I doubt David Gregory intended to violate D.C.’s ban on the possession or transfer of high capacity ammunition magazines when he waved around such a magazine during his interview of Wayne LaPierre yesterday.
Prior to yesterday, I never would have thought that possession of an empty magazine, kept separate from ammunition or a weapon, would violate the law, so I sympathize with Gregory on that point.
But I’m less sympathetic than you might expect because fear of unintentionally violating gun laws is one of the things that has kept me from purchasing a handgun. As you know, I took the NRA safety course over a year ago. But I’m a legal resident of Rhode Island who lives much of the year in New York, so there’s an issue of whether I could obtain a NY permit, which is needed even to keep a gun in the home. And then there’s the issue of transportation back and forth, and complying with the requirements to avoid prosecution as I pass through Massachusetts.
It all became such a bureaucratic jungle that I just deferred for the time being.
That’s where we are with many gun laws, the law-abiding responsible citizens who worry about compliance are scared away or risk prosecution for unknowing violations, while the lunatics and criminals don’t care.
I still have not heard back from the three NBC News communications executives I e-mailed just after noon yesterday asking for the position of NBC News on whether the ammunition magazine was real and whether Gregory violated the law.
But assuming, as Gregory stated, that the magazine was for an AR-15, then why shouldn’t Gregory and the staffers to and from whom the magazine was transferred, be prosecuted? Particularly in light of Gregory’s aggressive demand for more guns laws.
Certainly, if LaPierre had shown up with that magazine, there would be howls of gotcha, and widespread media demands for prosecution. Why should NBC News and its star be above the law?
There’s another lesson here.
Gregory’s possible violation of the law was exposed by the conservative blogosphere, which also pointed out that Gregory sends his kids to a school with armed security at the same time he was mocking the NRA suggestion of armed security in schools.
We have to do more of this, investigating the investigators and inquiring of the inquisitors. It’s one of the legal insurrections for 2013.