Weekly Spotlight 7/14/23 – 7/20/23
Amid calls for Washington to ‘Do Something,’ Violent Criminals Go Unpunished
One of the most frequent refrains from proponents of unconstitutional gun control is for lawmakers in Washington, DC, to ‘do something.’ This intentionally vague call-to-action is usually accompanied by proposals to push ineffective policies that would only punish law-abiding gun owners and do nothing to curb violent crime we’re seeing increase in cities across the nation. And yet, while gun control advocates shout from city halls and Pennsylvania Avenue for Congress to ‘do something’, there are far too many stories of violent criminals getting off scot-free because laws already on the books aren’t being properly enforced.
There are THREE such cases from recent weeks that occurred right in our nation’s capital. The first is the horrific story of a 62-year-old Air Force veteran named Lasanta McGill, who was shot and killed outside a deli when a fight inside spilled out onto the sidewalk. As an innocent bystander, McGill was caught in a crossfire and pronounced dead at a hospital a short while later. It was a tragic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it never should have happened.
The man who was just arrested for the slaying of McGill had previously been arrested for illegal gun possession while in a stolen vehicle and pleaded guilty to those charges last month. However, due to soft-on-crime policies and prosecutorial decisions (which are, ironically, often pushed by the same gun control advocates), the man was released until he could be sentenced later this month. If leaders in these gun control-friendly cities were truly serious about reducing violent crime involving firearms, they wouldn’t let criminals who illegally possess firearms walk free.
In a similarly tragic story, the DC police department just arrested a man on first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing a 25-year-old schoolteacher from Kentucky named Maxwell Emerson, who was visiting the capital with his family for the July 4th holiday. According to FOX5, the 22-year-old man charged with Emerson’s murder was arrested in May 2022 “for assault with a ghost gun,” released by a Superior Court judge the following month, then had his trial delayed. He allegedly murdered Emerson four days before his rescheduled trial date.
Unfortunately, a third similar case could be unfolding right before our eyes. This week it was reported that an assailant who brandished a firearm and attacked a Washington, DC, pub owner was offered a plea deal from the U.S. Attorney’s Office within days of the incident and was released until sentencing. This is despite the pub owner, whose 4-year-old son was present during the attack, told the U.S. Attorney’s Office that he didn’t want a plea deal offered. One can only hope that the violent attacker will not target any additional victims before his sentencing hearing, but as the Lasanta McGill story shows us, that’s no guarantee.
For all the talk from gun control proponents about the need to ‘do something’ about guns, they’re awfully silent when it comes to stories like these. There are so many instances of violent crimes being committed with (usually illegally possessed) firearms that would have been prevented had current laws been strongly enforced. More gun control laws that strip away Americans’ constitutional rights are not the answer. Appropriately punishing criminals is.
OTHER NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
One person was injured in a shooting in Lincoln Park. Chicago police said a man with a concealed carry license fired at a woman as she approached his house, near Clybourn and Webster around 10:30 p.m. The woman was shot twice, in the wrist and chest, and taken to Masonic Hospital where she is expected to recover from her physical injuries. A gun was recovered at the scene. It is not clear if charges were filed in connection with the shooting.
- WNCN (Raleigh): NC guns rights group urging GOP lawmakers to eliminate concealed carry permit requirement
A gun rights group is calling on Republican legislative leaders to revive an effort to eliminate the state’s concealed carry permit requirement after a bill stalled this spring. Grass Roots North Carolina recently wrote to Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), urging them to pass a bill that would make it optional for people to obtain concealed carry permits and lower the age to carry concealed to 18. Earlier this year, Republicans eliminated the state’s pistol purchase permit requirement, but GRNC leaders said lawmakers should go further.
- Iosco County News-Herald: Michigan bill would allow concealed carry on college campuses
Michigan Republicans are pushing bills aiming to keep anonymous gun and ammunition purchases by credit cards as well as allow individuals with concealed pistol licenses to carry on college and university campuses statewide. Rep. Gina Johnsen, R-Lake Odessa, introduced House Bill 4831, which aims to prohibit banks and credit card companies from requiring Michigan retailers to use specialized codes to label firearms purchases. In September 2022, The Center Square reported that guns and ammunition purchased with credit cards show a merchant category code approved by the International Organization for Standardization.
Some gun owners don’t want researchers to know they own guns. Those are the findings of a study published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology by the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers University this month. It found estimates of how many Americans own guns could be off by as much as 45 percent. It also identified several demographics of people who may be most uncomfortable sharing information about their firearms with researchers.