January 31, 2023

Who's Right In This Gun Case?

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There is always ongoing debate about gun control and how to stop gun violence. Last night on the NBC Nightly News, they ran a story about growing gun violence in major cities across America. Surprising to me, there was very little talk about gun control and in particular removing guns from the hands of lawful citizens in what most liberals believe is an effective way of curbing crime involving guns.

The majority of the story focused on the lack of police enforcement as the overwhelming reason for the increase. They cited Homeland Security as one reason because too many police officers have been pulled from their regular duties to assist efforts by HS.

Most people, myself included, believe that the real way to stop crime is to increase police protection and enforce laws already on the books.

When the police are on the street doing their jobs, or in the below case, trying to do their jobs, all too often they run into troubles from the courts in letting criminals go or interpreting the law in ways that many disagree with.

One of the cities talked about on NBC was Boston, where crime involving guns has gone up considerably in the past couple of years. I need to remind you that Boston is one of many cities in all of Massachussets that has very strict laws on gun ownership, yet violent crime involving guns is on the rise.

South of Boston, in the town of New Bedford, a particular case is undergoing public scrutiny. A certain area of New Bedford is riddled with violence and has an extremely high crime rate. Police, being pressured by residents, are making attempts to clean-up the streets and get illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.

Below is a description of what went down late one night in New Bedford. You read it and decide for yourself if the police were acting within the law or maybe better asked, were they acting in a fashion that you would consider acceptible? Following the excerpt is a link that will take you to the complete article that appears in the Suncoast Today.

Here is how it happened: The cruiser stopped and the officers hailed the suspect with a “Yo, Dwayne” and began asking him questions — where he was from, where he was going that late at night, and so on. The suspect avoided eye contact, shifted left and right, and kept his right side turned away from the police.
One officer emerged from the cruiser and the defendant produced an identification and gave it to him; the second officer began checking it on the computer.
Meanwhile, the suspect kept his right side away from them, and it appeared that something heavy was in his pocket. Told that he was about to be frisked, the suspect moved away. The officers told him again that he was to be frisked for their mutual safety, and he backed off again. At that point one officer grabbed the suspect’s right pocket and felt the handle of a handgun; he reached in and seized the weapon, and the man was arrested.

The entire article sheds more light on the atmosphere and history of crime in this section of New Bedford. It also relates about how judges who have heard this case, viewed it. The original court ruling and a decision of an appeals court.

Obviously there are opposing views as to whether the police did the right thing, whether they were within the law or whether the court is legislating from the bench.

Click here to read the entire article.

Note – Although this posting doesn’t relate directly to hunting or perhaps not to most issues I have discussed about gun rights and how they may relate to hunting, it does involve basic gun rights of which if we did not have, our love of hunting would be difficult to do.

I try to cover gun rights issues that I feel can have an affect on our sport.

Tom Remington