Friday, June 03, 2011

I'll Miss Joel

It's an odd world in which we live that people we've never met, never spoken to on the phone, become our "friends." We read their words, comment on their thoughts, engage in typing wars, and never shake hands. Yet when he hear of harm or worse, death befalling one of these "virtual" friends" we are touched in the same way as if they were a neighbor.

I don't remember when I first "met" Joel Rosenberg. I remember reading a comment here and there that he would write on various blogs I read, and he'd even chime in on my blog(s). My first impression was that Joel and I were complete opposites. He, a passionate gun advocate, and I, well I hate guns.

I assumed Joel was a wacko, nut job, idiot who was probably anti-defense, until I was quickly disabused of all of those thoughts. I learned Joel was an accomplished author, a brilliant mind, well read and passionate not only about Amendment 2, but also 4, 5, and 6.

Joel was a welcome commentator in the criminal law blogosphere, a place where well thought out comments from the citizenry is often lacking. Joel would agree, disagree, present another viewpoint, but always have an intelligent thought behind anything he argued. A rarity online.

Joel died suddenly yesterday.

I learned this today, as I was sitting in court waiting to defend a client. Joel would have been happy to know I was there.

Joel was the author of Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota. He asked to include some passages from an e-book I wrote. In a profane response, I advised him that he need not seek my permission to do this, that it was my honor. But Joel didn't do things that way. He liked respect, getting, and giving it. There were laws and rules, and as he taught people to follow them, he wanted to follow them too, even if the laws revolved around copyright.

I will miss Joel, as will others.

My condolences go out to his beloved Felicia, and his daughters Judith Eleanor, and Rachel Hannah.

I leave you with what I believe sums up JDog. R.I.P. good man.

Non-anonymous comments welcome.Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court, and the author of The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer.Share/Save/ rules Post to Twitter