January 13, 2012

East Coast Law Enforcement

Justin Katz

Two items have found their way to my long list of stories on which to post, and it occurs to me that they're sufficiently related to be presented together. And fortunately, they are so stark that additional commentary is scarcely necessary.


McKay is the young father who, seeing a local druggie breaking into his truck and stealing the tools he uses to pay the bills, confronted him, subdued him and held him for the police. When the police arrived, they found the bad guy had a knife, a billy club and — thanks to the unarmed McKay — a broken jaw.

Instead of thanking McKay for helping get an armed criminal off the streets, Swampscott officials charged him with a felony.

Anthony McKay lucked out and attracted the attention of the public, and the pressure led the DA's office to put the case in its "don't have time to prosecute" file — while leaving open the possibility that anybody who thinks to undertake some similar initiative to protect himself, his family, and his belongings mightn't be so lucky.


On his radio show this week, Derb discusses the case of Meredith Graves, the Tennessee nurse who, upon visiting the 9/11 memorial in New York and seeing the signs forbidding firearms, asked the staff if she could check her pistol (lawful and licensed in her home state). She was handcuffed, arrested, and now faces three and a half years in jail for firearms possession — for the crime of being unaware that the Second Amendment does not apply in New York City.

Mark Steyn, the author of that paragraph, goes on to relate how the Mayor Michael Bloomberg slandered Ms. Graves as a cocaine user, based on evidence that turned out to be aspirin powder.

Nothing is more threatening to the ruling class than the willingness of people to defend themselves.

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I don't know about New York, but Massachusetts has always been weird on issues like this. Ed King, the guy who served one term as governor between the two Dukakis administrations, got some political traction for finally changing Massachusetts law, so that you wouldn't be guilty of a crime if you used deadly force to protect yourself against an intruder in your home, if you were able "to run out the back door" instead. It looks like the political culture that let the original version of the law stand for so long still lives on.

Posted by: Andrew at January 14, 2012 8:21 AM

I have often thought that we live in a society consumed by "safety". Think how often you hear the word "safe". When I hear adult men depart with an admonition to "stay safe", I cringe. While I suppose there is no actual way to tabulate these things, I am sure that "fear" has increased. I think this every time I see a parent standing in the front yard, with a child, waiting for a school bus. This never happened when I was a kid, kids walked to the bus stop.

My point, "safety" has become a "too big" problem that only the government can handle. On the theory that "every knee shall bow", we have tacitly, and explicitly, given the government unlimited powers to create the padded cell. Not so long ago, the powers of Homeland Security would have been unthinkable.

I have an old Volvo station wagon I keep around. It has a surplus of air bags, every surface is padded. This does not trouble me unduly, but I wonder that every compartment has a lock. One need only peruse their ads to see that "safety"sells.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 14, 2012 9:59 AM

We spoke on another post of the Soviet Constitution.
As an addendum there is NO right in that document to keep and bear arms.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at January 14, 2012 2:17 PM

Posted by Tommy Cranston
"We spoke on another post of the Soviet Constitution.
As an addendum there is NO right in that document to keep and bear arms."

The right to keep and bear arms seems to be pecularly American. There seems to be historical precedent for the idea that having thrown off unresponsive government by force of arms, we might have to do it again. At the time of the Constitution we were headed into uncharted waters.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 15, 2012 10:51 AM

Visited three local firearms shops yesterday (in my new Southern home town). When I told them I'd just moved from RI, they said "Welcome to America."


Posted by: Contrarian View at January 17, 2012 9:15 PM
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