Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hmm . . . I wonder what could have interested them, in what I had to say about this

Browsing through my site traffic data (which tends not to involve much browsing), I spotted a visitor that surprised me a little:

(Click to enlarge)

Visits from the DoJ (one of whose agencies is a "favorite" topic of mine) aren't especially unusual, but it puzzles me that they would want to see what I had to say about this--"this" being the outrageous prosecution (or, more accurately, persecution) of Harold Fish, the retired schoolteacher who, while hiking in Arizona, was set upon by a crazed homeless man and three dogs, and who shot and killed the man.

This being before Arizona had adopted its version of Stand Your Ground legislation, the burden of proof that it was self-defense was placed on him (so much for the presumption of innocence pending proof of guilt), and without any witnesses, he was unable to do so (the prosecution managed to convince the jury that Fish's choice of the relatively powerful 10mm cartridge, coupled with hollowpoint ammo, indicated "bloodthirstiness" on Fish's part, and also managed to suppress evidence about the "victim's" history of mental instability, anger issues, and aggression).

Even more oddly, my fans in the government looked not at the current version of the page, but at Google's cached version. I tend not to remember changes I might have made in a post more than two years old, but the only change I can find is correction of a typo.

Anyway, the whole thing puzzles me, since nothing in Mr. Fish's case has anything to do with federal law, or, to my knowledge, any federal agency.

While I'm talking about Mr. Fish, though, it is long past time that I update the story. The post that interested our fed friends was my last word on the subject, and much has happened since then. Sadly, the "new hope" for Mr. Fish to which I referred in that post never materialized. Then Arizona Governor (now Secretary of Homeland Security) Janet Napolitano vetoed the bill that would have made the Stand Your Ground law retroactive, which would have hugely bolstered Mr. Fish's self-defense argument. This was the second time she vetoed such a bill, even though this one had been specifically crafted to address her objections with the first version.

Since then, though, the news has been better. As my Seattle Gun Rights Examiner colleague, Dave Workman, tells us, Mr. Fish will finally get a new trial, with Arizona's new (and much improved) understanding of self-defense in a position to play a major role (because yet another version of the bill to make it retroactive was passed, and signed this year by the new governor).

Fish was prosecuted and convicted, and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but last week, the now-incarcerated 62-year-old ex-teacher was granted a new trial by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which reversed the verdict [pdf file] and remanded the case back to the trial court.
Even better, he has been released (as of July 21st this year) from prison, pending the decision about where to proceed from here.

How this will end up is impossible to tell, but the situation is vastly better than it was before this summer.

Keep current on the case at HaroldFishDefense.org, and consider helping out a bit.


Crotalus said...

Why are you surprised? You (and all we gun owning patriots are enemies of the state, even if they haven't come right out and said so yet.

Anonymous said...

Sometime I wonder what it will take to satisfy burden of proof of self-defence. What, short of lethal? Bite marks (from man or dog)? Bruises? Gunshot wounds? What?
Sometimes I think that's the only way to win a self-defence case. Let the other guy (or gal) get in the first lick, before you shoot them. Then it should be more open & shut.

B Woodman