Surprising Daily News Coverage of Brian Aitken

I’ve never seen the Philadelphia media cover a railroaded gun owner so favorably. Fortunately, the Judge who railroaded Aitken was dismissed by the Christie Administration, but the right thing for Christie to do here is to pardon him. I’m relatively appalled the jury, who clearly wanted to find this guy innocent, didn’t just do so, ignoring the judges instructions. I’d hang a jury as long as it took to either get them to relent or at least get the guy a mistrial.

But I’m equally appalled at the attitude of Bryan Miller, even if I’m not surprised. From the Daily News Article:

“What little I can glean about the transportation issue leaves me puzzled, but a person with common sense would not be moving illegal products from one place to another by car,” said Bryan Miller, executive director of CeaseFire NJ, an organization devoted to reducing gun violence.

“If Mr. Aitken did the research he said he did, he would not have hollow-point bullets and large-capacity magazines in the vehicle,” Miller said. “They are illegal, period.”

I say not surprised because I decided years ago Miller wasn’t someone who disagreed in good faith. The guy hates gun owners. He’s a textbook bigot. It’s just common sense, you see, when New Jersey is the only state in the nation which has any kind of restrictions on hollow point ammunition, and if Aitken was moving, he fell under the exception anyway. The big crime they nailed him on was merely having the pistols in the trunk of his car. As far as Miller is concerned, it’s just another gun owner in jail where he belongs. What a hate filled man.

31 thoughts on “Surprising Daily News Coverage of Brian Aitken”

  1. This would be the judge that dismissed a case against a NJ Police officer for putting his penis in the mouths of five calves.

    Beastiality in NJ? A-okay!

    Firearms? 7 years in prison.

  2. Bryan Miller really is a heartless bastard, isn’t he? How can you not feel sympathy for a guy going through a divorce, having to give up his job and move and fearing losing his kids?

    dispite all this, Miller thinks that he sould still be able to follow NJ’s arcane gun laws.

    Aitken is no danger to society and his imprsionment is a disgrace.

  3. And people said I was Paranoid about hollow points in NJ.

    I sent this story to 50+ people! I am embarrassed for NJ! This young man should not be spending a moment in jail!

  4. Cuz I’m tired of these guys being so damned anonymous and operating in the shadows.

    Does he EVEN live in NJ? Or is he some paid shill? Did he ever elaborate his anti-gun views? Was he raped by a gun as a kid?

    Who are his political contacts? What are their relation to him? Who are their friends in the media? Who are their major donors?

    I think these are all reasonable questions to ask regarding Brian’s motivation and techniques to throw gun owners under the bus. It’s not just about stopping him, it’s about bringing down his whole support network.

  5. DevsAdvocate:

    Miller is, or was CeasefireNJ. Ex NJ Gov Corzine was a major donor. At one time he was part of Freedom States Alliance, which was funded by the Joyce Foundation. He is currently involved with Heading God’s Call, and some other group. He is also involved with CeasefirePA to some extent.

    All Media in NJ is sympathetic to him, and quotes gets his opinion on stuff not even related to gun violence, just to get his name out there.

    And the vast majority of NJ Legislature is sympathetic to him, and his cause. And quote his talking points to no end. When Corzine was in office, he pulled a lot of weight.

  6. One of the reasons I was mildly annoyed that I could only find jackets on hollow-points in .22lr for a while was because of NJs silly-ass laws on same. When all I had was a pistol, taking HPs to the range was basically a case of sheep and lambs as far as the law went (not having a carry permit, the restrictions on possession of hollow-point ammo are essentially those on possession of a handgun). Once I got a rifle (which is NOT generally illegal for a FID holder to possess) it became important.

  7. I seem to recall a story about how Bryan Miller’s own brother was shot and killed in the line of duty as a federal agent by a gun-wielding criminal suspect. Bryan Miller then used his own family’s tragedy and loss as a launching pad for his anti-second amendment activism.

    I hate to be the one asking this, but did Bryan Miller perhaps enrich himself from turning his brother’s death into his cause for activism against our second amendment rights?

    I have asked this same exact question about that “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh. If his son had never been kidnapped and murdered, that guy would have never become a big time TV celebrity, with whatever salary he’s been getting paid over the last 20+ years, right?

  8. If the money does much more than ease the pain for a father losing a son or a man losing his brother, they’re monsters. But easing the pain is important to anyone. Let’s not go there.

  9. OTOH, it’s the Inky:
    “In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaser’s permit from New Jersey to own the guns…” Incorrect! The purchasers permit is only required to purchase the guns in NJ.

    Also, if what the article says here: “After Nappen raised the moving-exemption issue, he said, the jury asked Judge Morley for the exemption statute several times and he refused to hand it over to them” I have a lot less respect for the jury members. I’ve been in the jury box twice, and the judge refusing to tell me the law would cut no ice.

  10. There are very few circumstances I’m going to agree to vote guilty for a violation of a gun law against an otherwise law abiding person.

  11. Since I know the law in question, the judge’s refusal *really* wouldn’t have made any difference. (Though I suspect I would have been voir dired out by the prosecution pretty early simply by asking if I’m a gun owner.)

    I meant in the general case, where the defense lawyer raised an potential legal defense and the judge wouldn’t give me that section of law. See, I learned (in college no less) about Jury Nullification :)

  12. And Bryan is wrong as usual.

    “If Mr. Aitken did the research he said he did, he would not have hollow-point bullets and large-capacity magazines in the vehicle,” Miller said. “They are illegal, period.”

    WRONG! Unless something has changed since I got the hell outta NJ, it’s illegal to carry a gun loaded with hollowpoints in NJ. It’s not illegal to have them, “period”.

  13. Since I bought about a kilobrick of the damned things in Dicks Sporting goods last year, no, they’re not illegal. However, they are “illegal”. The law bans possession of them and then lists exemptions – which are essentially the exemptions under which handguns are not illegal.

  14. Teaching jury nullification to the general populace would have the same effect on the legal system as arming the general populace. Overall safer, but a few more one-off tragedies.

    I’m for it :)

  15. Government schools would never agree to a curriculum (sp?) that includes jury nullification, of course, but it’s a worthy goal. Schools in PA could teach about the jury that nullified the charges in William Penn’s trial, for instance…..

  16. Jury nullification isn’t some panacea. It would also keep gang members and murderers out of prison, because the jury might be sympathetic to them because they understand what it’s like to grow up in “the hood” or whatever.

    And it’s a shame that this guy was in fact breaking the law, and that his mother thought the police make great babysitters, and that his limited research failed him. It’s also a shame, for him, that Christie is so anti-gun.

    Anyway, teaching jury nullification to everybody would be a very bad thing. It would ensure that even fewer criminals get convicted in large cities, or anywhere that the potential jury pool might feel disenfranchised by “the man.” It’s bad enough as it is – we don’t need more headache.

  17. @Mike: I fhe was in fact moving from his mother’s house to an apartment, he was within one of the exceptions. In the American system of law, the Jury is the finder of fact. If they weren’t allowed to know of this exception, the trial was flawed and we cannot say if Brian Aitken was violating the law.

  18. @Ian: those exceptions didn’t cover the hollow points or the mags. The laws are silly, and I don’t know exactly what happened, but he did break a few of them. Also, he turned around and met the police. Does anyone know if he *let* them search his car while we’re at it?

    Yes, the sentence is harsh, and he probably shouldn’t have been convicted on the gun charges, but he also should have done his homework. And avoided NJ. And chosen a better mother. Etc.

    Maybe an effective follow-up would be to create a list of all the violent felons who get off much easier. At least in Philly, it’s the norm to only get a few years for armed robbery – for instance, pointing a gun at someone so they give you their stuff. I imagine it’s the same in NJ. Pointing out the hypocrisy might put things in perspective for folks.

  19. “Jury nullification isn’t some panacea. It would also keep gang members and murderers out of prison, because the jury might be sympathetic to them because they understand what it’s like to grow up in “the hood” or whatever.”

    @ mike: That has likely already happened, countless numbers of times I would say, when black defendants from “the hood” went on trial by juries with all-black and from “the hood” jurors.

  20. While I understand the sentiment that leads people to the anti-gun position because someone lost a loved one, what really annoys me is that:

    1. Everyone in the media seems to accept that these people are now “experts” on the issue.

    2. Everyone in the media seems to ignore that there are many people who become pro-gun because of losing a loved one, or because of being attacked by a gun themselves.

  21. “I decided years ago Miller wasn’t someone who disagreed in good faith.”

    I’m confused, you are trying to say he doesn’t believe in good faith, correct?

    I used to be sympathetic that people like Brian were just misguided this case is making me see there is no “reasonable” with them.

  22. Disagree in good faith means you disagree with your opponent, but still accept him or her as reasonable, and worthy of being treated with dignity as a person. That still leaves a lot of room for struggle, which can often get nasty, but I think it crosses the line when you think your opponent should be in jail.

  23. Well I feel like an idiot, I was thinking “good faith” was referring to an attempt to follow the law. Thanks

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