Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gun Control responsible for Sean Taylor's death.



By Larry Pratt
December 9, 2007

There are some lessons that we should learn
from the murder of the Washington Redskins
football star, Sean Taylor.

Taylor was gunned down in his Miami house.
It did not have to be.

Taylor, by submitting to a bad law, brought
a knife to a gun fight. To be precise, Taylor
was trying to defend himself, his fiancé and
their child with a machete. Why would he
have not had a gun?

Simple. Taylor had been disarmed by a
corrupt prosecutor and federal gun laws.

In 2005, Taylor and some friends pursued
some men they believed had shot up his all-
terrain vehicle. After it was all over, the crooks
were never sought, much less prosecuted by
the authorities, but Taylor was accused of
pummeling one of the suspects and possessing
a gun during the episode.

Taylor was charged by Miami-Dade
prosecutor, Michael Grieco, with three
aggravated assault charges and a misdemeanor
battery charge. Taylor faced 46 years in
jail. Grieco subsequently resigned when it
became apparent that the charges were not
brought from the pursuit of justice, but were
brought to promote Grieco's moonlighting
business as a nightclub disc jockey.

Oh, by the way, the "witnesses" in the case
have criminal records.

As a result of the plea deal that was worked
out -- the government had to save face once
it was clear that the justice system had been
prostituted by Grieco -- Taylor was unable to
own a gun. He was subject to 18 months of
probation (no jail time) which sounds like a good
deal after having faced potentially 46 years in
jail. As it turns out, that deal made him defenseless.

Even though his probation ended early, that did
not mean that Taylor could legally own a
gun. Indeed, even though the system was
working to expunge his record, he still might
not ever have been able to own a gun. Why?

Taylor was disarmed for life because he
pleaded guilty to a crime that could have
carried a jail sentence of over 365 days. That
put his name into NICS (or the National
Instant Criminal Background Check
System). Even if Taylor had lived long
enough to see his name expunged by local
authorities -- thus, removing the stigma
that comes with having a criminal
record -- his name would likely have
already been thrown into the federal
NICS system. As a matter of course, states
frequently fail to send expungements (from
the local authorities) to NICS, meaning that
Taylor would probably have been prevented
from buying a gun, expungement or no.

So Taylor's other option would have been to
appeal directly to the feds and have the FBI
clear his name under a federal statute known
as the McClure-Volkmer law. However, for over
a decade, this option has been put into limbo
by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who got
language inserted into the FBI budget
preventing them from spending any money
to relieve law-abiding citizens from unfair
gun bans.

In other words, Sean Taylor could have been
banned for life from buying a gun.

This is one of the reasons that Gun Owners of
America has opposed the Instant Background
Check from the very moment that the National
Rifle Association thought it up and began
promoting it back in the 1980s.

Gun control did not keep Taylor's
murderers from getting a gun. But it
sure kept Taylor disarmed -- and dead.

One good thing has emerged from this needless
tragedy. Teammate Chris Samuels has made
a potentially life-saving decision. Samuels told
Sports Illustrated: "I was always scared of guns
growing up. But this situation has told me I need
one. I'd rather be prepared than to be like Sean
was and not have a gun in his house when he
really needed it."

© 2007 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved

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