President Obama and his cohorts continually rabbit-on about the need to create “common sense” gun control laws that “keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.” Gun rights advocates point out that properly identifying “dangerous people” and figuring out a way to prevent them from gaining access to guns to reduce “gun violence” is an inherently flawed strategy. Doomed, you might say. Demonstrably ineffective, even.
The better strategy: keep people proven to be dangerous (i.e. citizens or undocumented Americans caught and convicted of a crime) away from guns by taking them out of society. You know; lock them up for a while. Yes well . . .
“President Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentences for 111 inmates, the latest in his push to ease harsh penalties given to nonviolent drug offenders,” washingtonpost.com reports. “Obama has been critical of what he has called the ‘devastating’ effects of severe sentences handed down during the country’s war on drugs. He became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, and spoke there about the importance of “second chances.”
Scanning the list of convicted criminals due to enjoy an early release courtesy of the President we discover that the category “non-violent drug offenders” includes convicts who illegally possessed a firearm. Like this:
· Sly Stallone Aikens — Hickory Grove, SC
Offense: Knowingly using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing the firearm in furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime (two counts); District of South Carolina
Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (April 29, 2005); amended to 235 months’ imprisonment (September 28, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment.
And another . . .
· Alfonso Allen — Miami, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base (two counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana; possession of a short barreled shotgun in furtherance of a felony drug offense; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of an unregistered short barreled shotgun; Southern District of Florida
Sentence: Life plus 10 years’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (August 25, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months’ imprisonment.
And another . . .
· Walter Breland — Statesville, NC
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine base; possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm; Southern District of Indiana
Sentence: 420 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (February 12, 2003)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months’ imprisonment.
Out of the 111 commuted sentences, I counted twelve souls convicted of a firearms offense; slightly more than 10 percent of the jailbirds released by presidential fiat.
While I’m for legalizing “recreational” drugs, the gentlemen Mr. Obama is releasing from prison were dealers (a.k.a. “pushers”). More to the point, preaching against “gun violence” while granting early release to people convicted of firearms-related offenses is the worst kind of criminal justice policy. The kind that gets innocent people killed, one way or another.