Enhanced Penalties

Over the years, mostly in the 1990s IIRC, there has been a lot of talk about certain enhanced penalties for “gun crimes”.  Even some supposedly on the pro rights side have advocated them, presumably as a compromise to prevent some other, more egregious infringement.

I thought we had dispatched the whole concept years ago, but it came up again in comments here, so I figure it’s time to update some folks who might be new to this game of official, wholesale coercion and persecution of different groups, verses liberty.  Besides that, we all know by now that the leftist playbook is very short, and so they have to recycle the old ideas and find a way to make them new again every few years or so.

What you’re saying when you advocate special punishments for “gun crime” is that the same, or very similar, crime committed without a gun is somehow less criminal.  What you’re saying is that gun owners are to be treated the way black people were treated before civil rights.

Do you really want to go there?

My sister and her approximately three year old daughter were murdered in their own home by an invader.  The killer used a kitchen knife to brutally stab and slash my sister to death, in the presence of her daughter, and then the daughter was strangled to death with a shoestring as the murder weapon.

So you’re saying; “Oh, well thank goodness they were killed with a knife and shoestring, because being shot with a gun would be…just terrible!”  And you’re saying to the murderer; “Thank you, my good man, for using a knife and a shoestring instead of a gun.  That’s the way we like to see it. Now you’ll get off a little easier.”


One of our music store customers in his early teens was minding his own business one night when a carload of other kids stopped, got out, and clubbed him with a baseball bat.  He dragged himself some blocks to the steps of a nearby business, and died from the massive head injuries.

“His parents should count their lucky stars their boy wasn’t shot, ’cause that would have been bad news!”


That’s just as stupid and bigoted as saying that, as an alternative to slavery, we should just have enhanced penalties for black people who commit crimes, and referring to that as “pro civil rights advocacy”.  With friends like that I don’t need enemies.  I know the enhanced-penalty-for-the-presence-of-guns concept has been bandied about by supposedly pro gun legisladiots, and that you might have been fooled for a moment, but don’t let it happen again.  Now you know– such ideas come either from the anti rights movement or from people who can’t think straight and don’t understand what the words “rights” and “justice” mean.  We can all do much better without them mucking up the waters.

ETA; Maybe the slavery reference wasn’t the best one.  Maybe it should be, “…as stupid and bigoted as saying that, as an alternative to outright lynchings, we should have enhanced penalties for blacks who commit crimes…”  Makes everybody happy, right?  Everyone gets a little something.

In any case, when we stick to the basic truths, we win.  When you compromise the basic principles, you’ve relegated the concept of rights to the back of the bus.  You’ve just lost.  Creating enhanced penalties for one group verses another is outright dumb, and evil, regardless of the political/tactical environment.  If you can’t stand on the principle of basic rights, equality, liberty and justice, well thank you for applying but no– we just can’t use you at this time.  Coward.


6 thoughts on “Enhanced Penalties

  1. Neal Knox proposed and helped pushed this through Congress. My book on the topic is packed away for my move to a new location or I would look it up. But basically he believed that it would reduce the proportion of crimes committed with firearms. This would reduce the pressure to ban guns outright.

    That was the plan. It didn’t work out that way but I can see why it was thought to be a reasonable hypothesis at the time.

  2. “This would reduce the pressure to ban guns outright.”

    See; that’s a problem right there though, isn’t it? That’s Republican Party talk. That adopts and assumes the premises of the enemy– that a) gun rights with equal justice cause crime, b) rights are contingent upon statistics, and c) crime in the streets has no other obvious links to anything else, and no other obvious solutions, most certainly and definitely not an armed victim pool, and d) that an enumerated right has zero meaning or influence, and no legal recourse, unless the public supports it that day.

    All totally wrong of course, unless one has been lulled and influenced (hypnotized) by the left’s mantras. And don’t get me wrong– those were very powerful mantras, and once a person is embedded in the Beltway Culture, or anything resembling it, it would take a saint to resist with 100% effectiveness. Maybe I can’t point any fingers, because at this stage in my life I don’t nearly so much care about what anyone thinks of me, or about my personal safety, as before.

    I know he’s regarded as a champion, and in many ways he was. You might say Neal Knox and I didn’t see exactly eye to eye. The one exchange I had with him ended in his saying something like; “They were killing us in the media. What were we supposed to do?”

    I’ll never forget it. The words of the defeated, sticking up for his efforts. I am sorry. I believe that attitude, or outlook, to be a poison pill, planted by the left when the well-intended victim was unawares. I don’t know, but once the other side has a person on a leash like that it’s a sad thing to witness (as in 99% of the Rebpublican Party today). For this very sort of thing we need to be most vigilant. It’s not easy.

  3. Now, I remember a conversation I once had with a cop. (Maybe not a cop, maybe a mall-cop…he is my cousin, and he was somewhere on the pathway from mall-cop to cop-in-training.)

    Anyway, he was talking about how the local police would book a guy for robbery of a convenience store. Maybe the guy had intimidated the clerk, or maybe he’d just grabbed all the loose bills he could fit in his hand while the cash-drawer was open. Maybe he’d just lifted some merchandise and ran out the door.

    Then they’d spread out the gear found in his pockets. If anything that came out of the suspect’s pockets had a sharp edge longer than half of an inch, it was a concealed deadly weapon. Thus the crime was committed while carrying a deadly weapon, and the charge carries a longer jail term. Even if the deadly weapon was not used to threaten or harm anyone during the crime.

    This may have been a quirk of State law and court precedent. But it got me thinking.

    How strictly was the ‘crime committed with a gun’ defined? If the criminal act itself didn’t involve the perp threatening anyone with a gun, or using a gun to harm someone, is it still a crime committed with a gun? If a guy keeps a pistol in car, and is convicted of forgery or blackmail at a location he drove to, is that a crime committed with a gun?

  4. Exactly.

    Wayne LaPierre had the same infection for a while, when on national television he called for enforcement of existing gun laws, ceding the premise that gun restrictions are a legitimate and effective means of dealing with crime. OK, let’s enforce existing Jim Crow laws in the 1960s. “We don’t need any more”. We have enough Jim Crow laws on the books already, to deal with the black problem.” Are those the words of a hard-working champion of Civil Rights? Let’s get together with the KKK and MLK Jr. for cocktails, and pat each other on the back? We all “got something” out of the negotiations. Aren’t we all special? Aren’t we all heroes? Give us money. That reminds me of John McCain supporting his flip=flop on TARP One; “Everyone told me we needed to do it.” What moral courage?

    Posit. It’s when defeatist tactics like that started to go away that we started winning in the 2A arena.

    I guess we should have an exit strategy, lest mission creep get us derailed. What would be my definition of the end goal? Liberty and justice for all. In other words, RKBA would be considered and enforced as every bit as much a right as the most staunch “abortion rights” activist could dream about on her best day. In other words; hands off. Completely. “…judged, not by the contents of our holsters or our safes, but by the content of our character, and by our actions.”

    Until then I don’t care a whit about what anyone in the media says. They don’t determine right from wrong, and we can’t let them determine our actions.

  5. I question the assertion that it was when “defeatist tactics” went away that we started winning.

    That ignores history, for a couple decades there forget “winning”, we were barely holding ground, and “absolutism” would not have gotten the votes to do so.

    It’s easy to stand on the accomplishments of decades of concerted multi-level efforts to re-normalize guns, yes, even through compromises that leave a sour taste in my mouth but that we -had to have- to sway the undecided middle, and somehow claim all the “wins” since then for “zero compromise”, but nothing in the history of our holding and regaining gun rights supports that viewpoint.

    As an example, it was incrementalism and compromise, not absolutism, that got us the shall-issue wave which has led to Con Carry even being an option. We gave a little to get “okay” SI bills passed by early adopters, which were then improved and gradually proved that our claims about crime and safety were correct and the anti’s were not, which has led to a situation like Wisconsin, where an almost clean shall-issue bill, modeled on the best nationwide, was the only one even considered and even Con Carry was on the table in the eyes of folks who simply don’t really care fervently about gun rights (the undecided middle).

    The states that have Con Carry now, and all the ones that got close this year, got it via steadily improving shall-issue first (VT was through an 1800’s court case, so no model for anything). The absolutist position, now espoused by many, would seem to say those bills somehow sprang fully formed into the public consciousness and could have been had in the ’80s if only the “compromisers” hadn’t gotten in the way. Which is unadulterated BS.

    There’s an analogy in there of the defense holding the opponents to minimum yardage and a slow grinding offense moving the ball back down field and then some special teams guy taking all the credit for the points at the end of the game.

    All that said, we are winning now and there’s little to no reason to make any significant concessions as public opinion is mostly on our side. The time truly is here to start rolling back the necessary evils of the past (as is being done, incrementally if need be).

    “Enhanced penalties” are a travesty of justice. That belief is unassailable.

  6. I completely concur.

    I first reached this conclusion when thinking about so-called “hate crimes”. Murdering someone because he’s black or gay is “hate”–I understand that. But what is murdering someone because he has money in his wallet, and you aren’t get it out fast enough? Nothing personal?

    All crimes are hate crimes. And this has helped me to see through the “he has a gun!” crimes.

    Robbing a bank is evil. It’s no more evil if you’re carrying a gun, or not. Threatening a life is evil, even more so if you have the means to carry through with your threat–but in this case, it shouldn’t matter if you have a gun, a knife, or even just a fist. We shouldn’t have “enhanced penalties” for any of this!

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