Lawyers, guns and roses

Wed, Oct 28, 2009


Spent much of Monday as a proud parent, watching my daughter and 500 other law school graduates being sworn in as members of the Colorado Bar.

Held at the Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, the event featured a special session of the Colorado Supreme Court, speeches by various dignitaries and a surprisingly talented all-lawyer brass quintet.

Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey made what may well have been a graceful and appropriate speech, but Boettcher’s notoriously bad acoustics made much of it incomprehensible. Good training nonetheless for newbie attorneys who’ll have to listen to and absorb hours of mumbled courtroom testimony. Mullarkey then had the unenviable task of introducing 52 on-stage dignitaries, including enough judges to strike terror into the heart of any would-be perp.

Although all the assembled dignitaries were attorneys, none were corporate lawyers. That may have accounted for the idealistic, high-falutin’ quality of the speechifying, which stressed honesty, ethical behavior, and giving back to the community.

And on such a halcyon autumn afternoon, it was possible to believe that every person who repeated the oath administered by the Chief Justice would abide by it, in letter and in spirit.

Here’s the oath.

I do solemnly swear by the Everliving God that:

I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado;
I will maintain the respect due to Courts and judicial officers;
I will employ only such means as are consistent with truth and honor;
I will treat all persons whom I encounter through my practice of law with fairness, courtesy, respect and honesty;
I will use my knowledge of the law for the betterment of society and the improvement of the legal system;
I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;
I will at all times faithfully and diligently adhere to the Colorado Rules of professional Conduct.
If I were in the business of selling firearms, I’d publicly support the fiery Republican gunnies who oppose most forms of gun control. Privately, I’d funnel as much money as I could spare into the campaigns of ardently anti-gun lib’ruls.

There’s only one sure-fire way to increase gun sales-elect Democrats! If the citizens of our great nation are convinced that the guv’mint is fixin’ to take away their right to buy guns and/or ammo, they respond as any shopper would: they rush out and buy before supplies are gone.

Here’s the news from the reality-based community: guns aren’t going to be banned. Not this year, not next year, nor at any point in the foreseeable future. That’s a fight that no sane politician is going to start. Maybe the country would be better off without tens of millions of handguns in private hands-and maybe the country would also be better off without those noisy, polluting cars and airplanes. We’ve got guns, we’ve got cars, we’ve got planes. And some of us have more than one car, and more than one gun. And whether I have no guns, or 20, that’s my business-and if we keep electin’ those crazed lib’ruls, I might have to make it 21.

And what about the apparent transformation of former Gazette publisher P. Scott McKibben from ruthless corporate titan to non-profit pussycat? McKibben, who slashed costs and personnel at the G, and abruptly decamped after a couple of years for a job with L.A.Times, just changed jobs. His new position: executive director of the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena! Smart guy-he’s figured out that working for bankrupt media companies is no longer a rewarding career path, and has made a great lateral move. No more disgruntled, whiny journalists for P.Scott-just 800+ volunteers, a small staff, and the Rose Bowl.

Congrats, Scott – and far from raining on your parade, let me be the first to offer congratulations and suggest that a couple of free ducats to the New Year’s Day classic would make any journalist very gruntled indeed. …

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