When the political establishment doesn’t want a lot of attention paid to something, it gets announced late on Friday. Such was the case with the Washington, D.C. Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute David Gregory of NBC News for flagrantly violating local gun laws. There’s no way to sugar-coat this: Gregory is literally above the law, and it’s entirely because of his status within the ruling class, and a few convenient political connections.
If you don’t have those special privileges, and you commit the same crime, you’re going to jail – and, as Emily Miller of the Washington Times noted uncomfortably, it doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran of the war in Iraq. In fact, it’s even worse than that, because Gregory and his organization were explicitly told they would be breaking the law, but they did it anyway. War veteran Adam Meckler, on the other hand, was busted for unwittingly carrying a few rounds of long-forgotten ammo in his backpack, without a gun.
The D.C. Attorney General’s statement in the Gregory case is remarkably straightforward about discarding the law to assert special privileges for this powerful and well-connected member of the media. It’s practically a textbook example of political corruption. The Office of the Attorney General didn’t declare Gregory and his associates innocent – on the contrary, the statement makes it clear that he’s guilty, but the OAG simply does not want to prosecute him. And they used exactly those words.
Having carefully reviewed all of the facts and circumstances of this matter, as it does in every case involving firearms-related offenses or any other potential violation of D.C. law within our criminal jurisdiction, OAG has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23,2012 broadcast. OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.
Why does Gregory get a pass? Because he’s a prominent media figure with good intentions. Neither the First Amendment nor good intentions are supposed to be a blanket excuse for wanton law-breaking, but hey, come on, this guy’s on national TV, and he’s got friends in high places. Let’s not embarrass ourselves by pretending the aristocracy has to obey all those pesky little ordinances that send the Little People to jail:
Influencing our judgment in this case, among other things, is our recognition that the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States, especially while this subject was foremost in the minds of the public following the previously mentioned events in Connecticut and the President???s speech to the nation about them.
All we need to complete this farce is for a prominent Second Amendment advocate to smuggle an illegal magazine into a D.C. studio and wave it around on television, with the intention of criticizing the district’s silly gun laws. We’ll see if that brave soul gets a pass, too. It can’t be that the political nature of Gregory’s law-breaking, in support of more gun control regulations, is the reason he was slipped a Get Out of Jail Free card, can it?
Also, the fact that Gregory and his wife are socially acquainted with D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan couldn’t have anything to do with it, right? Let’s make sure our pro-Second Amendment magazine-waving test case isn’t married to anyone who chummed around with Nathan at a high-profile charity event. That way, it will be a test of both legal reason and ruling-class social networking.
Every word the Attorney General wrote about the presumptive harmlessness of David Gregory applies equally to Army medical specialist Adam Meckler, but only one of those gentlemen got arrested and sent to jail. No one really thinks Gregory was planning to load his illegal magazine, slam it into an illegal gun, and go on a shooting spree… but the D.C. laws are crystal clear that it doesn’t matter why Gregory had the magazine. The crime does not begin when bullets enter the magazine, the magazine enters a weapon, or bullets exit the weapon at high speed.
Perhaps that’s a foolish law, but no one is questioning the law; it still applies to everyone except David Gregory, and perhaps similarly prominent and well-connected media figures with politically correct gun control credentials. If Nathan and the rest of the Washington establishment truly believed in the justice and effectiveness of their gun-control laws, they would be eager to prosecute Gregory, to demonstrate the wisdom of the law. Instead, they clearly see the law as an embarrassment… when it applies to them. Exempting the aristocracy from bad laws is a key factor in their continued survival.