I’m sure most of my readers already know that NBC’s David Gregory is in hot water for possessing (and displaying on Meet the Press) a 30-round “high-capacity” AR-15 magazine, which is illegal in the District of Columbia. Despite the media’s incredulity over the notion that he might have to answer for this, I fail to see any reason why he and his colleagues should not be prosecuted.
They cannot claim to have made an honest mistake. They asked the DC police for permission and it was denied. The crux of the their defense, as offered by their media defenders, seems to be that it was okay for him to possess that magazine, because he didn’t plan to do anything wrong with it. For example, here’s Greta Van Susteren (via DC Caller):
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. . .
He certainly did flaunt the law; he displayed an illegal magazine on national television! You can’t flaunt any more than that. But never mind that, consider the other point, that David Gregory is not going to commit some crime with the magazine.
This matters not in the slightest. Under DC’s draconian gun laws, possession itself is a crime, regardless of what you plan to do with the thing. And that law is ruthlessly prosecuted, even if the transgression is not only harmless but entirely accidental. The law is prosecuted even when the possession is protected under federal law! It’s complete nonsense to suggest that his benign intent has anything whatsoever to do with it.
And lest we forget, this is how the gun-control advocates (like David Gregory) want it. They don’t want criminal intent to be part of the standard, because nearly everyone looking to own a gun or a magazine in DC has only benign intent. A gun ban that applies only to criminals is no gun ban at all. (Instead, they’ve settled on one that — in practice — applies only to the law-abiding.)
The only reason Gregory and company might not be prosecuted is because they are big-shot journalists. The question to be settled here is whether David Gregory and NBC are above the law.
I’m guessing we will find that the answer is yes. And when we do, Americans’ respect for the law will take yet another hit.