Tuesday, February 22, 2005

CNN & the Law

Okay, here's where we are now, based on my industry contacts.

By now, the upper echelons of the ATF have been made aware of the CNN violations. My contacts told me there was very little chance the agency would move against CNN because of "intent" — there was no intent to violate the law.

That might work with murder and manslaughter, but my reading of the gun law doesn't leave a lot of room for "intent" — of course, I'm not an attorney!

At the very least, there are HUGE ETHICAL QUESTIONS for CNN in these actions. Somewhere within the bowels of CNN, an editor instructed subordinates to violate federal law, not because the fate of the republic hung in the balance, but because CNN wanted to add their own $0.02 of disinformation in a debate already rife with lies, distorsions and, as my grandfather used to say, pure-D bullshit. Will a .50 penetrate an airplane's shell? Yep, and so will my 9mm Glock. Are .50 calibers accurate at long range? You betcha, and so is my Remington .300 Ultra Mag elk rifle. Are gun deals between between individuals allowed in the United States? Yes, as allowed by state laws...so what? Does anyone other than media dweebs like Paula Zahn think that terrorists fly to the United States to buy guns at RETAIL, for god's sake? C'mon Paula...even you aren't that dumb, are you?

More as the story develops...


Anonymous said...

Have a lawyer file a writ of Mandamus under the Administrative Procedures Act stating that ATF is abusing their discretion. If the federal court accepts your argument then ATF will be legally bound to act.

jed said...

Seems pretty clear to me that they intended to fly to Houston, and intended to by a gun there.

So ignorance of the law now provides an out for prosecution?

IANAL, but I've not heard that spin on intent before.

Brad said...

Of couse the ATF doesn't want to prosecute. CNN and the other anti-gun press outlets are the ATF's allies in the crusade to crush gun rights. What else would you expect from the people who still make excuses for Waco.

Anonymous said...

Oh puh-lease. Instructed them to violate the law? Get a grip on reality.

Peenie Wallie said...

Malfeasance by the BATF (failure to enforce the law, or selective enforcement of the law) is a serious crime. I suggest we get the phones burning down at the BATF. The phone number to report federal firearms violations at the houston BATF field office is 281-372-2990.
CNN:The New Terrorists

Dave Hardy said...

Intent IS an element under the Gun Control Act, by virtue of its 1986 amendments. For most violations, there has to be proof of "willful" action. It's in the penalty section, 18 USC 925.

Andrew Upson said...

WRT intent, my wife sat on a Jury in Tucson for a cop who was on trial for allegedly commiting a straw purchase. He had bought a .40S&W Glock (the sub compact one) for a lady friend. Supposedly he kicked in some of the money, she added in the rest, so in his mind it was at least shared ownership, or perhaps a gift. Either way, he believed he was the legitimate purchaser of the gun. Problem for him was that cops wound up raiding her appartment and found bales of pot. And that gun. Anyway, long story short, part of the jury instructions were that he had to have "intended" to lie on the 4473 in order to be guilty. Since the prosecution utterly failed to show that he had any intent to lie, the jury, pretty quickly, returned a unanimous verdict of not-guilty.


Zendo Deb said...

http://www.capwiz.com/nra/dbq/officials/This link will let you easily write to the President, your Senators and Reps. Yes, the laws are insane, but either they need to be enforced, or they need to be changed.

They should not be ignored when an employee of CNN breaks them.

Xrlq said...

PW: since when is prosecutorial discretion a "crime?" It's standard practice for law enforcement agencies around the country. If you think today's ATF is bad, believe me, an ATF that threw the book at every person who committed a technical violation of any firearm law would be much worse.

Peenie Wallie said...

xrlq - "Prosecutorial discretion", as you so eloquently put it, has been a crime ever since it was practiced. As in, from the beginning. All people are guaranteed "equal protection before the law". To selectively enforce laws, denies those are charged, their "equal protection". This is known as malfeasance, or nonfeasance, and carries some pretty hefty penalties, according to the late Hunter S. Thompson.

Anonymous said...

No intent???! It was MY understanding that they INTENDED TO BREAK THE LAW and THEN display (on THEIR TELEVISON PROGRAM) how EASY it is to BREAK THE LAW.

IF their INTENT was NOT to demonstrate how easy it is to BREAK THE LAW (by actually BREAKING THE LAW THEMSELVES), then WHAT WAS their INTENT?

If their intent was NOT to BREAK THE LAW, then it would not be possible for them to demonstrate how easily the law could be circumvented!

Kevin said...

Apparently CNN lied. There was no felony violation.

Longslide7 said...

This is nothing. Back in 1992 CBS once had a Full-Auto (AK-47) built. ATF said it fell under "Reports privilege" and "No criminal intent"
"Reports privilege"???

Xrlq said...

Did I say "prosecutorial discretion?" Silly me, I should have known better than to think the ATF had any of that. They are right on the law, though; if CNN and Griffin didn't know their conduct was illegal, it wasn't.

Kids, don't try that at home. Most laws don't work that way. Courtesy of FOPA, this one does.

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