enough to send me an email explaining some facets of the case of which I was unaware. Here is an excerpt:
The demonstration was done to give the jury, most of which had no firearms experience, some way of relating to the testimony of the chaos involved in the shooting. The defendant had claimed that he suffered post traumatic stress syndrome and that he just accidentally fired 13 rounds into the victims vehicle. The demonstration showed the jury the steps involved to load and fire 13 rounds.I had not realized that Simpson's (the defendant's) defense was that he had "accidentally" fired the thirteen shots that killed two people and wounded a third. I had assumed that he was claiming that it was not he who had fired the shots. A demonstration of the weapon itself, therefore, seemed superfluous (and struck my possibly overly suspicious mind as just a ploy to spread the irrational fear of "assault weapons"). On the other hand, a demonstration could be quite valuable in demonstrating the ridiculousness of a claim that the shooting was "accidental."
The bottom line is that I unfairly jumped all over the people behind the demonstration, without having taken the time to find out enough to be qualified to make such criticisms. Had I known more, I would have found little to quarrel with.
I was wrong, and I apologize.