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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 8-0 with Elena Kagan recused (she worked on the case as Solicitor General) that enhancing prison sentences for the use of a firearm in a crime is legal.

The significance of this ruling should not be lost on veteran Seattle talk show host John Carlson, or on Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, nor on former SAF staffer Dave LaCourse. They were the power behind Washington’s landmark “Three Strikes and You’re Out” and “Hard Time for Armed Crime” measures 17 and 15 years ago, respectively.




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Yeah, I certainly think so.
I remember when these issues were fought. I was on the NRA Board at the time.

The whining from the anti-gunner types that these laws wouldn't accomplish anything, and from the Lefties that these laws would be too harsh on criminals was simply astonishing.

All they wanted, and it became obvious, was to crack down on guns and forget about the thugs who were committing repeat crimes.

You quickly knew who was on whose side.
 
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I'm OK with this in a reasonable world. My only reservation is the definition of "crime". I can see this going towards jaywalking with a pistol in your pocket becoming a felony punishable by life in a work camp...
 
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John Corzine changed the law to make the penalty for possessing a gun the same as the penalty for using it to commit a separate crime. That means someone like Aitken gets the same punishment as someone who assaults another person with a gun. In November 2008, New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram issued a directive (PDF) urging the state's prosecutors to apply the new law "vigorously," "strictly," and "uniformly."

The above is why the Brian Aitken thing is not comparable to the recent SCOTUS decision.

Recent SCOTUS decision: It is OK to have a law that adds time onto your sentence for crimes committed with a gun.

Brian Aitken thing: The laws treat POSESSION of a gun as the crime. It is not enhancing the sentence when convicted of some other crime.

These are two totally separate concepts.
 
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I do completely agree with some people that all our criminal system does is punish the poor and turn minor criminals into major ones. I also feel that laws regarding guns used during crimes must be very clearly written and very carefully considered as not to give weight to anti-gunners who would love to abuse a lose interpretation of one to make most any public activity with a firearm a crime. I do not want to get arrested for "disturbing the peace" because someone a few blocks from a firing range complains that my .44mag was too loud and then get a 5yr. sentence because I was using a firearm to "commit the crime." Still, all of this considered, I believe that strict enforcement of laws regarding criminal activities with a firearm are the ONLY type of gun control that is truly effective.
 
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Quote:
John Corzine changed the law to make the penalty for possessing a gun the same as the penalty for using it to commit a separate crime. That means someone like Aitken gets the same punishment as someone who assaults another person with a gun. In November 2008, New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram issued a directive (PDF) urging the state's prosecutors to apply the new law "vigorously," "strictly," and "uniformly."


Well, now hold on just a moment. Corzine didn't just change that law by himself. The Legislature changed the law and he merely signed it.

I have no use for Corzine, but let's be candid here. New Jersey's legislature is well-stocked with anti-gunners because voters keep re-electing them.

Can't just blame the ex-governor.
 
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These are two totally separate concepts.

Except that if someone isn't extremely careful about spelling it out in painstaking detail, it could be quite a curse, creating felons out of mostly law abiding citizens.

Think of all of the things I see happen on a constant basis:

Speeding
Running red lights/stop signs
Illegal u-turn
Illegal lane change
Failure to yield
Operating a vehicle with inoperable tail/brake lights

And those are just off the top of my head, that I see every time I leave the house.

Now what if the people committing those minor traffic infractions have a legal weapon in their possession at the time.

If the law isn't properly worded and executed...instant felon.

If you think it couldn't happen, you've clearly not met enough of the retards in government service.

Look no further than the WA state government for a glowing example.

Mayor Nickels and the Seattle weapons ban that he instated even AFTER he was told by the AG that what he was doing was illegal.

I'm ALL for making sure weapons aren't used in the commission of crimes. I'm also excessively concerned that something like that is implemented correctly.
 
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Except that if someone isn't extremely careful about spelling it out in painstaking detail, it could be quite a curse, creating felons out of mostly law abiding citizens.

Think of all of the things I see happen on a constant basis:

Speeding
Running red lights/stop signs
Illegal u-turn
Illegal lane change
Failure to yield
Operating a vehicle with inoperable tail/brake lights

And those are just off the top of my head, that I see every time I leave the house.

Now what if the people committing those minor traffic infractions have a legal weapon in their possession at the time.

If the law isn't properly worded and executed...instant felon.

If you think it couldn't happen, you've clearly not met enough of the retards in government service.

Look no further than the WA state government for a glowing example.

Mayor Nickels and the Seattle weapons ban that he instated even AFTER he was told by the AG that what he was doing was illegal.

I'm ALL for making sure weapons aren't used in the commission of crimes. I'm also excessively concerned that something like that is implemented correctly.

It is my understanding that the minor traffic violations you listed are not crimes, they're infractions.
- you don't get Mirandized
- you aren't entitled to trial by jury
- the conviction records don't affect e.g. govt. service.

Contrast those with the serious crime of DUII, which is a misdemeanor that gets you Mirandized, printed, and tried. And you can choose jury trial if you like.
 
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I have tremendous faith in the government's ability to abuse any power given to it. It doesn't take a wild stretch of imagination to envision a case where possession of a firearm can be tacked on to some menial "crime" that punts it up to whole new level.

It's true that most traffic infractions do not meet the legal definition of "crime", but there are laws that people break, often without realizing it, that an overzealous prosecutor can try to capitalize on.
 
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