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December 26, 2012

Howard Kurtz: Why, It's Incredible That David Gregory Could Be Investitaged For Breaking the Law When He Had No Criminal Intent!

Millions of gun owners, who use their guns for perfectly law-abiding and peaceable purposes and yet live under similar threat of arrest for noncompliance with this or that obscure law, certainly can understand Kurtz's sentiment.

Except they're probably wondering why David Gregory has the Status to avoid prosecution for breaking the law, whereas they themselves do not.

Was the moderator of Meet the Press caught on tape, armed and dangerous, liberating a few Slurpees from a 7-Eleven? No, he waved a high-capacity ammunition clip on the air while interviewing Wayne LaPierre, asking it shouldn’t be banned.

Was it a stunt? Yep, and an eye-catching one. Was Gregory being aggressive with the NRA chief, or seeming to push gun control in a confrontational interview? All that is up for debate.

But a police probe over what I assume was an empty ammo clip is a total waste of time. What it demonstrates above all is that journalists are getting ensnared in the political war over gun control.

This is stupidity on a truly breathtaking level. Bans of things like high-capacity magazines do not simply ban the thing when used in the commission of a crime. There are also such laws, which the NRA and most everyone supports, by the way, but the instant argument is entirely about whether or not certain things should be banned even when used in a perfectly lawful manner. An outright ban, a strict-liability ban (that is, it doesn't matter how you use it or what your intent is), a per se ban.

David Gregory broke the very type of law that Gregory and Kurtz want more of, want not just in DC, but across the country, for a lot of different guns or gun accessories, and Kurtz says, "Well that's not really a crime, because it's David Gregory and he didn't do anything wrong."

When should the average citizen know when it's permissible for he himself to break the stated law? If he only uses his magazine for legal target-shooting, should he likewise consider himself to be immune from prosecution? Would law enforcement agree?

Or is it just that David Gregory's High Status gives him a general license to break certain minor laws without consequence?

What's Criminal Intent Got To Do With It? Part of the logic of absolute bans (without regard to criminal intent) is that a crazy person might just steal them from you, as happened in the Newtown shooting.

So what does it matter if Gregory's intent was non-criminal? It is the very existence of these things that causes death and mayhem, we're told. How could he have been sure his high capacity magazine wouldn't be stolen and used for a crime?

Thanks to Michael Babbit for pointing that out.

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posted by Ace at 01:17 PM

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