David Gregory is off the hook. He flaunted the magazine defying the Washington DC law prohibiting the possession of magazines holding over ten rounds and nothing will come of it. Bloggers demanded that he be required to obey the law he was advocating when he violated it, but he won’t be charged.
His fellow journalists came to his defense. Here is Howard Kurtz…
Was it a stunt? Yep, and an eye-catching one. Was Gregory being aggressive with the NRA chief, or seeming to push gun control in a confrontational interview? All that is up for debate.
But a police probe over what I assume was an empty ammo clip is a total waste of time.
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.
So am I to understand that, as long as I don’t plan to commit any crimes, I too can possess 30 round magazines in DC? Of course not. Whether or not I had planned to commit a crime would be irrelevant and I would be cuffed and processed and Kurtz wouldn’t claim that my arrest was a “total waste of time”. I am, however, not part of the elite journalist class.
Many commentators have argued that Kurtz and the rest of the elite journalistic class believe that they should not be subjected to the same laws as the hoi polloi made up of the rest of us. While I am sure that, as a practical matter, they prefer not to be arrested, I doubt many of them believe that journalists should be above the law.
Yet we watched as, one after another, journalists like Kurtz attempted to excuse Gregory for violating a law that they most, in theory at least, support. Why should this be?
I think it is obvious that they haven’t really spent much time thinking about the issue and, therefore, didn’t understand it until Gregory got mixed up in it. Whenever they have heard the term “high capacity magazines”, they immediately reacted by reflexively calling for their banishment. This is the trained and perfunctory reaction of the liberal media. When forced to think about it, however, they start to see the light.
What did David Gregory actually hold before the cameras? What he held in his hand was an easily manufactured, sheet metal box with a cap on one end, a piece of plastic on the other and a spring in between. Any metal fabricator could make them in a one-man shop. By itself, it is harmless. It cannot hurt anyone. It is a sheet metal box with a spring inside. Nothing more.
Kurtz saw the video and instinctively realized that it is futile and stupid to make illegal an easily fabricated metal box with a spring inside. He could see it is harmless. He could see that Gregory’s possession of the box made him a threat to no one. He could see the purposelessness of arresting and prosecuting Gregory for nothing more than holding a couple bucks worth of metal and plastic in his hand.
Kurtz is right. He saw a friend in peril and, now having been compelled for the first time to seriously consider the situation, realized it is stupid to prosecute Gregory or anyone for possession a sheet metal box. It would be a ridiculous charge and it would be a waste of the resources of the DC police to pursue it.
The problem is that Kurtz stops thinking at that point. If he continued to think, he would realize that it is stupid to prosecute Gregory for simple possession of that magazine because it is stupid to prosecute anyone for simple possession of that magazine. It is a stupid law supported for stupid reasons by thoughtless people.
Who are these thoughtless people who support stupid prosecutions for stupid reasons? Two of them are Howard Kurtz and David Gregory.