Author Topic: Ok, Serious question for srs.  (Read 920 times)

IntentionallyLeftBlank

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Ok, Serious question for srs.
« on: May 15, 2019, 09:46:35 pm »
I've been looking on some information regarding the legality of having a guillotine (or realistic but non-functional facsimile) in a public space. I've not found anything conclusive so I figured I'd see if any of you spags have any idea if bringing one out in public is against any law or not.

Why am I asking this? Reasons...
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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 11:17:23 pm »
Assuming the blade is both dull and permanently immobilized at either end OR made of something lightweight and comparatively soft like painted-over plexiglass, the only legal attack against it I can see is “incitement to violence”.

Depending on what you intend to do with it, of course, I think that “incitement to violence” would be a really, really tough sell. Incitement as an illegal act is in direct opposition to the First Amendment, so it has to reach a high bar to be judged against you. The relevant legal test is this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imminent_lawless_action

Unless you started ordering people to bring you that rich person right there yes that’s the guy and let’s knock his damn skull off, it seems that it would probably pass that test, even interpreted broadly, leaving you free and clear.

Going over more statutes, I don’t think long-dead French aristocrats are protected by US legislation protecting living minority groups, so it likely wouldn’t be considered in a similar light to burning crosses, nooses, etc. in the states that have laws about hate symbols and whatnot.

And I can’t find anything else that might cover it... nonfunctional means nonfunctional, so knife laws and laws against public displays of weapons would fail, and it’s hard to argue with a straight face that a fake guillotine (or even a real one really) represents a public safety threat in the same way a switchblade or handgun does. What are you gonna do, use it as a battering ram to break into someone’s house? Throw pedestrians into it (with one hand, mind you, unless you have a pal holding the cord or something) and try to release the blade before they can get away? Not very fucking likely.

So, my totally-not-legally-binding opinion: You’re probably safe with a nonfunctional guillotine being put on public display. Well, unless a cop or someone with trained attack lawyers and a bottomless well of legal money decides you aren’t, but that’s the case for anything really.
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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 11:51:05 pm »
Under any conditions, anywhere, whatever you are doing, there is some ordinance under which you can be booked.
    -- Robert D. Sprecht

If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
    --Cardinal Richelieu

The law to concern yourself with is the law that you shall not annoy, offend, or otherwise inconvenience a powerful person, especially not to the extent that they become motivated to do something about it.
    --me

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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 03:41:36 am »

The thing in itself I doubt will get you into trouble besides something regarding public littering fines and it getting taken away.

Now, shit gets hairy if you make any kind of statement or discourse around it cause it will be incitement to violence; im not a lawyer and dont know the laws but just out of intuition 100% smells like trouble.

Only viable way would be within the context of an art gallery i would imagine.
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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 11:40:00 am »
Public art generally has to go through local ordinance committees, which are notoriously skittish about being politically provocative.

If you construct something that is mobile and meets the other restrictions null laid out, you can probably get away with it with no penalties, as long as you follow general protest best practices with it (keep it moving, ensure pedestrians can get by, notify the town/city if you intend to block the street, etc.) Basically, treat it like a very large bicycle.

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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 12:45:40 pm »
1. If a cop wants to arrest you for it, they will, and figure out if they can charge you later.

2. Stick one of those museum plaques on in, and it becomes Art. 


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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 12:56:55 pm »
See this for an example of a likely cop-proof display: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acT_PSAZ7BQ

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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 05:07:45 pm »
they wouldn't arrest you for the guillotine, they'd arrest you for "demonstrating without a permit" or some such bollocks.
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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 02:07:49 am »
they wouldn't arrest you for the guillotine, they'd arrest you for "demonstrating without a permit" or some such bollocks.

Depending on the state and municipality, they may not be able to get you on that. It's also relevant how many people you have.

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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 09:14:27 pm »
guillotine sounds french.  you should call it a freedom-chopper
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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 12:54:00 am »
guillotine sounds french.  you should call it a freedom-chopper

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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 05:50:42 pm »
I do have an actual plan. I'll high light it when I get a minute and you can all take turns ridiculing me.
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Re: Ok, Serious question for srs.
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 05:51:57 pm »
I've been looking on some information regarding the legality of having a guillotine (or realistic but non-functional facsimile) in a public space. I've not found anything conclusive so I figured I'd see if any of you spags have any idea if bringing one out in public is against any law or not.

Why am I asking this? Reasons...

A creative or desperate DA could call it felony menacing...Where good Americans like you and I would call it a public utility.
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