Dear Editor, Whenever a politician mentions “common sense” along with “gun legislation,” watch out as it’s just another diversion from actually dealing with crime.
In the news we have the mayors of Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia meeting with Governor Parson and the opening announcement is “support of gun legislation focused on juveniles, domestic abusers and prior offenders…” Flawed and misguided from the start since the supposed goal was “…a common front to battle violence statewide.”
“The legislative focus would be on empowering prosecutors to make deals with violent offenders to voluntarily surrender their Second Amendment rights in exchange for a lesser sentence, (Columbia Mayor) Treece said.”
“In September, the majority of arrests (notice, not convictions) that were made in the homicides we had during that period of unrest all had some type of prior felony charge that if prosecuted as a felon, would have prevented their carry of a gun,” Treece said. ”But because they were plead down to misdemeanor, they obviously continued to carry that handgun.”
Translation: Suspects today are charged with felonies that prosecutors cannot prove in a court of law so they are allowed to plead to a misdemeanor, instead. Case closed with a conviction (common practice) but the punishment is less severe. Politicians SHOCKED and SURPRISED. So to fix THIS they now want to “offer” plea deals that raise the punishments, a voluntary surrender of Constitutional Rights. Yes, just slap felony-type punishments on misdemeanor convictions. Oh, that’ll really fly right through the judicial appeals process, you betcha’.
I have a better suggestion. Enforce existing laws and prosecute according to the crime that was actually committed and quit trying all these coercive extralegal circumventions. Adding felony sentences to misdemeanor crimes only corrupts prosecution and makes a mockery of our laws.
So far as juvenile crime is concerned, everyone needs to stop playing with emotions and statistics and analyze the real problems. There is no difference whether an innocent victim is a child or an adult. Victims are the tragic result but not the real issue here; nobody is legislating “victimhood”. Dealing with “juvenile crime” means dealing with criminals. Age is irrelevant; it’s the crimes that matter.
If anything, legislation should lift the privacy granted young offenders. If a 9-year old is caught mutilating kittens and puppies, if a 14-year old is caught strong-arm robbing a classmate’s lunch money, if a 15-year old commits a robbery or an armed assault for a gang initiation, this should be NEWS for the entire neighborhood to know about. The pompous ivory tower fools who originally determined that juvenile crimes should be hushed up now have about half a century of results on display, and they are not good.
Reference Article: “Parson, mayors outline plans on gun violence,” page one, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, RDN.