Liberals have a never-ending message – one that gets louder and angrier every election cycle: “We need more gun laws.”
The common-sense response is that why on earth would we pass more gun laws when the ones on the books aren’t enforced?
Nowhere is this more statistically true than in “progressive” Delaware. And no better example than the criminal Mateo Pinkston. From Delawareonline.com:
In late summer 2011, court documents say Pinkston walked up to a man, pointed a gun at him and took his cellphone.
Pinkston, who had already been convicted of two felonies and was a suspect in a still-unsolved homicide, was arrested by Wilmington police and charged with robbery and several gun counts.
But the Delaware Attorney General’s Office cut a deal with him in 2012, agreeing to drop three weapon charges that carried a maximum of 41 years in prison in exchange for Pinkston admitting to second-degree robbery and terroristic threatening, which carried a maximum of eight years in prison.
Soon after being released from his 12-month prison sentence, Pinkston, police said, shot and killed 25-year-old Arteise Brown in Wilmington last year.
Brown, who had two young sons, and another woman were shot on April 28 as Brown visited relatives about three blocks from her home in the 700 block of W. Fourth Street. Pinkston faces charges of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, four counts of reckless endangering, possession of a deadly weapon during commission of a felony and deadly weapon possession by a person prohibited at his trial is scheduled for next month.
Had Delaware prosecutors enforced the gun laws already on the books, Arteise Brown would still be alive.
Across the state, 71 percent of gun charges are dropped before a suspect ever goes to trial. That’s more than 8,700 dropped charges in just two years. Prosecutors say that many of these dropped charges are in the interest of justice – they’ll drop a “lesser” gun possession charge in return for a guilty plea and jail time. And this is fine: Prosecutorial discretion is one of the tools law enforcement needs to keep criminals off the street.
But these laws aren’t on the books to really ever be prosecuted, one lawmaker contends: They exist merely to force a plea bargain. And that’s wrong.
“I don’t think a weapons charge should be dropped,” State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, said.. “I think that we can drop some other charges, but if they’re committing a felony with a weapon, whether its a knife or a hammer, … I think we should be prosecuting for that. That would send a very strong message that the Attorney General’s Office is very serious about prosecuting these crimes.”
Not prosecuting gun charges makes him question why new gun laws are needed.
“I think we’ve got enough and I think we really need to start prosecuting the crimes that we have now,” he said.