Monday, December 20, 2010

A deodand by any other name

I learned a new word the other day.

Deodand: a thing forfeited or given to God, specifically, in law, an object or instrument which becomes forfeit because it has caused a person's death.

One of the fine fellows over in GBC (edit - it was RobbAllen) used it after I posted a link to this article - Legislation would order destruction of firearms used in fatal crimes.  From the article:
“This is a victims’ rights bill,” said Rep. Wayne. “We owe it to the memory of the deceased and to the surviving victims to ensure that a weapon that has stolen a life be taken off the streets forever.”
I'm sorry, but I'm getting rather tired of this argument.  The weapon didn't "[steal] a life".  Some miscreant with a distinct lack of social graces did that.  They chose to use a firearm.  This continued anthropomorphizing of inanimate objects gets very tiresome, very quickly.
Digiuro said it would be very difficult to think that the weapon that killed his son could be auctioned off and used again. “This bill will help victims families know that the weapons that killed their family member, or wounded their police officer or firefighter, will not be out on the street, possibly to kill again,” he said.

The only way I could find this even remotely palatable is if it called for the destruction of any "weapon" used in any crime.  Instead, it is singling out a particular type of weapon, and only for certain offenses.

Further, this is a lost revenue opportunity for the jurisdiction.  What happened to the old Sheriff's sales when they would clean out the evidence locker of stuff no longer needed?  Instead, they are going to spend even more money to destroy and object, and require even more regulatory overhead in order to comply with the regulations.

Personally, I think this is a bad idea.


  1. But, duuude, you're totally missing The Point (r). It's about the FEELINGS of the victim's family. It's not about logic, fact, reason, rational thought, or revenue. Only Feelings matter. They have an entire worldview (not merely their political opinions) based on that position.

  2. So are they also going to destroy the knives, the cars, the trucks??? I'd bet not...

  3. What the legislators owe to the victims and their families is the permanent removal of the person who stole a life.

  4. Come to think of it, I would have no problem with the family of the victim buying (or even being given) the weapon, to do as they please.

    If I would find it comforting to destroy a gun that killed someone I loved, I would want to be the one who did the destroying. Destroying it in the abstract would mean nothing to me.

    On the other hand, if I owned that gun, trained with it, and used it to defend someone's life, rather than criminally take it...that would be a sweet turn around!

    If feelings mattered, we'd be discussing these possibilities, as well.

  5. A child drowns in a swimming pool?

    Fill it in!! It will never take another life!

    How about a drowning death in a pond or lake?

    Drain that bad boy! At least the family will know that no one else will have to suffer at the hands of this evil lake AGAIN!!

  6. And you will notice that none of these idiotic social programs have really accomplished anything.
    We must not be doing enough....

    Insanity, as defined by Albert Einstein, is doing he same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time.

    Starting to see a pattern, are we?