The importance of prosecuting David Gregory if he violated D.C.’s gun law
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.
Update 12-26-2012 — D.C. Police — NBC requested and was denied permission to use high capacity magazine in news segment
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We have to do more of this, investigating the investigators and inquiring of the inquisitors. It’s one of the legal insurrections for 2013.
Exactly so, Professor … and that kind of thing is actually an application of Alinsky’s Rule(s) for Radicals Number Four, which states:
“Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. ‘You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.’ ”
“Ignorantia juris non excusat.”
–ancient legal maxim
“Petard hoisting should be an Olympic event.”
–Michael Emerling Cloud
“If It Bleeds, It Leads: An Anatomy Of Television News”
–title of book by Matthew Robert Kerbel
“Give the people what they want and they’ll come out for it in droves.”
–variously attributed to Red Skelton or George Jessel
“A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
–Rule 6 of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals
But, but, prosecuting Gegory/NBC would be trampling their First Amendment rights. And rights in the Bill of Rights should always be defended (unless they’re in the 2nd, 9th, 10th, maybe the 3rd, and the 8th if someone tries to say that listening to Democratic leadership is cruel).
You forgot 4th, search and seizure, and 5th, takings.
I am sure the police will simply ignore this by claiming that even though the act was illegal, David Gregory was just using it as a prop to make a point.
We should be glad he wasn’t doing a story on pedophilia.
I only wish I had millions to donate to help fund investigations of these people — this is something that I have been thinking about for years. I’m All In with the Good Professor on this one. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to one and all !!!!
Same here too.
If I lived in DC or NY, I would be protesting with a 4′ x 4′ sign outside NBC studios. We need to aggressively shove this ‘in their face’ and mock their hypocrisy in all this. Publicly point out the media bias and laugh at the double standard that exists.
I’m old enough to remember when journalists did their job instead of simply being a mouthpiece for the administration. Good times, good times:)
Professor, have you ever considered relocating to friendlier climes where the state still has some trust in its citizens and doesn’t consider them subjects to be controlled? Mr. Gregory is one of the elite and above the law meant for common folk. Theb idea he would have to submit to the same rules is preposterous.
Professor, my constitutional advice is as follows: why do you even worry about the bureaucratic jugnle of red tape, when you have a 2nd amendment RIGHT to bear arms. We need to exercise our RIGHTS if we don’t expect them to be trampled. As much as you have a right to breathe air, you have a right to carry an arm. Get your gun if you really want one, then deal with the legalities later if the situation arises. Remember, a RIGHT is only as good as the person exercising it.
May I add something to your advice to Professor Jacobson? I know that you are a Professor of Law, and I assume that you are or have been an attorney, practicing or otherwise. You are biased towards believing that we are operating under the rule of law, and that some form of what could objectively be considered “Justice” will eventually result if the system is followed.
Those conditions do not obtain in our country any more. This case is an example of how the law is whatever those in power say that it is. No one here rationally believes that Gregory will be charged with what is the statutory crime that he committed on nationwide TV. He is connected.
We all understand that if Joe MiddleClass Citizen defended his home from a gang attack in DC, that every weapons charge in the world would be filed against him, even if it required the “creative finding” of evidence. And that he would have no practical defense.
Understanding the environment as it is as opposed to how we wish it to be [q.v. Confucious:”Rectification of Names”], is critical to survival. I commend you taking the NRA classes. I would recommend that you take some time outside a Peoples’ Republic taking more advanced courses. Ownership and the possible use of a firearm is a matter of the greatest seriousness.
However, so long as you live, work, and regularly transit through various Peoples’ Republics; you have to realize that any use of that firearm, or possession that can be construed as illegal, will be so construed regardless of the facts in play. The goal of the government is control.
That implies that wherever possible that your firearms and ammunition be unrecorded, untraceable, and disposable at need. For by the act of being willing to defend yourself, you have declared yourself as an enemy of the state in the areas you frequent.
Exactly. For example, in theory the Firearms Owner’s Protection Act of 1986 would protect the good professor during his transit of Massachusetts, but it only proves an affirmative defense. Plus I don’t know the case law if you stop for gas, to go to the bathroom and so on, that’s not directly covered in the statue.
And the state’s penalties are particularly nasty, a mandatory 1 year in jail, even in cases like a son borrowing his father’s jacket which has some shells left over from hunting. A real case, one of the earliest; the judge was not happy with the sentence he had to give. Needless to say the prosecutors are vicious unless the perpetrator is connected, like Amy Bishop.
I don’t know if it’s case law or general practice. But I’ve been told the ’86 law states you can’t be stopped enroute to your destination. States such as Illinois, NY, Massachusetts, etc consider any stop: restroom, gas, etc to be your destination.
That is the jeopardy a gun owner deals with.
Of course Gregory should be prosecuted. If he were an ordinary citizen the DC police would persecute him mercilessly.
And if the DC police decide to ignore the violation (the most likely outcome), opponents of gun control should bring this up at every opportunity. Just as some of the loudest voices calling for tax increases turn out to be tax cheats, just as some darlings of the feminist movement turn out to be rapists (William Jefferson Clinton), the hypocrisy of the anti-gun movement should be exposed.
Gregory’s prosecution is delicious to contemplate ….but it ain’t gonna happen…
I agree David Gregory must be held completely accountable. Next Sunday on his own show he needs to confess his own use of armed guards for himself and his children and apologize to Mr. LaPierre and this nation. Then tell us and the police where he got that clip and then pledge to refrain from any further participation in the gun debate.
They lie to us so easily! We can not let this just blow over. Where did he get that clip, was it his own?
Just now on Fox I heard them going after LaPierre – I think they are circling the wagons.
News Corp owns Fox News. Rupert Murdock owns much of News Corp and controls it. Murdock is an anti-gun zealot.
I’ve seen stories suggesting that the enactment of the strict gun laws in Australia several years ago was accompanied by a huge media campaign. News Corp owns much of Australian media, so properties controlled by Murdock responsible for much of the media blitz that helped get the gun laws passed in Australia. I have to think Murdock is putting at least some pressure on Roger Ailes (who run Fox News on a day to day basis) to slant the Fox News coverage.
Murdock’s News Corp also owns the New York Post, which recently ran this cover (scroll down a bit to see full length):
Aside from possession of the magazine during the interview, I am not so quick to accuse Gregory of hypocrisy for sending his kids to Sidwell Friends School. Here’s why.
The short course: It is a Quaker school. Quakers are historically rigidly pacifist. It may well be that the police officers, who are presumably not there on duty but are hired by the school, are not armed. However, having worked with Secret Service agents in my former career, I will tell you when they are on campus they are armed as usual, period. Even so, they are not there to guard the school but solely to protect the president’s children and no one else. So they can’t be reasonably included as armed guards for the school.
But If President Obama thinks that his daughters need armed Secret Service agents’ protection when they are on campus, on what basis can he deny other children the same kind of protection? Obama should put up or shut up: either order the Secret Service not to carry arms on the school’s property or cease denouncing the idea that LaPierre proposed.
BTW, the Democrat mayor of Marlboro Township, NJ, will start putting armed guards in their schools next month.
Professor, I think it would be worthwhile to contact Emily Miller at the Washington Times and get some phone numbers from her for officials in D.C. government associated with enforcement of D.C.’s firearms laws. Given her series of articles on legally obtaining a firearm in D.C. she should know whom to contact.
There is no question that David Gregory should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of D.C. law for a well documented violation of D.C.’s gun control laws. The alternative would be for the Chief of Police to explain in a public press conference why Mr. Gregory is exempt from enforcement, and during the press conference questions should be asked of the Chief who else is similarly exempt, and exactly what criminal violations should those individuals, or group members, consider themselves exempt from.
If the law is different for some I think we should know who those “some” are and what the different laws are.
I will wish you a great deal of luck with this project – it is, after all, D.C. – and please keep us advised of progress.
“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.”
Privileged politicians and members of the media who scoff at school choice publicly, quietly send their own children to safe, good schools …
… while the little people begging for school choice so they can send their kids to safe, good schools are denied choice.
That’s Social Justice.
Of course David Gregory should not be prosecuted for breaking the law. Gregory, like all Democratic media voices, is more equal than the rest of us. Which is why he sends his children to Sidwell and enjoys the security provided at NBC.
For me, but not for thee.
Couldn’t someone else charged with violating the Districts firearms laws sue under equal protection? I mean here is someone flaunting a violation of the law on national TV. It appears to be a working 30 rd aluminum magazine with GI-spec Green Anti-tilt follower.
And if as the media points out, that our 2nd amendment freedom should be limited to muskets, since the founders could not have imagined modern firearms, then it follows that the 1st amendment would provide no defense for Gregories actions, since the founders likewise could not have imagined television.
It is dissociation of risk which causes corruption. It is a selective law enforcement which enables its progress.
The. Reaction to the Port Asrthur massacre was broadly accepted & in fact led by the conservative PM John Howard .
Just as. Sandy Hok was in a setting designed to eke out max emotional trauma so was Port Arthur -an historical penal camp.
I don’t recall. Murdoch’s press as being out of the mainstream on this issue. most citizens were angry that Howard.offered a buy back . There was also an amnesty for those with weapons illegally.
The effects range from a decidedly Lower shotgun suicide rate for males nationally & a new cafe & better toilet facilities at Port Arthur.
The spots where the 35 people were gunned down to an immediate death are. Marked & if one wants one can start running from the original cafe site & see how it feels. A young mother & a4 year old ran as far as they could & hid behind a tree but he stalked them down.
In a land that had a low gun murder rate to begin with, this shocked the nation including Murdoch.
I offer no advice just background info .
This is to Maggot te Her Murdoch post.
Gregory will no more be prosecuted for the magazine infraction than Eric Holder or any senior BATF executive for Fast & Furious. Administration insiders and supportive pundits are above the law….it really is as simple as that.
If Gregory is NOT prosecuted, a group should obtain a permit to hold a rally in front of DC Police Headquarters – THEN with cameras rolling, everybody should pull out a 30-shell magazine cartridge and start marching around police headquarters. I would DARE the police to do anything under these circumstances.
[…] a high capacity magazine on his show even though those magazines are outlawed in Washington, DC. He should be prosecuted. And the petition to have Piers Morgan deported for his attacks on the 2nd amendment has really […]
Over at Reason Magazine, editor J.D. Tuccille admits that he purchased a black market semi-automatic version AK-47 rifle in New York state! Should we encourage the authorities to arrest him?
It is a good piece, however, that focuses on the non-compliance that the world has for gun registrations.
Gadfly – I rarely read Reason because I have problems thinking like them , This guy seems unhinged.
I read the article & wish to say that his references to Australia are wrong just as much as the more left blogs ‘ accounts are .
Tuccille provides charts and references to support his writings, so I am puzzled that you cannot verify these references, especially concerning Australia.
Unhinged? I suppose that is in the eye of the beholder. We know for example that the criminal element in our country obtain black market weapons – they certainly do not register them. Frankly, not all honest gun-owners believe that the government has a right to know what guns they possess.
All that our leftist media wants to do is discuss gun laws, not guns owned – so as I said, I enjoyed a broader look at the world of guns.
His accounts of the Australian gun restrictions reaction was incorrect just as the left wing accounts in Huff etc are. The reality is that it was effective but not perfect . Some of his info is so way off I can’t trace his sources.
But it is a different culture & not really applicable to the US.
Sign if you choose, I did.
[…] can’t deport David Gregory, but we can (and should) prosecute him to the maximum extent of the law. Unfortunately, D.C. doesn’t have the death […]
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Someone (or many someones) must take legal steps to charge and prosecute David Gregory with this crime.
The first step can be easily accomplished by filing a police report with the DC Metro Police … it can be done via the MPD online reporting tool at http://mpdc.dc.gov/service/file-police-report-online. Just be certain to be factual as filing a false report is a crime.
Just know that filing a police report does not automatically cause any information to be passed along to a prosecutor or court clerk. Police everywhere politely take your information and file the reports. Someone must take the next step of moving a reported crime to the court system.
The next step will be to petition the appropriate DC court or magistrate for a criminal arrest warrant or summons to court. I suggest contacting the Criminal Division of the DC Courts in the Moultrie Courthouse. Any person doing this will have to sign an affidavit with the details of the alleged crime. A previously filed police report will be great to accompany this.
If an individual can get either an arrest warrant or court summons issued, then it’s a matter of following through to confirm that a court date is assigned and a prosecutor or court clerk doesn’t just decide to let the case fall through the cracks.
Go for it!!!
[…] Legal Insurrection points out that it’s actually important to prosecute David Gregory: […]
Prof, what ever happened to Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, the Full faith and credit clause? Doesn’t that apply to YOUR 2nd Amendment rights? Or is it only applicable for laws regarding narcotics, illegal aliens, and gay marriage? Your right to keep your gun, even as you cross state boundaries, would seem to me to be PROTECTED. You know, in a constitutional kinda way.
I’m just a janitor, so can somebody ‘splain, please?
David Gregory should be prosecuted just as 1LT Augustine Kim was prosecuted for having a weapon in DC. LT Kim was transporting his personal weapons from his parents house in NJ to his own house in SC. On the way, he stopped at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington for a doctor’s appointment. That’s when his troubles started. 1LT Kim was railroaded and hassled for years. The same ridiculous laws need to apply to the elites as well. You can google his name to read his story.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/14/dc-grabs-guns-from-soldier/#ixzz2GAYmC5ZE
[…] Jacobson suggests that David Gregory and the NBC producers shouldn’t be above the law: […]
When the NY Giants’ Plaxico Burress violated the Northeast’s gun laws, he had to go to prison. So should David Gregory.
Let me see if I can figure out what the differences between Burress and Gregory might be…
It gets better. First, several people have possessed the magazine (Gregory, the Prop Master, and probably a couple of stage hands) In addition, someone transported the magazine into and within DC. That is probably a separate offense. Finally, there has been a conspiracy to violate DC’s gun laws. There has been conversation between two or more persons (probably producers, writers, and even network executives) and there has been a concrete act in furtherance of the conspiracy. The penalty for conspiracy is often greater than the underlying crime.
Will anyone be prosecuted? If so, they will get a fifty dollar fine and a lecture to be more careful next time. The Enemy protects its own.
[…] At all. What I mind is the crap-eating, overweening hypocrisy. Honestly that sickens me and every decent human being is revolted at the charade. Where is the […]
[…] it with Gregory deciding the DC’s laws don’t apply to him. As Jacobson wrote on Monday, imagine if the roles were reversed, and it was Wayne LaPierre who had walked onto the set of Meet the Press carrying an ammunition […]
[…] And they work – where “work” means “scare law-abiding people out of their sacred duty and privilege to defend themselves, their families…“: […]
[…] David Gregory may have violated D.C.’s gun law — and, in my opinion, differing with Dr. Jacobson, he probably thought he was above the law when he did it. Liberal arrogance is nothing new… […]
As law-abiding citizens we are expected to navigate the labyrinth of conflicting state laws regarding firearms and we do successfully everyday. Although many of these laws don’t seem to make sense to firearm owners we still respect them and abide by them everyday.
Firearms are used more often by law-abiding citizens for self-defense than by deranged criminals to commit horrible acts of mass violence. For several examples for the recent use of firearms for defensive purposes not typically reported by the national media please visit: http://www.equalforce.net and forward this address to others to whom this information may be useful. @forceequalizer
[…] From Law Professor William A. Jacobson’s https://legalinsurrection.com/2012/12/the-importance-of-prosecuting-david-gregory-if-he-violated-d-c-… […]