January 25, 2005

Gun control laws racist?

Newsday.com - AP National News: "'We know intuitively that we are being dealt with more harshly than whites. This just reinforces it,' she said. The overall disparity is such that 'I don't know what else it could be other than race,' " This article points out that blacks are more likely to be charged with a felony for violating the state weapons registration law. It fails to ask about the circumstances surrounding the registration violations.

Gun registration law violations may be minimal, like forgetting to carry the papers, expired registrations, improper transport and the like. Or even just forgetting to register a gun. I picture old NRA Life Members like me forgetting to put a stamp on their license application. These violations come to light in the normal course of lawful and peaceful life. The perpetrators deserve leniency.

You get pulled over for your burned out tail light. You get a fix-it ticket, but the cop spies your 'I forgot to register it' gat in the glove box. So you get charged with a gun registration violation, too. Maybe you use your 'gun you forgot to register' for genuine self-defense. When the police get done patting you on the back, they charge you with a registration violation.

But other gun registration law violations come to light in a very different way. You get caught robbing a convenience store, murdering your dope connection, or using your new roscoe to threaten your neighbors. After the police get done booking you for the chicanery that got their attention, they charge you for a registration violation as well. As a criminal, you haven't registered your gun deliberately to keep the cops from knowing you have it, and to prevent them from tracing it back to you.

You are the prosecutor, and these two cases land on your desk: 1. Motor vehicle infraction by old NRA lifer AND gun registration violation; 2. Armed robbery by gang member AND gun registration violation. Which one are you going to throw the book at on the gun registration violation.

Unless California Attorney General Bill Lockyer's report addresses the effect of all elements at work in the prosecutors' decision to charge gun registration violations as felonies or misdemeaors, the report says nothing. He has no business concluding that racism is at work.

File this under: "Statistics: the whore that escaped from the ivory tower and is loose on the town".

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