A testament to the double standard for justice in the District of Columbia, one for the rich and powerful, another for the rest of us.
On December 23, 2012, David Gregory waved the now infamous 30-round ammunition magazine on air during a Meet the Press interview with Wayne LaPierre of the NRA following the Sandy Hook school shooting.
In D.C., mere possession of a 30-round magazine is a crime, regardless of whether the magazine is loaded. D.C. is notoriously aggressive in its prosecution of gun laws even by otherwise innocent people who just didn’t realize they were breaking the law and were not committing any other crime.
NBC had no innocence of mind.
Prior to the show, NBC producers were specifically warned by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department that possession of the magazine was illegal. MPD suggested NBC use a photo of a magazine, not the real thing.
NBC ignored the warning.
After investigation, the MPD prepared a warrant and supporting affidavit, which D.C. government refuses to release despite our FOIA request. We are still fighting in court, with the help of Judicial Watch, to get that and other documents witheld. D.C.’s withholding of documents has been strategic, releasing some to others but withholding them from us.
Yet, on January 11, 2013, the D.C. Attorney General decided not to prosecute “despite the clarity of the violation of this important law.” Among other things, the D.C. Attorney general cited Gregory’s lack of a criminal record, and “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….”
Few if any people protesting the non-prosecution believed that in a rational world conduct such as that exhibited by David Gregory should be prosecuted. But D.C. gun laws are not a rational world, and neither are D.C. gun law prosecutions.
The non-prosecution of David Gregory was a testament to the double standard for justice in the District of Columbia, one for the rich and powerful, another for the rest of us.