MTP's David Gregory Does Journalism, Some Citizens Want His Arrest

from the welcome-to-the-stupid-show dept

The ripple effects from the Sandy Hook tragedy continue to present themselves. When something so horrific occurs, it's not difficult to understand over-the-top reactions, but that doesn't mean those reactions shouldn't be kept in check. We had folks rushing to blame videogames for what happened, despite all evidence to the contrary. We even saw how social media and media-media combined to rush to judgement on the wrong suspect and the wrong related Facebook "likes". Now, one new ripple is that David Gregory is under investigation.

The moderator of Meet The Press found himself the subject of a D.C. Metro PD inquiry over his prop use of high-capacity rifle magazines during an interview with an NRA representative. The inquiry being one thing, there's also a completely misguided White House petition floating around asking for the immediate arrest of Gregory.
David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.

DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines - D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01 (b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

We The People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on "Meet The Press."
I admit, it's difficult to know where to begin. Let's start with MTP's use of the magazines as props. It turns out that the show's producers might make the dean's list for dumb this year. They did indeed get permission to use the props on the show, but they only got permission from the ATF, not local law enforcement, where those magazines are illegal. Stupid, but that kind of thing happens in show business, I suppose.

Now, dealing with the petition itself. It's just pickles that someone from Boise, Idaho is so whole-heartedly concerned with Metro D.C. gun laws that they need to start a petition to get the White House involved. Either that, or people are having more of those over-the-top reactions to a tragedy I mentioned earlier. Not to mention, as the linked article notes, attempting to get the Obama administration involved in any of this is simply futile.
The drive to lock Gregory up still needs about 15,000 signers, but in the mean time, let's clear this up. Although the White House could certainly apply political pressure to the D.C. government, it has no direct purview over the Metropolitan Police Department's investigations. To boot, Gregory held up the magazine as an example of the kind of ammunition used in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., and in the wake of that carnage, President Obama has moved toward making gun control a key issue in his second term. So, yeah, demanding that the White House clap David Gregory in irons is kind of dumb. Let's instead focus on the real villains, like CNN blabber Piers Morgan. A petition calling for his deportation back to the United Kingdom has garnered more than 82,000 signatures.
Now there's a petition I can get behind.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Piers Morgan favours gun control, some citizens want him deported. That is one of the most idiotic things that I have heard come out of the US in many a year, even more idiotic than this.

     

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    MrWilson, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    This one is easy

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LawfulStupid.

    You don't enforce the law just because it's the law. You enforce the law because it fulfills the purpose of the law. And you don't enforce the law when it's stupid to do so.

    Did David Gregory (or really the producers or assistants who got the clip for him) acquire the clip for illegal purposes? No? They even filmed a sequence of the show and used it as an illustrative device? Wow, doesn't sound like David Gregory or anyone on his show violated the spirit of the law.

    The blind, equal application of the law only works if the law is written with a thousand caveats that no law enforcement officer could remember, much less apply in the course of his duties without a lawyer present, and even that's iffy.

     

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    anonymous dutch coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    not more over the top than usual

    is it because there are over 300 million of you, which means that even a tiny percentage of idiots is a lot of idiots, or is it because you as a nation don't know the meaning of "moderate response"? not to say that we aren't idiots ourselves, but stories like these always seem to come from the US.

     

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  4.  
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    If I were a black teenager with a 30rnd mag, I'd b, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    What about "Zero Tolerance"

    TechDirt is showing its complete lack of understanding of anything non-tech related.

    It's very simple. If he were anyone other than David Gregory, he'd already be in jail.

    DC's code doesn't have a "David Gregory" or "Press" exception. Possession if prohibited. If you pick it up off the ground, you go to jail, it's that simple.

    Even worse, the whole point of Gregory's stunt was to advocate that "large-capacity" magazines should be illegal. So he was willfully violating the law he advocates.

    This enrages all freedom loving people who only want the law to be enforced fairly for all. No special privileges for the press.

     

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    MrWilson, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Re: not more over the top than usual

    It is a matter of numbers in one respect, but also, those of us who know the meaning the "moderate response" either don't respond or are drowned out by the frothing-at-the-mouth screams of the nutjobs.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    Hint: You don't love freedom.

     

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  7.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Dear America,

    Please, Please, Please, Please, Please DO NOT deport Piers Morgan back to the UK.

    Regards,

    The Population of the United Kingdom.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re: This one is easy

    Imagine if it was the NRA representative he was interviewing that was waving around the illegal ammo clip. Would you feel the same way?

    I'm concerned about fairness, and that one side doesn't get a pass that the other side wouldn't get.

    That said, they probably should let him off with a warning, or slap on the wrist at worst. Contacting the ATF did show a good faith attempt to comply with the law, even if that attempt failed. (If you contact the IRS and they give you bad tax advice, you are still financially liable for your own return and may later have to pay back taxes and even interest, but you likely won't get thrown in jail for tax evasion.)

     

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  9.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: This one is easy

    It would depend on the context...

    1. NRA rep says "We have decided that the Government should legislate as we really don't need to have 30 bullets in one clip when we are hunting deer".

    2. NRA rep says "what? Bullets don't kill people, look I have 30 bullets in this clip and no one is dead, it is people that kill people".

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    "If you pick it up off the ground, you go to jail, it's that simple."

    No, it is NOT that simple. If you picked up contraband off the street and right away turned it in to authorities, they probably aren't going to arrest you. That would be silly. Especially if it's something like an ammo clip which is only dangerous in conjunction with a gun.

    "So he was willfully violating the law he advocates."

    That is demonstrably false. He sought permission, albeit from the wrong authorities.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    Please tell me you are joking or being sarcastic or something. Please tell me that you do not support prosecution based on whether he is pro or anti gun. It should not even be necessary for me to explain why that is a horribly bad thing.

     

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    timmaguire42 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

    Did Dick Gregory break the law? Yes or no? The rest of this is just obfuscatory bullshit.

    (By the way, NBC did contact DC police for permission and that permission was refused. They pulled this stunt knowing it was illegal.)

     

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    Infowars, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    AHaha.. Thats a good one.. Go pickup a few 8-balls of the street then walk into the police station to hand them in.. See what happens to your ass.. Get real, this is America after all..

    "Land of the FEE, Home of the SLAVE"

     

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    CSMcDonald (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    So you're ok with deporting someone for exercising their first amendment right to criticize our government and laws? WTF.

     

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    Planespotter (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    I'm confused, you're the one that raised the whole pro/anti thing by asking whether MrWilson would "feel" the same way if it was an NRA Rep opposed to a Journalist who was using it as a prop.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re:

    So you're ok with deporting someone for exercising their first amendment right to criticize our government and laws? WTF.

    It was a joke...

     

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  17.  
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    Bruce Partington, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    So Gregory & Morgan should both be prosecuted?

    Isn't it a bit inconsistent for anti-gun control advocates to want to prosecute Gregory for showing a prop that they want the right to own themselves without regulation?

    And if they want their expansive (and imo ridiculous) theory of Second Amendment rights to profit from people-killing weapons, and their (far more defensible) free speech rights to advocate their theory (in the face of most Americans' disgust), shouldn't they respect Morgan's own rights to free speech under the First Amendment, even if they disagree with what he says? Their own petition accuses him of attacking the Bill of Rights yet they want the First Amendment only to apply to themselves, not those they disagree with.

    (I'm no fan of Morgan, who like John Lott and Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America (the interviewees whom Morgan insulted, see http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/morgan-rips-gun-nut-pratt-youre-unbe ) seems a thoroughly repellent human being. With any justice he'll be indicted in Britain for phone hacking soon.)

     

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  18.  
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    Bruce Partington, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    George H.W. Bush showed bags of crack on national TV without being prosecuted for possession. Just another case of being "too big to jail".

     

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  19.  
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    CSMcDonald (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re:

    It wasn't funny.

     

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  20.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

    The petition asks for a legal outcome, and the WH will not comment on it.
    Unless of course they were lying when they pulled that stunt and sidestepped Dodd admitting he bought laws and people demanded an investigation.

     

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  21.  
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    Joshua Bardwell (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    Re: This one is easy

    You don't enforce the law just because it's the law. You enforce the law because it fulfills the purpose of the law. And you don't enforce the law when it's stupid to do so.

    Ha ha. What country do you live in, with such a reasonable police and judicial system? Certainly not America: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/guns/2012/may/14/miller-injured-vets-guns-stolen-dc/

    Nor the UK: http://www.prisonplanet.com/man-arrested-faces-5-years-in-jail-for-reporting-firearm-to-police.html

    Did David Gregory (or really the producers or assistants who got the clip for him) acquire the clip for illegal purposes? No?

    The law contains no provision that the prohibited items be used for illegal purposes. Mere possession of the item is, in and of itself, an illegal act. And, for the record, I think that's stupid, and I disagree with that law. But it's undeniably clear that, assuming the magazine was real and not a "dummy" prop (empty sheet metal, for example), Gregory broke the law. And the reason I'm crying "hypocrisy" on Gregory even though I don't agree with the law is that, if I was in DC, and I was stopped for a traffic violation, and the officer saw the same magazine on my passenger seat, I would get ZERO leeway because it was "for educational purposes" or what have you. Gregory is only getting as much leeway as he is getting because he is famous, which highlights the "laws for Us and laws for Them" nature of American justice.

    It has been reported that the producers asked the DC police for permission and had it denied. If that's true, then someone willingly broke the law.

     

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  22.  
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    Joshua Bardwell (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    No, it is NOT that simple. If you picked up contraband off the street and right away turned it in to authorities, they probably aren't going to arrest you

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/man-arrested-faces-5-years-in-jail-for-reporting-firearm-to-polic e.html

    Whoops.

    That is demonstrably false. He sought permission, albeit from the wrong authorities.

    Funny. I called the DMV and asked them if it was okay to speed on the highway, and the person I talked to said yes, but somehow, the officer who arrested me didn't get the memo. Also: It has been reported that the producers asked the DC police for permission and had it denied. So the ATF said yes and the DC police said no.

     

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  23.  
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    If I were a black teenager I'd be in jail right no, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    First, see the case of Brian Aitken, in NJ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Aitken

    Second, look at any of the number of people arrested a JFK or La Guardia airports. The airlines can legally transport a weapon through those airports on your behalf. However, if you take possession of the weapon for any reason (say, you missed your connection and the carrier handed your luggage), and then you hand the weapon back in to be checked, you are arrested and immediately jailed (this happens quite frequently).

    Third - Gregory's producers, at least, knew enough about the illegality to check with not 1 but 2 different authorities - DC Metro Police and ATF.

    Fourth, Gregory was advocating to ban high-capacity magazines. Thus, he was willfully violating at least the proposed law.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We're glad you are here to judge fairly what is and isn't funny.

    Sincerely,
    The rest of the internet.

    PS: Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on, wait, no I'm sure he is a fine fellow he can stay.

     

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  25.  
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    huu, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    Re: This one is easy

    That's what judges and juries are supposed to do. When they come across a person who technically violated the law but doesn't deserve the sentence, they can go easy on them.

    Unfortunately, there are sometimes "mandatory minimums" and somesuch that prevent them from exercising common sense upon the law. In which case Gregory should go to jail/be fined as an example of the stupidity of unnecessarily strict laws, and be proud that his unjust punishment will spur politicians to get the law changed.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    Yes, I asked if he would feel the same way. It was a question, just so he could double check that was was being fair and NOT letting the guy's gun stance affect his opinion on what should be done.

    If the government can selectively enforce laws based on the political viewpoints of those potentially violating them, the first amendment may as well not exist.

     

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  27.  
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    RIchZ (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 8:28pm

    Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    And all the pro-gun people I know who signed the petition did so to shine light on the stupidity of the DC law in the first place.

    We all agree David Gregory should NOT be prosecuted, and the law should be struck down as a violation of the Secondment Amendment just like every other DC anti-gun law, but we also think he and his management need to be publicly raked over the coals for violating one of the gun-control laws they advocate in the name of more gun control. Signing the petition is our way of doing that.

     

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  28.  
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    RIchZ (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Re:

    The petition is sort of a joke, but it is also an indignant reaction to his advocated overthrow of a part of the Constitution. As such, he should be treated like any other terrorist trying to overthrow the government.

    Now, the real question is, to where do we deport all our Congresscritters who have violated their oath of office to obey and defend the Constitution? And which country would want to take them?
    :-)

     

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  29.  
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    MrWilson, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    If the NRA rep had the clip specifically for the show, to be used as an illustration, and had put forth the efforts that the show's producers had made as far as clearing it with authorities, and didn't have a gun into which it could be loaded...yeah, I'd be fine with him getting a warning.

    It's not the political viewpoint that is important. It's the intent and the use.

    Waving an illegal clip around to make a point is significantly different than buying an illegal clip for use in a gun.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    "Also: It has been reported that the producers asked the DC police for permission and had it denied. So the ATF said yes and the DC police said no."

    Ah. That changes things. If he asked DC police and they said no, he should be prosecuted. Although, given that his intent was only to make a point on a TV show, he should still only get near the minimum sentence.

     

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  31.  
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    MrWilson, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: This one is easy

    I know this isn't the way it actually works. Some people believe that the law should be enforced evenly in every scenario, but that makes them lawfully stupid, which is tantamount to evil in my opinion.

     

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  32.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

    Re: This one is easy

    > Did David Gregory (or really the producers or assistants who
    > got the clip for him) acquire the clip for illegal purposes?

    First, it's not a clip, it's a magazine, and no, they're not the same thing.

    Second, it doesn't matter why they acquired and possessed the magazine. Doing so for ANY REASON is a crime in DC, and DC has a zero tolerance policy on such things. If they would lock up Joe Citizen for it (and they would), then Gregory shouldn't be treated any differently. Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.

    A lot of otherwise innocent people-- hunters from Virginia and Maryland,
    for example, who inadvertently leave a shotgun shell rattling around their
    floorboards** when they drive into DC to work after a weekend out in the woods-- have been caught up by the rigid and mindless enforcement of these idiotic laws and had their lives ruined, and no one says boo about it, but the moment a big time liberal member of the media elite runs afoul of the same law, suddenly it's pooh-pooh, don't be silly, he didn't mean any harm.

    Didn't Mike run an article at some point in the last year about our two-tier justice system? High and low court or something like that? Well, here you have a prime example.

    Average Joes have been victimized for years by these idiotic laws. There's
    no reason Gregory should get a pass for *intentionally* violating them just
    because he's a pro-gun control celebrity. Is it silly to arrest him for just having an empty mag in his hand on his TV set? Sure. But no more silly than the hundreds of other arrests that have occurred to no-name people just going about their lives that no one ever heard about. If we're going to have these stupid laws, and if we're going to engage in that zero tolerance idiocy when enforcing them, then everyone should be subject to it equally. If that means Gregory has to take one for the team and serve some time to wake people up to this crap, then so be it.

    **Yes, until recently possession of even one bullet in DC was a crime.

     

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  33.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    > Some people believe that the law should be enforced
    > evenly in every scenario, but that makes them lawfully
    > stupid, which is tantamount to evil in my opinion.

    Wow, so equal application of the law to all citizens is evil?

    Yikes.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 10:08pm

    Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    > Even worse, the whole point of Gregory's stunt was to
    > advocate that "large-capacity" magazines should be
    > illegal. So he was willfully violating the law he advocates.

    And proving that those laws are useless. After all, if the DC law didn't prevent him from obtaining one, why does he believe that it will stop some psychopathic, drug-dealing, gang-banging barbarian from obtaining one?

     

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  35.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    > That is demonstrably false. He sought permission, albeit
    > from the wrong authorities.

    It's not false. They asked both the ATF and the DC police. The ATF told them it was fine (they were wrong and didn't have jurisdiction anyway) and the DC police told them it was prohibited.

    They chose to go ahead and do it anyway.

     

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  36.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    > It wasn't funny.

    Yeah, it kinda was.

    Lighten up, Francis.

     

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  37.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 28th, 2012 @ 10:18pm

    Re: So Gregory & Morgan should both be prosecuted?

    > Isn't it a bit inconsistent for anti-gun control advocates to
    > want to prosecute Gregory for showing a prop that they want
    > the right to own themselves without regulation?

    "I don't like the law, but if it's going to be enforced at all, then
    I want it to be enforced equally" doesn't strike me as inconsistent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 2:26am

    Re:

    Plus, there's only one place we Brits would send him - North Korea. With guns.

     

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  39.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 2:54am

    Re:

    If he's as likeable there as he was in the UK, I think that lots of people want him deported for any reason, guns control just happen to be the current excuse ;)

     

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  40.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    I'd guess that what he's saying is that there's more to any situation than whether something is legal or not. Applying the law in a standard way to everyone regardless of circumstance will lead to wrongful punishment. For example, it's not legal for me to punch someone in the face, and I should be punished if I do so unprovoked. But, if said punch is thrown in self defence or to stop another crime, then it would be wrong for me to be stuck with assault charges, even though I may technically have broken the same law.

    So, the above comment seems to be simply pointing this out - while the same law has technically been broken by the guy with the magazine on his front seat and the guy using a prop to illustrate a point on national television, they are clearly different circumstances that need to be treated as such (even if the end judgement turned out to be the same).

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re:

    Is there a petition to deport Murdock yet?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    Want to bet a judge throws it out. The DC judges are all federally appointed judges there are no locally appointed judges in the district.

     

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  43.  
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    Dan, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    This petition would get everyone in government arrested

    is not above the law; he is a , and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.

     

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  44.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just because you don't get the joke doesn't mean it wasn't funny....

     

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  45.  
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    Tristan Phillips, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 8:20am

    The law is for the little people

    Seems that Timothy Geigner believes much of what David Gregory is selling: The law is for the little people and can be willfully ignored if you're doing it for the right reasons.

    Nevermind that the law does give a "journalism" exception (Or any exception for that matter); David Gregory did a "heroic" thing and should not be punished.

    Mr Geigner: will you be telling the peasants to eat cake next?

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    > For example, it's not legal for me to punch someone
    > in the face, and I should be punished if I do so unprovoked.
    > But, if said punch is thrown in self defence or to stop
    > another crime, then it would be wrong for me to be stuck
    > with assault charges,

    That's because the law specifically allows for self defense. It does not allow for possession of a high-cap mag for purposes of a television show.

     

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  47.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    You are Assuming That There Actually Was A Magazine.

    Prove that it really was a prohibited magazine. It may well have been a "deactivated trophy" (made by welding in a metal plate, or something like that), or maybe a replica gun part, designed to differ subtly in all significant dimensions from the real thing, and therefore to be non-interchangeable. Or, for that matter, prove that it wasn't electronically inserted. It might have been a piece of white plastic, plus a computer program using "greenscreen" technique to re-color it realistically, post-filming. Movie actors "shoot" each other all the time, but the prop men take measures to ensure that there aren't any accidents. They don't just let an actor play around with a real gun. It must be kind of reflexive with the prop men to substitute a "ringer."

    As yet, there don't seem to be anything more than unconfirmed rumors. Accounts seem confused, and they include claims that the Washington Metro Police Department told NBC what it could _show_ on television. Obviously, that is incorrect. If NBC chooses to film a segment in Virginia or Maryland, and avoid bringing contraband materials into the District, for example, that is none of the Washington Metro Police Department's business.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/cops-nbc-told-dont-use-gun-clip-85497.html#ixzz2G Bpyl8k7
    http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/cops-probe-nbc-gregory-on-gun-clip-85481.html?hp=f2
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2012/12/nra-wont-back-cut-in-bullet-capacity-ceo-says-15 2703.html

    An obvious question which arises is, how would the studio get a real magazine. They couldn't just order one through the usual theatrical supply channels. If they tried to get a police permit to buy something, and were turned down, their reflex response would not be to get it through black market channels, but to make a fake. The occupational hazard of television newsmen is that they are really actors, and now and again, they forget that they are supposed to be journalists, and start faking things, using all the standard tricks of the theater and movie studio. That is much more plausible than their having a black-market weapons connection.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    the problem is that Piers Morgan is a foreign national who has taken a stance against the one of the key rights that are recognized in this country - and then used his media platform to preach those views. If he were a US citizen then he would have the right to express his viewpoints whether they be ignorant or not. As a foreign national doing so is at a very basic level, an attack on the United States and people are rightfully upset that someone who is a guest of our country is attacking rights that we've had for over 225 years. Simply stated, its neither his place, nor is it intelligent of him to do so.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    And yet the law isn't written in such a manner - mere possession puts you at odds with the law. What you're saying is the same as saying that 50 pounds of C4 explosive is ok for a civilian to have so long as his stated intent for it is use as a paperweight or as modelling clay. Intent is used as part of these sorts of laws infrequently at best.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    "Land of the FEE, Home of the SLAVE"

    I'm going to use this phase elsewhere ... if you don't mind.

     

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  51.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    "We all agree David Gregory should NOT be prosecuted..."

    That's not the impression I'm getting from some a of the comments here.

    "...and the law should be struck down as a violation of the Secondment Amendment..."

    Can you point to the section of the Second Amendment that discusses high-capacity magazines? Did they even have magazines in 1791? Don't think so.

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not yet... So let's go start one!!

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    mhab, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re:

    and yet he has the proper paperwork to live/work in the US. the constitution does not specify that the bill of rights should NOT apply to foreign nationals while they are in the US. If a foreign national (who was here with all his paperwork in order) were to walk through a federal building with a shirt reading "Where the fuck were the WMDs george?" (for example), and was accausted by police, im pretty sure the guy would be let go on the grounds "freedom of (political) speech" . After all, there is precident for this back in the days of the draft. Bottom line, the man is being railroaded by the super paranoid/sensitive 2nd amendment obsessed fringe in this country and within months this whole charade will have faded away.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re:

    But because we are supposedly all about free speech as a basic tenet of human rights, we cannot, in good conscience, plug his pie hole.

    On the other hand, we can fucking tune to another channel, and get his show shitcanned due to low viewership...

     

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  55.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: This one is easy

    And let's not forget that the clips could have been FAKE.

     

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  56.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    "Land of the FEE, home of the SLAVE."

    I'm laying claim to that as mine, since Anonymous Coward cannot because (s)he is anonymous.

    And anyone who uses it, use pay me a small licensing fee. 25 sounds good.

    Now start coughing up those quarters....

     

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  57.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    The difference is, the show's producers DID seek permission from the D.C. authorities,mbut they did not get back to the, in time; therefore, the onus of this falls to them. Plus, ATF trumps DC in terms of authority; therefore.. . MTP and their people are safe.

    Of course, if you apply the "captain of the ship" principle... the producers are the ones who should go to jail, because they are the ones who TOLD him to hold that prop up...

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    TIMMAY! Geithner, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    Re: The law is for the little people

    No, I'll tell them to eat McDonald's. Never mind I own a fuckton of their stock.

    Sincerely,

    Timothy "TIMMAY!" Geithner.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    Re: You are Assuming That There Actually Was A Magazine.

    > Prove that it really was a prohibited magazine.

    He said it was on air. He confessed to the crime on national television.

    > An obvious question which arises is, how would the studio
    > get a real magazine. They couldn't just order one through
    > the usual theatrical supply channels.

    Actually, the could. The magazines that shoot blanks in Rambo movies are the same as the ones that shoot real rounds.

    > That is much more plausible than their having a black-market
    > weapons connection.

    And even more plausible is that they just had one delivered from one of the neighboring states where they're not illegal.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: You are Assuming That There Actually Was A Magazine.

    Obviously, the suggestion is that the television presenter lied, but he didn't do so on oath or affirmation, and it wouldn't be the first time, or even the first time they got caught. If you recall, there was a recent case of a show about defective automobiles which were allegedly fire hazards, and since the television people needed a car to dramatically burst into flames for the camera, they put in some explosives to make sure that it did, and when the story came out, they got sued by the automaker. There's all kinds of stuff which is just routine, like using a rear-projection screen to create the impression that a television newsman is on location, when he is actually in the studio. Then there's the make-up. This NRA official, Wayne LaPierre, probably had to submit to having blusher, and lipstick, and eye shadow applied. It's not as if a fake magazine would be a really big deal, a sudden betrayal of the television studio's usual standards of truthfulness.

    Look at it this way, a halfway decent props man does a quick Google search, pulls down and prints off some pictures; and then he takes a block of wood, say a chunk of two-by-four, cuts it down to rough dimensions with a radial-arm saw, and then begins sculpting it with a Dremel Moto-Tool, slaps on some suitable paint, and he's got a faux magazine good enough for the TV host to wave around, in maybe half an hour, which is probably faster than a courier service can deliver from Northern Virginia. And that's quite apart from the time spent finding a reputable gun dealer willing to ship across state lines without the paperwork being in order. When people find themselves in difficulties, they fall back on their core skills, and these people are craftsmen, not drug dealers.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    And I'm saying that the law is wrong in that respect, because intent can make a significant difference.

    Having C4 explosives is dangerous regardless of why you possess it, so that analogy doesn't work.

    Having a clip without a gun is harmless. A clip without a gun (or even bullets) can't go off accidentally. Explosives can.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    "Plus, ATF trumps DC in terms of authority; therefore.. . MTP and their people are safe."

    Maybe if it were a federal law, but this was a local law. The ATF does not have veto power over the city police's enforcement of gun laws.

    "Of course, if you apply the "captain of the ship" principle... the producers are the ones who should go to jail, because they are the ones who TOLD him to hold that prop up..."

    I don't know DC law, so I'm not sure if inducement of possession is listed as an actual crime. But even if it is, the guy is still responsible for his own actions, regardless of what his producers told him to do.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 29th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about "Zero Tolerance"

    So, if your boss tells you to commit a crime, OR ELSE, and you cave in because you need that job; does that mean YOU should go down for being coerced into doing that thing?? And you know it's coercion, because you know as well as I do that if you do lose that job, you're gonna either be living in a cardboard box in a few weeks; or in jail because you had to steal to feed your family.

    At some point, those that give the orders need to face the music, too, ESPECIALLY when they give orders they KNOW lead to an illegal act.

     

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  64.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Dec 30th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re:

    Simply stated, its neither his place, nor is it intelligent of him to do so.

    Says the guy who thinks criticism is only allowed for... who exactly? And better tone down on the rhetoric, "attack" is laughable.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 30th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re:

    So, you think the constitution should only apply to citizens and that foreign visitors should have no rights? Thankfully, your founders took a different view.

     

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  66.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 30th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: You are Assuming That There Actually Was A Magazine.

    Or they could just save all that time and money and just drive three miles across the river into Virginia where they're not illegal and pick up one at a gun store and take it back to the studio.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    vegetaman (profile), Dec 30th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Breaking the law isn't magically protected under the guise of journalism. Especially when it's something that the average joe probably feels they'd get arrested or fined for.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Dec 30th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    And that is exactly why even application of the law is, in my opinion, evil.

    We have laws that allow for self defense because that comes up a lot, so it's an obviously necessary exception, but it's impossible to have laws that account for every exceptional circumstance that may arise. It's impossible to predict what those exceptions would need to be in every scenario. And it would be morally bad to simply enforce the law as written if the purpose of the law is not being fulfilled in its enforcement.

    The purpose of the banning of the possession of a high capacity magazine is to prevent people from using them in a weapon, more specifically, to kill multiple innocent people.

    If a reporter possesses such a magazine, but not a gun to use it in, and not for the purpose of using it at all, and not for the purpose of killing people, and not for the purpose of killing innocent people, then the purpose of the law (preventing the deaths of multiple innocent people by guns with high capacity magazines) is not served by charging the reporter for that possession.

    Certainly confiscate it. Certainly give him a warning. But the people calling for his arrest and prosecution are doing so out of either political spite or lawfully stupid motivations.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    E Thorn, Dec 30th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

    Freedom of only the press

    I don't really want to see him arrested, just like I don't want to see ANYONE arrested for such a stupid law... but I think he should be prosecuted. He is advocating a ridiculous law which is ALREADY ON THE BOOKS in DC. He is, at the same moment, breaking that law... showing that he is a hypocrite and that the law doesn't work.

    Further, anyone who knows anything about DC's laws and the Metropolitan police know that there is ZERO TOLERANCE for gun infractions and that all of them are non-intent crimes... which means it doesn't matter why you broke the law or if you knew you were breaking the law, it's still a felony and you still go to jail. Sometimes for weeks, in the case of our military members who make mistakes (like leaving bullets in their bags coming back from deployment!).

    Seeing a smirking guy hold up a prohibited item on TV while in the same breath talking about how nobody should be able to have them... almost makes it worth the cost of arresting him. But I guess I would be happy with the maximum fine.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Dec 30th, 2012 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: This one is easy

    Zero tolerance policies are stupid. They're the kind of policies that get kids kicked out of school for having aspirin or get them sex offender status for non-sexually kicking another student in the balls.

    David Gregory shouldn't be prosecuted and neither should any other citizen if it can be shown (as Gregory can with the footage from his show) that his possession was not in violation of the spirit of the law.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Dec 30th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    "lawfully stupid motivations"?? :wtf:

    What if he or the station don't own that magazine? What if they obtained it legally from a gun owner IN ANOTHER STATE, where it's legal to own such a thing?

    And what if the magazine is now back in the hands of the legal owner? Where does that "law" stand now?

    IMHO, on pretty shaky ground.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 31st, 2012 @ 3:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are Assuming That There Actually Was A Magazine.

    Remunerative arts and crafts jobs are scarce, hard to come by, and highly competitive. Someone who is in a position to pay a salary for full-time craft work comparable to that received by a school-teacher can circulate through the various art colleges, and amateur venues such as Makerfaires and the Society for Creative Anachronism, and pick out the best of the best (*). The employer gets people who are ideologically committed to craftsmanship as a way of life. These kind of people see a fancy new tool, and they want it, like a little kid, without knowing what they are going to use it for. For example, they would have been the first people to get their own fabricators. Once a bunch of people of this type are gathered together in a workshop, they push each other to higher and higher levels of achievement, and, as a matter of mutual self-interest, they seek to justify themselves to their employer by getting a reputation of being able to solve any problem. These people get to the point where they can make stuff about as easily as an artist can draw a sketch. The marginal cost of producing something is almost nil.

    (*) This is not the same situation as that applying to construction tradesmen. Construction tradesmen can get paid to make useful objects-- buildings-- through craft methods, rather than mass-production. For someone who makes, say, furniture, the situation is much more difficult, because mass-produced furniture can be imported from China. And the same thing applies even more forcibly to things which are smaller and lighter. Very often, theatrical backstage work, of one kind or another, represents an opportunity to do craftsmanship at a level which is not required anywhere else for a given class of objects. This includes tailoring/dressmaking/costume, jewelry, metal-smithing, musical-instrument-making, pottery and glassmaking, armoring, cabinet-making, hair styling, makeup, etc. Even an automobile stylist gets to make extravagant things like "bat-mobiles" on the stage, which are non-starters in the real-automobile business. Read the two Star Trek memoirs (Gen Roddenberry and Stephen Whitfield, _The Making of Star Trek_, 1968; and David Gerrold, _The World of Star Trek: The Show The Network Could Not Kill_, 1973) to get an idea of what backstage culture is like. Again, there is no direct evidence about where the "magazine" came from, but, as I see it, in terms of external appearance, a magazine is just a box, with a few details added. You don't have to carry out the internal spring, or anything like that. As a design project, it is extremely minimal.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    AJBarnes, Dec 31st, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Freedom

    "Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people." - Penn Jillette

    As Obama has circumvented congress and the American people to legislate by fiat, I can't wait to see how he will use Executive Powers to do it again for gun owners. And it will ONLY be the good people that lose their guns as we know how well thugs follow the law. Didn't we eliminate all illegal drug sales by more laws??

     

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  74.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 31st, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    Actually C4 is quite safe as long as you don't have a blasting cap. It's designed to be very stable and it is. You can smash it with a hammer or set it on fire and it will not explode.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    > It's impossible to predict what those
    > exceptions would need to be in every scenario.

    There ARE NO exceptions when it comes to hi-cap mags in DC. Unless you're in law enforcement (which is provided for in the law), you're not allowed to possess them FOR ANY REASON. Doing a TV show isn't an exception. It's a prohibited use.

    You may not agree with such an overly strict law-- I certainly don't-- but it *is* the law, and media people have to obey the law just like everyone else. At least theoretically, if not in apparent practice.

     

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  76.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Re: This one is easy

    > David Gregory shouldn't be prosecuted and
    > neither should any other citizen if it can
    > be shown (as Gregory can with the footage
    > from his show) that his possession was not
    > in violation of the spirit of the law.

    And yet every other citizen *would* be prosecuted for the equally innocent possession of such an object. So if we're going to be prosecuting them, Gregory shouldn't get a pass.

    As for the spirit of the law, the intent of the people who wrote the law and passed it is clear: possession of those magazines is prohibited without exception, for any reason, by anyone who is not law enforcement, regardless of whether they have a gun at hand in which it can be used.

    The 'spirit' of the law is to ban them completely, and Gregory's behavior surely did violate that spirit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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