Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dromi is Acquitted!,7340,L-3746822,00.html

The Beersheba District Court on Wednesday decided by a majority vote to acquit southern farmer Shai Dromi of manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the court did convict him of weapon offenses.

Here are my thoughts [which have also been reposted on the Daily Capitalist site]

1.This is very remininscent of the Boernie Goetz case in America, where a man was convicted of firearms charges because the prosecutor could not get him on the manslaughter charge due to self-defense claims. Let me remind Western Readers - Israeli courts are not required to convict people even if they're guilty under the facts. One doubts why they did it in this case.

2.The judge in Israel is not bound to convict every criminal who is technically guilty. The judges here decided to convict Shai Dromi on a 'firearms charge' in relation to a .22LR rifle. These are not designed as weapons (though of course, as the case proved, one can technically kill with them). These are designed as sporting weapons, and in Europe they're often sold without licenses (note I am deliberately avoiding discussion of the US policy). I think it was petty to convict for possession under the circum

3.I realize that adoption of US-like firearms laws is currently not a possibility in Israel, but I think this is proof should relax them, if even slightly. Under the current laws, most citizens of Israel cannot own weapons at all:

Perhaps it would be best to except some types of weapons from the licensing requirements, or at least make it easy to purchase one. Specifically, rifles and shotguns are classic home defense weapons and they cannot really be comfortably carried or used by criminals (in the US, the gun-ownership utopia/dystopia, rifle murders constitute about 3% of total murders, even though dozens of millions of people have them). Such a limited reform would allow men like Dromi to defend themselves.

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