An outspoken New York advocate for gun control laws that made it a felony to possess a firearm on school property (instead of the misdemeanor it was prior to the SAFE Act) decided to carry his gun to an elementary school this week. It ended with him walking out in handcuffs and facing two counts of criminal possession of a weapon that may carry up to four years in prison thanks the law he so publicly supported. Oops.
36 thoughts on “Anti-Gun Advocate Arrested for Gun Felonies”
What I want to know is, who called the police and why? If everyone knew who Dwayne Ferguson was, and knew that he wasn’t going to hurt anyone, then someone might have called the police because they don’t like him for some reason.
It’s possible that someone who knew he carried had a real problem with him taking a gun to an elementary school and decided to call it in the next time that he was scheduled to be there. Who knows? It is a little odd, but they weren’t incorrect. He was carrying his gun at the school.
Incorrect how? If whoever reported it was trying to out an insufferable hypocrite, all the power to him. But there’s nothing morally wrong with carrying a firearm in a school.
I find it easier to blame a true hoplophobe who didn’t see him as an ally precisely because he was carrying illegally. The hoplophobes I’ve met literally panic at the thought of any gun anywhere. I don’t think they are even comfortable near police with guns; they simply hate guns.
then someone might have called the police because they donâ€™t like him for some reason
Because he helped push through a law that would make them felons for no good reason? If I’d had the chance to rat him out I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. It’s always such a joy to see a Quisling hoisted on his own petard, especially considering how rarely it happens.
That is certainly among the reasons someone might not like Dwayne Ferguson.
This needs to be watched closely to make sure that he actually faces the charges and consequences of the law. Sorry that he helped to make it a felony, but if they won’t uphold the law when one of its major proponents is found breaking it, what good is the law? Revoke his carry permit. Felony. Jail time. Sorry dude, you new the rules. And you aren’t David Gregory.
I want to see his butt in jail, he has no excuse for breaking a law he made! Can’t claim he didn’t know!
Actually, if they don’t enforce it in this case it will severely hamper their ability to enforce it against others. This is the beauty of the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.
I honestly wish that were true, but prosecutorial discretion knows no limit and has no bounds. The 14th simply does not apply in this case. The amendment is read as the ability to get the same fair trial ad anyone else, but it says nothing about forcing charges the prosecutor does not want to make.
Compare David Gregory and any schmuck driving through DC with an empty brass case.
That said, juries should be made aware and should decide accordingly.
Alternatively, if they let him off, or even pardon him, and repeal that monstrous SAFE act, that would be good, too.
It would be /really/ ironic if Ferguson challenged the SAFE act in court, and won.
From the story, Ferguson seems like a decent person, and I’d be happy if he learned his lesson, even without jail time–but only if that part of the lesson is him becoming instrumental in repealing or striking down SAFE, or at least putting effort into its repeal.
Hubris, meet Nemesis.
While I can’t speak for anyone else, I’d say that schadenfreude best describes my feelings about this incident…. ;-)
Karma karma karma.
I can’t believe that none of you have brought up a nice little number from Avenue Q.
That’s a damn shame.
I’m torn on this one.
On one hand, political enemies deserve no quarter. If he’s turned into a felon then it may reduce his impact on the political discourse. The founders disarmed Tories and made no bones about it. The irony attached to this is even more delicious.
On the other hand, Gun Free School Zones get kids killed. The gun free zones are immoral and ineffective. I would have a hard time voting to convict anyone for violating one with no mens rea if I were on the jury.
Given the number of felons who still get elected, I have doubts that this will impact anything in that manner.
However, it probably sucks for him personally.
I think this incident serves double the value if they let him off with nothing but a slap on the wrist. The extra dose of hypocrisy helps us in the long run and might even help a real person charged with the same. it might help a jury look the other way. remote chance, but anything helps.
Now we’ll see if “special privliges” will be applied.
I have absolutely NO problem with someone calling the cops on his hypocritical ass … whether it was an antifreedom ‘ally’ of Ferguson -or- someone who is a proponent of the Second Amendment.
I would also be happy to nullify this if I were ever placed on a jury.
In the meantime, let Ferguson enjoy the legal jeopardy that he so vigorously advocated for.
“In the meantime, let Ferguson enjoy the legal jeopardy that he so vigorously advocated for.”
I believe this is what they call “just deserts”.
I probably wouldn’t nullify it. Yes, the law is unconstitutional and just plain wrong, and I would nullify it for anyone else, but he pushed for it, got it passed, and then violated it himself. Felony charges and four years in jail are what he wanted for everyone else, but he expects to violate his own law with impunity? Screw that, he gets exactly what he foisted on others.
“Ennie Meenie, Chillie Beanie, the spirits are about to speak:”
The whole incident will be dismissed as an “honest mistake”.
I don’t think it will be easily swept under the rug given that it caused an entire elementary school to be locked down. There will be many parents who will not be okay with the guy who brought a gun to school getting off without any punishment whatsoever.
I’m not saying he won’t get a deal that any other “honest mistake” gun owner would never get, but I really doubt it will be dismissed since it’s already been taken this far.
There’s also that if the article is right he tried to keep his gun hidden from the cops and they only found it during a pat-down.
I hate to bring up the “if you’ve got nothing to hide” but in a court a prosecutor could ask the question “If it was an honest mistake why didn’t you just tell Officer Friendly?”
And for added irony this guy felt SAFE didn’t do enough to limit handguns.
Sadly, I can think of one reason why he wouldn’t want to tell Officer Friendly: I remember a story of a concealed carry person who was about to board his airplane, and he discovered that he accidentally still had his gun with him, and that Security didn’t catch the error…so he told Airport Security.
He was then arrested for having possession of a weapon in a sensitive area…because…well, surely terrorists would do the right thing, too, if they carried a gun onto an airplane terminal, and meekly explain that they accidentally carried a gun through Security, right?
It’s as if the Powers that Be want to make it difficult for individuals to do the right thing! Nah, that’s unpossible…
Now it remains to be seen whether he gets the David Gregory treatment. Probably not considering the arrest.
David Gregory exemption in 3…2…1…
Would a jury even be allowed to know that this person was a gun control advocate that pushed for the very law he violated?
It’s really interesting to contrast the facts of this story with Nicholas Johnson’s work on the tradition of arms in Black communities in the US (see also the pablog linked interview). In a Volokh Conspiracy guest column, Johnson says:
It seems to me that Dwayne Ferguson, a years-long advocate for non-violence among the Black community, was standing on the line between being an anti-gun (and presumably pro-Democrat) urban resident and being a part of the pro-self-defense Black tradition. I imagine that he held both the view that there was a need to reduce violence among the disenfranchised population (and perhaps, in schools too), and the view that armed self-defense was a proper and noble right.
Too bad that while apparently acting according to his first belief (reduction in violence), he mistakenly sided with a privileged class of folks who disavow the validity of his second belief (the right of armed self-defense).
The more I read, the more I consider the RKBA to be a fundamental civil right that mostly benefits the underclasses — and the attempt to undermine those rights is a bitterly prejudiced and elitist pursuit.
I think this event is something that Tam would call “fractally ironic”. It is ironic on so many levels:
1. That someone who advocated SAFE also carries a pistol for self defense.
2. That he absent-mindedly carried that gun onto a school. (I wouldn’t even hold it against him that he didn’t tell the police he was carrying: if he sincerely forgot to disarm, and was in the habit of carrying, he might not have been aware himself until the police patted him down!)
3. Whatever the motives of the people calling 9-1-1, the person who inspired the calls actively did everything in his power to make sure that the kids he charged with protecting were safe from the reported gunman…that is, that they were safe from himself!
4. Had there been a real gunman, and Ferguson discovered that he still had his gun, he would have been instrumental in saving the lives of those children he was trying to ensure were safe…despite the SAFE act!
Even if I think it would be just desserts for him to go to prison for this, after supporting the SAFE act, I also kindof hope he gets off. I especially hope that he learns his lesson, regardless of what happens, and works to rectify his support of the SAFE act.
And, regardless of what happens, regardless of his stance on the SAFE act (before or after), we should rally behind Ferguson, as an example of an upstanding citizen who, due to his work in advocating non-violence, and possibly even due to his work as a businessman, has an obvious need for carrying a gun for self defense. He’s a classic example of an honest citizen–one who even supports (or at least supported) the law that entraps him–getting ensnared in a silly law that prevents good people from being prepared to protect innocent lives…while doing nothing to prevent an evil person from taking life.
Heck, given that he was protecting children when a school was in lock-down mode, he was even in a position to use a gun, if it were necessary to save those children’s lives!
Finally, I think the public could use a good lesson in “mens rea”: we need to stop prosecuting people who break the law, who aren’t deliberately trying to do something bad. This is would be a perfect example absence of mens rea.
I’m sorry, but I cannot get behind him. He SHOULD go to jail just like he wants for you and me. NO SPECIAL PRIVLEDGES!!!!
That’s the thing, though: he shouldn’t go to jail, but only because this is an evil law that needs to be either repealed or declared unconstitutional. The fact that he helped pass the law, to me at least, is immaterial. I would hope that Ferguson has learned his lesson, and that he’s now going to actively work towards its repeal.
But even if he doesn’t work towards repeal, and whether or not he goes to jail–indeed, especially if he goes to jail–we need to emphasize this: even upstanding, anti-gun zealot, honest members of the community aren’t safe from the SAFE act. This law is aimed at honest citizens, and this mistake makes it clear that the law only affects honest citizens who are ready to defend innocent lives.
In other words, we need to defend this guy’s rights, because if we can’t defend the rights of an anti-rights bigot, how can we defend the rights of everyone else?
Indeed, I’m inclined to think that someone needs to introduce Ferguson to the nice lawyers at the Second Amendment Foundation. I don’t know if Ferguson would accept their help–particularly, since any help SAF would provide, would be to attempt to dismantle the SAFE act via court action–but I think destroying the SAFE act would be a fair trade for preventing Ferguson from going to jail!
I was going to say that I fully agree with the notion that this man should receive no special privileges, but now that I think about it even more, I think it would only strengthen our case, that the SAFE act needs to go: if the only reason why Ferguson gets a pass, is because he’s an upstanding member of the community, then wo be unto the poor soul who is merely a single parent, working hard to provide for her children, but otherwise doesn’t have time to participate in the community, carrying a gun because she’s afraid that any day now, her crazy ex is going to show up with a weapon and kill her or one of her children–so she deliberately carries the gun to school, because of that fear.
Granting a special privilege to Ferguson now will give us two things: (1) it will set a precedence: we forgave someone before for breaking the law, why can’t we do it again? and (2) if the single mother is punished, it will create dissonance: why is this happening to a mother in fear of her life, when an upstanding citizen was given leniency for the same “offense”?
I guess that my point is that it doesn’t matter if Ferguson is a hypocrite: this situation is the perfect example of how honest citizens are going to get mauled by this stupid law, and we, members of the gun rights community, should ignore this guy’s hypocrisy to emphasize just how evil the SAFE act is.
No, I take that back: we shouldn’t ignore his hypocrisy, we should emphasize it, because it shows that even gun-banners are going to get caught in the snares of the SAFE act!
OK, you and I have different opinions on this subject. I agree to disagree. I say work for repeal, but only AFTER he gets out of jail. He obviously thinks he is better than the rest of us; let him pull that attitude in prison and see where it gets him.
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