Ace @ Ace of Spades HQ:
Just so the various know-nothings in the media, such as Howard Kurtz, understand this:
Some laws punish people strictly for possessing a thing declared contraband. There is no mental state required to be thrown in jail, apart from voluntarily possessing the contraband. You might be able to get off if you can prove someone sneaked the prohibited item into your luggage without your awareness. But the police have heard that an awful lot, and tend not to believe it.
There is no additional criminal intent required — voluntarily possessing the prohibited item is all the criminal intent that’s required.
Now, some laws do require an additional criminal intent. With drugs, you can get hit with the lesser charge of possession, or the more serious charge possession with intent to distribute.
But there is no “with intent to [x]” attached to most gun laws. With most gun laws, simple possession is enough to constitute a breach of the law.
Now, there are additional laws for using a gun in the commission of a crime. But straight up possession? Requires no additional crime beyond possession, just as a straight-up drug possession charge requires no additional crime beyond possessing the contraband.
So yes — David Gregory is innocent of having any additional criminal intent — just like 90% of all people arrested for gun violations are themselves guilty of no additional criminal intent beyond simple possession.
David Gregory is precisely as innocent as most people arrested for a gun infraction– and just as guilty, too.
Now, the idea being put forth by the media — that you should only be arrested for possessing a gun (or part of a gun, like a magazine) if you have the additional criminal state of intending to commit a crime with that gun (or gun part), is, how can I say this? A radical gun-nut rightwing notion. I think Ted Nugent might very well agree that gun laws should always be limited to situations where guns are used in the commission of the crime or possessed with the future intent of committing a crime.