Federal Court of Appeals Attacks Second Amendment

The wrong man was shot inside his own home, and the court says his family can't do a thing about it.

National Review asks you to envision this scenario:

"Imagine you’re up late one night. It’s after midnight, and maybe you’re finishing a movie. Or perhaps you’re reading a book, and it’s too good to put down. Or maybe you’re like a young man named Andrew Scott: You’re playing video games with your girlfriend. You hear a loud pounding on your front door. You’re not expecting anyone, and no one is shouting or yelling anything from the other side. Instead, the pounding continues, and the door rattles on its hinges..."

What would you do? If you're like many gun-owning Americans, you would grab your weapon before heading to the door. Turns out the people banging on the door, in Scott's case, were police... police who neglected to identify themselves as such. Police who didn't have a search warrant. Police who had misinterpreted a neighbor's directions and ended up at the wrong apartment of the wrong man. Police who didn't turn on their emergency lights. Police who shot Andrew Scott dead when he opened the door, saw the police with guns drawn, and stepped back into his apartment in surrender.

Let that sink in. Scott was an innocent guy just hanging out with his girlfriend. Recently, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declared that:

The officer who shot Andrew Scott, a man by the name of Richard Sylvester, never faced prosecution for killing an undeniably innocent man. That decision is wrenching but defensible. There was conflicting testimony as to whether Scott was pointing the gun at the officers, and the officers did (mistakenly) believe they were at the home of a man who they thought had just committed a violent crime. But the Eleventh Circuit wasn’t deciding a criminal case and threw out a mere civil lawsuit (a claim brought by Scott’s estate for monetary damages for violations of Scott’s civil rights). The court held that the officer was entitled to “qualified immunity” when he fired the fatal shots. Why? Because when he showed up at the wrong door, misunderstood a neighbor’s directions, refused to identify himself as a cop, and then gunned down a man who was entirely lawfully carrying a gun in an entirely lawful circumstance, the officer did not, the court claimed, violate any of Scott’s “clearly established” legal rights.

How about the right to keep and bear arms? More from National Review:

Deputy Sylvester testified that Scott “flung open” the door and pointed his gun directly at his face. The plaintiffs presented evidence that when Scott opened the door and saw a man outside crouching with a gun, he immediately retreated, and his gun was at all times pointed down at his side. 

I feel for the Scott family and what this court decision undeniably has put them through. However, I also grieve for this nation, which used to appreciate and respect the Constitution. "At the very least, I should retain the right to open my door in tense situations under my terms," the National Review article concludes. "The Eleventh Circuit says I don’t. The Supreme Court should now say that I do."

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