OOPS: In rant calling for magazine ban, NBC's David Gregory demonstrates why gun control laws don't work
by Chad D. Baus
In the days since the latest horrific mass murder in a "no-guns" zone, the media onslaught has been relentless.
Never mind that Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, including an "assault" weapons ban - the media say more such laws are what is needed. Never mind that guns were banned in the school where the attack took place - the media say more bans are what is needed.
Trespassing, breaking and entering in the school, murdering children...all are illegal, yet the incessant drumbeat heard in the media is that making something illegal will prevent it from happening.
Last Sunday, during an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, NBC's David Gregory tried to ratchet up support for a ban on standard capacity rifle magazines with a little game of "show and tell." Gregory didn't just want to talk about the "evil" magazine, he wanted to show his audience what one looks like.
And so, despite the fact that such magazines are illegal in Washington D.C., where "Meet the Press" is recorded, David Gregory did what criminals always do - he simply ignored the city's gun control law and did what he wanted.
On "Meet the Press," Gregory brandished the magazine and said, “Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. ...Now isn't it possible that if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, 'Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or 10 bullets,' isn't it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?"
With more than 20,000 gun control laws on the books in our country, one might be tempted to try and give Gregory the benefit of the doubt. He would be far from the first person to have run afoul of a gun control law they never knew existed. Perhaps he just didn't know about the D.C. ban on the magazine he was holding, right?
Wrong. According to The Politico, NBC called the D.C. police in advance of the show to inquire about the legality of possessing the magazine.
"NBC contacted [the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment," Gwendolyn Crump, a police spokeswoman, said in an email. "NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated."
D.C. law states that "No person in the district shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition."
NRA President David Keene reportedly said on CNN Thursday he didn't think Gregory should be prosecuted for possessing the magazine, calling the D.C. law "silly."
"There are two lessons for him there," Keene said. "Don't ask the government what's legal and what isn't legal, because half the people you ask don't know. And secondly, that's a silly felony. It's a felony in Washington, D.C., to own that magazine or to be caught with a cartridge. So I really think what David Gregory did, while he was inadvertently flaunting the law, was illustrated in a very graphic way, perhaps not intentionally, just how silly some of these laws are."
The bottom line is this: in a rant in which Gregory was calling for a national law just like this one, the journalist knowingly violated an existing ban on such magazines in his own city. In doing so, NBC gave the entire country a perfect visual on why these bans have never and will never work - people like Gregory are willing to simply ignore laws they don't like.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.