Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Justice for Thee, But Not for Me...dia

In July, The Washington Times highlighted the plight of former Army Spc. Adam Meckler, who was arrested and jailed for having a few long-forgotten rounds of ordinary ammunition — but no gun — in his backpack in Washington. Mr. Meckler, a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says he had no idea it was illegal to possess unregistered ammunition in the city. He violated the same section of D.C. law as Mr. Gregory allegedly did, and both offenses carry the same maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
So much for the argument made by liberals that David Gregory does not deserve to be prosecuted under this statute because he did not intend to do any harm to anyone with his stunt.  As written the law does not require such intent, and they clearly enforce it on that basis.
Mr. Meckler was charged with the crime and was forced to accept a plea deal to avoid the cost and time of a protracted legal fight. The indefensible nature of Mr. Meckler’s case led directly to a new law passed by the D.C. Council in December that allows prosecutors to file civil instead of criminal charges, but only if the accused was unaware of the city’s laws.
NBC has big  pockets; let them battle a District or US Attorney intent on making a career or a political point out of his opposition to gun control, or perhaps in this case, his opposition to media flouting the law for profits.
That exemption probably wouldn’t apply to Mr. Gregory, who held up a 30-round rifle magazine on his show on Dec. 23 to make his point about the need to ban them. NBC asked the police in advance for permission to bring the contraband into Washington for the interview with National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, but it was not granted.

“I unknowingly broke the law,” Mr. Meckler told The Washington Times. “Mr. Gregory knowingly broke the law. While both are seemingly harmless, both acts were deemed illegal under the District’s obscure firearms laws.” Mr. Meckler said he would never have intentionally left the rounds in his bag.

The former Army medic is still upset about being left with a criminal record and being enrolled on the police list of firearms-related criminals. “I think if you had to measure the criminality of the two instances, his should be interpreted as more severe. At the very least, he should be put on probation, pay a fine and be added to the District’s Gun Offender Registry, as I was ordered to do,” Mr. Meckler said.
It wouldn't hurt David Gregory to have a criminal conviction, pay a heavy fine, and have to report to a probation officer monthly for a year or three.  After all, that is the going price for breaking this law unintentionally.  Maybe it should be worse for breaking it intentionally;

"Coming to you live from Washington D.C. Jail this week, "Meet the Press" with David Gregory.  From his cell this week, David will be interviewing Herschel McCrude, crack dealer and homosexual rapist."

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