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Thread: Judge pulls gun in Florida court

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    JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 27 (UPI) -- A Jacksonville, Fla., judge drew his handgun when an accused child molester was attacked by an alleged victim's father in court.
    I didn't know if he was going after me or the bailiffs or the defendant," Circuit Judge John Merrett told The (Jacksonville, Fla.) Times-Union.

    The father, who had not seen the defendant before the court appearance, hurdled a railing and landed several punches on the handcuffed and shackled man before bailiffs restored order.

    Merrett said that once he saw the situation was under control, he handed his gun to the court clerk and asked her to lock it in a drawer. Merrett has a concealed weapon permit and said he'd do the same thing again, the newspaper reported.

    But Duval County Public Defender Bill White said the incident was frightening. He plans to talk to the chief judge about whether judges should be armed in court.
    "It's very disconcerting for a lawyer to be in the line of fire," White told the Times-Union.

    The father was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor battery.
    Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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    I'd say that public defender needs a dose of courage--perhaps he can borrow some from Oz's lion. I hope the Chief Judge tells him the correct solution for being in the line of fire is to get out of the line of fire rather than disarm the judges.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    The bailiffs are armed, why not the judge? How is it the lawyer isn't in the line of fire from the bailiffs gun?

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    Sounds like Public Defender Bill is just another anti-gun looney tune.


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    Handing Bill White a roll of TP, laughing, he seems to need it.

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    As interesting and funny as this was to read, I find it interesting that the judge felt the need to actually pull his gun out when the bailiffs obviously did not. Sounds like lack of training and common sense on the judges part to me.

    I agree that there isn't a reason to not let judges carry in the courtrooms.

    However, you or I would probably have been charged with "brandishing a firearm" or something jsut as silly for pulling it out.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    j2l3 wrote:
    As interesting and funny as this was to read, I find it interesting that the judge felt the need to actually pull his gun out when the bailiffs obviously did not. Sounds like lack of training and common sense on the judges part to me.

    I agree that there isn't a reason to not let judges carry in the courtrooms.

    However, you or I would probably have been charged with "brandishing a firearm" or something jsut as silly for pulling it out.
    I agree that in the courtroom the judge is the bossman. He can do just about anything. It suresounds like he pulled his piece prematurely. And such premature action does often indicate lak of training. Plus, it's dangerous. Once the gun comes out, the situation always escalates.

    In general, I don't mind that judges are armed in the courtroom. It's kind of an exception to the ordinary system of constraints.

    The last time I was on jury duty, I has hanging out on a break in the corridor between courtrooms and it struck me suddenly--that there were sheriff's deputies all over the place--all armed with GLOCKs, Tasers and batons. All with radios, and everybody had to be checked at the main entrance and have their belongings poked through.

    And this was solely a place where disputes between individuals would be resolved according to the legal process and it would be done in a totally peaceful manner. Why, I thought would there be a need for so many well-armed peace-keepers?

    I asked a fellow juror to tell me why he thought there was a need for so many armed guards/peace-keepers. He didn't know and didn't want to think about the question. I think I know why.

    Judges, usually have special consideration in CC laws. Basically, they can do anything they want.

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    Sir: I am interested in inviting you to visit my Yahoo group USRepublic.



    The united states was never intended to be a democracy, or a monarchy. Sadly, we have embraced, my popular media, the term Democracy, and applied it to this great republic!

    The group I have started is still int he settling stage, but soon I intend to point it at newspapers, to correct them when they use the term "democracy" and hopfully change public opinion.

    What you were talking about is an example of how, by screwing with the foundation, the US is being changed before our eyes and soon, I cna see a president saying, "I'm good at this, no one would be better, let me stay." then we will have a dictatorship.

    Don't misunderstand, Iam not, per se, anti-Bush. I took an oath to support the constitution and the president is the leader of our country. That does not prevent me from saying that he has taken too many libberties, too much power, and is doing damage to our country.

    We lost more freedoms the day that the patriot act was signed into law than we lost when the towers were hit. Funny thing is that we did it to ourselves. Terrorists in the past would not attack up for the most part becuase we were armed, in control, and would not tolerate their garbage. Now, with the laws so restrictive, police harassing people that carry, and laws that were put into plce that would cause the person that is defending themsevles or someone else to do jail time for doing so... It was only a matter of time before they realized we were a sweet target.

    When the Habeus corpus was overturned, and the police, if you are a person of interest, can arrest you, hold you for the rest of your life, and deny you the right toeven let your loved ones know what happened to you, I saw too many freedoms go down the tube. It is time for change. We are a free country, not a police state.

    Then, when I saw the chicken wire enclosures with signs that said "Free speech zones" at bush campaign points, I knew that we were in deep trouble. Deep trouble indeed when the freedom of speech is so restricted and no one seems to raise the cry of foul. I was angry, shocked, and called the local newspaper. First they said it didn;t happen, then they told me that it did happen, but the AP didn't cover it, then they told me it wasn't news worthy enough to put a reporter on the scene. Sadly, our newspapers are controlled by the businesses, and they rely on advertising dollars to run the paper, so the paper has become a tool for business instead of the rally when our freedoms are threatened.

    I bought the website USRepublic.org and am looking for someone to help put up a webpage. Anyone else interested in restring our country to it's republic haritage?

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Is this is probably one of the "Free Speech Zones" you're referring to?


    That's from the 2004 National Democratic Convention. Oh, wait..it can't be, that's from the Democrat party, they wouldn't erect such things only the evil Bush Regime(tm).



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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Why would a judge need to be armed; he has a big desk that will stop any bullets, and if an attacker comes at him, the judge can always use that wanna be hammer to stop him...right? (sarcasm)

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    HankT wrote:
    j2l3 wrote:
    As interesting and funny as this was to read, I find it interesting that the judge felt the need to actually pull his gun out when the bailiffs obviously did not. Sounds like lack of training and common sense on the judges part to me.

    I agree that there isn't a reason to not let judges carry in the courtrooms.

    However, you or I would probably have been charged with "brandishing a firearm" or something jsut as silly for pulling it out.
    I agree that in the courtroom the judge is the bossman. He can do just about anything. It suresounds like he pulled his piece prematurely. And such premature action does often indicate lak of training. Plus, it's dangerous. Once the gun comes out, the situation always escalates.

    In general, I don't mind that judges are armed in the courtroom. It's kind of an exception to the ordinary system of constraints.

    The last time I was on jury duty, I has hanging out on a break in the corridor between courtrooms and it struck me suddenly--that there were sheriff's deputies all over the place--all armed with GLOCKs, Tasers and batons. All with radios, and everybody had to be checked at the main entrance and have their belongings poked through.

    And this was solely a place where disputes between individuals would be resolved according to the legal process and it would be done in a totally peaceful manner. Why, I thought would there be a need for so many well-armed peace-keepers?

    I asked a fellow juror to tell me why he thought there was a need for so many armed guards/peace-keepers. He didn't know and didn't want to think about the question. I think I know why.

    Judges, usually have special consideration in CC laws. Basically, they can do anything they want.
    I agree, at least from what I have read, it does sound like he pulled this gun almost automatically as soon as this started.

    The bailiffs are there for this reason... if things continued to escalate, he could have drawn the weapon, he definately had a few more seconds to think about it.

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    j2l3 wrote:
    As interesting and funny as this was to read, I find it interesting that the judge felt the need to actually pull his gun out when the bailiffs obviously did not. Sounds like lack of training and common sense on the judges part to me.

    I agree that there isn't a reason to not let judges carry in the courtrooms.

    However, you or I would probably have been charged with "brandishing a firearm" or something jsut as silly for pulling it out.
    If you somehow got a weapon into the courtroom and pulled it out, you wouldprobably be promptly shot and then charged with many other offenses, if you lived.

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    The founders of this once-great nation went to great lengths to prevent the formation of a special ruling class of person. These alleged privileged class were known back then as persons having titles of nobility. It was the founders' intent to not have classes of citizens, as was common in Europe. Seems we still have persons with titles of nobility, anyway. Worse yet, we have citizens who consider a so-called "public servant" as a superior. THAT is the real problem. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how someone can think that way.
    They don't 'think', 'least not as you and I do. Re 'titles of nobility'....

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    HankT wrote:
    SNIP...Once the gun comes out, the situation always escalates.
    I know you can't REALLY mean that. Always is such an all encompassing word.

    Every single time throughout history and till the end of time that a gun comes out the situationescalates? :what:

    WOW.

    Better let everyone know not to ever take thier gun out!!!

    What about all the times when the situation is effectively de-escalated by an otherwise defensless victim letting "the gun out" and the BG needs new shorts and is running to the next county?


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    How come the judge didn't get charged with showing his firearm. My understanding of the concealed permit is that you have to pull it to use it not to show it. If you show it thats a chargable offense.

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    GatorGSXR wrote:
    How come the judge didn't get charged with showing his firearm. My understanding of the concealed permit is that you have to pull it to use it not to show it. If you show it thats a chargable offense.
    I dare you to find a Magistrate that would issue the warrant, an officer that would actually issue the ticket, or another judge that would find him guilty.

    If the judge was in fear for his life he can pull and prepare to fire. He does not need to keep it under hisdesk until he can see the whites of the the man's eyes. :P

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