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How Not to Win

By sticking up for the second amendment rights of violent criminals. There are good poster children for why our current “prohibited person” statutes are overly broad. There are good poster children for the fact that the government has criminalized virtually everything, including making things like importing lobsters in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes, a felony.

Sean Taylor is not in either of those two categories. Thanks Larry, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

UPDATE: I think it’s a reasonable argument to make that someone so dangerous they can’t be trusted with a firearm ought to be in jail. But the fact is, we let dangerous people out of jail. That they should be in jail rather than roaming the streets is a reasonable thing to argue, but is a separate issue from the second amendment. There are definitely prohibited people out there who don’t deserve to be prohibited, and I think our current laws cast way too broad a net, but someone charged with threatening with a firearm and aggravated assault, that plead down to misdemeanor battery, is not someone I’d go before the public with as an example. To me, for a pro-gun leader to do that doesn’t help the cause, and would do more to turn people off to the second amendment than bring people over to our side.

UPDATE: Here’s the WaPo article from the time:

According to a police report, Taylor and a co-defendant, Charles Elwood Caughman, 19, of Baltimore, drove up to a residence in a blue 2005 GMC Yukon Denali sport-utility vehicle and Taylor pointed a gun at two individuals he believed had stolen two all-terrain vehicles from him and demanded they be returned. No shots were fired and Taylor and Caughman left the scene before returning 10 minutes later.

At this point, police say Taylor, whom the team lists as 6 feet 2, 231 pounds, exited the vehicle and began assaulting one victim, swinging and missing with a closed fist before a fight ensued. Caughman, who was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on the night of the incident, chased the other victim with a baseball bat before he and Taylor fled the scene, according to the police report. The incident took place less than two miles from Taylor’s residence in Miami.

Under these circumstances, the two victims would have been justified legally in shooting Sean Taylor and  Charles Elwood Caughman dead where they stood.  Do you want these two being used to help promote the second amendment?

14 Responses to “How Not to Win”

  1. vinnie says:

    It may be a losing strategy but I have always been under the opinion that if we can’t trust them with a gun they need to be in jail. Whenever someone asks about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals I ask why aren’t the criminals in jail? I am always told that that is a separate issue. Umm, no its not. You and I both know that criminals WILL get guns. Keep them locked up until your ok with that.

  2. Rob K says:

    I think he makes a good case that Taylor shouldn’t have been a “prohibited person”. I don’t really think that he’s trying to make the case that convicted murderers should be allowed guns.

  3. Ahab says:

    I like how Pratt also managed to take a shot at the NRA during his idiot piece.

    That has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. Not only is he grandstanding in the blood of a murder victim, but he’s also making a political point that isn’t viable. To the average person, he appears to be advocating easy access to guns for thugs. Perfect.

    Pratt is just an attention whore, desperately seeking some kind of platform that will legitimize him and give him a national platform to denounce the NRA.

  4. Sebastian says:

    It may be a losing strategy but I have always been under the opinion that if we can’t trust them with a gun they need to be in jail.

    I think that’s a good argument, but it has to be separated from the second amendment debate. If people get the idea that the right to bear arms means that criminals get easy access to guns, they are going to decide the second amendment doesn’t matter at best, and decide it’s dangerous at worst. In terms of brining more people along for the ride, this is an argument for down the road, not right now.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I think he makes a good case that Taylor shouldn’t have been a “prohibited person”. I don’t really think that he’s trying to make the case that convicted murderers should be allowed guns.

    There are way better people out there to make this case with than Sean Taylor. He plead to misdemeanor battery, which is a prohibiting offense in most states. I wouldn’t try to argue that misdemeanor battery, being a violent crime, is a good reason why these laws are overly broad.

  6. David Codrea says:

    I disagree, strongly, and said as much 2 weeks ago–
    http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2007/11/sean-taylor-death-by-gun-control.html

    It’s a perfectly legitimate story to point to, as opposed to ‘grandstanding in blood’. Also, to characterize and dismiss Taylor as a violent criminal misses many of the nuances of the story, including a corrupt prosecutor and the circumstances of the charges, along with the “pragmatism” of his plea agreement. And Taylor was no danger to the public.

    As far as Larry Pratt goes, he did not “denounce NRA”. He denounced their support of NICS. That’s a legitimate policy stance to take, and if we can’t disagree on policy without being accused of attacking the organization, that’s just plain BS, particularly when Pratt is then personally attacked and denounced as an attention whore–classic ad hominem and unworthy of being acknowledged as legitimate arguments, so I’ll merely point out that lies and hypocrisy are truly the way not to win–and I’ll take friends like Larry any day.

  7. VariableFeedback says:

    While I agree that dangerous criminals should be kept in prison, and I also agree that defending criminals is not the best way to advance a cause, I look at the ACLU as an example in this case. While I don’t agree with everyone (or even most of) whom they defend, I think the country is better with them than without them. The ACLU is successful in part due to the fact that will defend anybody whose rights are violated (at least as far as the right that they recognize, yes, I wish they defended the 2nd Amendment as well).

    I also think that the vast majority of crimes defined as felonies should not be. Felonies should be restricted to crimes such as treason, murder, rape, arson and aggravated assault.

  8. Sebastian says:

    It GOA merely took a position that they didn’t favor NICS and criticized NRA for doing so, I wouldn’t take too much issue with that. My problem with GOA is they were openly distorting and sensationalizing what HR2640 would and wouldn’t do.

  9. David Codrea says:

    That is a non sequitur argument as it has nothing to do with this post or any of the points I just made. But I guess it does change the subject.

  10. Ahab says:

    David, you’re right I did attack Larry personally. He has a demonstrated track record of attacking the NRA for some pretty stupid reasons, hence why I believe that he’s just looking for a larger audience on which to launch his drivel.

    The problem with that is that all the public is going to see is some guy saying that a thug (Sean Taylor was quite the thug) should have easy access to firearms. It doesn’t play with the people we need on our side to win.

    Unfortunately, alienating the middle ground people is pretty much what Larry does best.

  11. straightarrow says:

    Yeah, but Ahab. I actually believe in rights. I don’t believe in you getting to vote on my rights. Ergo, you don’t get to vote on anyone else’s either, alienafuckingnated or not.

    My argument is not about Sean Taylor,because I don’t know enough about the circumstances of this instance to have a valid opinion. My argument is with your philosophy that I get to exercise all the rights you and the middle ground agree to allow me.

    Excuse me, but you know what you can do with that.

  12. vinnie says:

    I think that we could solve a lot of issues by making gun ownership the release standard. If you can’t trust them with a gun, keep them in prison. POOF NCIS is dead, GCA 68 is moot 34 is an unnecessarily relic.
    Violent crime goes down. It used to be the law in Idaho that the prison had to give you a gun upon release from prison, that would make Judges, juries, and parole boards think.
    Make me feel safer too.

  13. Sebastian says:

    That is a non sequitur argument as it has nothing to do with this post or any of the points I just made. But I guess it does change the subject.

    More like I should read all my comments, including Ahab’s, so I know what was being talked about. I was wondering why that as being brough up, and made an assumption. My bad.

  14. I’m sorry about Sean Taylor, and don’t know enough to say whether he was or should have been a prohibited person. But I have used Tank Johnson as an example of the problem with gun laws. Sportswriters routinely mention Johnson in a recitation of sports’ thug problem, but his first run-in with the law in Chicago was that a valet parking attendant saw a gun in his car. A better example of the perils of malum prohibitum you won’t find.

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