- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
MILLER: Two systems of justice
David Gregory walks free while Iraq vet was jailed
It’s been more than a week since police in Washington, D.C., opened an investigation into NBC’s David Gregory’s possession of a “high-capacity magazine” that’s prohibited in the District on on national TV. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier’s spokesman refused Monday to respond to whether Mr. Gregory had even been interviewed yet. This is a rather curious departure for a city that has been ruthless in enforcing this particular firearms statute against law-abiding citizens who made an honest mistake.
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.
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.
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.
The administration wasn’t concerned that it had invited a potential gun criminal to the White House Saturday for an exclusive interview with President Obama. The president used this platform to call for enactment of a new ban within a year on what he called “assault rifles” and “high-capacity clips.”
The District came up with its overly restrictive laws in response to the Supreme Court overturning the capital city’s 30-year gun ban. The statutes shouldn’t apply just to regular people but to the rich and powerful as well. The District should either repeal its over-the-top restrictions or send a squad car to take David Gregory into custody.
Read the whole story of Spc. Meckler’s case here: MILLER: D.C. arrests vet for unregistered ammunition
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: CPAC debates Tea Party or moderate for 2016 Republican presidential candidate
- MILLER: Huge majorities on East Coast support national gun registry
- MILLER: NRA to score Senate vote on Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivec Murthy
- MILLER: New Jersey bill is outright gun ban on .22-caliber rifles and leads to confiscation
- MILLER: California attorney general tries to overturn gun carry ruling in 9th Circuit
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Get Breaking Alerts
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- MEANS: U.S. economy on schedule to crash March 4, 2014
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Turkey not committed to Cyprus peace
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Spoiled-kid culture creates greedy adults
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama's flawed Mideast 'peace' plan
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Foreign policy would distract Obama from social hour
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hit Putin where it hurts over Ukraine