The Charlotte News
Friday, October 29, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator McCarthy predicted this date that the Senate would vote to censure him at its special session, starting November 8, because "very few" members would consider the evidence with an open mind. The Senator said that he would not defend himself before the Senate, but would speak at length on each censure count to enable the American people to know what the Senate was doing. The select committee which had unanimously recommended censure, chaired by Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, was composed of three Republicans and three Democrats. The recommended counts for censure were that he had shown contempt for the Special Elections subcommittee which had investigated his finances in late 1952 by refusing to testify before it, had used vulgar language in denouncing Senator Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey, a member of that subcommittee, and had abused Brig. General Ralph Zwicker, a decorated veteran of World War II, while questioning the General about the Army's handling of the promotion and honorable discharge of the Army Reserve dentist stationed at Camp Kilmer, N.J., commanded at the time by General Zwicker, after the dentist had taken the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer questions from Senator McCarthy regarding his past associations with subversive organizations.
Samuel Lubell, in the last of his series of articles on the midterm elections, indicates that in his interviews with voters in several states, he had found that voters generally still approved of President Eisenhower, but would likely ignore his plea to give him another Republican Congress, in some ways a tribute to the President's nonpartisan approach rather than a rebuke, as some people would interpret it. Mr. Lubell found that two years earlier, General Eisenhower had been referred to as "Ike", but was now called either "the President" or "Eisenhower" by most people. Many had been most impressed by his "steadiness", sincerity and his being a "really religious man". One emaciated woman he had interviewed, who said that she was starving, nevertheless regarded the President as "a fine man" who used the Lord's name. Others said that they liked his humility and that he had done the country good by reminding it that it needed to look to God for help. Not all of the comments about him were complimentary, one person indicating that he went on vacation too much, that his golf might be getting better but the country was not. He was also criticized for being "too weak" by those who felt strongly one way or the other regarding Senator McCarthy, and some dismissed him as "just a military man". Generally, the tendency was to attack the men around him, however, rather than the President, himself. Each region seemed to find its own favorite target for abuse within the Administration. New England targeted chief of staff Sherman Adams, while in the farm belt, it was Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, and in Michigan, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, for his recent dog comments in relation to unemployment.
Marvin Arrowsmith of the Associated Press, traveling with the President in his 11th hour aerial campaign tour of four key states during the weekend on behalf of Republican Congressional and gubernatorial candidates, tells of the President having pledged this date in Cleveland, before an estimated crowd of 2,500, that the country never would go to war to solve the unemployment problem, but that his Administration would do everything possible to find jobs for the unemployed. He said that the country was tired of hearing the word "Communist", that every time it was mentioned, it was called a "red herring". He believed that the Republicans in Ohio had nominated a "great group" of candidates and urged voters to elect them. He again warned that with a Democratic House or Senate, there would be "a hopeless jam" for the ensuing two years of his Administration.
The former Federal Housing Administration commissioner, Clyde Powell, was sentenced this date to a year in jail for criminal contempt of court for refusing a court order to answer specific questions put to him by a Federal grand jury investigating charges of bribery and misconduct within the FHA. Specifically, he was asked whether he had removed official papers from his FHA office. Mr. Powell had been discharged from his position at the beginning of the investigation of the housing scandals, which had resulted in multi-million dollar profits for investors and contractors building apartment houses with FHA-insured loans, overstated in the amount necessary for the actual construction, enabling the investors and builders to pocket the difference as profits.
In Johnstown, Pa., the naked body of a six-year old girl who had left her nearby home the previous evening to go Halloween trick-or-treating was found this date near the entrance to a graveyard, two miles from her home, with police indicating that she had been the victim of a "sex fiend". They said that they were rounding up all known sex degenerates for questioning. The deputy county coroner said that the autopsy results would not be known for several hours. The girl's face and body had been bruised and blood was running from her mouth. The mother of the child said that she had reluctantly given her permission to leave the house the previous night at around 7:00 to take part in neighborhood Halloween activities. She said the child had worn a white false-face and a paper hat, the hat having been found near her body. Police had not been able to identify the other children she had joined after leaving her home. Earlier in the evening, she had been playing with a cousin, but he had returned home after that and then had gone out again. The little girl was in the first grade.
In Charlotte, Dr. Edwin Walker officially became the 11th president of Queens College at inaugural exercises during the morning, with leading educators from all over the South and delegates from learned societies present at the ceremonies. In his address, Dr. Walker said that liberal education was "the kind of study and learning that creates freedom of choices. Without this kind of education, I think there is no freedom." He went on to say: "Many men assume that they have freedom when the assumption is simply self-delusion. This business of freedom of thought, freedom of judgment, and freedom of choice is not what it is commonly assumed to be." He indicated that the most important freedom was that of choice, "the freedom to choose the course of action, the freedom to think one thing rather than another, the freedom to appreciate one object or situation more than another—the freedom of choice."
He said nothing, for instance, about the suggestion that "freedom of choice" should apply to whether one ought partake of a vaccination necessary not only for one's own well-being but that of friends, relatives and neighbors, for in 1954 no one was so dumb to believe that, for instance, the Salk vaccine or the smallpox vaccine should be a matter of choice to avoid being the subject of gov'ment regulation.
Julian Scheer of The News indicates that it was a perfect day for the inauguration ceremonies at Queens, explaining that the sun was bright, the temperature in the 70's and the ground soft and cool after the previous night's rain. There was also the ubiquitous dog present, a black and white mixed breed, "nearly airedale". He also found the Queens students to be pretty.
Pictures appear of the first interior shots of the new Charlotte Coliseum, still under construction. Can't wait to see some of the events in there.
In Toulon, France, Marlon Brando was reported to be engaged to the 20-year old daughter of a French Riviera fisherman, having met Mr. Brando in New York, where she was said to have been employed by a doctor who treated the actor.
On the editorial page, "'On This Spot in 1775...' (Whoosh)" indicates that a swing through the Deep South had reinforced the editorial writer's suspicion that Southerners who placed historical markers along highways did not really want anyone to read them. North Carolina motorists were well acquainted with the inadequacies of the state's historical markers, as in other Southern states, where one spotted the marker while rounding a curve or popping over a hill or nearing an intersection, with no signs on either side apprising motorists that the marker was being approached, to enable slowing so that one could actually read it. It thus finds the markers next to worthless. They also constituted traffic hazards, as many motorists would, despite the problems of pulling over to read it, engage in sudden stops, pulling onto shoulders with part of the car still in the highway, or take eyes off the road to read the sign.
It recounts that Montana posted signs 1,000 feet in advance of an historical marker, placed the marker several yards off the highway to enable ample room for cars to pull off and park. Frequently, the markers were adjacent to roadside parks with picnic tables and fountains. The markers were large, eight by four feet, and were picturesque, hanging from cedar posts, with a four-inch border of historical scenes in keeping with the story on the marker. The stories were well-written, having been prepared by former journalists, with a sense of history and humor. The system in Montana had won the praise of the chief locating engineer for the North Carolina Highway Commission, who asserted that it could serve as a model for North Carolina's historical markers.
The Department of Archives and History suggested the sites and subject matter for North Carolina's historical markers, with an advisory committee on historical markers making the final decision, and the Board of Conservation & Development then appropriating the money.
It suggests that the reactivated Mecklenburg Historical Association could perhaps instigate an improvement in the historical marker system by erecting on at least one major highway near Charlotte a model marker, similar to that utilized in Montana. It indicates that, to its knowledge, there was no marker telling the story of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and so it might be a fit subject. (Because of the doubtful provenance of that latter document, the author of the message would need to have an ironic sense of humor and not convey the matter as entirely without debate, such that the state was "First in Freedom", which, as we have previously indicated, became something of a standing joke when it first adorned license plates in North Carolina in the 1970's, replacing the time-honored "Drive Safely", replaced, after the incessant jokes finally nixed the "Freedom" phrase, with "First in Flight", which in some minds had to have added inevitably to it, "...from Reality"—though that was being a little too cruel, as there were many states which richly deserved that particular phrase, indeed, South Carolina having been the first state to secede from the Union in 1860, so very richly deserving that particular primus inter pares extended motto. In any event, a more interesting marker might be established at the borders of the state, indicating the various putative origins of the nickname "Tar Heel", including the most probable actual reason, the shape of the state, its heel having been one of the richest tar-producing areas in the world at one time.)
It concludes that the archivists and historians needed to call in a publicist who could show them how to get their interesting message across to the motoring public.
"Off We Go to the Land of Oz
It regards pornographic and obscene literature to be beyond the pale of toleration, but laws already existed to deal with that sort of material. Otherwise, it asserts belief in self-regulation by the industry involved, provided it was conscientious and firm. The family also had a duty to regulate exposure of children to excess entertainment, including television, radio and movies, in addition to comic books. It finds that a lot of work needed to be done in the area of environmental factors which exerted an influence on youthful behavior, but that the extent of the influence had not been scientifically determined, requiring social research to be explored thoroughly by experts.
"Experts, textperts, choking smokers/ Don't you think the Joker laughs at you?" That's all that needed to be said, man, like, you know, nothing to get hung up about.
"The Winner and Still Champion" regards the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Ernest Hemingway the previous day. It recounts that four years earlier, Mr. Hemingway had said that it was "sort of fun to be 50 and feel you are going to defend the title again", that he had won it with A Farewell to Arms in the 1920's, had defended it again in the 1930's with To Have and Have Not, in the 1940's with For Whom the Bell Tolls, and did not mind defending it yet again in the 1950's. Almost everyone except John O'Hara had agreed that Mr. Hemingway had made a poor showing with Across the River and into the Trees, published in 1950. Mr. O'Hara had thought that book great, and suggested Mr. Hemingway as the outstanding author since the death of William Shakespeare.
It suggests that Mr. O'Hara, the friend of Mr. Hemingway, his disciple and sometime drinking companion, had obviously gotten carried away. But Mr. Hemingway had almost lived up to the praise in his next novella, The Old Man and the Sea, which had won the Pulitzer Prize, well deservedly. It finds that he had also deserved the Nobel Prize, that he had given the country and the world great literature, even if "strained through a façade of flavorsome American speech, short Anglo-Saxon words, capsule sentences and emotion-packed monosyllables." It finds that his books had imaginative perception of modern society and the consequences of its disruption by violence. His label as one of the "irresponsibles" had been unfair, as The Old Man and the Sea had driven home. His characters were not always as grimly disillusioned as critics had found them, in actuality having been great appreciators of such things as Paris, Spain, peasants, wine, fishing, bullfighting, wit, courage and each other. Mr. Hemingway had enabled the reader to understand and love his subjects through his own eyes.
It was like he had told the New York Times a few years earlier: "In writing I have moved through arithmetic, through plane geometry and algebra, and now I am in calculus. If they don't understand that, to hell with them. I won't be sad and I will not read what they say. They say? What do they say? Let them say. Who the hell wants fame over a weekend? All I want is to write well."
A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Atomiquivers", indicates for the worriers that a news story had surfaced regarding the atomic-powered submarine Nautilus having been forced into port for repairs of a broken steam pipe, with the Navy stressing that the repair did not involve the nuclear reactor and that there was no danger of contamination.
It suggests that the story represented a whole new category of abating jitters, that when the lights failed, the householder would call the utility to ask if contamination was afoot in her house, or perhaps in a routine automobile collision, the traffic cop would assess the scene with a Geiger counter, or some double-parked blonde would order a crowd to stand back because her motor had conked out and she was radioactive. It suggests that it deserved considerable thought.
Drew Pearson tells the inside story of how Dr. Edward Condon, former head of the Bureau of Standards who had been hauled before HUAC when Congressman Richard Nixon was a member, now a scientist with Corning Glass, had been cleared for security on October 19, and uncleared two days later. Averell Harriman, while Secretary of Commerce during the Truman Administration, had refused to fire Dr. Condon, believing he was unfairly treated, and had flown from Idaho to Washington to defend him. Dr. Condon had grown tired of being hammered by HUAC and so finally had resigned to take a job in private industry. The head of Corning Glass, Alanson Houghton, was the former Ambassador to England under President Calvin Coolidge. The father-in-law of Congressman Sterling Cole, chairman of the joint Atomic Energy Committee, was secretary of Corning Glass and had defended Dr. Condon even more than had Mr. Harriman.
But the RNC strategy of making a big issue of the case of Dr. Condon had been seriously set back when it became known the previous week that the Defense Department's Eastern Regional Security Board had cleared him. That news was imparted to Vice-President Nixon while campaigning in the Far West and he immediately hit the ceiling, demanding a reversal of Dr. Condon's security clearance. At the same time, Attorney General Herbert Brownell telephoned Secretary of the Navy Charles Thomas and instructed that the clearance be revoked. The Secretary did not know Dr. Condon had been cleared or anything about the matter, or even that Dr. Condon needed the clearance because Corning had asked him to work on classified matter.
Since Dr. Condon had been denied clearance by the Security Board of the military in February, 1953, the system had been changed by the Eisenhower Administration, with three special boards set up by geographic regions of the country. The appeal of Dr. Condon had gone to the Eastern Regional board in July, 1953, which had taken a year, until July, 1954, to act, then clearing Dr. Condon. The news was not released until October 19. It did not reach Secretary Thomas until Mr. Brownell, former campaign manager for Governor Thomas Dewey of New York, had inquired as to why a man who was about to figure in the New York gubernatorial campaign of Averell Harriman against Senator Irving Ives, was having his security clearance granted. Mr. Brownell had told Secretary Thomas what the finding should have been, and so Secretary Thomas then cursorily reviewed the voluminous case in a matter of hours and determined to withdraw the security clearance.
Harry L. Golden, editor of the Carolina Israelite, writing in North Carolina Education, indicates that despite all of the new school construction, education, itself, was not improving, finding that the major problem was that students were no longer reading books. They were assigned one book per semester to read, but usually could catch something on tv and skip the book. They were required to read 1,000 lines of poetry—"which wraps up their lil ole credits and away they go—bubblegum and all!" He finds that it was not the fault of the teachers because the teachers were not permitted to do their job, that the entire system of education needed an overhaul.
If anyone doubted what he was saying, he challenges them to go into a classroom of high school seniors and ask them five questions: Who was the Marquis de Lafayette? Who was Jean Valjean? Name four members of the United States Supreme Court. Who was the first man to circumnavigate the globe? What do we call the series of letters written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison which helped bring about the United States? He believes that if more than three percent of the students could answer the questions, he would "push a peanut" with his nose from Charlotte to Atlanta. (Of course, better questions to have asked than ones eliciting specific information, might have been those designed to tap basic reasoning ability, a far better and more generalized result of education than holding in one's head rote memorization of rather useless information, there being nothing sadder than the data-packed "genius" who can't reason his or her way from a paper bag, who cannot apply instilled principles to novel factual situations and cannot distinguish apples from oranges.)
Mr. Golden believes that teachers were paid twice as much as they were worth as babysitters, which is what they were, and half as much as they were actually worth as teachers, which the system did not allow them to be. Not even a thousand John Deweys could improve on a system which had been developed during 3,000 years of man's search for knowledge. There were no shortcuts. In education, one started with the book and nothing else could educate the student, not tv, movies, Hopalong Cassidy, 90 million comic books per year, "slopping around with paintbrushes", or letting them do what they wanted.
He posits that it was part of the current trend against intellectualism, with the uneducated boys and girls departing their education with a vague suspicion of all of those who had read a book, part of the current fear of learning. Among the uneducated, book-learning bred resentment, fear, suspicion and hatred. Soon, those individuals would join the first demagogue who came along and wanted "to get" those who had read a book. It was difficult for the uneducated and unread to adjust themselves to a tolerant viewpoint, and that condition represented a clear and present danger.
He provides the example of an uneducated man who got indigestion and had a bad dream, in which someone was chasing him around the edge of a mountain with a long spear, then awakened, placed a revolver in his pocket and went out looking for the guy who had been chasing him, pretty soon recognized his tormentor from the dream, who usually was somebody from his immediate surroundings, and then let him have it, or, more often, bided his time in anger, fear, suspicion and hatred.
He believes that the needs of the present moment were to qualify the teachers, give them a living wage, divest "the little darlings of their bubblegum, comic books and zip guns", and turn them over to the teachers without interference. He thinks that the beautiful new buildings were beside the point and should be left to the corporations, that what was needed in the classroom was a revival of the art of reading books, of homework and of complete authority of the teacher.
We have one principal reservation in
what Mr. Golden is saying, that is that bubblegum can be helpful to
the thought process and should not be equated with comic books and
zip guns. They are not ejusdem generis. It is far better to chew bubblegum than to engage in some
other meaningless task, such as smoking
The right of self-defense at this juncture, incidentally, in light of grossly misleading commentary on it by Fox News and its like, needs clarification for the sake of public safety, with a bunch of kuku birds running around the streets of American towns and cities like banshees from hell, openly and brazenly carrying loaded rifles and sidearms, confusing to law enforcement as to what is about to occur, distracting undue law enforcement time and attention to such situations, while desensitizing the public to the potential for imminent violence from such lunatics with a vigilante complex, and thus inherently dangerous in any modern setting, would have been treated as grounds for commitment in 1954 and, probably, even in 1994, but no more, at least in certain unduly permissive locales intent on perverting the actual meaning of the Second Amendment, intended to maintain "well-regulated militias" during the 18th Century, apparently gluttons for violence on their streets, wanting them to appear as a wild-west movie. The following analysis of course must have the prefatory caveat that state laws regarding self-defense and its handmaiden, defense of others, may vary somewhat, but generally provide that the right of self-defense arises when there is a reasonably apprehended imminent use of force against one's person, and only resorting to the extent of force reasonably necessary at the time to repel the imminent assault, that is like force for like force, no lethal force, that is force ordinarily capable of inflicting death, being allowed unless lethal force is being used or reasonably appears to be used by the assailant, who must be the first aggressor, not merely responding with like force to an assault first initiated by the person claiming, after the fact, self-defense. Defense of others follows essentially the same standards but applied to a third person or persons who face imminent threat of assault by another, the complicating factor in such a scenario being, in addition to the amount of forced used, the reasonableness of the act in trying to stop the assault, with a mistake as to who the initial aggressor was potentially causing a finder of fact to reject the reasonableness of any force used to stop the wrong person, not the initial aggressor. Reasonableness is always a question for the trier of fact, a jury if not a trial only before a judge, to be assessed under the totality of circumstances presented by the evidence, with stress on who was the aggressor, who resorted first to force and to what extent, and whether the response was therefore reasonably justified by the amount of force first used.
If it appears complicated, especially for typically snap judgments in time, it is because the law, historically, seeks to deter the untrained from resorting to force in self-defense or defense of others except in the clearest of circumstances, holding the unreasonably mistaken to account under the law, even if mistaken resort to self-defense can be a mitigating factor, reducing the degree of homicide in a case where murder is alleged, assuming the mistake occurred based on misapprehended circumstances which prevent a clear determination of reasonableness under the circumstances, such as where someone raises an object which another person believes is a gun and acts on that belief, but subsequently is determined to be something else and the fact-finder rejects the reasonableness of the apprehension but still believes that it was only a mistaken judgment, albeit one lacking reasonableness under the totality of circumstances attendant the incident.
That said, it is obviously not self-defense for an individual carrying a rifle in a public place, especially when the person is too young by law to do so, but under any scenario, to turn and point the weapon at an unarmed individual, despite that individual chasing the armed person, with the obvious intent, reasonably, to disarm the young wild-west maniac, having exhibited no intent, by words or action, to take the person's gun and kill him with it, the person giving chase in the example being completely unarmed with any weapon capable of inflicting lethal force, no rock, no brick, no tire iron, no gun, no drawn knife. That is simply not, by definition, self-defense, and should not be for the sake of safety of society in general. It cannot be a judgment based on whether one likes the political stance of the person armed with the weapon, that the person somehow becomes a poster-boy for the Second Amendment, and dislikes the victim for seeking to disarm the maniac. Nor does it become self-defense when the person giving chase reaches for the muzzle of the weapon when it is being pointed at him, having the clear, or at least ambiguous, intent of deflecting the aim of the muzzle from himself or others. Only the person reaching for the muzzle has the right of self-defense by that simple act of attempted deflection.
Nor is it self-defense, if, for instance, that same individual with the rifle, having fatally shot the first individual chasing him, turns and immediately runs down the street, still armed with rifle at the ready, with people who witnessed the first shooting event or had been apprised of it, naturally and reasonably also seeking to disarm the maniac, giving chase, then kicking at the weapon when the maniac falls to the ground, still holding the rifle at the ready, also just like a scene from a third-rate wild action movie, after the maniac had immediately aimed his rifle at a person seeking to disarm him, then fires, killing a second unarmed individual, then wounding a third person also seeking to disarm him. Adding the fact that the third person, wounded, had pointed a handgun at the maniac's head also does not suddenly give rise to self-defense for the maniac under this scenario, as the third person, even if acting unwisely under the hypothetical, had acquired the right of defense of others and self-defense in the scenario presented, having already witnessed another person seeking to disarm the maniac by kicking at the gun and failing to obtain compliance in that manner, while the maniac, who still holds the rifle in a threatening manner, had already demonstrated his propensity to shoot a person minutes earlier, and then a second person moments earlier and in the immediate presence of the third victim.
The rifle-wielding maniac in the hypothetical had the choice at any point to disarm, lay down his weapon after the first man gave chase, and throw up his hands, or, at very least, after the first shooting. He had no right, outside a scenario where some third person, without lawful authority, first broke into a private residence where the person claiming self-defense had a lawful right to be, to use a firearm in any manner to resist even a potential assault by someone merely giving chase without any deadly weapon or evident ability to inflict deadly force. Obviously, if someone wanted to shoot the person carrying the rifle, they could have done so easily as he ran away, and with the complete, reasonable legal justification of defense of others against imminent use of lethal force, after the maniac had shot the first victim, the notion that the homicidal maniac had to be stopped, even if by final resort to lethal force if necessary, before he shot someone else, having given rise to that justification.
The hypothetical incident we describe, any resemblance to any actual case being purely coincidental, is a continuum, starting with the first shooting incident, and has to be analyzed from that perspective through the second and third shootings at a second locale, with no appreciable passage of time, space or changed circumstances in terms of the maniac still being armed, holding his weapon in a readiness position, from the first shooting, not in freeze-framed milliseconds as to who did what first at each separate incident, as if a review of a single, disconnected play in a football game. The hypothetical we pose is a no-brainer under the law of most jurisdictions following the common law definitions of self-defense and defense of others. There can be no reasonably apprehended need for self-defense to resist an imminent assault, justifying resort to lethal force in the first instance, with no deadly weapon on the original victim, utilizing or threatening immediately to utilize any force equivalent to that being inflicted by point-blank firing of a rifle to a vital area of the first victim, or for that matter, probably to justify any shooting in the direction of that victim, though a non-lethal firing at, say, the lower extremities of the person would at least be a closer case for a jury to assess on the basis of reasonable resort to any force. Add to the scenario the firing of multiple shots in rapid succession at the first victim, and, obviously, any possibility of finding, justly, merely negligent or reckless behavior is also gone, there being no question as to the intent to kill being fairly inferred from the firing of the second and successive shots. The second and third victims, having become aware of the first shooting, regardless of their knowledge of whether a person had been wounded or killed, have acquired the right of defense of others, as confirmed by the maniac not only continuing to wield the weapon in a readiness position, but, when challenged, pointing and shooting it as he lay on the ground, with a bystander reasonably having first tried to deflect again the muzzle of the rifle and disarm the maniac by kicking at the gun, after which a third victim then resorted to pointing a handgun to the maniac's head to try to get him to desist and lay down his firearm. Add to the scenario the backdrop of days of violent rioting on the streets in the area where the maniac, a resident of another state having no property or personal interest in the town where the shootings occur, arrives with a rifle carried in plain view, and the inference of his having resorted in the scenario provided only to reasonable self-defense is diminished in its force even further by the complete lack of reasonable judgment displayed from the start of the old, trite tv
By the way, adding to the hypothetical a perception, even a reasonable one, by the person carrying the rifle that the initial person giving chase wanted to commit a robbery and steal the weapon, does not give rise to self-defense, only defense of property, which typically allows only for the same use of force to resist the taking which is being used to try to effect the taking, thus not allowing for use of lethal force to resist only the taking, even forcibly, of property, unless lethal force is being used to effect the taking and thereby also giving rise, under the hypothesized facts of a taking from the person, to self-defense by lethal force. The fact that the object being sought is a lethal instrumentality does not change the equation under the law, though it might present additional questions for a jury regarding reasonable apprehension of imminent attack with the weapon if commandeered, regarding self-defense, not defense of property, but any such determination should be premised only on very strong evidence of intent on the part of the person giving chase actually to steal the weapon or to commandeer it for the purpose of using it immediately either on the person carrying it or some third party, as the chain of direct inference is broken by the fact that the weapon has not yet been taken. The question is whether the mere assumption by the person carrying the weapon of that intent on the part of the person seeking actively to take the weapon would be enough evidence to give rise to a reasonable apprehension of imminent use of lethal force to justify use of lethal force against the person seeking to take the weapon, to avert having the weapon commandeered for the purpose of using it immediately. If you are the carrier of the weapon, a stupid place to be in the first instance, you would not wish to test the premise. Surrender the weapon to the robber and take your chances, remembering that you created the mess by having the weapon in a public place. The best policy, of course, is to leave your weapons at home and allow the wild west show to play out only on tv or in the movies
Robert C. Ruark indicates that he was having a word with the most intelligent member of his family, his dog, Schnorkel, who was pretty sore at Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson for his recent dog comments in relation to unemployment. Schnorkel could read and speak three languages and so had been reading the newspapers, believed that if there were a few more dogs as smart as he was, they would really ride the Defense Secretary on a rail, for he had not insulted people but rather dogs.
He believed a cocker spaniel had enough problems without public associations with politicians, such as Vice-President Nixon in 1952. Schnorkel believed that it was a man's life the dogs were having to lead.
He also professed that Secretary Wilson had no understanding of dogs, that any fool understood that a bird dog did not have a brain in his head, that all his brains were in his nose, not constituting intelligence.
Another thing Schnorkel wanted men to know was that sofas were not for people, but for dogs and that the next time he caught someone slopping all over the pillows, he was going to trim their gin ration.
Schnorkel concluded to Mr. Ruark: "Don't lie there with a hang-man look on your face. Get onto that machine, and straighten out the suckers. I would hate to bite the hand that feeds me, but I will make the sacrifice, if necessary. There, that's a good man."
Hair of the dog that bit him.
A letter writer indicates that Senator Alton Lennon, in a recent speech before the Young Democrats in Charlotte, had called on Democrats either to get into the party and support Congressional candidate J. C. Sedberry and other Democratic candidates or get out for good, referring to registered Democrats who voted for a Republican candidate as "Republicrats", implying that they were a greater menace to the country than foreign enemies. He resents the statements, indicates that he would support Republican Congressman Charles Jonas in the midterm elections on Tuesday and that it would not affect his party status as a Democrat. He informs that more than 75% of the 40,000 people who had voted for Congressman Jonas in Mecklenburg County in 1952 had been registered Democrats, and he was confident that they would also be resentful of Senator Lennon's remarks.
A letter writer indicates that a woman high in the Democratic Party had reported recently that small contributors to the Democrats were being provided buttons bearing the statement: "My Dollar Went Democratic". He finds the statement to be correct, that when the Republicans had taken over in January, 1953, the dollar, under two Democratic Administrations, had shrunk in value to 52 cents.
He would have preferred that the official currency of the country had been changed to marks or perhaps, yen.
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