Same Old, Same Old
The Boston Globe has a story out today on the recent success of the newly-creatd "gun court" in expediting the procecuting of cases involving firearms-related offenses.
Gun court eliminates years of backlog
In the nine months since Suffolk County launched a gun court to accelerate firearm prosecutions, a years-old backlog of cases has been erased and prosecutors have helped convict more than 100 defendants on gun-related charges, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said yesterday.
So far, so good.
Conley said that since the February debut of the gun court, 226 cases have been prosecuted or thrown out. Twenty-five cases were dismissed to superior or federal court indictments, and 29 were not prosecuted, primarily because police lacked probable cause for an arrest or because several defendants were charged when evidence existed to prosecute only one. Out of 172 cases prosecuted by Conley's office, 92 defendants are serving sentences of at least a year, while 23 are serving probation or sentences of up to two years. An additional 29 defendants were convicted of other crimes. In 18 cases, defendants were found not guilty, and in five cases, judges ruled that the police search was improper, making the cases impossible to prosecute.
Arrest the bad guys, and get them prosecuted and locked up as efficiently as possible. What's not to like?
Well, as can be predicted as accurately as the sun coming up in the morning, Conley and our good pal, Jarrett Barrios, proceed to take this train right of its tracks and start driving it at full-speed toward us members of the non-criminal population.
Conley also told legislators he would like to collaborate on a bill to create a gun registry for law enforcement to track gun crimes.
"Track gun crimes".
"Today, everyone who possesses a firearm must have a license to do so, but there's no requirement that these same people register the weapon," Conley told the committee. "Police and other law enforcement officials are forced to take unnecessary risks ... because they have no way of knowing whether [an] individual has one gun ... or twenty."
Sounds to me like he's looking to track licensed gun owners, the most law-abiding segment of the Commonwealth's (ever-declining) population. I wonder how the police are supposed to tell if Joe Crackdealer has one gun under the front seat of his Civic, or three. Oh, wait, never mind. He doesn't have a license to own a gun, so obviously he doesn't have any at all.
Either Conley sees the state's licensed gun owners as the real criminal threat to society here (i.e. lawful gun possession = gun crime), and not the inner-city gang members responsible for the rising tide of urban street violence in Boston, or I missed the last crime report showing that an overwhelming majorty of the shootings in Boston, as of late, have been the violent actions of licensed gun owners such as myself.
This line about the Commonwealth's licensed gun owners posing threat to law enforcement officers is beyond insulting. It's downright disgraceful that a public official, even one in Massachusetts, the gun-fearing capitol of the world, would make such a disparaging remark. I'm not easily offended, but Conley's gone so far over the line on this one, that he doesn't have to look too hard to see the line approaching on the horizon.
Tell me something, Dan, what percentage of the "gun crimes" being prosecuted in "gun court" involve either violent or non-violent gun-related offenses perpetrated by licensed owners of handguns?
It must be a staggering number for you to make such insulting comments directed toward me and my gun-owning friends, all of whom have undergone extensive criminal background checks to both obtain a license to own guns, and to purchase them.
But, wait, it gets worse. Doesn't it always?
State Senator Jarrett Barrios, a committee co chair, said a registry exists, but it is not enforced and needs vast improvement. Also, no mechanism exists, he said, for monitoring guns "sold off the radar screen, because there's no investigation to make sure people are actually registering there guns ... The issue is there's nobody enforcing the person-to-person sales."
Jarrett, how do you manage to keep a straight face while telling such a flat-out lie? Remind me never to invite you over for poker night.
If you're referring to lawfully-owned guns being sold from one licensed gun owner to another, then you need to wake up and smell the shit that you're shoveling. Every person who buys a gun in this manner, or "off the radar" as you put it, is required, by law, to file paperwork (Form F.A.-10 10/98) with the Commonwealth's Firearms Record Bureau in Chelsea, within 7 days of transfer of the firearm.
This form requires the parties involved with the private sale or transfer of the firearm to provide the state with the following information:
- Seller's full name
- Seller's firearms license number
- Seller's city/town of residence
- Buyer's full name
- Buyer's home address
- Buyer's firearms license number
- Buyer's date of birth
- Buyer's place of birth
- Buyer's race
- Buyer's gender
- Buyer's height
- Buyer's weight
- Buyer's eye color
- Buyer's hair color
- Buyer's employer's name
- Buyer's occupation
- Firearm make
- Firearm type
- Firearm model
- Firearm caliber/guage
- Firearm barrel length
- Firearm surface finish
- Firearm date of transfer
This is what Senator Barrios describes as "no mechanism for monitoring guns 'sold off the radar screen'". Senator Barrios is what I describes as a disingenuous jackass with no respect for the rights of the people of Massachusetts...who happen to disagree with him.
Jarrett, I look forward to the press release from your office this morning correcting this dissemination to the press of blatantly false information on your part.
On the other hand, perhaps he was referring to the fact that no mechanism exists for gangbangers and drug dealers to register their illegal firearms purchases with the Commonwealth.
In which case, of course, he's more of a deluded, ignorant buffoon than he's already proven himself to be on so many an occasion.
Or, as he stated, perhaps what he has a problem with is his claim that "there's nobody enforcing the person-to-person sales."
Again, how many licensed gun owners are involved with illegal inner-city gun sales? Seems to me, if they're not doing their job at the Firearms Record Bureau, then the obvious solution would be to eliminate the seemingly unnecessary office, and pocket the savings. Besides, it's all New Hampshire's fault anyway, right, Mayor Menino?
If you think for one second, that Barrios' forthcoming "solution" here will be anything other than the outlawing of private transfers/sales of firearms between licensed gun owners, then you have not been paying attention. Does anyone think Governor Patrick would hesitate one nanosecond before signing such a bill into law?
In fact, I'll wager Barrios and his empowered citizen-fearing cohorts on Beacon Hill have quite the stack of anti-gun legislation waiting in the wings, ready to drop on Governor Patrick's desk as soon as possible, that won't do diddley-dick to stem the growing problem of inner-city violence in th Commonwealth, but will have quite the measurable impact on the rights of the law-abiding citizenry to purchase and carry guns for the defense of their families and communities.
I'll give them 'til Labor Day to get every single one of them passed and signed into law.
Jay, I'll leave a light on for you.