"I can do that [if I want to]," Keith Walendowski told police after he shot his lawn mower to death. "It’s my lawn mower and my yard," he said, "so I can shoot it if I want." The mower’s fatal mistake was apparently a failure to start.
A man should have the right to deal with his own disobedient appliances in his own way, especially in his own yard, and in fact police don’t seem to have specifically disputed this point. But they did charge Walendowski with "felony possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle" (the weapon wasn’t described in the report) and "misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed." Walendowski could face up to $11,000 in fines and over six years in prison if he were convicted.
Seems to me this is another potential test case under Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision holding that the Second Amendment provides a personal right to individuals rather than applying only to members of an organized militia. Since the Court said nothing about the scope of that right, I don’t see why it shouldn’t include a right simply to possess a weapon, even if its barrel is relatively short, and/or to wave said weapon around in a disorderly manner, within the confines of one’s own yard. Even if one has been drinking heavily that morning. And firing on inanimate objects.
I’m sure I read somewhere that the Founding Fathers used to do this all the time, so it’s worth a try.
Link: CBS News