An Interesting Case, From Several Perspectives. . . .

Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 08:45 pm

ACLU petitions court to get man's guns returned from Broward Sheriff's Office
Police say Robert Weinstein, bereft over late wife's missing remains,
"wanted to blow his head off"
July 15, 2010|By Linda Trischitta, Sun Sentinel

American Civil Liberties Union is petitioning a court to help
an 85-year-old man get his guns back from the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Yes, you read that right.

In what may be the first time, the ACLU says, it is advocating
on behalf of a gun owner to get his weapons back and
they're doing so free of charge.

That the ACLU, a long-time target of conservatives' scorn,
is supporting gun ownership is "a breath of fresh air," said Marion P. Hammer,
board member of the National Rifle Association.

"It's all very interesting that the ACLU has now decided that all
of the rights are worth defending, and it's a welcome change,"
said Ms. Hammer, a Florida lobbyist for the NRA and its former president.

Is this new alliance a sign of the apocalypse?

Not really, says Fort Lauderdale attorney Barry Butin, a cooperating attorney
for the ACLU of Florida's Broward Chapter who is representing the gun owner,
Pompano Beach retiree Robert Weinstein.

Two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have affirmed
the right to maintain guns in the home.

"Under the Second Amendment, he has a right to have his guns
in his house. He's not a convicted felon," Butin said. "It is unusual
for the ACLU, but the ACLU supports all constitutional rights.
We don't pick and choose."

Brandon Hensler, the ACLU of Florida's communications director in Miami,
said: "This is the first time I know of in the ACLU's 90-year history
that we have advocated on behalf of a citizen to have their weapons
returned from law enforcement."

Weinstein, a retired bar and restaurant owner from Hartford, Conn.,
had his weapons seized in February after Dana, his wife of 61 years, died.
He told the Broward Medical Examiner's Office that he wanted
to "blow his head off," according to a sheriff deputy's report.

He said he was upset because three weeks after Mrs. Weinstein died,
her ashes still hadn't shown up at the funeral home that was to bury them.

Weinstein's call to the medical examiner prompted a visit from a
sheriff's deputy, who took the widower to a hospital for evaluation.

Weinstein said he agreed to surrender his Colt semi-automatic .25 caliber
pistol and his Wesson .357 revolver, along with ammunition and holsters,
for safekeeping after authorities insisted on it.

A hearing on his petition is scheduled before Circuit Judge Dale Ross on Monday.

Mila Schwartzreich, assistant legal counsel for the Sheriff's Office,
said her agency has no choice but to keep Weinstein's weapons.
She said the Sheriff's Office is not objecting to returning the guns,
but needs a court order first.

"Legally, we're bound to hold them until then," she said. "It's not that
Mr. Weinstein is a bad person or we feel people shouldn't possess firearms.
For him, it was a distressing time."

Dana Weinstein was 81 years old when she died in January of
complications from Alzheimer's disease and a stroke, her husband said.

"When you have a good woman, you can't beat it," Weinstein said. "I miss her terrible."

She was a homemaker who was also survived by two children, one
grandchild and two great-grandchildren. The couple moved to Florida in 1972.

The Sheriff's Office helped locate her ashes from a cremation company,
which told authorities they did not receive proper documentation,
according to a police report. Her remains were interred two days later.

Robert Weinstein insists authorities took his comment about killing
himself out of context and although Florida's Baker Act allows
people with mental illnesses to be involuntarily admitted to
a hospital, that did not happen to him.

Butin said he has a doctor's letter certifying that Weinstein is not a
threat to himself. His client also has a clean Florida criminal record.

Weinstein, who said he learned to shoot in the military, said his guns
were only kept for protection.

"They'd been in the drawer over 20 years. They were loaded," he said.
"God forbid somebody came into the house to harm us."

Weinstein said he doesn't belong to the NRA and that he turned to
the ACLU when someone told him his civil rights had been violated.

He is looking ahead to life after the court hearing.

"When I get these guns back, I'm gonna turn these old ones in
and get a new one," he said.
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Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 08:50 pm

Does this mean that he [ and all citizens of Florida ] have a duty
to the State to continue to live ? that ending his life is not an option ?

It is not his decision ?

or it IS his decision, but he in exercising his choice,
he must use means other than firearms, e.g., a razor, or
jumping out of a window, or running his car at the highest
possible speed, in traffic ?

I find it hard to believe that when the government of Florida
was created, its creators gave it power to protect them from
their own decisions.


0 Replies
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 03:58 am

Everyone has the natural right to end his life.

He also has the right to choose HOW he can exercise
his first right (subject to not endangering others).
0 Replies
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:33 am

Is it BETTER if he uses a razor to end his life
instead of a gun ??
0 Replies
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 01:20 pm

It is only by USURPATION of power
that government tries to interfere in a citizen's choice to end his life.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 02:39 pm

I wonder whether the ACLU was trying to set us up or not.
0 Replies

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