DC AG now has Gregory case

posted at 11:21 am on January 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Does the rule of law apply equally to all citizens, even when “the law is a ass,” to quote Charles Dickens?  Or do celebrities get one form of justice for mindless laws they endorse while breaking them, while everyone else gets the tougher form?  That question now rests with the District of Columbia’s Attorney General, who will have to decide what to do with NBC’s David Gregory for brandishing a high-capacity magazine on television:

The decision on whether anyone should be prosecuted after “Meet the Press” host David Gregory appeared to hold a high-capacity ammunition magazine on national television now belongs to the District’s Office of the Attorney General, authorities said Tuesday.

In an e-mail, a spokeswoman for D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said her department has “completed the investigation into this matter, and the case has been presented to the OAG for a determination of the prosecutorial merit of the case.” …

The question of how to proceed now rests with the office of Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, which oversees prosecutions of some low-level offenses. A spokesman for the Nathan said the office would not comment until a decision was made.

On one level, this is absurd.  David Gregory wasn’t a threat to public peace.  He didn’t intend on using the magazine in a weapon.  Intent does matter in criminal prosecution, although it’s not entirely dispositive either. (By the way, it’s equally absurd to use the construct “appeared to hold”; Gregory was seen holding it on television and identified the magazine as a high-capacity version.)

On the other hand, all of this is true because high-capacity magazines present no real danger … especially when not connected to an actual firearm.  The danger comes from a person prepared to act malevolently with a high-capacity magazine loaded into a firearm, but the same danger exists whether the magazines hold ten rounds, sixteen rounds, or in the case of revolvers, six rounds.  The absurdity is the law itself, which protects no one while giving a false sense of security.

Nevertheless, DC prosecutes people for violating this absurd law, which has done nothing to keep the area out of the top-ranked gun homicide cities, it should be noted.  Either Gregory should be held just as accountable as anyone else in DC for violating the law, or the law should be struck and other prosecutions dropped.  There is no journalistic privilege for violating gun laws, no matter how absurd they are — even if the violation eminently demonstrates the absurdity.


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The truth about Gun violence?

Worthy of being passed around………everywhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1u0Byq5Qis

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:37 PM

SWalker on January 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM

yes…. i said i didn’t see the statute

i still haven’t seen the statute

Dr. Demento on January 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Wow, the dishonesty is strong with you isn’t it.

IX. Possession and Sale of Ammunition

In general, a person shall not possess ammunition within the District unless:
He is a licensed dealer.
He is a holder of a valid registration certificate for a firearm.
He holds an ammunition collector’s certificate effective prior to September 25, 1976.
He temporarily possesses ammunition while participating in a firearms training and safety class conducted by a firearms instructor.
No person shall possess restricted ammunition, defined as any bullet designed for use in a pistol which, when fired from a pistol from a barrel of 5? or less in length, is capable of penetrating a commercially available body armor with a penetration resistance equal to or grater than that of 18 layers of Kevlar. (D.C .Official Code § 7-2501.01 (13a))
No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. A “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

That IS the Statute, from the official Washington D.C Metropolitan Police Department Website.

Claiming you haven’t seen the statute is nothing less than pure dishonesty.

SWalker on January 9, 2013 at 1:37 PM

blammm on January 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Always great to see that some understand there’s a professionalism component to how these matters are handled…and not necessarily persecution or hypocrisy, like the way my side is shamelessly exploiting this tragedy for political gain.

verbaloon on January 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Fixed.

I would call you naive, but I think you are actually a dishonest douchetard.

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

LOL! What was your first clue?

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Silly wabbits. All it takes for the DC donkeys to solve the conundrum is for David Gregory to declare he had used a plastic imitation, and for the “investigation” to eagerly confirm it. Are they too stupid to find the solution?

Archivarix on January 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Some of the plastic magazines (MagPul) are as good or better than the metal ones.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2013 at 1:46 PM

“Gun Appreciation Day” January 19
http://gunappreciationday.com/index

Americans nationwide urged to go to local gun shows, ranges,
and stores to show support for 2nd Amendment.
Southern by choice22 on January 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Why wait? I’ve been going to my favorite gun stores several times a week over the last month or 2 – and ordering lots of stuff from online companies (Cabela’s, The Mako Group, Brownells).

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Have you read this story? What do you think the difference is between these two individuals? Might it be one is practicing his God given right to carry and the other is demanding our liberties be stripped? You really think Hannity would be treated the same when D.C. prosecutes those with the wrong thoughts despite no crime having been committed?

I would call you naive, but I think you are actually a dishonest douchetard.

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I would call you profane, but I think you’re actually just vocabulary challenged.

Yes, I think Hannity would be treated the same.
And you offer as you example…your ‘victim’…a guy who was “was found not guilty on all firearms-related charges, including for the “high-capacity” magazines, and he was left with a $50 traffic ticket.”

Dang the system, huh?

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2013 at 1:39 PM

El Doltmonte on January 9, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Fixed.
Ha.

(Just thought I’d try your snickering juvenile approach.)

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 2:11 PM

He didn’t intend on using the magazine in a weapon. Intent does matter in criminal prosecution, although it’s not entirely dispositive either.

NO NO NO NO NO! The crime is not “using” the magazine, the crime is “possessing” the magazine, and he fully intended to possess it. He didn’t accidentally pick it up thinking it was a giant PEZ dispenser.
Intent was established when he said on air exactly what he had in his hand, which showed he knew what he was possessing.

CapnObvious on January 9, 2013 at 2:16 PM

And you offer as you example…your ‘victim’…a guy who was “was found not guilty on all firearms-related charges, including for the “high-capacity” magazines, and he was left with a $50 traffic ticket.”

Dang the system, huh?

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Yep, dishonest douchetard.

He was prosecuted despite not having broken the law. The no-ops ticket had nothing to do with him being prosecuted for legally transporting a firearm. And yet we are still waiting to hear what sort of slap on the wrist Gregory will get despite him blatantly breaking the law.

How you can sit there and post with a straight face that Hannity would be treated the same under a law that is applied based upon who is on the “right” side politically is beyond laughable. D.C. is working hard to run honest, law abiding people out of town in the wake of Heller. The dishonest hacks like Gregory will be given a pass because they represent D.C.’s draconian views on firearms.

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

How you can sit there and post with a straight face that Hannity would be treated the same under a law that is applied based upon who is on the “right” side politically is beyond laughable. D.C. is working hard to run honest, law abiding people out of town in the wake of Heller. The dishonest hacks like Gregory will be given a pass because they represent D.C.’s draconian views on firearms.

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

The how is easy, he has no morals or ethics, his only guiding principal is that the end justifies the means, nothing matters but winning. As long as he and his ilk “Win” it doesn’t matter how they do it.

SWalker on January 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Simple solution.

NBC will merely edit hack Gregory out of their videotape then edit George Zimmerman into their videotape.

Then addled Angria Mitchell will loudly blame Sarah Palin for making Zimmerman do it whilst creepy Florida persecutor Angela Corey and that hack judge in the Saint Trayvon case will offer to extradite Zimmerman temporarily to DC.

viking01 on January 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

SWalker on January 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

The moral equivalency angle is also absurd. We’ll ignore the fact that he doesn’t seem to be concerned that people aren’t being treated equally under the law. Instead I’ll point out the sheer stupidity of claiming all is well in the world because supposedly a pro-2nd Amendment supporter would be treated the same as Gregory. Of course I already destroyed that fallacy with my example.

Verbalstupidity has no concept of equal treatment under the law or liberty, only political class. And to excuse his political class getting a pass he’ll try and sell us a shite sandwich.

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM

I haven’t been able to sleep soundly ever since that dreadful Sunday morning show. The terror of watching an obviously deranged member of the media clutching a segment of an automatic weapon capable of mass killings was more than horrifying. Every time I close me mind I see that machine-gun weapon clip being feverishly clutched by the wild eyed reporter and his ever threatening tone. I don’t know if my horror will ever stop but knowing Mr. Gregory is safely behind the bars of a federal prison can’t hurt.

trs on January 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

novaculus on January 9, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Furthermore, strict liability offenses tend to be “public welfare” ones, e.g., statutory rape and possession/manufacture of illicit drugs. I don’t think the court has much wiggle room to write an implied intent element into the statute because the clear motive behind the law is to prevent their existence within the District of Columbia.

blammm on January 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Had regime hack David Gregory flipped a brick of cocaine onto the desk he actually not have planned to snort it but his name was Rufus the Carjacker instead he’d be facing hard time for possession.

viking01 on January 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

s/b actually might not…

viking01 on January 9, 2013 at 3:04 PM

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Hysteria.

SWalker on January 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

In-artful ad-hominem.
Yawn.

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Hysteria.

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Willfully obtuse.

I suppose the part about the D.C. prosecutor claiming the prosecution was the right thing to do despite the judge rejecting entirely her argument (fabrication) was blissfully ignored by you. I guess in a nation of laws willful obtuseness by prosecutors means the system is working, right? Does that mean you also support prosecution for abortions in states where abortion laws are still on the books? Hey, the system will sort it all out in the end.

NotCoach on January 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

From over at Ace’s:

• asked if displaying the magazine would be illegal

• was told that YES, it would be illegal

• displays magazine anyway

Are these “aggrevating circumstances”?

drunyan8315 on January 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM

but the same danger exists whether the magazines hold ten rounds, sixteen rounds, or in the case of revolvers, six rounds.

. No offense but that’s just flat out wrong. A psycho that can shoot sixteen rounds before reloading is more dangerous than one that can shoot 10 or 6.

red_herring on January 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

No offense but that’s just flat out wrong. A psycho that can shoot sixteen rounds before reloading is more dangerous than one that can shoot 10 or 6.

red_herring on January 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

You think a person with a gun pointed at their head would be comforted knowing the gun only has 10 or 6 rounds as opposed to 16?

Buttercup on January 9, 2013 at 5:08 PM

No offense but that’s just flat out wrong. A psycho that can shoot sixteen rounds before reloading is more dangerous than one that can shoot 10 or 6.

red_herring on January 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

You think a person with a gun pointed at their head would be comforted knowing the gun only has 10 or 6 rounds as opposed to 16?

Buttercup on January 9, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Maybe you’re intentionally missing the point?
Do you know when it was and what allowed the AZ shooter to be stopped (tackled)? When he went to change his 30 round clip.
Would a 10 round clip have made a difference there? How about, heck, a 75 round clip?

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Had regime hack David Gregory flipped a brick of cocaine onto the desk he actually not have planned to snort it but his name was Rufus the Carjacker instead he’d be facing hard time for possession.

viking01 on January 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Walter Cronkite actually did that once.

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 5:57 PM

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding “intent.” *Every* crime requires intent. The questin is, intent to do what? Where the criminal charge is for taking action — murder, rape, assault, that sort of thing — the intent is to do something the actor knows to be a crime. For a possession crime — high cap magazines, cocaine, etc. — the intent required is the intent to possess the thing that is forbidden. You don’t have to intend to commit a crime with it, or even to threaten (“brandishing”, I suppose).

If someone had slipped the magazine into Gregory’s briefcase without his knowledge and it came spilling out when he emptied its contents onto the table, he would not be guilty; he had no intent to possess. Then again, the DC prosecutors seem confused about even that situation; Army Spec. Mecklin was prosecuted for having bullets – no gun, no magazine – in his bag, which he had long forgotten were even there. IIRC their logic was that Mecklin intended to possess the bag today, and he had intended to put the bullets in the bag when he actually put them there, once upon a time, so they could daisy-chain that into intent to possess bullets today.

In Gregory’s case, there’s no chance of that escape; he knew he had the magazine. Moreover, he knew about the law; he even called the DC police to ask about it. Supposedly they told him the magazine was illegal, but Gregory decided to show it anyway; but even if the DC police had said all was hunky dory, Gregory is still guilty. Ignorance of your *acts* is a defense to a criminal charge; ignorance of the law is not.

Zumkopf on January 9, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Ha.

(Just thought I’d try your snickering juvenile approach.)

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 2:11 PM

…failed!

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2013 at 8:39 PM

I really wish you would break free of the leftist rhetoric that these are “high capacity” magazines. A 30-round magazine is a standard capacity magazine. You are buying into the notion that a 10-round magazine is somehow standard when nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, call the the 30-round magazine “standard capacity” and the 10-round magazine a “reduced capacity” magazine. Once you start using the leftist terminology for these issues, you have already conceded significant ground and are half way to losing the argument before you even start. Sheesh.

tballard on January 10, 2013 at 2:56 AM

Maybe you’re intentionally missing the point?
Do you know when it was and what allowed the AZ shooter to be stopped (tackled)? When he went to change his 30 round clip.
Would a 10 round clip have made a difference there? How about, heck, a 75 round clip?

verbaluce on January 9, 2013 at 5:54 PM

No doubt you are intentionally missing the point.

Buttercup on January 10, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Just a thought.

To not prosecute a white man might just be racism -institutionalized in the leftist machine?

Don L on January 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

How many crazy killer mass shooting killings do we get each year? (I’m not counting love triangle and family and territorial disputes type of killings in which, in the absence a gun—- a kitchen knife, ice pick, rock, crowbar, claw hammer, poker, chain saw, length of cord,can of Drano, pair of strangling hands or even a suffocating pillow or pool of water could readily serve as an adequate and quite satisfactory substitute.) 100? 200?

MaiDee on January 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

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