One common lament among members of the Armed Intelligentsia is that liberals don’t enforce the gun laws that are already on the books. Why do you want new toys when you’re not playing with the ones you already have? A recent article in my hometown newspaper revealed that among a sample of 200 suspects . . .
- On average, each had been arrested 11 times.
- Among those who were felons (about 124) there were 500 convictions
- Among the felons, they had an average of four convictions each
- Within this sample it took an average four arrests per conviction
Taking a break from carping about needing still more gun laws on the books, local leaders have actually been looking at how our judges do business. Apparently there’s a great disparity in the way offenses involving firearms are handled in The Gateway City. One judge might throw the book at a thug for an illegal firearm possession charge or a crime with a gun while another plays catch and release.
I was a juror in a trial in which the defendant was accused of a home invasion, kidnapping and armed criminal action. Part of the evidence was a fingerprint card. On the back of the card, it indicated that this set of prints had been taken when the defendant was picked up on a gun possession charge a few months before. From the time the system released the accused individual on the gun possession beef, he had (allegedly) graduated to home invasion and armed criminal action. In other words, the judge, prosecutor or whomever decided to stall on the gun possession rap set some unsuspecting victim up for a terrifying home invasion.
Our city’s leaders, in an uncharacteristic fit of good sense, proposed the establishment of a special gun court called the Armed Offender Docket, in which two circuit judges would do nothing but try gun cases. No more judge shopping. If adopted, all gun cases – from possession on up – would be moved to the front of the line and the cases tried before judges who aren’t juggling armed robberies, potheads caught with a dime bag or immigrants selling Rolex knock-offs at the VP Fair (all actual cases for which I went through the voire dire process).
In a characteristic fit of…poor judgement…the jurists voted 16 to 11 against setting up the special docket. While they agreed to move gun cases to the head of the line, the same judges whose collective work has yielded 124 criminals with 500 convictions back out on the streets will continue to screw up, they’ll just do it a little faster.
St. Louis is a one party liberal-ish city. Unlike so many of our neighbors to the north and east, our brand of machine Democrats are demonstrably less foolish (hell, even the Occupy St. Louis hippies are pro-2A). On top of that, they have to contend with a state capital dominated by honest-to-goodness rural types who provide a counterbalance to most of their more idiotic lefty impulses.
My black neighbors suffer a disproportionate number of crimes. In the trial where we convicted the defendant of home invasion and armed criminal action, both the victim and the perpetrator were black. The victim went through an enormous amount of trouble to seek justice the right way – in a court of law. They underwent the deposition process, took off work, came to court and let the defense besmirch their character.
A swift, sure means of dealing with gun crimes would go a long way toward helping these beleaguered citizens regain control of their streets. You’d think that the monolithic support these Democrats receive from the folks most affected by gun violence would merit better solutions rather than more of the same, only faster.
Alas and alack, liberals can be counted on for one thing when it comes to gun crime – not taking it seriously.