One of the NRA’s constant refrains: we don’t need new gun control laws. We need to enforce existing gun laws to take dangerous criminals off the streets. It’s a complaint that doesn’t get much attention in the mainstream media. or much credit when it does. Well here’s a story that proves the point. And how. “In an open records request to the Milwaukee Police Department, Media Trackers requested information on all MPD police reports forwarded to the DA’s office with the recommended charge of ‘Possession of a Firearm by a Felon’ – a felony under current law — during June, July and August of 2013. What Media Trackers found was that nearly half of those cases referred to the DA’s office by the MPD were never charged. Of the 142 cases recommended for charges by the MPD between June and August of last summer . . .
Media Trackers was unable to locate any charge related to illegally possessing a firearm in 68 of those cases – a stunning 47.8% of the time.
In at least one case, Milwaukee DA John Chisholm’s office refused to charge a suspect with possession of a firearm as a felon in 2013 only to have the man charged with first degree intentional homicide a year later . . .
Keithany M. Brodie was recommended for charges of possessing a firearm as a felon in the summer of 2013 and was never charged according to WCCA [Wisconsin Circuit Court Access] records. A year later, Brodie was charged with first degree intentional homicide and robbery after police say he murdered a man in an attempted robbery. Interestingly, Chisholm’s office has finally charged Brodie with possession of a firearm as a felon – but only in connection with the murder.
WCCA records show between 2007 and 2011 Brodie was found guilty of at least two felonies, three misdemeanors and was even convicted of illegally carrying a concealed weapon in 2007. Yet Brodie was back on the streets in time to be arrested by police in 2013 for illegally possessing a firearm and to later be arrested for an alleged murder in 2014.
Can it get worse? Of course it can.
The underlying problem may be the DA office’s concern over their win-loss record. Media Trackers found that of the 56 cases that have been disposed of, just seven went to trial with only one person being found not guilty. The vast majority of cases – 71 percent – ended in a plea agreement.
In June a Media Trackers investigation showed that the Milwaukee DA’s office was far from overzealous in their prosecution of homicides, relying heavily on plea bargains and putting those charged in prison for just a fraction of what they were eligible for.
Is this dismal record restricted to Milwaukee, Wisconsin? What are the odds? And what are gun control advocates doing to make sure that dangerous criminals – with guns! – are taken off the streets? Nothing. In fact, the men responsible for this lack of enforcement, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn [above], are lobbying for a state law mandating a 3-year jail sentence for illegal firearms possession.
Stats like this reveal that gun control advocates’ entire premise – that restricting criminal access to firearms will reduce violent crime – is, at best, misdirected. At worst, it’s something far more sinister. As if you didn’t already know.