Posts Tagged ‘Magazinegate’

David Gregory and Toys For Totalitarians

Posted: December 31, 2013 by ShortTimer in Crime, Elitism, Guns, Media
Tags: ,

It’s been a little over a year since the most popular post to date here at The Patriot Perspective.  David Gregory waved a 30-round magazine that’s illegal in DC on TV in clear violation of the law.  NBC staff went to the DC police beforehand and asked permission but was denied, so they willingly and knowingly violated DC law, and yet no one faced charges, in a clear case where if you’re rich and powerful and politically connected, the laws don’t apply to you.

david gregory if I were you

Now this year, Mike Vanderboegh over at Sipsey Street Irregulars (famously one of the blogs that broke Fast and Furious) has started a little Christmas season campaign called “Toys for Totalitarians”, wherein he sends standard capacity rifle magazines to governors of anti-gun states and a few media figures who’ve championed for anti-gun causes – often where their receipt and possession of a magazine is in violation of their own laws, just to yank their chains and invite them to arrest themselves and enforce their own laws.

And he sent one to David Gregory:

24 December 2013

David Gregory

NBC News Washington Bureau

4001 Nebraska Ave NW

Washington, DC 20016

Re: Your award in the Sipsey Street Irregulars Toys for Totalitarians Campaign.

Congratulations! Enclosed you will find my Christmas gift to you, one twenty-eight-round standard capacity AR-15 magazine in 7.62×39 caliber, manufactured by C Products Defense, Inc. of Bradenton, Florida. You have been awarded this gift as part of what my friend David Codrea calls my “Toys for Totalitarians Campaign.” We had a few magazines left over after sending them to the governors of Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and New York so we decided to select collectivist media purveyors who likewise deserved our scorn and your name was among five at the top our list! You earned that thanks to your previous run-in with the District of Columbia’s draconian law when you flashed an AR-15 magazine to make a gun control point and suffered not at all thanks to the usual collectivist hypocrisy that is characteristic of the anointed of the DC Mandarin class to which you and your wife, former federal prosecutor and former Fannie Mae executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Beth Wilkinson, belong. (We could chat about her role in the cover-up of the Oklahoma City bombing, but then I really don’t have the inclination at the moment — so many smuggling challenges, so little time.)

So your anti-firearm hypocrisy is legendary and it goes without saying that you have a distinct bias when it comes to citizen disarmament. So I selected a magazine for you in the caliber of 7.62×39, for that is the round originally designed for Mikhail Kalashnikov‘s AK-47. Given your collectivist politics, I thought it was an appropriate choice, since Kalashnikov was an unrepentant Soviet to the end of his days. (Kalashnikov, of course, just crossed over to meet his Maker. I’m sure his conversation with God about Stalin was an interesting one.) From one collectivist to another, I thought. Dulce et decorum est.

Anyway, now that you’ve accepted another piece of technology that is illegal within the confines of the District of Columbia, you are once again in violation of the law. Why don’t you go down and turn yourself in for arrest? I mean, if you are intellectually honest you would, right? Oh, wait, the terms “intellectually honest” and NBC cannot be used in the same sentence, now can they?

As for myself I will continue my campaign of armed civil disobedience — including smuggling — against this latest spate of unconstitutional state laws. You may choose to twist that news in service to the collectivist meme however you like. You always do.

Sincerely, and hoping you have a happy socialist Kwanzaa (a holiday invented by an FBI COINTELPRO stooge),

Mike Vanderboegh, Smuggler

The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters

Reprinted in full so as not to lose any of the heavily acerbic punch.

If more people were to do this, it might work like those old “mail a brick” protests.  Hmm…

George Orwell once said that if you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

In DC, that future is now:

Mark Witaschek, a successful financial adviser with no criminal record, is facing two years in prison for possession of unregistered ammunition after D.C. police raided his house looking for guns. Mr. Witaschek has never had a firearm in the city, but he is being prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The trial starts on Nov. 4.

The police banged on the front door of Mr. Witaschek’s Georgetown home at 8:20 p.m. on July 7, 2012, to execute a search warrant for “firearms and ammunition … gun cleaning equipment, holsters, bullet holders and ammunition receipts.”

None of that is illegal under the Constitution.  And the last part isn’t illegal under DC law (where which “shall not be infringed” means “licensed, restricted, forbidden, and banned for all but the ruling class”).

After entering the house, the police immediately went upstairs, pointed guns at the heads of Mr. Witaschek and his girlfriend, Bonnie Harris, and demanded they surrender, facedown and be handcuffed.

In recalling what followed, Mr. Witaschek became visibly emotional in describing how the police treated him, Ms. Harris and the four children in the house.

His 16-year-old son was in the shower when the police arrived. “They used a battering ram to bash down the bathroom door and pull him out of the shower, naked,” said his father. “The police put all the children together in a room, while we were handcuffed upstairs. I could hear them crying, not knowing what was happening.”

DCPD hard at work terrorizing children and teenagers.  I guess they must’ve wanted to do this Elian Gonzales-style.

The police shut down the streets for blocks and spent more than two hours going over every inch of his house. “They tossed the place,” said Mr. Witaschek. He provided photos that he took of his home after the raid to document the damage, which he estimated at $10,000.

The police found no guns in the house, but did write on the warrant that four items were discovered: “One live round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition,” which was an inoperable shell that misfired during a hunt years earlier. Mr. Witaschek had kept it as a souvenir. “One handgun holster” was found, which is perfectly legal.

“One expended round of .270 caliber ammunition,” which was a spent brass casing. The police uncovered “one box of Knight bullets for reloading.” These are actually not for reloading, but are used in antique-replica, single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles.

Your federal tax dollars at work.

Emily Miller makes the same point I would:

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier reserves such harsh tactics for ordinary citizens. When NBC News anchor David Gregory violated the gun-registration law last year by wielding an illegal 30-round magazine on live television, he was not arrested.

Mr. Nathan also gave Mr. Gregory a pass, writing that prosecuting him “would not promote public safety.”

david gregory if I were you

Updated meme from Legal Insurrection

Of course, this isn’t the first time DCPD has done this kind of thing.  Not for US soldiers and not for vets who make the mistake of stopping at a veterans hospital.

Witaschek is looking at two years in prison for the shotgun shell and the brass.  Also noteworthy is that the DCPD skipped over to Virginia, where he keeps his guns, in order to go after him there.

Two weeks after the June raid, D.C. police investigators went to his sister’s house — unaccompanied by Virginia police and without a warrant — and asked to “view” the firearms, according to a police report. She refused. The next day, the D.C. police returned to her house with the Arlington County police and served her with a criminal subpoena.

Looks like that’s pretty conclusive evidence that if they know you have guns, they’ll go after you.  What triggered all this?  A false statement by an ex-wife that was found “without merit” by a judge.  Commenting on the tyranny of family law and how it’s horribly biased is a whole other can of worms, though.

In the meantime, it’s important to realize that this man’s children were dragged naked and handcuffed into a room while his house was ransacked and the entire block was shut off so a dud shotshell and a brass case could be found.  I’m sure that’s what the Founders meant by “shall not be infringed”, and non-sarcastically, this is what the left means by “reasonable gun control”.

No word on whether the DCPD is going to be wearing some snazzy Hugo Boss uniforms with skulls on them yet.


UpdateLegal Insurrection has more about the disparity between this tyrannically aggressive enforcement and the non-enforcement when it comes to David Gregory.

Updated with Professor Jacobson’s newer version of the David Gregory meme replacing the older one to more accurately represent the case, too.


Good on David Gregory!  Gregory demands that Glenn Greenwald be held accountable for his support of Edward Snowden.  Since David Gregory has so much integrity, there’s no way he’s saying this just because Obama’s being made to look like a snooping despot.

WASHINGTON (AP) — NBC “Meet the Press” host David Gregory got a rise out of Glenn Greenwald on Sunday by asking the Guardian reporter why he shouldn’t be charged with a crime for having “aided and abetted” former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.

Damn right!  Charge Greenwald!

Greenwald replied on the show Sunday that it was “pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.”

Sounds like the kind of thing Greenwald would say!  He’s clearly a criminal dirtbag who needs to be charged!  David Gregory would never stand with someone who would commit a crime punishable by a year in prison!

Gregory responded that “the question of who is a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing.”

Damn straight!  Good on David Gregory for standing up for the law and not letting journalists who think they’re special just go out and break it!

David Gregory’s got integrity!  He’d never do such a thing like that shoddy yellow journalist Greenwald!

Well, except for that one time

david gregory glenn greenwald 130624


david gregory glenn greenwald 130624 a

david gregory glenn greenwald 130624 b-

Greenwald understood Gregory’s intended point quite well:

If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal, and it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States,” said Greenwald, a former constitutional and civil rights lawyer who has written three books contending that the government has violated personal rights in the name of protecting national security.

Later, Greenwald tweeted, “Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?”


Revisiting a big story.  From Emily Miller at the Washington Times, who has been sending some letters back and forth to DC officials:

…He sent back a Feb. 20 email from Victor Bonett in the attorney general’s office that said, “OAG is withholding the Jan. 9, 2013 letter from Lee Levine and certain responsive emails between OAG and MPD, pursuant to D.C. Official Code Section 2-534(a)(3)(A)(i), (a)(4) and (e).”

Mr. Levine’s letter provided new information, such as that the source of the “high-capacity” magazine. “Meet the Press briefly borrowed the empty magazine from a private citizen who lives outside of the District of Columbia and who ‘Meet the Press’ understood possessed the magazine lawfully,” he wrote.

The NBC lawyer also claimed, “The magazine was immediately returned to its owner following the broadcast.”

However, according to a police “property record” document, a Kay Industries 30-round magazine was recovered from Mr. Gregory (at a redacted address) as part of an active investigation. The document is signed on Jan. 9, two days after Mr. Levine said the magazine had been returned to its owner.

So the mag they claim they borrowed was returned and yet a mag was still seized.  So no matter what NBC’s story, if the DC police seized a mag, that’s all it takes to violate the law.  Mere possession, and that’s it.

Good to see folks with resources, regional proximity, and ability are pursing this.

No matter how it turns out, it’s a splendid case to use for anyone who’s arrested or charged from now on to illustrate a failure of equal application of the law.

David-Gregory already in jail

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a bit more.

Since gun laws are now meaningless if you’re violating them for First Amendment purposes, it’s time for the million gun march on DC.

From Politico, via Drudge:

NBC’s David Gregory is off the hook for showing a high-capacity gun magazine on “Meet the Press” and will not be prosecuted, D.C.’s attorney general announced on Friday.

D.C. attorney general Irvin Nathan on Friday said he would decline to prosecute in the case involving the Sunday show host and any NBC staffers. In a letter to NBC’s attorney Lee Levine, Nathan wrote that after reviewing the matter, his office “has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated” with the broadcast.

Some animals are more equal than others.

The office made its decision “despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.”

Translation: “We know he broke the law, but f*ck you.”

Nathan noted that his office’s decision in this case was also influenced by “our recognition that 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.”

Oh goodie!  You can use the First Amendment to promote destruction of the Second.  Let’s turn that around and see how it works, shall we?

Since there’s now a First Amendment exception to the law, it’s time for a million gun march on DC.

And from NBC:

“We displayed the empty magazine solely for journalistic purposes to help illustrate an important issue for our viewers. We accept the District of Columbia Attorney General’s admonishment, respect his decision and will have no further comment on this matter,” the show stated.

Yeah.  Just like you blew up pickup trucks.  But this hypocrisy was guaranteed to be a win-win, and it still is a win.  Hypocrisy exposed, gun laws meaningless under the David Gregory exception.  There’s now a new exemption to prosecution.

Update: HotAir has more of the letter from the DC AG.

From Washington Post:

The decision on whether anyone should be prosecuted after “Meet the Press” host David Gregory appeared to hold a high-capacity ammunition magazine on national television now belongs to the District’s Office of the Attorney General, authorities said Tuesday.

In an e-mail, a spokeswoman for D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said her department has “completed the investigation into this matter, and the case has been presented to the OAG for a determination of the prosecutorial merit of the case.”

WaPo carries water for their fellow journalist with the “appeared to hold”.  That’s like saying “the Hindenberg appeared to go down in flames”.

Ed Morrisey at HotAir provides the same commentary that’s been made here at the Patriot Perspective since pretty much day one:

DC prosecutes people for violating this absurd law, which has done nothing to keep the area out of the top-ranked gun homicide cities, it should be noted.  Either Gregory should be held just as accountable as anyone else in DC for violating the law, or the law should be struck and other prosecutions dropped.  There is no journalistic privilege for violating gun laws, no matter how absurd they are — even if the violation eminently demonstrates the absurdity.

David Shuster, now former Current TV anchor, as they’re now Al Jazeera, but whatever, he still makes the point that he’s ashamed of David Gregory:

Meet the Press is the oldest and most treasured public affairs show on television. The program’s host, merely by occupying the job, is a leader in broadcast journalism and in the Washington, D.C. community where the show is based.

This is why the ongoing silence of David Gregory and NBC News — following his apparent on-air violation of D.C. gun laws — is so disconcerting. By choosing not to comment, not only is Gregory diminished, but it harms the legacy of Meet the Press and leaves Washington, D.C. police with no opportunity to save face and move on.

Interesting thing to hear coming from the left.

…Washington, D.C. police are now stuck. If they let David Gregory off without getting any acknowledgment from him that he made a mistake, police will be throwing “equal justice under the law” out the window. After all, would an African-American in Southeast D.C. who violated a gun law — and wouldn’t acknowledge it — get a break? Of course not.

Shuster’s probably seen this:

David-Gregory already in jail

And yet, each day the Gregory investigation continues, D.C. police are wasting more precious resources and time.

I appreciate that NBC counsel have apparently urged David Gregory, his staff, and all executives not to say anything while the investigation continues. But in this case, the narrow interests of a company lawyer undercut the ethical obligations of Meet the Press to journalism and the city of Washington, D.C.

It’s wise of them not to do so.  They were, after all…

Of course, Mike Judge had more subtlety than David Gregory.

There is nothing that prevents David Gregory from showing some respect to those institutions right now by saying something like, “I am sorry that my actions have caused a police investigation. My team and I will cooperate fully with D.C. police and do whatever we can to help resolve this matter.”

For now, however, David Gregory and NBC News offer only silence and “no comment.”

That is what you’re supposed to do when you’re caught red-handed.  Talking to the police only digs a hole deeper.  NBC has good lawyers who know how to not make a situation worse.  An apology, to a detective, is called a confession; and with a HD video of the crime broadcast to millions and subject matter expert across the table, there’s nowhere to go but guilty.

This is unfortunate and hypocritical. Not taking responsibility is what Gregory himself accused the Obama White House of doing in October over Benghazi. Gregory said at the time, “the buck stops with the White House and the president on these matters.”

Mr. Shuster, if your eyes are open to this, expect to see more of these things from your former leftist media heroes.  You didn’t even have to fight Roddy Piper – you put those sunglasses on for yourself.

HT HotAir

From Dylan Byers at Politico:

Last Friday, NBC’s David Gregory was making headlines as the subject of a D.C. police investigation after having displayed an empty gun magazine on live television. Later that day, NBC announced that Gregory had landed an exclusive interview with President Obama, and the issue more or less went away.

Gregory remains under investigation, a Washington Metropolitan Police Department official today told POLITICO, but the story seems like a distant memory.

Because some animals are more equal than others.

Those who argue that the investigation is ludicrous have a point: Showing an empty gun magazine on television, though illegal in Washington, D.C., was hardly going to harm anyone. As Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren wrote, it’s hard to think of a sillier use of investigative resources.

Except if you have a videotaped confession.  Then it’s a matter of seconds to do the investigation.

But it’s also hard to blame the other side for asking that laws be upheld and applied to all — especially at a time when so many in the media seem to be pushing for more of those laws.

Kudos to Byers for getting the point here.

The Gregory investigation may have started as a “non-story,” but that’s no longer the case. There are some folks on the right who still care about the outcome, and are ready to cite it as precedent if it goes Gregory’s way.

If some animals are more equal than others, expect any attempts at citizen disarmament to go even worse.  And expect Alan Gura to remember it when DC v Heller II makes it to SCOTUS.  Even the ideologically blinded judges will have a difficult time explaining it away.  Even Sotomayor and Kagan won’t be able to dream up some kind of explanation.

David-Gregory already in jail

Some Media Animals Are More Equal Than Others

Posted: December 30, 2012 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Media

There have been a few very, very good column’s on David Gregory’s hypocrisy in the last few days as commentators and columnists finally catch up on the Christmastime news story.  Mark Steyn and Noah Rothman have two of the best.

Mark Steyn has an excellent piece on David Gregory’s Magazinegate.  I recommend it – he hits pretty much all the points needed to illustrate the absurdity and hypocrisy of the media and the law.

…the “dumbest media story of 2012” is actually rather instructive. David Gregory intended to demonstrate what he regards as the absurdity of America’s lax gun laws. Instead, he’s demonstrating the ever greater absurdity of America’s non-lax laws. His investigation, prosecution, and a sentence of 20–30 years with eligibility for parole after ten (assuming Mothers Against High-Capacity Magazines don’t object) would teach a far more useful lesson than whatever he thought he was doing by waving that clip under LaPierre’s nose.

To Howard Kurtz & Co., it’s “obvious” that Gregory didn’t intend to commit a crime. But, in a land choked with laws, “obviousness” is one of the first casualties — and “obviously” innocent citizens have their “obviously” well-intentioned actions criminalized every minute of the day…

Anything involving guns is even less amenable to “obviousness.” A few years ago, Daniel Brown was detained at LAX while connecting to a Minneapolis flight because traces of gunpowder were found on his footwear. His footwear was combat boots. As the name suggests, the combat boots were returning from combat — eight months of it, in Iraq’s bloody and violent al-Anbar province. Above the boots he was wearing the uniform of a staff sergeant in the USMC Reserve Military Police and was accompanied by all 26 members of his unit, also in uniform. Staff Sergeant Brown doesn’t sound like an “obvious” terrorist. But the TSA put him on the no-fly list anyway. If it’s not “obvious” to the government that a serving member of the military has any legitimate reason for being around ammunition, why should it be “obvious” that a TV host has?

There are two possible resolutions: Gregory can call in a favor from some Obama consigliere who’ll lean on the cops to disappear the whole thing. If he does that, he’ll be contributing to the remorseless assault on a bedrock principle of free societies — equality before the law. Laws either apply to all of us or none of us. If they apply only to some, they’re not laws but caprices — and all tyranny is capricious.

Or he can embrace the role in which fate has cast him. Sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive. Eleven-year-old girls fined for rescuing woodpeckers, serving Marines put on the no-fly list, and fifth-generation family cats being ordered into separate compounds with “electric wire” fencing can all testify to how near that point America is. But nothing “raises awareness” like a celebrity spokesman. Step forward, David Gregory! Dare the prosecutor to go for the death penalty — and let’s make your ammo the non-shot heard round the world!

Read the whole column here.

Noah Rothman has this column at Mediaite – Gun Control Debate Exposed the Media’s Bias; David Gregory Exposed Their Hypocrisy:

Gone are the days when it was a news anchors job to report the political position of America’s elected officials. Today, it is acceptable – even commendable – to berate them on camera for holding views with which the anchor disagrees.

While many in the nation’s establishment news media display naked contempt for lawmakers who may differ with them on the necessity of more gun laws, the loathing with which they regard the National Rifle Association is unparalleled.

Misplaced priorities are one thing – they are easily exposed and, maybe, just as easily forgiven; the necessities of making compelling television or newspaper copy supported by advertising being what they are. Hypocrisy, on the other hand, should be unforgivable. The “national conversation” has, in a way, been blessed with a glaring example of the media’s hypocrisy in a rather silly incident in which NBC’s Meet the Press anchor David Gregory ran afoul of local gun laws in Washington D.C. when he displayed a high capacity magazine on camera this past Sunday.

Members of the media, on the right and the left, rushed to his defense with a collective eye-roll. Gregory’s infraction is “[n]ow officially the dumbest media story of 2012,” wrote New York University professor Jay Rosenon Twitter. “Dumb, dumb, dumb.” Media critic Jeff Jarvis used “nonstory” twice in one sentence to describe Gregory’s predicament. “A total waste of time,” declared CNN media critic Howard Kurtz when describing the police probe into Gregory’s display of the offending magazine.

“How much time and money is going to be spent (wasted) investigating [Gregory],” asked Fox News Channel hostGreta Van Susteren. “I will bet my right arm David Gregory is not going to go out and commit some crime with that magazine…or that he intended to flaunt the law (if it was against the law.) At worst, it was a stupid TV stunt (and so what!).”

Even the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board went out of their way to attempt to exonerate Gregory’s actions. Their argument is, in essence, his intentions were pure, even if his actions violated the letter of the law. “So here we have a possible indictment that would be entirely nonsensical of a journalist who was trying to embarrass an NRA official over an ammunition ban whose impact would be entirely symbolic,” reads a Thursday WSJ editorial. “It isn’t clear that Mr. Gregory is guilty of anything other than perhaps overzealousness in pursuit of the conventional gun-control wisdom, which is not a crime unless we want to empty newsrooms and fill up jails from coast to coast.”

The media’s argument in favor of treating Gregory differently from any other citizen who does not anchor a popular Sunday news broadcast is, essentially, “come on! Really?”

Yes, really. The media’s defense of Gregory is entirely personal – he is a member of the media simply doing what the media does. Even if this law is applicable to Gregory (a fact which the media seems prepared to debate), this particular infraction should not result in any penalties. At no point has any member of the media asked if Washington D.C.’s law, which is aimed at reducing the glamour of these extended magazines, is absurd. If Gregory was an anonymous reporter producing this clip during a local news broadcast, or even in private, the media’s response to his infraction would probably have been much different. In fact, as a reader of POLITICO’s Dylan Byers points out, there is historical evidence that suggests it was different not long ago.

L’affaire de Gregory has exposed an unseemly sense of entitlement in the elite media. If the post-Newtown debate over gun control has shown that the media is somewhat out of touch with average Americans, the Gregory episode has revealed that they do not see themselves as average Americans.

Again, there’s more to read, and I suggest reading the whole column here.

David-Gregory already in jail

Mr. Erik Wemple, media writer for the Washington Post, contacted me with a few questions about the David Gregory Magazinegate story.

1) It appears that you are the one who first raised the question of the legality of the magazine that David Gregory brandished on Sunday. Is that your understanding as well?

The Patriot Perspective was the first blog to report it that I know of, yes.

The first place I remember seeing the question raised was on the website here, by at first one, then by numerous forum members.  It’s a very large community, with many folks who live throughout the country, dealing with the patchwork of gun laws that alternatingly work and fail across the country.  David Gregory waving around the magazine was brought up slightly earlier in a thread about the David Gregory/Wayne LaPierre interview by other forum members, and there may have been other folks whose ears perked up at that, realizing there was a violation of law.

I read the posts, then I looked up the statute on my own to confirm the exact wording of it.  I found the statute on, then looked up the statute again on Westlaw through links provided by the DC government.  Then I wrote this post (the first place I know of to report it) and I emailed a few other blogs and sites who I thought would be interested in the story.  Sipsey Street Irregulars, one of the blogs who broke the Obama administration ATF’s give-guns-to-the-Mexican-narcoterrorist-cartels scandal Fast and Furious, picked it up.  The next site I saw to pick it up was The Drudge Report, where Matt Drudge is already famous for his incredible nose for news and linked directly.  Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection then went on to double-check DC laws at Westlaw and the story kept on moving.  I’m pretty sure Katie Pavlich was tweeting the post just before it hit Drudge, but I don’t know the timeline on that.

After the story picked up in days that followed, I have seen that there are a couple other places where the question developed independently (mostly gun forums), between the time I posted it originally on The Patriot Perspective and when Drudge picked it up and it hit the wider internet and media.  There may be one that posted right after Meet The Press aired, but I haven’t seen it.

Most folks who deal with firearms, be they sport shooters, 3-gun shooters, hunters, self-defense advocates, hobbyists, industry members or just general Bill of Rights fans are aware of the shipping warnings that accompany advertisements and catalogs of almost every seller of firearms or accessories throughout the US.  Most catalogs, websites, and advertisements will note that there are limited sales or no sales to California, Chicago, and most of the northeast to include Washington D.C., based on various regulations about components – especially magazines and magazine size.  There are probably other people who saw it and asked themselves the same question about legality.  Really, it was only a matter of how much time it took for those aware of the laws to get the info out.

2) Who are you?

I’m a veteran Marine and a fan of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  I blog under the screen name ShortTimer.

3) Describe, if you could, Patriot Perspective’s approach to gun rights/Second Amendment.

That’s asking for a whole philosophy.  Oleg Volk’s website A Human Right pretty well covers it.

4) Some people are wondering why gun-rights folks are making a big deal over the Gregory thing, given the premise that gun-rights folks by and large want fewer firearms restrictions. What’s your take on that?

It’s an illustration of hypocrisy on many levels by David Gregory’s actions.  David Gregory is vehemently anti-rights, but he went so far as to knowingly and willfully break the very type of laws that he demands more of.  He states that more laws are needed, yet he by his own actions proves that those sufficiently motivated by bad intentions, whether criminals or madmen – can know the consequences and will still break any laws.  Thus it proves the futility of such laws.

If we live in a nation of laws, Gregory will be prosecuted (and possibly his staff will be wrapped up in a conspiracy charge), and the unjust laws that he wants expanded will send him to prison.  There has already been at least one pro-gun lawyer offering to defend Gregory, as the law is a violation of his Second Amendment rights, even though Gregory wants those rights taken away (though seemingly from everyone but privileged people like himself).  It will be his chance to agree that the laws he demands are unjust and absurd, or to be held to account by his own rules.  It will highlight the need to enforce existing gun laws rather than pass new ones, as well as the frivolous nature of most gun laws.

If we live in a nation of men and not laws, where some animals are more equal than others, then Gregory will be given favorable treatment and let go with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.  It will highlight the hypocrisy further, as evidenced by the David Gregory memes already circulating the internet, with pictures of him holding the magazine and captions like “If I were a black teenager, I’d already be in jail”.

David-Gregory already in jail

It contrasts sharply with the story of 1st Lt. Augustine Kim, a two-tour veteran who was imprisoned by DC for actual innocent, unknowing violations.   Ultimately when Alan Gura takes Heller v DC II up to the Supreme Court, it will be a shining example of government hypocrisy if the law is enforced against poor, little people like Dick Heller but not against the rich, powerful like David Gregory.

5) Are you steeped in gun regulations? What prompted you to wonder about the legality of the magazine Gregory waved around on Sunday?

With the monstrous amount of gun law that exists, I can say I know a little bit, and have learned to navigate some firearms legalese.  There are some aspects I’m familiar with, and others require research.  If you deal with firearms at all, you begin to learn that there are a huge number of regulations surrounding them, and it becomes your responsibility to know them.  As I noted above, if you ever buy anything firearms-related, you run into laws almost immediately.  Some warnings apply to different parts of the country, some to specific states or regions.  When I saw the question first prompted by the internet post, I’d read many times before about DC’s draconian laws, then went to confirm them.  It was easy to see that it was a violation.  David Gregory taped his own confession in high definition in front of a subject matter expert and broadcast it to millions.

6) What lessons, if any, should people be drawing from this story?

Gun laws never stop a determined criminal.  They certainly never deter a madman.  David Gregory’s zealotry in wanting to assault citizens’ rights put him in a position where he wanted to break the law no matter what, and he did.  A successful man of his stature in national media should have had no rational interest in breaking gun laws and getting himself investigated and (by law should be) arrested on a clear cut-and-dried violation of the law, but he did so anyway.

Gregory may think he’s above the law.  If so, that speaks to the arrogance of a man whose children are surrounded by armed guards while he wishes to dictate that the little people should live defenseless, and uses his voice to render our children helpless.  It shows that there are two sets of laws – one set of laws for the Country Class and one for the Ruling Class.  Or else he didn’t even think of the law and was simply so driven by hatred of citizens’ rights that he did it anyway – in which case he proves the madman argument, though to a thankfully nonviolent end.  It shows that no laws deter a madman.

There’s been kind of a leftist backlash against the rule of law in this story, with a call for “reasonable, common sense enforcement”, which right now means “don’t enforce the law and leave David Gregory alone”, but amidst the din of hypocrisy there, there’s the occasional voice that says “he wasn’t going to hurt anyone with it”.  That’s an interesting point to be made from the gun-ban side, because millions upon millions of gun owners every day hurt no one – and is one of the points made by those who are pro-rights.  A very miniscule amount of people abuse the rights they have as Americans and we have the legal system to punish them for it.  Collective punishment for no crime pushed onto millions of individuals by the state because of a reaction to the actions of a madman or a handful of criminals is not why We The People established the government that we have.  Many people are starting to see this.

But as the saying goes, it’s not even really about the guns, it’s about the control.