That would be the First Amendment. But try explaining that to a jury when the DA pulls you up on murder charges for a self-defense shooting.

21 Responses to Incendiary Image of the Day: First Things First Edition

  1. If it’s a first amendment issue – you would never HAVE to explain that to a jury. This “evidence” would be kicked out long before you even got to a pre-trial.

    Post Obliterated.

    • Not so simple. A defendant’s First Amendment activities are often admissible to prove other matters at issue, such as motive, intent, or modus operandi.

      As a prosecutor, I once asked a marijuana defendant to show the court his wallet, which had a huge marijuana leaf emblem on it. It was a close call, but the judge let it in because the defendant’s claim was that he didn’t know the pot was in his backpack. The judge ended up finding him not guilty, based on the location of the backpack (which I knew was going to be a challenge for me.)

      A weapon will almost always be shown to the jury, although as a defense lawyer I would move the court to order that the death’s-head grips not be shown to the jury on the basis that they were unfairly prejudicial and not probative of innocence or guilt. If the identification of the gun or its ownership were in question, however, the grips would be highly relevant and the jury would see them unless the defendant conceded those issues. Which may be a bad idea for other reasons.

      It’s been said before: you don’t want to engrave your defensive gun with “Kill ‘Em All And Let God Sort ‘Em Out.” It simply doesn’t play well with juries.

    • “Show?” No.

      “Wave at them like it was a bloody banner from hell?” Yes.

  2. No. Actually, they wouldn’t. In fact, there would probably be an order from the Court to show the jury an identical model without the “first amendment” artwork. This isn’t a mod that makes the weapon more “lethal,” it’s a picture. It’s incredibly prejudicial. I couldn’t think a jurist (at least, here in the midwest”) that would ever let this get into evidence.

    BOOM! Buried.

    (just kidding….)

  3. Think of it like this. My wife carries a Lady Smith .357 with rosewood grips. She had custom flowers engraved into the wood. Now, let’s say she was forced to use her weapon, and she was charged with murder, etc. Could her engravings be used to show that she was actually a pacifist hippy commie to prove intent absent? No. The ADA would move to suppress those grips, which in his/her mind is prejudicial and simply a “first amendment” form of “peaceful” expression. Simple expression cannot be interpreted as intent. Actual action/planning is intent.

    Now I’m confused.

  4. Yeah, those scary guns, with all those scary aesthetic features, that scare lots of people… yeah, no one should ever have one of those!

    I swear… does anyone read their articles at this site before they post them? Or do you enjoy sounding like a gungrabber?

  5. Imma get a digitized paint of Will Farrell being eaten by wolves while Karl Urban stands over his semi-eaten body portraying himself as the Viking he was in the movie The Pathfinder. I figure a forested background would be okay but I think a post-apocalyptic Chicago with Teddy Ruxbin biker gangs and 80’s paraphernalia would be nice.

    Boom! Art.

  6. It’s funny, I always hear that a DA will rake someone over the coals for a modified gun of any sort, or even shooting handloads; yet I’ve never seen any evidence of this actually happening. Not a single article.

  7. First, why a death’s head on such a sissy-ass airweight revolver? Compensate much?

    Weapon choice aside, only an imbecile would use this as a carry handgun. Let’s say you are interacting with the local law enforcement community. Could be anything — traffic stop, noise complaint, whatever. The LEO is trying to decide if he should give you the benefit of the doubt or throw you under the bus. And then he sees this. You just made up his mind.

    This is what I don’t get about gun loons. They go out of their way to portray themselves as creeps and then wonder why society regards them as creeps. Yeah, I’m a badass. Look at the grips on my pansy revolver.

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