Meet the Police: NBC’s David Gregory Under Investigation For Weapons Violation On Show

david_gregory_ammunitionNBC is dealing with an unexpected legal problem after a segment by David Gregory, who displayed what he said was a high-capacity ammunition clip on “Meet the Press.” D.C. law prohibits the possession of high-capacity ammunition clips. This may have been a case where a picture — or consultation with counsel — might have been in order. There is no exception for the media in such possession cases.

On the show with the National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, Gregory showed him the clip and said “Here’s a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now, isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these . . . if we replaced them and said, ‘Well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets, or 10 bullets,’ isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?”

The predictable response from LaPierre was “I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference.” The less predictable response came from gun owners and gun control advocates who noted that the possession of such a clip is a crime. The D.C. law states “No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device.” This does not require that the clip be attached to a weapon and does not appear to require that it have rounds in the clip.

The reported investigation could also ensnare those NBC employees who obtained and transported the clip.

I honestly believe that Gregory is not blameful and that the law should have some flexibility for news or artistic speech when the clip is empty of rounds. What do you think?

Source: Washington Post

195 thoughts on “Meet the Police: NBC’s David Gregory Under Investigation For Weapons Violation On Show

  1. Jon,
    My guess is that Mr. Gregory and his staff are already lawyered up. Anyone in his income bracket probably has a whole law firm on retainer anyway.

  2. OS – But will other reporters be chasing him down the street for a comment, as they would do with someone who is not a member of the media. Probably not; professional courtesy, you know…

  3. Jshamus,
    Maybe he will be like the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” If you recall, in the ads, mosquitoes do not bite him out of respect.

  4. LeeJCarol, what you are saying is exactly what I am talking about with people who feel justified in opining on what Jews “should have done” to prevent Shoah. The answer is, was, will always be: THE JEWS were not responsible to prevent Shoah; the GERMANS were. But let’s just examine your comment in light of the 20/20 hindsight we have now, with all our hubris intact.

    You say “they didn’t see their government as their enemy”. I think by 1933 they had clue.
    At what point should they have gotten together and decided to shoot and at whom should they have decided to shoot? Armchair theorizing is all well and good but visualize yourself with your neighbors, some of whom will agree with you to become violent and assertive/maybe aggressive, some who will not, and a few of whom might be nazi sympathizers or informers.
    Seeing the government as the enemy, when their neighbors were often also the enemy, makes it hard to figure out if and when you should pick up a weapon.

    Be one person when you think about what you “should have done” had you been one Jew in Germany in 1933. Should you have stockpiled weapons and begin attending military training in the neighbor’s basement? Or should you have participated in the political process that was needed to reverse the wrongful things that had taken place. Well, how do you decide? FIrst of all, who ARE you? If you’re the daughter of a man who served in the German Army in WWI, for instance, you might decide to go into some military training. So you perhaps ask your dad for one or more of his guns. He doesn’t go along with your idea and calls you paranoid. Then…then, actually, blah blah blah. And this blah blah blah is part of the human life and daily experience of each and every “one person” in that situation in 1933. Einstein’s relatives. The unknown Mrs. Goldman’s relatives too. Some of Vladimir Nabokov’s relatives, obviously. None of them being able to imagine what actually took place. None of them thinking they had to second-guess their own Jewish leadership. None of them imagining that Jews in other countries all over Europe and all over the world would be unable to convince their OWN governments to make credible threats to Germany’s renegade “government” to deter it from destroying a well integrated minority within their borders.

    None of this is in the least way analogous to the decision of an American living in the suburbs to purchase, use, and supply with magazines filled with 30 bullets each a semiautomatic that can kill 20 children in a few minutes’ time. It has, in fact, nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.

    Five and a half million Jews (conservative estimate) and about ten million other people lost their lives in WWII in situations that people now liberally misinterpret to bolster their arguments about policies that are inapposite to what took place during Shoah. It is as if Shoah has become a useful all-purpose Hallmark Card example (“The Jews should have…”) of how to substantiate any kind of hostile, blustering, self-aggrandizing example of what any particular self-appointed super-hero feels should be his thrilling self-defensive invulnerability. Even the TV guys who go in with guns blazing can be shot in the head from behind; happens every day. And no particular number of well-armed Jews in Europe could have done more than what various particular numbers of well-armed Jews of Europe DID DO. Ever hear of the underground? It prevented a world disgrace from being a worse world disgrace, and it wasn’t easy. And it was an integrated underground. So what the Jews should have done, Jews AND OTHERS actually did. More people should have helped them do it.

    • Malisha I was responding to Fabian,(I should have been more clear that the first sentence was a quote from his post, way up above) I do not think that they should have taken up arms, I do not know what they should have, or more to the point even could have done. Taking up arms, as Fabian posits, sounds better when he can say it from the safety of his armchair.

  5. Jason, you sound like a reasonable and rational person. My son owns guns and he will probably never try to shoot a human being — I hope not! In fact, he “lost” a deer because just at the moment when he had it in his sites, he reported thinking, “Wow, gorgeous!” and he lost concentration and didn’t take his shot! It reminded me of a time when he was 3, sitting in the “child seat” part of a shopping cart and we were in the supermarket. He could read then, by the way. As I strolled past the meat counter, he read, “FRESH RABBIT.” He brightened and looked up at me and said, “Oh Neat-O!” But then a realization hit him quickly and he dropped his eyes and grimaced, declaring, “Oh Boo-HOO!” So we turned left, down the pasta and rice and beans lane.

    Anyway, I told my kid I would ask my legislators to promote more and better gun control and he actually agreed with me. He says guns should be controlled more than cars and there should be laws in place to deal with operator standards. He does not have or want a CCW license. He says he might agree or disagree with me about hollow-point bullets but would like to know more about what’s influencing my thinking.

    See, that’s how I think a society should go about figuring out how it wants to govern itself. You’d listen to people like me (intelligent but not infallible) speak about things I have no expertise in (hollow-point bullets) and things I do have expertise in (the details of the evidence released so far in the Trayvon Martin killing) and things I actually have lots and LOTS of expertise in (mothers’ rights, child welfare and the public health system, and the vicissitudes of the state social services agencies in the US) and you’d make decisions, often tough ones, sometimes flawed ones, after such listening.

    And you’d hope that the mistakes would be few and would not lead to horrible irreversible tragedies such as the death of Trayvon Martin.

  6. [My apologies, this turned into a general rant]

    Malisha-
    I agree with all of that. Here’s the issue. Imagine if someone began a discussion regarding mothers’ rights, proposing very specific reforms that would have a big (negative) effect on mothers. Worse still, it becomes obvious that the person does not merely disagree with you on the best way to do positive things for mothers, but that they don’t have command of the most basic facts. They operate from a position of such ignorance that you spend your time trying to get them to understand that they are making proposals that will affect a great many people on the basis of flat out wrong information.

    If I were to discuss with you the three issues you cited, issues that I know relatively little about, my half of the dialogue would mostly be questions rather than game changing proposals. That’s not what happens on the gun issue. People like myself spend a great deal of time trying to talk about the serious part of the issue while swatting down:

    *They aren’t “clips”, they are magazines.
    *”Assault weapon” is a made up term while “assault rifle” means something specific and is not the type of gun that is being used in these mass attacks.
    *Legally owned machine guns, aka fully automatic guns, are not being used in these attacks, are strictly regulated, and have been used in something like two crimes in over 60 years.
    *The guns being used in these crimes aren’t “high powered” (in some states you aren’t allowed to hunt deer with .223 or 5.56 because it is considered not powerful enough).
    *The type of guns being used in these crimes are used in less than 5% of all gun murders; more people are murdered with bare hands.
    *Hollow points have a safety purpose, and whether you carry a gun or not, you should want everyone, police or civilian, to use them.
    *Things are not worse than they’ve ever been. Gun homicides have been in free fall for twenty years; the gun murder rate is the lowest it’s been since 1963 and the raw number of gun murders is at its lowest since 1968, despite there being 111 million more people.

    And on and on and on.

    The result is the extremists on the issue dig in and no one from either side addresses the disease, just symptoms. Go after types of guns/give teachers guns, high capacity magazines/video games, etc. We hear no discussion from policy makers about ending the drug war, which probably drives more crime of all types than any single factor. We hear no talk about a public education system that punishes kids for being born to poor parents in an area with shitty property values. We don’t hear about a penal system that puts non-violent offenders behind bars for extended stays but lets a man who beat his grandmother to death with a hammer out after 17 years. We already know what inane crap is coming from the NRA, and I guarantee you we won’t hear anything deeper from the Biden Commission (or whatever it’s called).

    And it’s not as if there are no gun specific policy changes that could help. Why aren’t we putting enforcement emphasis on illegal gun sales? On straw purchases? On gun theft? These are the means criminals use to get guns. If we put the same resources busting illegal gun dealers
    \we put into going after pot dealers that we do on , there might actually be an impact.

  7. Jason, first of all, I have been in the mothers’ rights thing practically all alone and using money out of my own pocket and without any back-up for 35 years and all the things you are suggesting about ignorant people coming in with game-changing stuff is ALL I EVER SEE and the people who know the least get the most out of the legislative, judicial AND executive branches of government and always did and always WILL. And I never “put the emphasis” on one thing over another. And I don’t need to BE an expert in anything to be intelligently bringing up my issues to intelligent people who are paid to evaluate them. I don’t have to do the big studies to get all the answers before I pose the questions that make it obvious that we need the funding to do the research and we need the attention to solve the problems. But let me go right through your rant (and by the way I love rants if they stay smart and if they are not misogynist or racist tantrums so don’t take it as a negative) and answer direct points with my own valuable opinions:

    Here’s the issue. Imagine if someone began a discussion regarding mothers’ rights, proposing very specific reforms that would have a big (negative) effect on mothers. Worse still, it becomes obvious that the person does not merely disagree with you on the best way to do positive things for mothers, but that they don’t have command of the most basic facts. They operate from a position of such ignorance that you spend your time trying to get them to understand that they are making proposals that will affect a great many people on the basis of flat out wrong information.

    That is what happened, Jason. Pompous fools and actual abusers flooded into the legislatures of every single state and the feds as well and stood up saying just anything and they had the floor and they got respect and they got legislation all over the place that put mothers and children in danger and got a lot of mothers and children KILLED and I saw it go down. They knew NOTHING. meanwhile the Public Health Service was riding me all over the mid-Atlantic States to talk to providers about issues they wanted to know about and I would do a three-day conference in which I spent 19 hours of every single day WITH FOLKS doing either workshops, private debriefings or planning sessions, focus groups you name it and it all came to nothing because those folks were doctors, nurses, psychologists, cops, teachers, day-care operators and social workers and they were doing work, not wielding influence, and they were without funds and power to get stuff done in Congress or any of the state legislatures OR the military or even the Public Health Service itself. So I feel perfectly fine taking the liberty to express my opinions where I think my opinion can add something positive to the mix and anyone who opposes it can come in and testify to whatever they want when my three minutes are up.

    If I were to discuss with you the three issues you cited, issues that I know relatively little about, my half of the dialogue would mostly be questions rather than game changing proposals. That’s not what happens on the gun issue. People like myself spend a great deal of time trying to talk about the serious part of the issue while swatting down:

    Well I’m not trying to take away from you any of the excellent testimony you want to give or the absolutely correct opinion you want to express. I know a little something about a little something and as ignorant as you think I am, maybe a lawmaker SHOULD hear that I think it inappropriate that a George Zimmerman was able to legally tote around a gun filled with hollow-point bullets AFTER he had done enough wrong in the public world to be coming up on the radar screen with a big OOPS on his name. Maybe I think there should BE some attention paid to policy-making that addresses the issue of the Zimmerman Factor with respect to deadly but casual weapons because as wonderful as the policy is that supported Zimmerman in his possession and use of that hollow-point bullet, it is a little less wonderful in effect on the still-beating hearts of Trayvon Martin’s parents.
    xxx

    *They aren’t “clips”, they are magazines.

    This makes a big difference in determining what is a rational policy for the arming or regulation of Americans?

    *”Assault weapon” is a made up term while “assault rifle” means something specific and is not the type of gun that is being used in these mass attacks.

    So what prevents a munitions expert from informing the committee (whichever committee hears the public concerns expressed) on that technical information? Why does Malisha have to know that in order for Malisha to express her concerns?

    *Legally owned machine guns, aka fully automatic guns, are not being used in these attacks, are strictly regulated, and have been used in something like two crimes in over 60 years.

    So I have the “naming of parts” wrong so because I called something a machine gun instead of whatever the hell it was those 20 or those 35 or those 14 people are not really dead? Who cares what nomenclature I butchered if I am expressing a concern that can be understood? Ever see the comedy routine of Lenny Bruce where he asks, “Have you ever blah-ed a blah blah?”

    *The guns being used in these crimes aren’t “high powered” (in some states you aren’t allowed to hunt deer with .223 or 5.56 because it is considered not powerful enough).

    OK. Other than showing me how much I don’t know about guns, why would that mean to my elected official that my opinion about the craziness of the GUN CULTURE is invalid?

    *The type of guns being used in these crimes are used in less than 5% of all gun murders; more people are murdered with bare hands.

    It may surprise you to learn that I have testified in cases that have to do with the murder-by-bare-hands issue, Jason. Many many times. The murder of the adopted child in New York by Joel Steinberg, for instance. And probably three dozen more like it. I have been all over the country on Greyhound buses speaking to policy-makers about safety from those who are obviously being empowered BY OUR GOVERNMENT to kill with their bare hands. I think it’s one of the biggest problems we face and I have never been silent about it.

    *Hollow points have a safety purpose, and whether you carry a gun or not, you should want everyone, police or civilian, to use them.

    Please don’t tell me what I should want. I do NOT want everyone, “police or civilian,” to use them. YOU can go testify that YOU want everyone, “police and civilian,” to use them, OK? If I try to convince a legislator that they shouldn’t be used and you go and convince that same legislator that they should, you and I have both done our work as citizens. Don’t restrict yourself and don’t instruct me on where I stand on that issue.

    *Things are not worse than they’ve ever been. Gun homicides have been in free fall for twenty years; the gun murder rate is the lowest it’s been since 1963 and the raw number of gun murders is at its lowest since 1968, despite there being 111 million more people.

    I am not satisfied with the gun murder rate here, now. Not at all. If it had dropped another percentage point the day before Trayvon Martin was killed, and that statistic had prevented his murder, well, that would impress me. But as it is now, that statistic leaves me very cold indeed.

    And on and on and on.
    I’ll go with this, Jason. You can go on and on and on, and I can, and we would be on two different sides, respectfully, on this issue. You might know a lot more about the particular guns and the particular uses and you might even know more about the social engineering (I don’t know) but you wouldn’t know more about what my reasoning is until after you heard my views. And I don’t need a certain degree before I’m going to feel free to express them.

    The result is the extremists on the issue dig in and no one from either side addresses the disease, just symptoms. Go after types of guns/give teachers guns, high capacity magazines/video games, etc.

    At no time at all did I ever suggest, nor would I ever suggest, that there is only one way to address any of our problems and although I don’t consider myself an extremist (because I can see various sides of lots of issues), if I fit into that category in some respect that is also OK because I’m not killing anybody about my extreme views; I’m just expressing them, and trying to persuade folks to my views.

    We hear no discussion from policy makers about ending the drug war, which probably drives more crime of all types than any single factor.

    I have in fact lectured on this very topic although it is not my forte. I have said that the operations of the drug war have become a war on the poor, on mothers and children, and on the most vulnerable. I have woven that very issue into probably 100 different presentations. And get this: I don’t know heroin from Ecstasy. So there’s another example where someone could come in and say “Malisha is profoundly ignorant and should not be allowed to express her position on the drug war.”

    We hear no talk about a public education system that punishes kids for being born to poor parents in an area with shitty property values.

    I have not only spoken on this issue, written on this issue, and worked hard on this issue since 1992, but I have used my time and money to write, produce and direct plays that are performed in inner INNER INNER city schools to improve education and understanding — at the grassroots level — of the meaning of the life interest and the history of our nation and our US Supreme Court with respect to the life interest. And as an example, a student who played Dred Scott in my play in Merritt Elementary in Washington DC went on to graduate on full scholarship from the most exclusive and expensive private high school in DC and went on, again on full scholarship, to Harvard. His parents were both in prison when he starred in his first performance as Dred Scott and he workshopped the part like a pro.

    We don’t hear about a penal system that puts non-violent offenders behind bars for extended stays but lets a man who beat his grandmother to death with a hammer out after 17 years.

    I’ve been there too. I have written clemency petitions for innocent men on death row who have now already been killed. I have written to parole boards and to wardens and to legislators and I have visited prisoners and sent cards and money into jails and prisons and accepted collect calls. And I have done research that has been incorporated into amicus briefs on plenty of these issues and I am on a list-serve called Patrick Crusade that deals with all of this as well. I have blogged about it extensively.

    We already know what inane crap is coming from the NRA, and I guarantee you we won’t hear anything deeper from the Biden Commission (or whatever it’s called).

    I agree with you 100%.

    And it’s not as if there are no gun specific policy changes that could help. Why aren’t we putting enforcement emphasis on illegal gun sales? On straw purchases? On gun theft? These are the means criminals use to get guns. If we put the same resources busting illegal gun dealers we put into going after pot dealers that we do on , there might actually be an impact.

    I agree with you 100% here too. I was discussing these things today with my son, who owns guns. I asked him if he wanted to grab a screen name and blog in here and he said he would if I wanted him to, but then I dropped it because it’s not about what I want. I can speak for myself. If he wanted to he would do it without asking for my vote.

    So that’s where I’m coming from, Jason. I appreciate your rant. I said either upthread here or somewhere else that one purpose of legislation is simply to speak to the people about what is the society’s expectation, what is the society’s belief, the society’s approval and disapproval. I used the example of one of the Scandinavian countries where spanking was declared illegal. There was no punishment provided for spanking; it was simply forbidden. So the society was saying: “We do not approve of grown-ups hitting children.” It was not saying, “We will punish grown-ups who hit children.” But it was a very important and valuable thing.

    If perhaps there were enough meaningful regulation of guns that people who bought them were given to understand what a heavy responsibility they carried when they carried, if the laws actually said, “this kind of behavior is respectable and that kind of behavior is NOT,” if a guy who witnessed an armed man shoot an unarmed kid registered by his word and deed an intense feeling of horror and condemnation instead of a chatty “Hey what kinda bullets didja use to bag that guy?” demeanor, we would have taken a step — perhaps a baby step, but whatever — toward getting control of something that is presently out of control in a very negative way. And who knows? If George Zimmerman thought he would LOSE people’s respect if they knew he carried a loaded gun, rather than GAINING their respect, would that evening had come out differently?

    I don’t know. But it’s worth discussing. And I’m worth discussing it.

  8. Malisha-
    I can answer most of your reply with an apology — those points were not all aimed directly at you and I should have been more clear about that. That’s why it turned into a rant. I started off with an issue with one little piece attached to you and went running wild with my problems with the entire debate. All of the things that you mentioned doing were in reference to hearing what *policy makers* say, not poor schmucks like me and you. I know people here and elsewhere try to get real change done. It’s the idiots with real power and the interests that prop them up that are the problem.

  9. Well, you guys have convinced me. Prosecuting David Gregory is stupid, wasteful, and wrong. Those magazines are not dangerous unless loaded with ammunition, and attached to a gun, and the gun is in the hands of someone who is (or is about to) commit a crime.

    Clearly, the law should be repealed.

    Thanks for the assist.

  10. Missed this the first time around: “I honestly believe that Gregory is not blameful and that the law should have some flexibility for news or artistic speech when the clip is empty of rounds. What do you think?”

    I think I don’t know what “not blameful” means. Is it legal jargon, meaning something like “someone who violated the law but shouldn’t be punished because the law was stupid in situations like this”?

    If you’re willing to throw in “or other legitimate purposes” and throw out the “when the clip is empty of rounds”, sure, I’ll go for it. Bank robbery would not be considered a legitimate purpose, but shooting home intruders would be.

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