Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Interesting But Not The Best Of Ideas
By now you may have read about the DC Metropolitan Police Department's active investigation into David Gregory. The host of NBC's Meet the Press thought a 30 round AR magazine would make a cool prop to shake in the face of Wayne LaPierre this past Sunday. What Gregory didn't think about was the DC law which forbids the mere possession of any magazine that is capable of holding more than 10 rounds. If he did think about the law, he obviously assumed it didn't apply to "esteemed journalists" such as himself.
Now conservative attorney Aaron Walker is offering to defend Gregory on Second Amendment grounds in a challenge to the DC law. Walker, who blogs and tweets as "Aaron Worthing", made the offer yesterday on Twitter. Twitchy has aggregated the tweets by Walker on the subject here. Walker is better known for the whole Brett Kimberlin saga.
While at first blush it sounds like a great idea challenging the DC law on Second Amendment grounds to get a gun hater off, in this case it is rather short sighted. As Alan Gura has pointed out many times in many venues, Second Amendment litigation needs to be strategic. Case law needs to built bit by bit and precedents set. It is a cumulative process where the success of the current case depends upon earlier positive precedents. This is the same process that Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund used over time to defeat both de jure and de facto segregation by race.
The threat to this strategy comes from both criminal attorneys trying to use the Second Amendment to get crooks off the hook and misguided ideologues like Leonard Embody who represent themselves in court. I think defending David Gregory in a court of law on Second Amendment grounds would likewise be a threat to this strategy. While you and I may disagree, I think it highly unlikely at this time that a court would find the DC restrictions unreasonable and inconsistent with the Heller decision.
So I would say to Aaron Walker, while it sounds like a cool idea, don't go there if you care at all about the Second Amendment.