Convicted Murderer: I Heart Gun Control

John Lennon (courtesy qz.com)

Writing for qz.com, a convicted murderer writing under the pen name “John Lennon” [above] insits that lax gun laws had nothing to do with his crime. “It reminded me of the December night in 2001 when I easily obtained a (straw purchased) assault rifle from a friend and used it to shoot an associate of mine named Alex in the head. He, too, sat unarmed in a car, this one on a Brooklyn street. I killed Alex after learning that he was extorting a man who sold drugs for me. I can’t change what I did even as I feel remorse for it—the responsibility for pulling the trigger is mine alone.” Fair enough. Only not really. Mr. Lennon doesn’t take sole responsibility for his actions . . .

I can’t help but think about what would have happened that night if I hadn’t had access to that gun. Instead, maybe another sequence of events would have unfolded. Perhaps the effects of the Xanax I had taken would have worn off. Perhaps I would have slept on it and felt differently the next day. Perhaps we would have talked it out. Instead, there I was–emotionally empty and angry, and impulsive. Big gun in the trunk. A bit high. It was over in three seconds.

We of this life are engaged in a vicious cycle of hurt­—giving it, receiving it. Years ago, I was stabbed six times in a prison yard, and suffered a punctured lung as revenge for killing Alex. Had I been shot six times, I’d be dead.

As my father used to say, if my grandmother had wheels I’d be a trolley car. In other words, there’s no point in theorizing about alternate outcomes for prior bad, ill-advised or downright stupid acts (especially the dirty deeds done dirt cheap). You can and should, however, learn from your mistakes. One of which is that a bad artist blames his tools. Badly . . .

Much of gun violence in America occurs in the self-absorbed world of gangster culture. Recently in the yard I was talking to a nineteen-year-old boy who calls himself “Shots.” He’s serving a sentence of 45 years to life for shooting and killing one victim and wounding another. He told me guns are so ubiquitous in his native Rochester, New York, that he once stumbled upon a nine millimeter handgun while walking in a field of weeds. He took it home. He was twelve.

Through his [unreliable] spokesman, “Shots” is deploying the Curley defense: “I’m a victim of coicumstance!” I dunno know about that. But I do know that Mr. Lennon is guilty of manhandling language to suit his “this will help get me out on parole” anti-gun rights agenda.

During a break I was talking to a prisoner who calls himself “Paradise,” convicted of trafficking guns and attempting to commit murder with one of them. From behind his big beard and permanent diamond grill, Paradise told me how he used to take drugs from Buffalo, New York, to rural towns in Pennsylvania. After selling the drugs, he’d ask customers with clean criminal records to buy guns for him. Paradise would take the guns back to Buffalo to sell or trade for more drugs.

This is a phenomenon known as straw purchasing, a dangerous loophole that has remained open for decades. I should know, my friends and I had gotten guns the same way in the mid-nineties.

The word “loophole” don’t mean what Mr. Lennon wants it to mean. “Straw purchasing” is a crime, not a “loophole.” People who buy guns for a prohibited person are committing a crime, not “exploiting a loophole.”

Conventional wisdom holds that if a problem exists—like, say, a loophole that allows untraceable gun purchases–we should just close it. And yet, illegal private-party gun sales account for as much as 40% of gun purchases in the US. Why do we refuse to actually address such a patently—and demonstratively—dangerous problem in American society?

Wait. How does Mr. Lennon know that “illegal private-party gun sales account for as much as 40% of gun purchases in the U.S.?” No one keeps a tally of illegal, private-party gun sales. How could they? They’re illegal! What he meant to say, perhaps, was that 40 percent of criminals get their guns from private sales at gun shows. Which isn’t true, either.

This kind of jailhouse-generated asinine anti-gun agitprop must be especially soothing to gun control advocates on the outside. See? Even criminals think we should have gun control! I reckon any criminal who argues for gun control — what we call civilian disarmament and you could call a PVEP (Potential Victim Expansion Program) should be automatically disqualified for parole. Especially any convict that takes their pen name from a man murdered by a crazed killer. [h.t AM]

comments

  1. avatar MurrDog says:

    He straw purchased an assault rifle? I wonder what group put those words in his mouth.

  2. avatar gs650g says:

    Such a smart criminal. If we execute scum like this maybe that would send a different message. And we would save money too.

    1. avatar James in AZ says:

      Until they execute an innocent person out of incompetency or conspiracy. Death penalty saves overall societal costs but the society exists for individuals’ sake.
      I always thought to myself a higher level of punishment than life sentence w/o parole should be a choice made by the convict between permanent forced labor (humanely) or death. Yknow, make them manufacture something simple but useful everyday for free to make up for their jail time expenses and then some.

      1. avatar wes says:

        Bring back prison farms, have em sustain themselves and donate the rest to local food banks.

        1. avatar gs650g says:

          In Korea prisoners grow their own food. Or starve if relatives don’t feed them. The jails are real sparse and not very pleasant and a rope awaits the evil ones.

      2. avatar ATTAGReader says:

        Meant very seriously — also bring back chain gangs on the sides of the highways. They are covered in trash. Occasionally I will see a prison brigade working the litter, but this should be the full time occupation for most of them. Beginning with the financial fraudsters, by the way.

      3. avatar All_is_fair says:

        There is no such thing as perfect justice when implemented by fallible human beings but where is the justice for the family of the victim? With all of the DNA , video evidence, and mandatory appeals that are in process today I am more than satisfied that a carried out death penalty is correct.

        As usual Dennis Prager enlightens the subject.

      4. avatar gs650g says:

        Thousands of scumbags are counting on the ” one innocent man ” theory to keep capital punishment at bay.

    2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      If we execute scum like this maybe that would send a different message. And we would save money too.
      Gladiator Games would provide money, entertainment, and reduction of the violent criminal population.
      Let the Games begin.

  3. avatar Big Jim says:

    That’s the problem with criminals, which you should love her is the freedom of the United States of America And not blame an inanimate object For your demise! That’s the problem with these criminals that get locked up they want to blame everybody but themselves for their life and how it ended up! You sir give me a friggin break! You’re nothing more than a freakin loser that went to prison Have a good one with that Try to get a job nowadays with a felony criminal background! You’ll be cleaning porta potties Out of this out in the snow that’s waist deep! Lmao

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    He talks exactly like a convict. “I take responsibility for what I did, but it wasn’t all my fault. Guns made me do it. Xanax made me do it. Society made me do it. But I take personal responsibility for what I did.”

    They all spout the same, well rehearsed line of convict bullsh!t. And to those who want to believe, they are very convincing.

    A jailhouse lawyer named Edgar Smith, who was on Death Row for the murder of fifteen-year-old cheerleader, conned William F. Buckley and other smart people into helping him win a retrial and a reduced sentence.

    A couple of years after his release, Smith stabbed and tried to kidnap a young woman. She got away. He didn’t. He’s back in the Graybar Hotel where he belongs. Buckley was ashamed for being conned so easily.

    Lennon will also charm and fool a lot of people who want to believe, because his story fits their narrative. He knows that.

    1. avatar Five says:

      Who decided to sell dope. Who decided to hire other people to sell dope for them. Who was protecting the territory of his illegal dope selling operation? Who got high off of Xanax? Oh, it was the guy who also illegally obtained a firearm and then went looking for the someone who was interfering with his dope selling business operation.

    2. avatar AR says:

      “….turning his life around….”

      I always look for that from the “alleged perpetrator’s” family.

      1. avatar gs650g says:

        Yeah and their victims don’t get the chance to do that.

  5. avatar jp says:

    2001? But I thought the AWB was supposed to fix all that??!?

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      ^^ I was hoping someone else caught that!

  6. avatar Kapeltam says:

    PVEP. I am going to have to use that. Btw, it’s not surprising criminals want us disarmed. Look at Hillary.

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    The language employed is highly suggestive of this “article” having been ghost written, based loosely on a conversation with a convict. Or, even if a con really did write this, are we really supposed to believe much of anything a convicted felon who admits to multiple other felonies for which he was not convicted (drug dealing)?

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “The language employed is highly suggestive of this “article” having been ghost written, based loosely on a conversation with a convict.”

      Yep.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Check. I’ll take bets that at the time he accepted cred for this anti gun drivel someone put a chunk of change on his “book”. No doubt someone working for kapo bloomberg.

  8. avatar PeterW says:

    “Straw purchase loophole”
    LOL!!!!
    “hey man, buy me some beer, I’m only 12”
    “no problem, that’s the underaged drinking loophole”
    “ah man, I crashed the car I stole after drinking”
    “that’s the stolen car drunk driving minor loophole”
    “I found a gun in the car I stole while I was drinking underage”
    “OMG GUNZ are the problems!!!!”

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      No worries, he’ll just tell the judge that he’s turning his life around. And being one of Obama’s sons helps, too.

  9. avatar LarryinTX says:

    “People who buy guns for a prohibited person are committing a crime, not “exploiting a loophole.”

    Prohibited persons who solicit such purchases are committing a crime, too. Also who accept, touch, hold, possess, and about a million other legalese terms, if we do not or can not stop those crimes, why do we wish to manufacture new crimes to not prosecute instead?

    If we got real smart, maybe we could pass a law prohibiting breathing, make it a felony! The day after the law became effective, every single person in America would be a felon, because no one would stop breathing. A year after that, not one person would have been arrested, charged, tried, convicted, or imprisoned for their continuing crimes. Passing laws accomplishes nothing if they are not enforced, after a year with no effect on people’s actions, laws should be automatically repealed.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Larry, this seems to be a difficult concept for many people to accept emotionally, so I am not picking on you personally, but…

      “Prohibited persons who solicit such purchases are committing a crime, too. Also who accept, touch, hold, possess, and about a million other legalese terms, if we do not or can not stop those crimes, why do we wish to manufacture new crimes to not prosecute instead?”

      All such laws are prima facie unconstitutional. “…the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” specifically prohibits the government from determining in any manner who may or may not exercise their RKBA. I know this thought makes a lot of good people very uncomfortable, but the 2A does NOT CONTAIN ANY LOOPHOLE for the government to circumvent this natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right.

      1. avatar gs650g says:

        The gun ban for felons is a recent concept. It also was intended for a narrower range of crimes. Now bad check writers could find themselves on the ours.

  10. avatar Wade Garret says:

    I have always believed that your rights end ( the criminal) as soon as you infringe or try to take away mine (citizen). Once you consciously decide to rape, murder, rob, etc., I no longer care about your rights. I don’t care if you do it because your poor, your on drugs, your toaster told you to do it, you’ve had a rough life, etc. Man up. Everyone experiences tragedy every day.

    1. avatar Magister says:

      Exactly. I’ve termed it as, “You’ve violated my rights. Your right to breath is now null, void, and hereby revoked.”

  11. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    Toaster made me use that pop tart gun.
    Now I’m boo hooing in my box.
    Rot you waste.

  12. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    “And yet, illegal private-party gun sales account for as much as 40% of gun purchases in the US. ”

    This sentence in his essay includes a link to the 40% number. A word was changed between the two . The study he links to says :
    “Undocumented private party gun sale transactions account for as many as 40 percent of all gun sales,”

    He(or his editor) changed “Undocumented” to “illegal”.

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      Undocumented guns = “Illegal guns”
      Illegal aliens = “Undocumented persons”

      1. avatar Partigiano says:

        Holy balls!

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        Undocumented Illegals = Alien Guns? Cool.

  13. avatar Gman says:

    Is this guy Bloomberg’s long lost love child married to Shannon Watts? They all sound the same to me.

    1. avatar Ethan says:

      They all read from the same playbook, and are all coached by the same script writers.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Prisons are not just schools to make you a better, more efficient, Bad Guy when you get out, they are also schools in how to work the legal, judicial and parole system to your benefit.

        This creep appears to be a good student. I suspect in both regards.

  14. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “I can’t help but think about what would have happened that night if I hadn’t had access to that gun. Instead, maybe another sequence of events would have unfolded. Perhaps the effects of the Xanax I had taken would have worn off. Perhaps I would have slept on it and felt differently the next day. Perhaps we would have talked it out.”

    And perhaps if oak trees had p*ssies I wouldn’t have needed a date to my junior prom.

    “…It was over in three seconds.”

    Again. My junior prom.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Dammed near choked to death on the cashews I was eating when I read that.

    2. avatar gs650g says:

      An oldie but goodie for sure

  15. avatar Bob says:

    Can we just grind “Mr Lennon” into Soylent Green, and save the tax payers some money?

    What a collection of crap…how about, “if I’d only had no hands, I couldn’t have committed that crime”. Everyone, off with your hands…for the children.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      In many Muslim cultures they lop off the hand of a thief as punishment and supposed deterrence. I wonder how many people in those cultures lose both hands anyway?

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      How about just Mr. Lennon’s hands? That’d do. I actually wouldn’t have to worry so much about letting him out some day in such a state. What’s that? He couldn’t possibly survive in such a state? Well then maybe prison isn’t a sufficient punishment for this man. Maybe nothing we can do short of removing him from the equation permanently is capable of restoring the public’s security, or meting out justice.

  16. avatar Brainman says:

    Considering the number of murders committed with long guns, I find it exceedingly unlikely that the story is true.

  17. avatar Wiregrass says:

    “Instead, maybe another sequence of events would have unfolded. Perhaps the effects of the Xanax I had taken would have worn off.”

    No, you POS, you would just have taken another one and then carried on with your murderous designs.

  18. avatar EJQ says:

    Everybody watch out. I have, on occasion, taken Xanax, and I legally own guns. Up until now, I thought I was to stay away from my guns, until the stuff wore off. Had no idea they’d make me shoot someone!

  19. avatar DaveL says:

    Conventional wisdom holds that if a problem exists—like, say, a loophole that allows untraceable gun purchases–we should just close it. And yet, illegal private-party gun sales account for as much as 40% of gun purchases in the US.

    I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the sort of mushy thinking that believes the law allows people to do things that are illegal. If it’s allowed by law, it’s not illegal, and if it’s illegal, the law doesn’t allow it. That’s what “illegal” means.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      A “loophole” as used frequently means a perfectly legal act that someone wants to make illegal, like buying a gun in a private transaction without a background check.
      A “straw sale” is already illegal. And technically, the transaction he describes, the transfer of a firearm in a private transaction, rather than a purchase by a legally permitted purchaser from an FFL with the intent to transfer to an unpermitted person, is instead an illegal private transfer if NY does not allow-as I suspect-transfers between private persons without a background check. In either case, since the act described is already illegal, there is no “loophole” to close.
      Thus we see that the intent of the article is to spread disinformation as to the law of gun sales in NY and the nation for the purpose of demonizing all transfers without a background check.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Not to mention conducting the illegal transfer across state lines, which makes this a federal offense.

        The loophole they are talking about (New York rhetoric) is that neighboring states do not have sufficiently draconian gun laws similar to New York and therefore criminals can get away with this sort of activity. They want national gun control equal to or better than the state of New York and probably check points and searches at state borders to intercept the smuggled weapons and anything else they do not like. YOU! Show us your papers!

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        The term you are looking for is “Newspeak,” as in “Orwellian language system described in 1984.” I believe ‘loophole’ is coming to be used sort of like badthink was (the thinking about topics forbidden by the state; the act of thoughtcrime) only referring to physical activity opposed by their lobby. Undesirable behavior, if you will. And yes, these progressives truly believe all freedom flows from the state, ergo all action is only actionable by its will. And yes, this is a belief in God-like powers of the state.

    2. avatar Five says:

      wait wait wait,….. let me stop laughing here…..

      Did you just expect a criminal to respect/obey/understand the law or even actually care what is or isn’t illegal?

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        In an essay to be submitted to the parole board, yes.

    3. avatar gs650g says:

      The loophole that needs to be closed is the hole under his nose that food water and air goes in.

  20. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    “Someone was responsible for my actions, it was someone else’s job to prevent me from having a gun, even though I obtained the gun to commit this murder and could have obtained a different weapon to commit it with if no gun would was available.”

    Whale oil beef hooked.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Much of gun violence in America occurs in the self-absorbed world of gangster culture.

    Gee, maybe that is the real problem at the core of violent crime: people who are self-absorbed and have zero regard for the sanctity of human life.

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      +1000

  22. avatar Joe R. says:

    If I need a murderer to defend my gun rights for me, then you are broken (permanently).

  23. avatar Mk10108 says:

    The state cannot inject him quick enough.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Come on guys. He’ll be back on the street in no time – probably already is.

      1. avatar Five says:

        This is probably part of a job interview.

  24. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    A criminal killed by a criminal that was stabbed by other criminals. This story pretty much sums up the “culture of violence” that exists in this country. I’m sure the other side is sad that there is not 1 NRA member among them. For me, the only sad thing here is he didn’t die from his 6 stab wounds.

  25. avatar Erik says:

    Fake. FAKE!!! If anyone cared enough you could find the court records and name John Lennon. And isn’t it funny that he took a commie’s name to use as a pen name? Faker than Obama tears.

    1. avatar Five says:

      Yeah, it probably is fake. But it is still so easy to pick apart and destroy.

  26. avatar DaveL says:

    Isn’t this the same fool who pushed gun control for The Atlantic a few years ago?

  27. avatar Mr. 308 says:

    This sounds like a perfect case for the death penalty. Guilt here is not in question; and I have no interest in the whining ‘death penalty does not prevent’ BS. It’s a penalty, not a preventative measure. We should not have to be paying to house and feed this animal.

    And I have less than zero interest in whatever this guy has to say – or write. He is a convict.

    Story is ghost written also, or at least directed by anti someone with an 2a agenda.

  28. avatar Anonymous says:

    I can’t help but think about what would have happened that night if I hadn’t had access to that gun.

    I can’t help but think about what would have happened if you had done something else with your life other than dealing drugs and killing people.

    I can’t help but think about what would have happened if you hadn’t been high, pissed, and resolved to become a murderer.

    I can’t help but think about what would have happened if you didn’t have access to a running vehicle and had to address other issues that day rather than murdering people.

    I can’t help but think about what would have happened if you didnt have access to wearable shoes and had to go pick some up rather than killing people.

    Blaming access to a gun is a ridiculous lame excuse for someone who doesn’t want to man up for his decisions. At least your worthless garbage of a life is now living out its most meaningful and productive years (in prison).

  29. avatar Jack says:

    If he did kill someone with an assault rifle it and was arrested for it, it shouldn’t be to hard to identify him. There are very few murders commited with assault rifles compared to handguns. But it sounds like a fake story

  30. avatar JasonM says:

    People who buy guns for a prohibited person are committing a crime, not “exploiting a loophole.”
    Also, when those people are users of illegal substances (like most/all of that drug dealer’s customers), it’s illegal to buy the gun in the first place. It’s question 11.E on form 4473.

    illegal private-party gun sales account for as much as 40% of gun purchases in the US. Why do we refuse to actually address such a patently—and demonstratively—dangerous problem in American society?

    He makes a good point. We should make illegal gun sales illegal. Oh…wait a sec…

  31. avatar pod says:

    This guy simply doesn’t want to own up for being a murderer. He blames the guns and the drugs. No one forced him to become a drug dealer. In this country, no matter how despondent things are, there’s always a (legal) way out of any sort of bad economic situation. New York City prides itself on it’s governmental services, he could have walked into any sort of agency office and gotten help. Even barring that, there’s NGOs galore out there he could have sought out. I’m gonna wager that despite whatever situation he was in at the time he committed his crime, he probably had basic research skills and could have found something.

    His actions are his fault and his alone. Inanimate objects and chemicals aren’t responsible here.

    1. avatar More Dead Soldiers says:

      Hey, cops do the same thing. I was trained to murder, I was trained to abuse, etc.

      http://reason.com/blog/2016/01/27/toronto-cop-convicted-of-attempted-murde

  32. avatar Grumpy says:

    He sounds like Bubba Clinton calling Bernie a sexist.
    ROFL.

  33. avatar Defens says:

    All the “if onlys”: “If only” I’d been prevented from buying that nasty gun, things would have turned out different. Well, John ol’ boy, if we believe the quantum physicists, there are an infinite number of parallel universes/dimensions where that particular event did not occur. But I’ll bet you’re still in jail or dead in an infinite number more.

  34. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    This is all the fault of gun owning people in Indiana and the NRA.

  35. avatar John E> says:

    Ubiquitous, I know no felons in the house or on probation who have ever used that word. Nor PO’s, cops, judges, or my own staff.

    (I have used it on occasion only to receive a funny look on the other end.)

  36. avatar wrightl3 says:

    And we’re supposed to care what a CONVICTED MURDERER has to say why?

  37. avatar The Phantom says:

    Another tale of woe from a nice level headed guy who was just selling drugs until he was tripped up by an evil gun and killed somebody. Actually it was the gun that did it. If he hadn’t the gun he probabaly would have just used a knife and the victim probably would not have died.

    The real tragedy is he will likely make parol with this shit.

  38. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I purposely didn’t read this. Because I knew what it would be about. Public execution-or chain gangs. Imagine there’s no Lennon…

  39. avatar Sprocket says:

    My only take away from the article is that we’d have fewer subhumans, like Mr. Lennon, to worry about if guns were more available in prison. Perhaps some sort of Escape from New York type of arrangement?

  40. avatar PeterK says:

    I smell BS. Is there any way to verify any of this? It seems a lot like purely fabricated agitprop.

    In any case why would I believe a criminal that gun control will help. Isn’t that a bit like believing that taxman that me paying taxes benefits me?

    Man, just think! If only dealing, doing, possessing, and using drugs was illegal none of this would have happened! Oh wait…

    Man the other thing that kills me here is his absolutely fallacious claim that if he’d been shot he’d be dead, like all guns are death rays that magically kill you the instant they hit you, never mind all the people that soaked up bullets like a sponge before hopping into an ambulence under their own power.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Good catch, gets a link to the another one:

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/08/robert-farago/atlantic-monthly-publishes-ex-cons-anti-gun-agit-prop/

      His “buddy” that he killed was a murderer himself that beat the rap.

  41. avatar SuperG says:

    He’ll also find salvation in Jesus soon too. They all do in order to con the parole board. You can bet he’ll go right back to dealing and murdering as soon as he gets out. And he will get out, as there are always those idiots that believe that criminals should get chance after chance.

  42. avatar A says:

    I don’t believe for a second that this was penned by a criminal as described. This was authored by someone from the left who’s trying to advance their gun control agenda. Total Bull***t piece.

  43. avatar rt66paul says:

    I think that he meant 40% of the guns used illegally by criminals are bought from a seller that did not use an FFL, which is perfectly legal in many states. It doesn’t make it an illegal purchase. It probably is not at a gun show, it is a face to face purchase of a gun that the buyer is not aware of the history of said gun(and maybe doesn’t really care).
    I do not believe that many of these used guns are even for sale at a gun show. Most people that go to gun shows are collectors or at the least, gun buffs. First time buyers get overwhelmed at a gun show, they may buy off the net, or from someone they know or met, but usually they get someone’s advice on guns before they buy.

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