Friday, September 15, 2006

Human Rights, U.N. Style

Koppel had an interesting hypothetical exercise a couple of days ago over at The Volokh Conspiracy:
Advanced Topics in Human Rights Law. Exam, Spring 2010. Question 4: One day, a woman goes to a gun store in Florida. She provides picture identification to the store owner, who then, pursuant to the National Instant Check System, uses his telephone to contact law enforcement, and ensure that the woman has no criminal record. The woman then purchases an expensive double-barreled shotgun, manufactured in the United Kingdom. She plans to use the gun for all lawful purposes, but primarily for sporting clays. In accordance with Florida law, she did not need to obtain a government license to possess the gun.

Two years later, a man breaks into her home at night. The woman reasonably (and correctly) believes that the man intends to rape and torture her. She also, correctly, believes that there is absolutely no possibility that the man will kill her. She shoots the man and kills him.

Summarize the human rights violations.
Guess what the U.N. thinks. Don't think it could happen? Well, I'm not preparing the firebombing campaign just yet, but it's something we should be keeping an eye on.

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