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“What we have seen not work is increasing penalties on people who are found to be in possession of illegal firearms. Those policies are in the spirit of many of the mandatory minimums that have gotten us to a system of mass incarceration.” – Samuel Sinyangwe in Gun control groups forging alliance with Black Lives Matter [at politico.com]

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47 Responses to Quote of the Day: Enforcing Laws is the Problem Edition

  1. Please, please forge an alliance with an actual racist terrorist organization. It gives us an excuse to GITMO the whole lot of you. (and if you don’t think an organization that burns down two urban centers is a terrorist group, you’re delusional.)

  2. A bunch of felons get busted for illegal possession of a firearm, and it pisses me off because possesion should have never been a crime in tge first place.

    • Roy,

      I was going to say the opposite: that guns themselves shouldn’t be “illegal”, rather uses should be legal or illegal. I was going for the concept of bad because it’s bad vs. bad because some law says it is. (I forget the Latin.)

      • Malum in se (Wrong in itself) vs malum prohibitum (wrong because prohibited). No, I’m not a lawyer. But I went to catholic school and took 3 years of Latin.

        • Example: Shooting someone is wrong because that kills them. vs
          Owning a 30-round magazine is wrong because I say so.

    • Agreed, and he’s right on that count.

      The problem arises when the person in possession of an “illegal firearm”, or a person “illegally” in possession of a firearm, should have still been sitting in prison for the crime that caused him to be labeled as a “prohibited person”.

      • Winnah.

        IMO there should be no prohibited persons.

        If you can’t be trusted with a firearm, you shouldn’t be trusted to be in public un-escorted.

        • Close. If you cannot be trusted not to be in close confinement then you cannot be trusted to be out amongst a public unarmed and unable to defend themselves from your criminal acts.

      • The drift of the article seems to be that society must not attempt to punish people of color for committing crimes; especially, not for felon-in-posession. And still, SOMETHING must be done. What is that? UBC!
        You see, the person really at fault is the OFWG at a gun show who first sold a gun without a BC. Everything will be alright if OFWGs stop selling guns without a UBC. Arrest them! Put THEM in prison!
        Burglers; no. Traffickers-of-color; no. Straw-buyers-of-color; no. Just non-dealer OFWGs; that’s where the problem is.
        I really wonder whether this coalition could really come together. With the communities of color really believe that black-on-black crime will become less lethal if burgers, traffickers and straw-buyers remain untouched? That they can concentrate on non-dealer OFWGs?
        The more they talk about the color-coded language the more they are going to have to recognize that people-of-color are the trigger pullers. There isn’t much that can be done to keep guns away from their own constituents.

    • The idea of felony creep is something to be discussed. Felonies should be reserved for seriously injurious crimes, not B.S. like crossing an imaginary line with a firearm that was perfectly legal one second and two steps ago.

      For serious felons, let’s start with violent felons, I’m ok with re-entry into society coming with a firearms possession prohibition. Such people have already proven themselves incapable of controlling themselves civilly. Their possession of firearms is ipso facto a clear and present danger.

      • Similar to “gun free zones”, only those former felons who are going to obey that law will remain unarmed. It’s malum prohibitum. It’s wrong and pontless except to give goverment more of a pretext to encroach upon everyone’s liberties.

        More people need to shoulder the responsibility for their own protection and stop trying to improperly delegate it to government. This is how we get tyranny.

        • Not only do I think you’re right, I’m counting on you being right.

          Violent felons wil still get their firearms outside of legal avenues, just as they did before. They’ll still use deadly force outside of legal bounds, too, just as they did before. I won’t elide the obvious. A felon firearm prohibition does have several nice features, though.

          First, it adds another charge, one that’s very difficult to beat, against these criminals when (not if) they commit their next crime. Second, there may be some felons who actually do attempt to abide by the law upon release (hey, there have to be some out there), and who won’t have a gun in their possession when their violent tendencies inevitably emerge. No guarantees that they won’t just kill the object of their rage by other means, of course. However, the absence of a firearm does remove a useful and effective means of inflicting injury.

          Finally, even if the felon’s only current crime is the firearm possession itself, I’m still good with tossing them in prison. As I said, this is a self-selected group of criminally violent people. Unlike the antis’ grotesque caricature of all firearms owners as being hair trigger lunatics who could freak out and open fire any second, these monstrous criminally violent types are exactly that. The slightest provocation or even incidental encounter with these people can turn violent. I’d rather they already have been popped for possession before that can happen.

          Yes, pre-crime, I get it. I’m talking about inevitably and irreversibly violent felons. Yes, they shouldn’t be free in the first place. This gets them back in prison.

  3. I agree. Our social experiment in mandatory minimums and increasing penalties hasn’t changed criminal behavior. That’s because it relies on the criminal mind to think about the consequences of their actions. Predators don’t think that far ahead, they only think about finding the easiest prey. People are finally waking up to this and are taking the preventive action being armed and I think it is having the desired effect.

    • Um…. Mandatory minimums work because they keep scumbags off the street. It’s not designed to be a deterrent. For evidence, look at the massive drop in crime when we started locking these scumbags up and look at the spikes in California now that they have stopped.

      • This. Very much this. The left like to talk about innocent people rotting in jail because they were caught with some weed. Yes, there are cases like this. But by and large you don’t get long sentences in prison for smoking a joint. The people who get put away are generally dealers, and there are often weapons charges involved. So, gang bangers. Participants in organized crime.

        I was reading a piece on “mass incarceration” not long ago. They talked about “groups disproportionately affected” and people “getting caught by the wave of mass incarceration.”

        Yeah, some poor dude was just walking down the street one sunny day, minding his own business, when BAM!, nabbed in a sneak attack by mass incarceration. Horseshit.

      • While this may in fact be the case, it is an expensive proposition and often turns out to be only a training ground where the criminally inclined can learn techniques to improve on their chosen profession once they are released and also how to avoid capture and/or manipulate the judicial system to mitigate undesired outcomes.

        The better deterrent to criminal behavior (rather than just locking them away) seems to have been proven in the drop in crime rates where more non-criminals are known to be armed. IMO deterrence is more effective, and cost effective, than incarceration and occurs BEFORE the scumbag has successfully victimized anyone.

    • Riddle me this. If we are filling up the jails with harmless nonviolent criminals why has violent crime rate fallen so much?

      • Well maybe it does have an effect, long as we are willing to keep building and filling prisons and house them indefinitely. If we are going to follow that model, lets get back to putting them to work, at least to the extent that the prisons pay for themselves. And I never said they weren’t locking up the violent ones, trouble is they eventually get released, just as if not more violent than before.

        • Once they turn from angry young men with chips on their shoulders into tired middle aged men who just want to be left alone, they tend to stop committing violent crimes. Not sure statistically what age this happens, but across all of society, acting aggressive with poor judgement is a young man’s game. You don’t see as many old men street racing, bungee jumping, or voting democrat, either.

  4. Unless of course by ‘work’ you mean cutting the murder and violent crime rates in half over the last 2 decades. If that’s what you mean then yea, it’s worked like a charm, but other than that it’s just not working…

    And I’m not even for mandatory minimums, but his argument that they’re not working is ludicrous.

    • Well.. depends on what your definition of ‘working is’. I agree with your statements, but then, I define ‘working’ as producing lower rates of crime, which mandatory minimum sentences have done. Like you, I’m not a fan of taking away all discretion from judges as circumstances can vary widely.

    • Mandatory minimums are an unfortunate and clumsy reaction to hyper-liberal judges who won’t send people to jail based on the color of their skin, and not their demonstrable lack of character.

      I don’t support them for things like drug possession, but I do for crimes of violence.

      • So… we wait until the junkie knocks off a liquor store and kills the clerk to get the money for his next fix, then we lock him up.
        Right?

  5. Gun control groups are more anti gun then anti violence, and black lives matters are also more anti gun then anti violence. If Black Lives Matters were really anti violence, they would be going after better education, economic development. And not just turning around their government, but doing that grass roots. And I hate to say it, but it is going to take a generation or two to do it. It is damn hard to get people to change.

  6. So, stop going after the blacks and Mexicans shooting each other. Quit throwing them in prison.
    Go after the Fudds, so we can have the right race proportions in prison?

    • Now you got it, you should be a Democrat Politician.

      Disparate impact. Because so many blacks and illegals are in jail just because of the color of their skin. Or white privilege or something,

  7. This is a poorly construed argument. The “mandatory minimums” that don’t work aren’t enacted in a way that puts lots of bad people doing bad things with guns off the streets. The problem is that DAs’ will plea for massively reduced sentences in order to secure a “win.” So, the criminals plea under a sentence with a harsh “mandatory minimum” and go away with a figurative slap on the wrist. This just puts them in a big box together, where the younger criminals can learn from the older ones how to be a better criminal, and then get sent back out to the world a short time later.

  8. Mr Zimmerman, thank-you for posting this piece, it let me start my day with a smile. In particular, this line:

    “even as they signal to white, suburban gun owners that the government isn’t after their hunting rifles”

    That’s top comedy.

    Sometimes we see complaints in the media that the average American is too insular. Fortunately, American gun owners have taken notice of Australia (and you better start taking notice of the disaster unfolding up here in Canada), and the UK.

      • Yes, it’s the Liberal majority win, and what they put in their party platform that’s concerning. Or perhaps not the platform, but rather the players. There are some hard core antis who will be in positions of power in the coming government, and they will want to push hard.

        But as for the platform, it includes rolling back the modest improvements made, and introducing a registry of non-restricted firearms when they are sold at retailers. It also has provisions to add a number of anti-gun groups to examine our laws and regulations. It proposes to make it harder to buy restricted firearms (handguns, AR15s, SBRs). It wants to give more power to the RCMP to decide whether to prohibit a firearm, and they will sign onto the UN’s firearms treaty.

        This is despite licensed gun owners being the most law-abiding part of the Canadian public.

        • I say you should submit an article of the state of affairs of Canadian gun rights to TTAG, they might post it. I remember a few similar articles from other countries.

  9. Actually gun crimes are typically prosecuted. That is the problem. How many times do we hear about a repeat offender being let out on the street only to murder somebody with or without a gun.

    It is only natural that #blacklivesmatter would ally themselves with gun controllers. They are the political arm of the gangs. It is in their best interests to disarm the rest of us.

  10. If black families mattered there never would have been a black lives matter movement.
    Guns are not the problem. Penalties are not the problem. Poverty is not the problem. White people are not the problem. The NRA is not the problem. The police are not the problem.
    The problem is the largest percentage of unwed mothers among the black community in the history of the Country.
    #blackwivesmatter

  11. I support the Three Strikes law…..commit three felonies and congrats! You just became an organ donor. And look, you can save lives!

  12. BLM is just another scam. A lot of people seem to fall for the big scam every generation or so until it fades out. In this case, BLM will be used by the Democrats to maintain power, and BLM itself will be thoroughly co-opted as it fades out.

    In the meantime, if BLM hooks up with the anti-defense wingnuts, it will really agitate the hell out of gun owners and be a net benefit for gun rights. Unintended consequences — they are a b!tch.

  13. It isn’t just unmarried black women. I would say there are more white never married mothers than black never married mothers in this country. This is a huge urban problem, because it cost more to live in the city and if you aren’t producing, then taxpayers shoulder the burden of support for them and thier children.

    The lack of jobs and the having to join a gang when the boys are 12-13 just to survive, makes them criminals and virtually unemployable at any decent job. The other jobs are taken by 3rd world immigrants(legal and not), so they feel they have no other way to go.

    We need to teach industrial arts in middle and high school. The complaint that it tracks the students into blue collar jobs may be partially true, but many engineers started in shop class and drafting rooms. The love of creating useful items(even if it is race go carts and minibikes) will stay with them all thier life.

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