57 months for a victimless crime.

As I’ve said for many years “crime prevention” is a hot button for me.

This type of crap is rather annoying to me:

A Lincoln man will spend close to five years in federal prison for possessing a homemade gun silencer.

On Monday, United States District Judge Richard Kopf sentenced Douglas West to 57 months in prison following his conviction for unlawful possession of a silencer.

West, 50, admitted guilt in May 2009 after being arrested in Lincoln in 2006 with the homemade silencer.

The U.S. Attorney says tests conducted by the ATF laboratories confirmed that the device functioned as a silencer and that it had been used as gunpowder residue was detected inside the device.

A pillow or any number of household items also functions as a sound suppressor. And furthermore in some countries you are required to use a suppressor. Here you are punished if you don’t pay the $200 tax or you try to make your own.

And even using the criteria listed in the article, that it functions as a suppressor and that it had gunpowder residue inside the device, I’ll bet they could meet that standard using my coat sleeve even though I have never fired a gun through it.


12 thoughts on “57 months for a victimless crime.

  1. I’m betting that if this jury was aware of their power to reject the law and free this man in mercy, they would have exercised it. Unfortunately judges, bailiffs, and attorneys continually reiterate that juries must follow the law in their verdicts. Which is a lie.

    Fully Informed Jury Association http://www.fija.org

    The power of the law rests in the hands of the people, not the courts, elected officials, judges, or lawyers. Juries can effectively vote to reject laws that are plain wrong, such as these and other victimless crimes, by refusing to apply the law despite being so instructed. Read up on the trials of Peter Zenger and Billy Penn.

    For example, the first article and first section of the WA state constitution vests all political power in the people, not the courts. Some states’ Constitutions even guarantee the jury’s right to nullify the application of a bad law in the jury box.

    Given the racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, and ageist nature of efforts to limit and erode people’s US Constitution-guaranteed right to self defense, informed juries can do what the Founding Fathers intended, and support their fellow citizens in trying to exercise that right lawfully and with safety.

    Jury nullification is an essential life-raft of mercy where laws are being applied, in the letter, against the spirit of what’s right. And five years in jail–when murderers and rapists get only a fraction of that–is appalling.

  2. Isn’t the use and possession of silencers often associated with professional killers? Wouldn’t that be the thing a judge and jury have to consider? Isn’t that why silencers are prohibited in the first place?

    Why do you have to turn every situation possible into an infringement of your rights?

  3. ‘Isn’t the use and possession of silencers often associated with professional killers?’

    If everything you know about guns came from movies, sure. However, here in the real world, we like to use them for hearing protection and to be considerate to our neighbors. In Europe, the have suppressor only ranges out of courtesy to their neighbors. Of course, suppressors aren’t regulated there like they are here.

  4. Yep, The Firearm supressor and the car muffler were invented on the same day…they’re essentially the same thing. And if I knock my “Supressor” off my truck…or bounce off a rock and put a hole in it, I’ll get a ticket for my truck being too loud.

    Meanwhile many gun clubs (you know the places where safety classes and training take place) are being asked to be closed because of noise.

    Also when was the last real-life “professional killer” who used a suppressed piece to do his work you read about?

    meanwhile a few weeks ago I was using suppressed pistols and rifles to have a fun and quit time at a gun range.

    Happens even more to people like Uncle who live in a state where suppressors aren’t banned, and he may legally own a can for his guns.

    But as usual I suspect MikeB isn’t actually interested in discussing the issues…just to troll. Am I wrong?

  5. […] Contrast and Compare […]

    You can get more time for owning a possible muffler than for actually raping someone. Nice to see a victimless made up crime now exceeds actual sexual assault and rape in sentencing.

  6. Isn’t the use and possession of silencers often associated with professional killers? Wouldn’t that be the thing a judge and jury have to consider?

    This is just sad….

    And why the hell would the jury consider such a thing? Was the man on trial a professional killer? No, he was a 50 year old man with something that could “possibly” be used to surpress the sound of gunfire. That’s it, and he’s sentenced to more than many people get for armed robbery.

    That’s gun control for you. Making criminals out of the law-abiding.

  7. Mikeb, in his own mind at least, is asking reasonable questions, just like the KKK regarding the trials of black people. The vast majority of them never considered that they might be horribly wrong and even downright evil. That’s what bigotry is– true belief. Bigots think of themselves as good people. They see the jailing of someone who harmed no one, attempted to harm no one, and is not even being accused of attempting to harm anyone, as a good thing for society. Many self-described “conservatives” think similarly with regard to certain drug laws, but in all cases this kind of thinking is extremely dangerous virulently destructive whenever it’s allowed to infest our legal system.

    Mikeb, this is how I read your words; “Aren’t Jews often associated with societal corruption? Wouldn’t that be the thing a judge and jury have to consider? Isn’t that why Jews are prohibited from certain areas in the first place?”

    There is no convincing people who have this sort of attitude, or at least it is extremely rare. Our best hope is to demonstrate to them that expressing their bigoted views is going to make them more and more unpopular. They acquired their bigotry through group think, repetition, and associations (the desire to ‘fit in’) and they’ll usually have to be pried away from their bigotry by the same mechanisms. Some will always hold on to their bigotry, but tend more and more to keep it to themselves. If that’s the best we can accomplish in some cases, so be it. I’d rather they respect human rights in all cases, but if that’s impossible, the next best thing is that they be afraid to act on their hatred.

  8. “Isn’t the use and possession of silencers often associated with professional killers? Wouldn’t that be the thing a judge and jury have to consider?”

    I’d like to place a wager for anyone with access to a NEXUS search engine. There are somewhere between 600,000 to 1 million gun crimes each year (depending on what your source is), there are roughly 15,000 murders committed with a firearm each year. Surely at least 5 (0.03%) of them were committed with silencers if they are one tenth as prevalent in the criminal community as Hollywood would have people like mikeb believe. So, lets give $100 to the first person that can find 5 murders in the US in a single year that were committed with a silencer.

    Any takers?

    What other myths that Hollywood portrays should our judges and juries take into consideration?

  9. It’s all about using tax-dodging as a justification to control people and put the fear of big brother in them.

    Also, just imagine what a $200 tax would have meant to the average person in 1934. It hasn’t been changed.

  10. Actually I am very interested in your answers. Uncle’s right, I was basing those silly questions on the movies I’ve seen. Where else would I get information about silencers except for threads like this one.


  11. “Where else would I get information about silencers except for threads like this one.”

    Ummm, books, news, bills of law…

    Seriously, are you mentally ill?

    Of course you’re just extending your troll, you’ll note you make no attempt to meet Reputo’s challenge. Hell I’ll lower it. Find me TWO murders using a sound suppressor (legal or otherwise) in a one year span.

  12. Mike’s not mentally ill, he’s just worried the neeeegrows, Jooos, wimmen and other undesirables might come to think they have the same rights of self-expression and self-defense as his wretched self. (And Mike knows that whatever might befall him, the police will be right there — maybe even in advance! And they’d never, ever suspect a nice innocent whitefella like himself of wrongdoing, not even a little bit; any intrusion is for his own good).

    Of course, having lived the last twenty years in Europe, we might expect Mike to be just the least little bit out of touch with concepts like “liberty” and “inherent rights.” Locke is not on his bookshelf. Nor is Jefferson or Rand. Mike knows — with a deep and heartfelt sincerity — all men are but willful children in need of the guiding, controlling strong hand of the State.

    Yeah. Him and Uncle Joe Stalin. Him and Huey Long. Him and Mussolini. They know what’s best for the likes of us.

    Don’t they?

    One interesting thing about having the flu, I have even less ability to tolerate fools gladly than usual.

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