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Webb Apologists Hit 100 RPM

By Greg L | 27 March 2007 | US Senate | 19 Comments

The spin starting to come out of Democrat circles regarding Jim Webb’s most recent incomprehensibly dumb move is just as inane as I could have hoped. Having lost possession of his handgun by negligently effecting an illegal firearms transfer in the District of Columbia, and then having the poor staffer walk into a federal building and try to run the thing through a security checkpoint without knowing he had the weapon is bad. Demonstrating that the real policy of Democrats is to allow their chosen elite to adhere to a different set of standards and enjoy superior rights and priviledges than the rest of us is terrible. Now here comes the spin, and it only gets worse.

Rule .303 starts out first saying that we just shouldn’t enforce the law. Perhaps not because this happens to be in regards to the chosen elite of the Democratic Party, but because there wasn’t an intent to violate the law. This should bring up an interesting discussion where somehow the decision to prosecute a case or not no longer is based on whether there is likely enough evidence to lead to a conviction, but on some magical ability to divine the intent of the accused and determine whether criminal intent was present. If some type of “wrongful thinking” on the part of the accused becomes the new prosecutorial standard, George Orwell has accurately predicted the future, and our Bill of Rights will crumble under a heap of political correctness. Goodthink, Freedom.

RaisingKaine is at least displaying some political acumen by trying to change the subject and hope that this will all go away:

I wish Phillip Thompson the best of luck, and hope this matter is cleared up quickly so that everybody can get back to focusing 110% on Iraq, Iran, economic fairness, veterans issues, restoring checks and balances, etc.

It’s got to be difficult to see your poster boy become a case study in what happens when “elightened progressivism” gets shown as the elitist claptrap that it is. Your boy screwed up the special privileges for the elite that most folks didn’t even know existed, and just to make it better it involves a constitutional right that Democrats are bound and determined to strip away from American citizens. Instead of talking about the fundamental constitutional rights involved, it’s more important to go on talking about “economic fairness” so we can learn about how Democrats want to strip away the wealth of those who succeed and deliver it to those who do not. Yep, a citizens rights to keep what he owns, whether it be his guns or other property, are pesky things.

Meanwhile Webb himself flails around trying to come up with something approaching a reasonable explanation for something that stubbornly defies reasonable explanation. His developing rationale for this incident is that he actually gave the loaded firearm to this staffer within an airport, which not only would add another charge to the indictment but also possibly strip away the immunity Webb could muster when facing charges on federal property. Senators are still subject to federal laws regarding airport security as far as I can tell. Keep digging, Senator ThinSkin.

This is going to become fascinating. Before this ends, we’re going to see liberal Democrats arguing some rather interesting points regarding constitutional rights that will make the 1939 about face of the Communist Party, USA to forgo it’s anti-fascist ideology and embrace Adolf Hitler look like a minor mental exercise in intellectual legerdemain.

UPDATE: And from NLS we see Webb is now claiming that he did not give his aide his gun. Is he now going to claim his staffer STOLE it and then on his own initiative decided to try to pass it through the security checkpoint at the Senate office building? What a way to throw this guy to the wolves.

UPDATE 2: TheHill has more on Webb’s statements, as does Virtucon.

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  1. John Light said on 27 Mar 2007 at 1:46 pm:
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    Oh I can see it now, “Senator Webb DID NOT give his aide the gun…he gave him the bag THAT JUST HAPPENED to have the gun inside of it.”

    Webb will, in the end, say that he forgot the gun was in there, the aide will get a free pass, and the free-world will keep on trudging.

    However, if this had been Trent Lott!!!

  2. Harry Landers said on 27 Mar 2007 at 3:32 pm:
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    If some type of “wrongful thinking” on the part of the accused becomes the new prosecutorial standard, George Orwell has accurately predicted the future, and our Bill of Rights will crumble under a heap of political correctness.

    But, the intention of the accused has long been considered in criminal law. That’s why somebody who kills another person can be accused of first degree murder or manslaughter, for example.

    I’m curious - what would you see as appropriate justice for Phillip Thompson?

  3. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 27 Mar 2007 at 4:44 pm:
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    Appropriate justice for Phillip Thompson? How about his boss owning up to being careless with firearms and putting his employee into this predicament in the first place. That would be a good start.

  4. Greg L said on 27 Mar 2007 at 10:25 pm:
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    Premeditation is a basis for determining the appropriate category for a indictment, for example. Premeditation is proven by evidence proving a behavior, not an analysis of what someone was thinking. Evidence of actions, not thought, are what categorizes a crime as manslaughter or first degree murder. While the actions may indicate certain thoughts (such as intent) the actions are what determines whether someone is guilty of a crime. A belief that Mr. Thompson did not intend to violate the law is immaterial in regards to whether he actually did violate the law or not.

    In this case Mr. Thompson should be prosecuted for the crime that the evidence of his actions warrant, and at sentencing appropriate leniency can be applied consistent with sentencing guidelines and case law. I would imagine a suspended sentence would be applied since he’s a first time offender and no evidence of any intent to commit an act of violence seems evident.

    I trust that the justice system can treat Mr. Thompson fairly and equitably, just as it treats numerous other persons in DC charged with similar crimes. I hope for no harsher or more lenient treatment from the courts in regards to this case than it has applied in similar circumstances towards ordinary citizens.

  5. Spank That Donkey said on 27 Mar 2007 at 10:26 pm:
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    It is better to just ‘fess up’… God knows when I was an active duty Marine, I was not only scared to death of lying to my superiors, I also knew it was my duty, to acknowledge my mistakes…. Better to be known as fallible, than a ’sh*t bird’.. pardon the language, but that is verbatim lingo…

  6. charles said on 27 Mar 2007 at 11:36 pm:
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    My column this week will contrast what is likely to happen to Webb (nothing) and his aide (nothing more), with what happened to a hapless school teacher in Prince William in 2000. She was also the holder of a CCP, and she also placed a gun in a bag and forgot it was there.

    It was found in her bag at school. She was fired, charged and convicted of a felony for possession of the handgun on school property, fined and given a 12-month sentence (later suspended). She’s a convicted felon, can’t vote, can’t leave the state without permission. Can’t teach anymore, her husband had to take two jobs.

    Michelle Malkin profiled her as an example of the school system’s zero tolerance policies, which is where I originally stumbled over her story while writing an article about zero-intelligence policies for punishing kids at school.

    School Teacher, James Webb — both stupidly put a loaded gun in bags and forgot about them. School teacher loses job and is a convicted felon. James Webb blames his aide and will probably be considered the “victim”.

  7. Peregrinus said on 28 Mar 2007 at 12:01 am:
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    Is it too late to recall Mr. Webb? I think we got a bum deal.

  8. James T. Kirk said on 28 Mar 2007 at 6:25 am:
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    If you are a responsible owner of a gun, you know where it is and whether it is loaded AT ALL TIMES. Period. End of discussion.

    The Post actually had a decent article exposing the questions surrounding this. You need to dig for it in the online version, but its there.

    I must point out that they keep saying that they are “former Marines”…there is no such thing.

  9. John Light said on 28 Mar 2007 at 9:30 am:
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    Actually, James there ARE such things as “former Marines” - there is NO such thing as an “ex-Marine”. Masonconservative has the WashPo article and you are right, it IS a good one!!!

    I can remember when a school, I believe in Fredericksburg, invited a Civil War reenactor to give a demo for the kids. Well, he showed up with gear and rifle and someone at the school promptly called the police on him for carrying a gun on school property.

    I see dumb people - lol

  10. Jackson Landers said on 28 Mar 2007 at 10:19 am:
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    What illegal firearms transfer? Ronald Reagan National Airport is actually located in Virginia, despote the DC mailing address.

    From their website:

    “Welcome to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport located in Arlington County, Virginia.”


    There is nothing illegal in Virginia about handing someone else your firearm for safe keeping, storage, or whatever. I do it all the time.

    You are accusing Senator Webb of a crime. Perhaps you were unaware that the actual location of the airport is within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whatever else you and I may disagree with with regard to this incident, I ask that you stop accusing him of this.

  11. Jackson Landers said on 28 Mar 2007 at 10:34 am:
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    Also, with regard to my statement about what a prosecutor should and shouldn’t pursue, I am sure you would agree that a good prosecutor should not try to impose a penalty on each and every person who can be found to have been in technical violation of the law. If we did that, then anyone who drank alcohol on 9 occasions before turning 21 would be given life in prison under the ‘3 strikes you’re out’ law.

    I don’t know about you, but I’d be serving quite a number of life sentences if that was the case.

    A prosecutor is not a judge or a jury. His job allows him the discretion to decide when it would just be stupid to run someone through the criminal justice system, unlike a judge who is bound to the letter of the law. I believe that this discretion is an important part of our justice system and that it should be exercised at times when it is clear to the prosecutor that what happened was a misunderstanding or accident. This is nothing new from me - anyone who heard me on WINA some months ago would have heard me opining to this effect with regard to a local prosector who threw some kids in jail because they said they didn’t like some people at school and their father had some firecrackers in a safe that got trumped up as ‘explosives.’ The whole town was in an uproar that the kids had been treated like this. But the prosecutor saw it as his job to pursue every conviction that he could. I’ve got a problem with that kind of thing.

    Don’t get me wrong - if the prosecutor really thinks that Thompson was deliberately trying to smuggle a firearm into the District then by all means he should press forward. My point is that if he really believes that it was an accident and Thompson didn’t realize there was a weapon in the bag then the responsible thing to do is to drop the charges.

  12. Greg L said on 28 Mar 2007 at 11:15 am:
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    If the transfer, even if temporary occurred within the District of Columbia without the assistance of a gun dealer, I believe it would be a violation of the DC Code. If Jim Webb conducted a firearm transfer within the sterile area of an airport, his possession of a loaded firearm in order to effect a transfer would put him in violation of federal law in regards to airport safety. There’s probably about fifty other laws in involved here that a lawyer, which I am not, would have to sort out. I apologize if anything I’ve said has been confusing.

    The prosecutor can only apply his discretion to the facts and the evidence. He is not a psychologist trained to evaluate a suspect’s mental state, nor is he an accredited psychic who can accurately divine what someone was thinking when they committed a crime. His judgement should be based on whether he believes he can obtain a conviction, otherwise he is overstepping his authority. A prosecutor is neither a judge nor a jury, which are entitled to make determinations of who is guilty and who is not.

  13. Jackson Landers said on 28 Mar 2007 at 11:53 am:
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    Webb did not transfer a firearm within DC, period. If he did then maybe there would be trouble there. But according to everything we’ve heard, the weapon was transferred at an airport in Virginia, outside of the terminal. If you can find an airport which is actually within the boundaries of Washington DC rather than either Maryland or Virginia, let me know.

    There is no law in Virginia against carrying a firearm, loaded or otherwise, on airport property outside of the terminal (and secure areas such as the runway). In fact, in order to get Senate Bill 660 passed back in 2000, which criminalized concealed carry in airport terminals, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority agreed to change it’s own regulations so that concealed carry anywhere else on airport property (parking lots, drop-off areas, etc.) is specifically permitted.

    Of course, I’m yet to see anything demonstrating that the weapon was even loaded. We’re hearing reports from the same media that doesn’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine. For all I know, they’re calling it ‘loaded’ because the magazines were loaded and kept in a pouch with the pistol.

  14. James T. Kirk said on 28 Mar 2007 at 12:04 pm:
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    I stand corrected about the “former Marine” thing. Thank you John. In my mind it was “once a Marine, always a Marine”.

    Th crime here is a crime of being an aloof human. Obviously, Senator Webb did one of 3 things: 1) neglected to tell his assistant about the gun in the bag, 2) forgot he had the gun, or 3) told the assistant about the gun but the assistant did not hear it or forgot about it. No matter which one is true, it was dumb. If you have a gun in a bag and you are handing the bag to someone, you make DARN sure he/she knows about it and will not forget it. You also NEVER forget where your gun is.


  15. John Light said on 28 Mar 2007 at 3:12 pm:
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    Ok, let’s do this. The MOMENT Webb does ANYTHING that infringes on OUR 2nd Amendment Rights, THIS story WILL be brought back up. We can argue back and forth about whether or not any laws were broken BUT, it CANNOT be argued that it was just WRONG and irresponsible in what happened.

    Litimus test - have Joe Citizen do the EXACT same thing and see what happens.

    Fact: I carry a gun (for the record I do not own one, but for sake of argument, say I do) and lay it on the passenger seat of my car and I get pulled over. Depending on which police officer I get will determine what type, if any, charge I get.

    The laws as they are written are like the tax codes - even the police get confused and usually just issue a ticket and let a judge (the expert) decide.

    This NEVER should have happened and from what I have read, the way Jimmy has been handling it is atrocious. If I was the man who was arrested, you better believe I was NO LONGER associate with THAT Webb of deceit.

  16. Jackson Landers said on 28 Mar 2007 at 3:35 pm:
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    James T. Kirk,

    How does your option #3 reflect poorly on Webb? We’re talking about a trusted former Marine. I don’t see why Webb should have expected him to forget about the pistol.

    At the end of the day, nobody was ever put into danger by what happened. What I’m seeing is a lot of hyperventilating over the fact somebody forgot that he had a firearm in his bag. This happens in airports with firearms and knives all the time. The firearm was not used for any harmful purpose, it was not pointed at anyone, it was not discharged and it was never in the custody of someone who may have had evil designs.

    I’ve never forgotten that i had a firearm with me, but I remember one time I was walking down to the court house for jury duty and only remembered that I had a clip of 7.62×54 ammo in my back pocket. I came very close to walking in that courthouse door with the clip that would have caused a whole big thing involving my getting hustled off in handcuffs. Yet I wouldn’t have done anything that was actually dangerous. Several times I’ve found myself someplace slightly inappropriate with my backpack that I had taken dove hunting and still had a bunch of 20 gauge shells in there which I’d forgotten about. Hell, I seem to have 5 rounds of .38 in my pocket right now for some reason. So I’ve got a measure of sympathy for Thompson in this situation.

    The question is do you or don’t you think that DC’s gun laws are idiotic? Do you or don’t you agree that it is all too easy for someone in Northern Virginia who works in DC to inadvertantly find himself breaking a moronic and unconstitutional law? DC’s laws are an exercise in total idiocy and are designed to be a pain in the ass for law-abiding people. I thought that they were moronic last week and I think they are moronic now. Forgive me for being unable to muster much in the way of indignation against someone who inadvertantly violated the stupidest gun laws in America.

  17. Jackson Landers said on 28 Mar 2007 at 3:41 pm:
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    Webb is pro-2nd Amendment. He’s an NRA member. He is one of the good guys. Why are you attacking him? I’m not sure what Webb should be doing differently to handle this. We still have no idea what the model of pistol involved is. Just the caliber. Thus he still has no idea whether or not it was his gun that Thompson had in the bag. Do you think that Webb should just start making things up and say that it was his when he has no idea?

    You may not own a gun but I do. I own many guns. And I have an FFL and a hunting license. And I am an NRA member. I shoot on my own property several times each week. And I have seen nothing that suggests that Jim Webb did anything wrong or that Thompson even endangered any person through his actions, forgetful though he may have been.

  18. James T. Kirk said on 28 Mar 2007 at 7:19 pm:
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    I was only saying that what happened was dumb. Be it Senator Webb or his assistant, it was a dumb…human…mistake. My option #3 was not intended to be against Senator Webb, it was saying that his assistant may have dropped the ball.

    From what I hear from the reports the assistant never meant harm. I do not doubt that supposition.

    This whole thing is like a certain hunting accident or some firings of some federal attorneys. There is not much there, but the people involved have not handled it very well.

  19. John Light said on 29 Mar 2007 at 2:41 pm:
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    While it is true that the anti-gun laws that are in place in DC ARE stupid, MY issue is several. Jim’s treatment of his friend is absolutely horrible. Instead of coming to the aid of his trusted friend, he basically threw him under the bus.

    Jackson - you say Webb is one of the good guys??? WTF, man - Webb is a loose cannon who stated that he would punch the President of the United States for God’s sake. JUST because he is a member of the NRA does NOT mean for a second that “he is one of the good guys.”

    Also, Jackson, you state that “Thus he still has no idea whether or not it was his gun that Thompson had in the bag.” TOTALLY irresponsible!!!! ANYONE who has no idea who has their gun at any given time should have their right to gun ownership taken away!!! Gee, officer, I did not know that my buddy had my gun and then commited a crime. When I was in the Infantry, I knew where my weapon was AT ALL TIMES. A gun is not like any other weapon - it is something that can kill repeatedly AND easily hidden, thus requiring GREATER command and control over it at all times.

    How about we do a trace on the serial number on the gun to see who it belongs to, that way we will know who to blame. I just hope for YOUR sake, Jackson, that a crime is NOT commited using one of your guns and you say, “Gee, I had no idea he/she had it.” Good luck there.

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