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“‘There’s no certainty of a consequence [for criminal behavior],’ Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said of the Baltimore justice system, adding that he believes carrying an illegal gun should be viewed as a ‘pre-murder’ crime.” Arrests in Baltimore for illegal guns often lead to dropped charges or little jail time [via baltimoresun.com]

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72 Responses to Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: ‘Pre-Murder’ in Baltimore

  1. Optics. What is it with politicians and their inability to understand optics?

    His intent is spot on – in that city, a lot of the folks that are carrying firearms in contravention of the law are too often let out with minimal consequence. We’ve discussed this here ad nauseam. If you are carrying as part of engaging in criminal enterprise, even if you aren’t actively killing, you are displaying a willingness or desire to kill, which is what he wants to consider in the weapons sentences.

    Yes, there are logical gaps that you could drive a truck through, but the positive intent is there – stop criminals for the smaller crime to prevent the larger one. Instead, he loses the field with poor optics.

    And yes, a police commissioner is more politician than law enforcement.

    • “If you are carrying as part of engaging in criminal enterprise …”

      Who defines “engaging in criminal enterprise”?

      Right now, most states will say that you are “engaging in a criminal enterprise” if you walk in public with a concealed club, knife, and/or firearm without a license. And yet any such person could simply be exercising their natural, unalienable right to self-defense without any intention of attacking anyone.

      We have to stop defining “criminal enterprise” by legislative fiat and return to our bedrock legal and justice principle:
      If there is no victim, there is no crime. Period. Full stop.

      And we must recognize two types of victims:
      (1) Victims who actually suffered injury/loss.
      (2) Victims who were in imminent danger of injury/loss.
      For example, an attacker who tried to hit, stab, or shoot someone and missed does not get a pass. Note the important detail here: the attacker attempted to cause injury/loss. That does NOT include a person merely walking on a public sidewalk who has a concealed firearm.

      The problem here is that various governments say that merely having the ability to cause injury/loss is a crime. It most certainly is not. Otherwise, we should be arresting and convicting every reasonably fit male with fists and feet as well as everyone who drives a car.

      • “Otherwise, we should be arresting and convicting every reasonably fit male with fists and feet as well as everyone who drives a car.”

        In that sentence, replace “everyone who drives a car” with “everyone else but me who drives a car” and the leftists would agree with you 100%.

      • That’s where the optics come in. Their framing seems intended to eventually catch anybody they want to, while I’d like to think the best of him and he only wants to prevent the harm that you have described in your post.

        • A felon (prohibited person) carrying a firearm is a felony.

          At this point, we need a serious reassessment as to what crimes should have lengthy prison sentences.

          Clear out the non-violent criminals like drug offenders so that we can incarcerate the violent ones…

      • “Oh, do come along, Bond.”

        Intent is derived when someone commits a crime while carrying a weapon. So, person X, is arrested while beating someone, breaking into a house/business, holding-up a business or person. That sort of thing. If the person arrested also has a weapon, a second charge is added: carrying a weapon with intent to kill or do grievous bodily harm. If convicted of the underlying crime (robbery, battery, theft, etc), the person with a weapon is simultaneously (and automatically) convicted of the weapons charge. Can government (or the majority of voters) make every human action a crime? Certainly. But that is true today. Maybe we make weapons charges part of the aggravating conditions, so that when convicted on the underlying charge, possession of a weapon adds Y punishment to the sentencing. Always looking for the perfect, incorruptible, never fail law or procedure is a fool’s errand. Better to revert to the law of the jungle, where there is absolutely zero expectation that any event is mitigated by societal norms.

        • I’d argue that in the situation where someone is carrying a gun and they assault someone with their bare hands, the gun is actually more proof that they had intent not to kill, rather than that they had intent to kill.

      • “If there is no victim, there is no crime. Period. Full stop.”

        What a load of neo-libertarian nonsense. Are you allowed to drive 150mph until you run someone off the road or plow into a school bus? Are you allowed to step behind the counter at a bank and look at anyone’s account information just because you are curious and have no intent of using that information to harm anyone? Next, you’ll be advocating tax evasion since you can easily extend your logic to portray that as a victim-less crime, too.

        Certain behaviors are unacceptable in civil society and are therefore defined as crimes via legislative fiat, as you put it.

    • I would contend that many (most?) of your gang-banger/drug dealer types carry guns for self-defense. Their strategy is not unlike the law-abiding open carrier who knows that he is less likely to be targeted if his adversary knows he’s armed.

      Do you have a God-given right to self defense while you are selling heroin to teenagers?

      • Unfortunately, yes.

        By the way, it is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right, not God-given. Please keep in mind that well over half the people on Earth at this time do not believe in the same God you profess your faith in. They still have a right to self defense.

        Every person, no matter how despicable, has the same right to defend their own life. It is up to us to identify the despicable and cause them to have the need to defend themselves until they either 1. Fail (good result), or 2. Choose a different occupation (okay result).

        In the case of drug dealers of all stripes the use of a firearm for self defense most often involves shooting at or being shot by rival drug dealers, also a good result so long as innocent bystanders are not involved. Someone who is in the process of transacting business with such individuals, however, does not qualify as an innocent bystander.

        • Cliff H, thanks for keeping a civil tone, but if Curtis believes rights are God given, then to him they are God given. To the signers of the Declaration of Independence, they were Creator (as capitalized in the Declaration of Independence) given.

        • Mr. Taylor correctly surmised that I was using the phrase “God-given” in a Jeffersonian kinda way.

          “… the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them…”

          “… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

        • And I understand the position of believers, gentlemen, and allow you that, however, I find it necessary sometimes to point out that the rights, which the Founders also addressed: “… the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature…” exist whether or not you are a Christian or a Jew. The fact remains that approximately 20% of the world’s 7.5 billion population profess some belief in Christianity or Judaism, something more than 20% are to some degree Muslim, the rest are other or no faith. ALL have the natural right to self defense.

          In addition, the Second Amendment does not mention, as it well should not, a religious test.

          Not trying to be argumentative, just accurate.

        • Whoa Cliff & JWT, in absence of other reference, the Founders said our Rights are GOD given and that is not only most-unique, it can be asserted that, but for the Founders’ laying of such claim on this Nation’s birth certificate, you’d likely not still have that right to casually argue about here.
          EITHER WAY, it’s not in anyone’s purview, especially of those who are taking part and pleasure in those rights to attempt to reduce that notion to that of ‘superstition’. AND F ALL ELSE, AND ALL OTHER COMERS. Who gives a rats ass where anyone else derives their right, it makes not a fing whit of difference that America (a genuinely uniquely blessed land) was ABSOLUTELY FOUNDED BY MEN WHO WERE IMBUED WITH THE NOTION THAT WHATEVER ACTION THEY TOO WHATSOEVER, WAS DONE IN ABSOLUTE SHRINKING AWE AND FEAR OF MY LORD. You don’t have to read much history or their other speeches and writings to plainly see that, and you have no right of any kind if you attempt here to blunt or obscure the notion that America might not be a country any longer if it denies its dedication (pre incept) to THE BESTOWER OF RIGHTS, HE WHO IS.

      • Carrying a firearm while in commission of a felony or violent misdemeanor(there fixed it for you). And yes if you beat someone up while you have a gun on your hip, you should be charged with a more serious crime. Why, because you started a violent crime with a much higher potential of a death or grievous injury

        • I disagree. The mere presence of a firearm, unless its presence is directly related to the violent crime being committed (as a tool of intimidation, perhaps) should NOT be a chargeable offense. Slippery slope and all that – but that’s a different argument for a different day.

    • Kathy, you are one of those that judge actions based on the intent? In other words, ends justify the means? Then you should agree that all Democrats need to be arrested and prosecuted for intended theft.

      • “Oh, do come along, Bond.”

        Intent is derived when someone commits a crime while carrying a weapon. So, person X, is arrested while beating someone, breaking into a house/business, holding-up a business or person. That sort of thing. If the person arrested also has a weapon, a second charge is added: carrying a weapon with intent to kill or do grievous bodily harm. If convicted of the underlying crime (robbery, battery, theft, etc), the person with a weapon is simultaneously (and automatically) convicted of the weapons charge. Can government (or the majority of voters) make every human action a crime? Certainly. But that is true today. Maybe we make weapons charges part of the aggravating conditions, so that when convicted on the underlying charge, possession of a weapon adds Y punishment to the sentencing. Always looking for the perfect, incorruptible, never fail law or procedure is a fool’s errand. Better to revert to the law of the jungle, where there is absolutely zero expectation that any event is mitigated by societal norms.

    • Why just the carrying of an “illegal” firearm? Is an “illegal”‘ firearms somehow more dangerous or lethal than a legal one? Of course Commissioner Davis can’t say that the carrying of “any” firearm is evidence of a pre-murder because that would mean that he and every other police officer in Baltimore are contemplating murder.

      • Because the executive does not create law, only enforces that which has been passed be the legislature. As such, if the legislature has defined certain arms as illegal, and such laws have passed constitutional muster, then those would necessarily have to be considered illegal arms, as would any arm carried in a manner contrary to the law. Contrast that with arms acquired and carried in compliance with applicable law, which would be considered legal arms.

  2. Wow. Now I have a face to put to grayman/gray ghost/ghostly-zim etc. All this dude needs to make the picture perfect is a white hood.

      • Good one! Gray boy was seriously twitterpated when I used the f#g word on him(her?). I’m afraid Baltimore and the rest of MD may be a lost cause. My son lives nearby and was relating how confusing the local elections were-I just told him never go D. Stunned silence…”murder,death,kill” officer Spartan. Go Cubs!

        • I saw that. I laughed at his expense. He/she/zir/em/ver/vis/zim (ROFL!) trolls suggesting we’re all a bunch of racist psycho killers but doesn’t want to get flamed and can’t stand it when it a happens.

          The interwebz aren’t the nicest and most civil place. (Can you imagine if that idiot trolled on reddit or 4/8chan? Lol, destroyed.) If you’re faint of heart you might want to avoid message boards. If you’re a snowflake and a troll then you’re weapon’s grade stupid and you should procure a 55 gallon drum of ointment for the massive amount of butthurt that’s inevitably coming to an asshole near you.

        • Only Baltimore and the DC suburbs are a lost cause. The rest of Maryland is pro freedom and pro 2nd Amendment like the rest of the country but numbers matter and they are not in their favor.

  3. I do certainly love due process. I just wish I could say the same for statists.

    ETA: however, the first poster is right with regards to the nature of the comment in relation to who and where it was said.

  4. That might make sense if guns were legal in Baltimore, but if all guns are illegal and carrying an illegal gun is ‘pre murder’ than anyone carrying a gun is a pre murderer.

    • Or criminal, working their enterprise, is worried about being shot. The courts have ruled felons can protect themselves with a gun.

      • Isn’t it funny how the courts will protect the universal right to self-defense when a criminal exercises it — and yet they continue to help the government harass people like you and me for being concerned about the exact same universal right?

    • It is just a legal technicality for the courts but is it constitutional or even ethical? Not for the “lower class” (read poor) citizen who is forced to live in a dangerous area like much of Baltimore east of Martin Luther King Blvd. or around the area that surrounds John Hopkins Hospital. Government can and enact any number of egregious and nearly fascist laws and create many classes of criminals and felons on a whim or just a perceived threat that does not exist. NJ and MA and CA and now MD are just some of the most extreme examples where even the act of breathing or moving about can make you a criminal. Is this life in a “free society” or the (pardon the patriotic senseless hyperbole) “best country in the world”? I used to live in MD and I “used” to love it but the best thing for me was to move out and I did when MD went from a liberal easy going state to a fascist and citizen harassing one and the crime rate has not changed one iota in 40 years regardless of laws that forget citizens are people not potential criminals and the enemy to be abused and not protected. The police in MD as in many other states mentioned are just another nameless, faceless and incompetent bureaucracy lead by incompetent administrators. We have achieved the state of “idiocracy” in government or maybe we never came out of it.

      • This is the ‘best country in the world’ but that says more about the rest of the world than it does about us. To borrow a phrase from Glenn Beck, we’re just the floatiest turd in the bowl.

        • Borrow the anus, borrow the onerous onus.

          Say America’s great. We don’t rest on our laurels, or we’d make you say it, merely based on the clarity of the water we flush our toilets with.

          But, saying it ain’t great, says more about you than us or it. And you sound like you’re not from here.

      • Are you sure you mean east of MLK? I’m pretty sure you meant west of MLK.

        Although Barre Was a surprising oasis of calm in an otherwise turbulent part of town.

    • Post-tyranny, post a-hole-neighbor-who-needed-a-job needs to go home,

      Way post More-Equal Pig.

      MD is a piss-ant little patch of real estate and they are f’d up by the truckload. When they (someday) do something “right” then maybe we’ll listen to them on doing something better, until then, keep your broken cr_p to yourself.

      • You know Joe, the slander use of Pig here if a bit offensive. Dated as well. I’m wondering what righteousness earns you the use of that term. What makes you any better than the man that wears that uniform and enforces the law? Or do you just sit behind the keyboard in mom’s basement hating?

        • Joe is referring to Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, not the derogatory term for a cop. Read it sometime, it’s a very good book.

        • Johnny

          What makes me less???? What makes the person who’s wearing the uniform is that they asked for the job TO SERVE the people of their jurisdiction. THEY’VE ASKED FOR THE JOB THAT PUTS OTHERS AHEAD.

          Raise the first finger of your right hand. That’s the maximum # of people that you will ever equal. Put a badge, stethoscope, Pope’s ring, combat camo. on that and IT STILL ONLY EQUALS 1.

          If (EVEN IF) you put one of those other mantles on your 1, and you feel that it somehow makes you more than 1, THEN YOU ARE A FING ZERO. Remember that.

          If you are a cop, serving the people of your jurisdiction and you remember that you asked to serve them, then I will take a bullet for them, so that you can continue to serve and still make it home to your wife and kids. Other than that, you need to pack your sh_t and go to the house because you are dangerous.

        • No I read Animal Farm, but liked the Gulag Archipelago better. Sorry I didn’t get the reference, apparently I am the victim of a caffeine deficiency today. I never said you were less or more JoeR.. I said you came across as self righteous and still do.

        • Joe E> “Sorry I didn’t get the reference, apparently I am the victim of a caffeine deficiency today.” -I don’t get out of bed without coffee. That way everyone gets to live.

        • I use coffee and Monster as eyewash.

          It helps me smooth out my Stacker 3 buzz (and by ‘buzz’ I mean jitteriness with heart palpitations and a high pitched cicada drone in my ears). It’s wonderful.

  5. While I understand the guy’s frustration his solution is incorrect.

    It’s pretty clear from the article that the problem here is a combination of poor police procedure, lenient judges and overtaxed/unprepared prosecutors.

    An extra law isn’t going to change any of that. Then there’s that whole Constitution thingy…

    • The other issue is prison space, I’m sure that “Charm City” probably accounts for 75-80% of Maryland’s convict population so that also figures into the equation.

      • Perhaps that is why the prosecutors and judges are so lenient? Maybe they know they don’t have the space to house all these offenders.

    • Absolutely correct.

      The only valid anti-gun laws MUST involve the use of the firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, strictly defined. In such cases the Prosecutor should have no leeway to plea-bargain away the offense.

  6. His stance would mean a whole lot more if there weren’t so many ways for a gun to be “illegal” in Baltimore, many of which are wholly unconnected to anything normal people would recognize as “criminal intent”. A person carrying an illegal gun in Wyoming means something, but an illegal gun in, say, Massachusetts might mean nothing more than some soccer mom’s failure to keep up with the AG’s latest opinion.

    • “… an illegal gun in, say, Massachusetts might mean nothing more than some soccer mom’s failure to keep up with the AG’s latest opinion.”

      In other words guilt by legislative, executive, or judicial fiat as I mentioned above. This would not be a problem if our criminal-justice system would return to its bedrock principle that there is no crime if there is no victim … also as I mentioned above.

      I should also add that the general populace must learn to apply this principle as well in case they are members of a jury. If juries consistently found defendants “not guilty” when there are no victims, prosecutors might just stop trying to convict them.

      • “there is no crime if there is no victim”

        You know, I used to think things could be expressed that simply. Then I discovered the insane lengths these guys will go to in order to justify their control. You sell a drug to someone who wants it, he uses it and becomes ill/overdosed, has to go to the hospital which he cannot pay for, therefore the taxpayer is injured/a “victim” and you are a criminal, as is the guy who took the drugs. I can just as easily see you sold someone a gun, he shot a burglar, the burglar had to be treated at govt expense, here we go again. It must be expressed differently than that, somehow, and we need to be able to stop the outrageous “interpreting” of simple laws.

    • Dave, there are no “illegal guns” here in Wyoming, any more than anywhere else. In reality, there are a few people in any society/state/country that should probably not be carrying a gun – or any other weapon… The best way to sort them out is for the people who are targeted to defend themselves well and eliminate the PERSON. The gun/fist/knife/stick used in the attack is pretty much irrelevant.

      “Laws” and jails usually complicate things and, ultimately, multiply the problems.

  7. So he’s saying that if you’re breaking the law, it should be considered breaking the law? He’s asking that a law be written that makes breaking the law illegal?

    “In Baltimore, one of every three people shot dies, making it one of the most lethal cities in America, a recent Sun investigation found.”

    Can we send these guys after terrorists instead of just having them run around killing fellow city dwellers?

    • Does bring up another innovative solution! Why not pass a law against dying if you’re shot? That should really minimize shooting deaths in the future, plus anyone who does die clearly “had it coming” since he was breaking the law! See? Win-win!

  8. Then having a penis is considered pre-rape. I demand the good people of Baltimore arrest Ken Davis immediately!

  9. If criminals were just charged, convicted & sentenced of the crimes with which they committed, most of these problems would go away. Currently offenders plea bargain the serious charges down and plead guilty to misdemeanors, then they spend next to no time in jail. Then rinse & repeat ad infinitum. Eventually, these miscreants will murder someone, it happens time and time again.

    If this was done, there would be no need to craft bogus ‘pre-crime’ laws that will only be used to make lives harder for innocent people.

  10. I propose a new felony to be included in the Code of Maryland.

    Call it “Speaking While Stupid.”

    Commissioner Davis can be the first to be prosecuted. But he won’t be the last.

  11. “Pre-murder”? You mean like “conspiracy to commit murder”? Because that’s already a crime, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with walking down the street with no intention of harming others.

    Furthermore, where does it stop? If I just save up to buy a gun, is that “pre-pre-murder”? If I drive past my local gun shop and wistfully sigh as I think about getting the pistol I’d like, is that “pre-pre-pre-murder”?

    • What was that bad SF movie that had a PD with psychic “pre-crime” department? Maybe he thinks it was a documentary…

  12. The RKBA is not supposed to ever be a crime. I am at the point where felons should be allowed to have guns. This is because too many administrative laws have felony level penalties and governments are violating “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” commonly. In other words, the gun is just an object until used to commit a crime. If they beat someone with their fists, but the gun was not used (let us say it remained in the holster for the entire event) then no gun crime occurred. It may be battery but that is all.

    • Felons have been deemed by Society [whenever just their adjudication was] to have given over their rights in exchange for (instead) potentially taking their life. Felons essentially indicate by their actions that they are fine with ‘chucking’ Societal Agreement to their singular advantage. That’s why you don’t allow yourself to be equated to them by allowing your a-hole neighbors who needed a job (a/k/a your government) similarly take away your RTKABA.

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