Monday, February 18, 2008

Goodbye Guns and Clark Garen

The Unofficial IPSC List today offered (via listmember John H.) an interesting 'grass roots' attempt at Gun Control:

Here's the original post:

We, the people, therefore call upon you, our elected representatives, to enact legislation to remove all guns and firearms from private ownership. We, the people, call upon you, our elected representatives, to enact laws to:

  1. Create a one year period for the United States of America to purchase at fair market value all guns and firearms, including hand guns, rifles, and even antique guns and rifles from domestic private ownership.
  2. Prohibit and criminalize the domestic sale of guns and firearms, whether new or used.
  3. Seize and destroy any gun or firearm found after the termination of the purchase period without compensation.
  4. Prohibit and criminalize the domestic possession of a gun or firearm after the termination of the one year purchase period.
  5. Provide exemptions for governmental law enforcement agencies, the armed services, and bona fide museums.
"John McCain has always prided himself
as a man who marches to the beat of a
different drummer … [h]ow depressing to
learn that the drummer is Ted Kennedy."
Okay, that last non-indented was John's personal tagline. I liked it, I included it. It's my blog, I can do that.

Being a blogger and an analyst, I was sufficiently curious that I followed the link. Sure enough the website "" actually exists. There's not a lot of content there, but that much of the quote is extant in fact.

There's more: there is a name there ... ''
So I GOOGLED 'Clark Garen', and I found this:

What a guy!

Despite charges of bankruptcy fraud (not proven), unresolved (contested! Free Speech, nonviolent acts of civil disobedience!) tax liens on Los Angeles property, practicing law without a license in Nevada, operating a "900" business without a business license (it was "his mother's" business, and besides it was a "976" business), a "false arrest" suit, a "large number" (7) of Bar procedures "instigated by creditors", Mr Garen's application for admission to the Washington Bar ... originally rejected due to "lack of good moral character" ... was overthrown.

Comments in the final findings, which was unable to substantiate "lack of good moral character", include:

"Mr. Garen’s apparent lack of candor makes the committee somewhat apprehensive. It appears as though Mr. Garen usually tells the technical truth, yet a lack of openness and candor is apparent both through the letters and responses to questions given to him by the committee."


Perhaps in hindsight Mr. Garen should have volunteered more, however, that does not demonstrate the intentional deception necessary to overcome Mr. Garen’s proof of good moral character.

Ultimately, the court offered this observation:

Oscar Wilde once said, "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people whom we personally dislike."\Fn.8

\Fn.8—Quoted in Mark R. Privratsky, A Critical Review Culminating in Practical Bar Examination Application Techniques in Regards to the "Good Moral Character Requirement"—In re Majorek, 244 Neb. 595, 508 N.W.2d 273 (1993), 74 Neb. L. Rev. 324, 325 (1995).

Given there was no real evidence of bad moral character on Mr. Garen’s part, perhaps this explains why the committee did not recommend that Mr. Garen be admitted. I can find no other.

Throughout its history, the moral fitness requirement has functioned primarily as a cultural showpiece. In that role, it has excommunicated a diverse and changing community, variously defined to include not only former felons, but women, minorities, adulterers, radicals, and bankrupts. . . . In the absence of meaningful standards or professional consensus, the filtering process has proved inconsistent, idiosyncratic, and needlessly intrusive. We have developed neither a coherent concept of professional character nor effective procedures to predict it. Rather, we have maintained a licensing ritual that too often has debased the ideals it seeks to sustain.

Deborah L. Rhode, Moral Character as a Professional Credential, 94 Yale L. J. 491, 493-94 (1985).

Mr. Garen has proven a prima facie case of good moral character. The Character and Fitness Committee has provided no express findings to the contrary. He is, and has been, an attorney in good standing for many years in both California and Texas. I, for one, would welcome him to practice in this State. I request publication of this dissent.\Fn.9

\Fn.9—By majority vote the court has denied my request to publish.

Mr. Garen, esq., has suffered a world of legal attacks and has emerged unscathed.

However, that doesn't make him a likable character. Given the sentiments expressed at, I don't like him.

That doesn't mean he's a 'bad guy'. It may just mean that my standards are different from the Washington State Bar.

Other links for Clark Garen: "Victims"; "Firing Line Forum".

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