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NAT’L – SELF-PROTECTION – Right to possess a gun clear; how to use one is open to debate

When Keli Calderone became involved in a dispute with a fellow motorist, she didn’t realize that what she viewed as acting in self-defense would cause her to be charged with attempted murder, lead to dismissal from her job and prompt her to file a civil rights lawsuit in federal court. Calderone, ultimately, was found not guilty of the criminal charge and was reinstated to her job. But the lawsuit Calderone filed to vindicate her constitutional right to defend herself with a legally possessed firearm was dismissed. U.S. Judge Thomas Durkin recently found that citizens have the right to bear arms and that the right to bear arms presupposes actions in self-defense. But he said the proper uses of a firearm is a matter of individual states’ criminal and tort laws not contemplated by the Second Amendment. “Considering the variety of self-defense law historically across the nation, it is unlikely that the Second Amendment was intended to reach this area of law customarily left to the state to regulate through criminal and tort law. The court is unaware of any authority indicating that the Second Amendment is relevant to the question of under what circumstances violent action is legally justified as self-defense,” he said.  [full article]

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