Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast has some tough talk for the D.C. Police investigating NBC's David Gregory. In an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet the Press, Gregory had produced an high capacity magazine on-air in violation of D.C. gun laws, thus attracting a police investigation.
Kurtz lamely implied that although Gregory broke the law, he shouldn't be prosecuted for it. "But the D.C. Police Department apparently has nothing better to do than examine whether he violated the city’s gun laws," Kurtz scoffed in his column at the Daily Download.
Gregory clearly broke the law. Should journalists be above the law? Kurtz thinks Gregory shouldn't be prosecuted:
The late word that NBC requested, and failed to receive, permission from the police certainly complicates the matter. But I don’t think Gregory was planning to commit any crimes.
What all this demonstrates above all is that journalists are getting ensnared in the political war over gun control.
There was money to prosecute black sports figure Gilbert Arenas. There is money to prosecute white media figure David Gregory.
We all know that David did intentionally violate a law that his crew asked about ahead of time. The magazine he shows has scratches associated with regular use, which along with Gregory's words, and the words of the NBC staff, is all proof that it is real, and all that is enough to win a conviction.
DC's gun laws were drafted without regard to any first amendment content... meaning use of the illegal items in a free speech way doesn't void the DC law. The clip is illegal to possess regardless of whether you're showing it on a news broadcast or using it
... So here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. ...
The privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and her boyfriend — a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist — have been busted for allegedly having a cache of weapons and a bombmaking explosive in their Greenwich Village apartment.
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.
... Mr. Gregory ... 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.”
The question isn't really whether D.C.'s gun-banning laws are good and right, but whether David Gregory is going to be treated like anyone else accused of breaking the law would be treated. Right or wrong, the fact is, the laws are on the books.
For instance, will Gregory be treated like James Brinkley was in 2012? Brinkley was arrested for violating D.C.'s strict gun-banning laws when police found an empty, large capacity pistol magazine in his car as he was on his way to a training session for the U.S. Marshals service. Brinkley was arrested, charged with the crime, and spent months trying to clear his name and save his new job as a U.S. Marshal.
Why should David Gregory be treated any differently than a man who was in training for the U.S. Marshals service? Will the rule of law apply to all equally in Washington D.C.?