Shotgun Charge Dropped

You may remember the Jeff Barton case, in which the Vancouver, WA. man was charged with illegally discharging a firearm after firing his shotgun into the air in an effort to scare away car prowlers. Barton has steadfastly maintained that he was only doing what Joe Biden told us to do:

That is a reference to the vice president’s answer to a question in February 2013 about home defense. Biden responded that Americans don’t need to own semiautomatic weapons because a couple blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.

Barton’s trial was scheduled to begin next week, but Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik  has called that off, dropping the charge:

“A person, even in a no-shooting zone, still has the right to defend their person or their property,” Golik said. “In this case, based on the facts, there is a reasonable argument that Mr. Barton may have been defending his person and property when he fired in the air.”

For reasons that remain unclear at this time, Prosecutor Golik is instead filing a charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer against Mr. Barton. The trial is now scheduled for the week before Halloween, which somehow seems appropriate – although it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t push it back to, say, April 1.

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About maxredlines

experience: biology, zoology, psychology. authored/co-authored papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous professional proceedings. authored articles appearing in computer-oriented publications. featured in publications ranging from books to New Yorker magazine to television.
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