Laws Are For Our Enemies, Not Our Friends

The District of Columbia, one of the worst governed jurisdictions in the United States, has a law on the books, placed there for political purposes by the uber liberals who run it, banning “high-capacity” ammo clips, of the type waved around by NBC unpaid Obama press flack reporter David Gregory in the above clip.  He did it in DC.  No intent is needed for the criminal prosecution.  It is a strict liability offense.  For the past few weeks the question has been whether Gregory would be prosecuted.  Not a chance I thought, and I was proved correct when Irvin Nathan, the attorney general for DC, released a pompous letter yesterday explaining why Gregory would not be prosecuted  The letter runs to three turgid pages, but I won’t inflict all of that on you.  Instead, here is the money quote:

Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in everycase involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23, 2012 broadcast. OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.

Influencing our judgment in this case, among other things, is our recognition that the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States, especially while this subject was foremost in the minds of the public following the previously mentioned events in Connecticut and the President’s speech to the nation about them. There were, however, other legal means available to demonstrate the point and to pursue this line of questioning with the guest that were suggested to NBC and that could have and should have been pursued…

On the other hand, no specific intent is required for this violation, and ignorance of the law or even confusion about it is no defense. We therefore did not rely in making our judgment on the feeble and unsatisfactory efforts that NBC made to determine whether or not it was lawful to possess, display and broadcast this large capacity magazine as a means of fostering the public policy debate. Although there appears to have been some misinformation provided initially, NBC was clearly and timely advised by an MPD employee that its plans to exhibit on the broadcast a high capacity-magazine would violate D.C. law, and there was no contrary advice from any federal official. While you argue that some NBC employees subjectively felt uncertain as to whether its planned actions were lawful or not, we do not believe such uncertainty was justified and we note that NBC has now acknowledged that its interpretation of the information it received was incorrect.

NBC should be made aware that OAG’s decision not to press charges in this matter was a very close decision and not one to which it came lightly or easily.

 

 

 

 

 

It comes as no surprise to me that in the three pages of his endless letter, Nathan did not find space to disclose that he is a family friend of Gregory and his high-powered attorney wife, Beth Wilkinson, as disclosed here at Legal Insurrection.  Nathan should have stepped aside of course and asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor to decide if Gregory should be prosecuted, as were 105 people last year for the same violation, including a vet at Walter Reed who was in DC only for medical treatment.  However, that would have meant that Gregory might actually have been prosecuted, and the Obama administration clearly did not want that to happen.  We have long prided ourselves of being a nation of laws not men.  Now we are governed by men who hold the laws in contempt if their friends are in jeopardy.

 

 

21 Responses to Laws Are For Our Enemies, Not Our Friends

  • I wonder if the A-G considered the alternative of offering the parties the alternative of an out-of-court Fiscal fine? If not, why not?

  • Sic semper tyrannis . . .

    Selective law enforcement is banana republic SOP.

    NYS is about to (the Senate now has a dum majority) outlaw “assault weapons” and impose confiscations.

    We will all be much safer. Criminals will turn in their weapons and It will become more likely that an escaped Bengal Tiger will eat you than you will get KIA by an assault weapon (now odds are 343:315,000,000).

    Either I will emigrate/seek refugee status in America (a red state) or I will become a NY felon.

    I will not give up my basic human (Second Amendment) right to bear arms that I have exercised for over 40 years.

  • I doubt that the administration had any feelings about it one way or the other. My guess is that it’s something worse than favoritism – liberal “compassion”. Gregory’s heart was in the right place, so it wouldn’t be right to punish him.

  • Pinky,

    What you said, plus that vile, lying scumbag, Gregory, is a prominent member of the ruling class. The 150 Americans persecuted for similar acts are faceless members of the ruled class.

    Ann Althouse: “If Gregory clearly violated the law, but there is no interest to be served in prosecuting him, doesn’t that prove that the law is not important? If the precise thing that he did — which is clearly what is defined as a crime — raises no interest in prosecution, how can we be satisfied by letting this one nice famous man go? Rewrite the law so that it only covers the activity that the government believes deserves prosecution, so there is equal justice under the law.”

  • Sure. And I think as a practical matter, “prosecute only bad people” can easily turn into “prosecute only your enemies”, because after all, who’s better than our friends? But I think in this case, it’s “prosecute only white trash”. This guy’s kids go to Sidwell Friends School. This is more a public school law.

  • The older I get the more it becomes clear to me that it is idiotic to try to reason with an idoit. This clip only confirms my instinct. It also makes me ask “Where’s Newt Gingrich when you need him?” I mean, I’m no fan of Newt, but he certainly demonstrated how to handle David Gregory.

    Unfortunately, that sucking sound you hear is the sound of repulicans starting to cave on this issue. You have that congressman in GA. I don’t know his name off hand, but does it really matter anyway?, coming out for stricter gun control. You also have Chuck Grassley signaling openess on magazine capacity:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/11/grassley-suggests-openness-to-gun-control-idea/

  • “Where’s Newt Gingrich when you need him?”

    Actually Newt has historically been wobbly on the second amendment.

    “Unfortunately, that sucking sound you hear is the sound of repulicans starting to cave on this issue.”

    Naw, it is the Democrats caving:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/11/dem-senator-mark-begich-im-not-interested-in-a-new-assault-weapons-ban/

    The Democrats couldn’t get new gun control legislation out of the Senate let alone the House. I do hope that Obama gets his second term off to a bad start by a futile attempt to pass new gun control legislation.

  • Note that, not only did Gregory clearly and irrefutably violate the law, he knew he was breaking the law when he did it.

    In a sane world, that factor would make such prosecution more ‘in the public interest’, not grounds for getting a pass.

  • But the whole point of trying to ban large capacity magazines is totally whacko. The guy obviously has had very little experience of firearms. I have an old Lee Enfield Mk.IV .303 – the jungle carbine version – which I have modified to suit my own need – monte-carlo stock and pistol grip etc. and a 4 power scope. It has a 10 shot magazine. But I can have a clip of 10 more rounds which I can reload into the mag in about 1.5 seconds. Great weapon for hunting deer (and pigs – but you’re better off with dogs for pig hunting) even in dense bush, and I have shot deer with it over 400 yards. You don’t need an exotic “assault rifle” if you are a nut job wanting to kill people – anything that fires a bullet will kill a large number of unprepared, unsuspecting victims.
    And why do the libs always go for the NRA? those are the very responsible guys as far as I know. How many NRA members have gone on a killing spree?
    Here in NZ, hand guns are banned, as are semi-automatic military weapons – but otherwise, shotguns, rifles etc are available, and you simply need to get a license to procure, and demonstrate that you are sane, and not a nutter and know the basic rules of handling a gun – idetinfy target,check background, firing zone etc – just the common sense things – and you’re in business – for hunting, that is :-)

  • Don,

    I have a 1917 Enfield (full size). It’s basically unaltered. I inherited it from my father. I haven’t been able to locate a bayonet.

    No, “it” cannot happen here.

    http://coldservings.livejournal.com/50207.html

    Plus, they want to circulate $trillion platinum coins!

    Ruger makes it extremely easy to contact your politician.

    http://www.ruger.com/micros/advocacy/takeAction.html

  • Donald:

    I wasn’t speaking do much to Newt’s position on the 2nd Amendment, but his more aggressive approach to the media, David Gregory in particular. Come to think of it, I think we ought to take a page out of Piers Morgan’s playbook and summon my best fake British accent and say “You really are an incredibly stupid man, aren’t you?” Yes, I think we need to start employing the “Act like one, get called one.” approach. Our side treats some of the most stupid inane questions and comments with seriousness. Although they respond with the right the substance, the style comes off as weak and come off looking like a bunch of pansies.

    No, the democrats are not caving. None of them are CONCEDING anything. Just because some democrat senators aren’t pushing for something they weren’t pushing for anyway doesn’t mean they are caving. Republicans on the other hand are giving up ground on something they had previously stood for. are caving/

    Now, I don’t think Sen. Di Fi thought her piece of unconstitutional crap was going to pass the house or senate in the near future. But she is operating under the minset that the left has effectively operated under for decades. And that is you keep hammering away and little by little and your agenda gets implemented. I thought you would be an asute enough observer of politics to understand that, but apparently not.

    In terms of screwing up the country, Obama’s second term is shaping up to be a rousing success. Not only can he advance the ball on the assault on the send amendment (which is already happening albeit in small measure), but he can use that as a smoke screen under which he’ll get his tag team attack on national security confirmed. a Irael hating anti-military defense secretary and Jack “teh Muslim Brotherhood is a secular organization” Brennaman in as CIA chief.

    It is painfull to the republican leadership get punked by a third rate Chicago street agitiator like Barack Obama. I mean it’s just embarrassing.

  • “I wasn’t speaking do much to Newt’s position on the 2nd Amendment, but his more aggressive approach to the media,”

    I liked his aggressive pose to the media during the election campaign too Greg. However, since the election he has been in collapse mode. That has always been the problem with Gingrich. He is undependable long term, especially when the going is tough.

    “No, the democrats are not caving.”

    I disagree. Red State Dems are in collapse mode on gun control, now that the initial furor for gun control after Newtown has subsided.

    “Republicans on the other hand are giving up ground on something they had previously stood for.”

    Nope. I can safely predict that no gun control legislation will pass this Congress.

    “And that is you keep hammering away and little by little and your agenda gets implemented.”

    It certainly hasn’t worked for them on gun control. They have lost a great deal of ground both in legislation on the state and federal level and in the courts over the past decade.

    “I thought you would be an asute enough observer of politics to understand that, but apparently not.”

    Certainly astute enough not to completely misread the situation as you have.

    “Obama’s second term is shaping up to be a rousing success.”

    Complete and total bunk. Gun control is going nowhere The Republicans have made the Bush tax cuts permanent and solved the problem of the Alternative Minimum Tax. They stopped Rice for State and by Obama picking Kerry he places in jeopardy that Senate seat. Hagel is drawing fire from both the Left and Right and may not get through the Senate. It has not been an auspicious start.

  • Obama’s 2nd term is proving to be a rousing success in stirring up even more people against him while he seems to consolidate the support of his adoring worshippers in the mains stream media. More and more people, however, are beginning to despise and loathe him for the gangster that he is. And I am hopeful that the political process in Washington will become paralyzed. One thing concerns me, however: can and will Obama use his power of Executive Order to infringe on 2nd Amendment rights? He already shows like the media no respect for the Constitution.

  • Yeah, Donald you also felt pretty safe in predicting Romney was going to win in an electoral blowout. Your understanding of safety makes one want to watch his back.

    Let’s see, you have the 1994 assault weapons ban. After Newtown, the pro-gun control crowd immediately took control of the terms of the debate. To be sure, gun sales have spiked sinced then, out of fear of federal efforts to enact further gun control measures. I don’t think the NRA and other gun advocacy groups share your optimism on this issue. The idea that the left hasn’t made inroads on the gun control issue is ridculous.

    The way things stand now. at the end of Obama’s second term, we will be between 20 and 25 Trilliion in debt, economy still in bad shape, the deliterious effects of Obamacare beginning to be felt, Obama thwarting the Constitution with impunity, the world a much more dangerous place, our military considerably weakened. In terms of screwing up the country, if that’s not a rousing sucess, what is? So, what am I misreading here?

  • “Obama’s 2nd term is proving to be a rousing success in stirring up even more people against him…”

    Umm, Paul, Obama has been doing that his entire first term and still get reelected.

  • As far as the whole Susan Rice thing goes, I don’t think Obama himself thought that was gonna go anywhere. But, instead we are gonna get John Kerry. He will probably get Hagel through, inconsequential pissing and moaning from conservatives notwithstanding. Plus, Jack Brennaman at CIA. In the Obama scheme of things, offering up Susan Rice is a small sacrifice.

  • “Yeah, Donald you also felt pretty safe in predicting Romney was going to win in an electoral blowout. Your understanding of safety makes one want to watch his back.”

    Me and gentlemen like Rasmussen and Barone, who know about far more about politics than either you or I. The Gallup numbers also indicated a Romney win. I was wrong but I was in good company in my error.

    “The idea that the left hasn’t made inroads on the gun control issue is ridculous.”

    No, the idea that their tactics have succeeded is ridiculous. We have no assault weapons ban currently and we are not going to have one. It looks like the Obama administration isn’t even going to ask for one. We also now have recent Supreme Court rulings declaring the Second Amendment as a personal right. The campaign of the Left against the Second Amendment has been a flat failure over the past ten years.

    “In terms of screwing up the country, if that’s not a rousing sucess, what is?”

    I do not believe that Obama wishes to screw up the country. His goal was to move the country permanently to the Left and establish a permanent Democrat majority. Instead in 2010 he lost the House to the Republicans and a host of state legislative seats, more than the Republicans have held since 1928. In 2012 the Republicans retained control of the House and almost all the legislative seats they gained in 2010 outside of New Hampshire. The Gop controls the state legislatures now in 26 states, compared to 18 for the Democrats. When Obama was elected in 2008 the Democrats controlled 27 legislatures to 17 for the Republicans. The Republicans have 30 governorships as opposed to 19 for the Democrats. When Obama was elected the Democrats controlled 29 state houses to 21 for the Republicans. The long term impact of the Obama presidency may be to establish the Republicans as the majority party in the nation.

  • “In 2012 the Republicans retained control of the House”

    Problem is they should have not only maintained control of the House, but taken control of the Senate as well take back the White House. But instead, we LOST seats in the House, although we retained control and lost seats in the Senate. In light of the economic situation, this was a major, major defeat of the GOP. This signals that the GOP is very bad shape nationally. Boehner and the GOP leadership are trying marginalize the Tea Party, the very people who are responsible for the GOP house majority and him being Speaker to begin with.

    This election indicates that one should not put too much trust in the experts. The fact that Barone (who I think is somewhat overrated) and other missed this is embarrassing to say the least.

    At the very least, Obama is indifferent at best to the effect of his policies. He knows this is bad for the country but pursues them anyway

  • Tragically, Romney allowed the worst POTUS in history to avoid answering for the two factors that are destroying the USA: the crashing economy and the skyrocketing debt.

    Gun hysteria is just another distraction from the real problems tearing at our national being.

    Peace and Justice! Green, liberal ethanol scam is driving up corn prices: a disaster for poor people, at home and abroad.

    Maybe the GOP has a bit of fight left.

    From Zero Hedge: “Citigroup floated idea that a temporary government shutdown in mid/late February is possible: first technical default of the US based on prioritization of US debt payments. Politico reports this idea is rapidly gaining support within the GOP, “more than half of GOP members are prepare to allow default unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes.

    “‘Many more members, including some party leaders, are prepared to shut down the government to make their point. House Speaker John Boehner ‘may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser. ‘We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.””

    I’m not holding my breath.

  • PS: They need only to say that Obama was against raising the debt ceiling when he was in the Senate. And, that Senator Obama was right.

  • “In light of the economic situation, this was a major, major defeat of the GOP.”

    Retaining control of the House in the teeth of the type of get out the vote drive the Obama campaign put out was no mean achievement. The Senate was a disappointment, although mistakes by individual candidates were the cause of most of the losses. At the state level the part did almost as well as in 2010, its best election on the state level since 1928. I think this is a sign of strength for the GOP. In the House, tea party backed candidates were on both sides of the fiscal cliff deal, because it was a mixed deal with good and bad, but probably the best deal the Republicans could hope for under the circumstances. This year and next year with the Senate and the Presidency in Democrat hands, I think the House will be successful in preventing massive new spending programs and that is the best that can be accomplished for now.

    “The fact that Barone (who I think is somewhat overrated) and other missed this is embarrassing to say the least.”

    What it says is that most polling cannot be trusted for now, at least when a race is close, and that the GOP needs to emulate the Democrats when it comes to using fairly sophisticated data mining to locate GOP voters and make sure they get to the polls. Romney won independents nationally, and in a majority of the battle ground states. The problem for Romney is that he was unable to turn out the base of the Republican party in the numbers needed to win.

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