I stumbled across an interesting connection to Staten Island, NY – the forgotten borough – in the case pitting the the anti-gun attorneys general of Washington and a few other states against SAF and Defense Distributed. Both Judge Robert Lasnik who approved the temporary restraining order and attorney Josh Blackman who is representing Defense Distributed grew up in Staten Island.
Blackman is a graduate of the Staten Island Technical High School which was established in 1988. Judge Lasnik graduated from Port Richmond High and is a member of their Hall of Fall. This 2011 profile of Lasnik in the LA Times discusses his love of Bob Dylan and how it impacted “his soul” with regard to civil rights while growing up on Staten Island.
I find this Staten Island connection interesting because my mother grew up there, my grandfather was the Tax Assessor for the Borough and County of Richmond, and my cousin Tom still lives in my grandparents’ house. Moreover, a good part of summer and every Christmas from the time I was born in 1957 through about 1980 was spent on Staten Island.
I also find it intriguing that the person who had his soul impacted by the music of Bob Dylan with regard to civil rights is the one who curtails free speech. Conversely, the attorney who grew up there as it became a conservative enclave in a sea of blue is the one fighting for free speech.