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While eveyone is debating Scheme vs. Lua, the original message questioned the usefulness of being able to say
	local a=1
	local a=1
My thinking is that its no more useful (or problematic for that matter) than using globals
If one makes mistakes to the tune of 
	local f = 1
	<N lines of code>
	local function f() end -- Being unintended!
Than the same would apply to globals as well. 
	f = 1
	<N lines of code>
	function f() end -- Shell we debate whether this should be allowed or why is it useful?
I doesn't seem to me like it would be Lua's responsibility to address this particular coding practice. Pointing a loaded gun and one's feet and pulling the trigger may be painful but it is not the gun's falt even when done by accident. 

Just my .02