Gunnies and other 2A supporters have been saying for decades that if they want gun crime to go down, then they’ll need to actually punish the criminals.
And now, finally, the King County Prosecutor’s Office seems to have actually heard.
An armed juvenile is a threat to the peace of the community, and gun possession by a juvenile is a felony offense when it is not associated with hunting or organized shooting events.
Several weeks later, the teenager stood before a Juvenile Court judge who gave him a standard sentence for his illegal handgun. The judge also sent him a strong message:
The sentence: six months of probation, 40 hours of community service, and a deferred disposition, meaning that the conviction would disappear from his record in a matter of months.
The message? Carrying a gun in your school backpack is no big deal.
Fast forward eight months: The same young man, who had just turned 18, knocks on the back door of a Central District nightclub. The door is opened and he walks in, firing another handgun. He kills one man, severely injures another, and fires nine shots into the crowded club.
The young man now awaits trial in adult court for first-degree murder and assault. This time, he faces a 30-year prison sentence.
The new message? Using the gun in your backpack is a very big deal.
The scenario above is not only true, there are six more just like it from King County in the last year. In each of these six cases of murder and aggravated assault, the teenage defendant had recently been sentenced in Juvenile Court for gun possession, where they each received a minimal sentence. Within a year, each had committed a violent gun crime that landed them in adult court, facing decades in prison.
When the culture in the prosecutor’s office makes the conscious decision to only blame the inanimate object and not the criminal, that is what happens.
And the bodies pile up.
Sooner or later, however, the people get tired of that.
Norm Maleng was infamous for his “blame the gun” beliefs in this arena. And since his passing, Dan Satterberg, the author of the above editorial has figured out where Norm went wrong.
If Dan gets his way, life in King County is going to get significantly better for law abiding citzens. And (not that I care) significantly worse for the non-law abiding.