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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Inspired by the comments of Mayior Bloomberg, a new law just passed in New York and is expected to be signed by Gov. Pataki -

That requirement would be removed, and any illegal, loaded gun taken outside of a person's home or business would constitute a class C felony, which could mean three-and-a-half to 15 years in prison.

Democrats control one house; Republicans control the other.

Link: http://www.silive.com/search/index.ssf? ... xml&coll=1
 

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unconstitutional presumption

The real reason NYS, or any other state, would make it a FELONY crime to simply possess a deadly weapon is because they PRESUME that if you possess it, you intend to use it unlawfully. In other words, the act of carrying a gun on your person as you walk down a sidewalk toward a shopping center is PRIMA-FACIE evidence that you intended to commit a robbery at said shopping center. Therefore it is legitimate to punish you like the hard-core felon that you aspire to be, but keeping in mind that an unsuccessful "attempt to..." offense typically carries a reduced penalty compared to what the successful, completed crime would have earned you. So to the New York State legislature, since Armed Robbery could get you up to 30 years in prison, it's fair to punish you for up to 15 years for just an attempted armed robbery, and the act of you carrying a loaded gun proves that you had that intent and were going to make that attempt.

The reason this should be declared unconstitutional, rather than just being immoral and unwise and ineffective, is that the U.S. constitution requires, as part of Due Process of Law, that the State prove you guilty without the use of presumptions. Sometimes permissible inferences are OK, but not presumptions. That takes too much of a burden from the State, which must always produce evidence to prove each and every element of the offense you're charged with.

I like that aspect of the NYS statute the way it stood-- make the State prove that you had some nefarious purpose in mind before they can convict you of violating their felony gun possession law. If all the State can prove is that you carried an unregistered gun, that ought to be a low-grade misdemeanor. If they can prove you carried the gun with the intent to hold up a liquor store or hijack a taxi cab, then of course they should charge you with those major felonies and try to get you locked up for at least the next decade.
 

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http://publicola.mu.nu/archives/2004/10 ... raint.html

But why are prior restraint based laws so bad? On the most basic level because they rob us of Free Will. They set out ot say that if you have a certain weapon, or if you're a certain class of person, or carrying a weapon in a certain manner, then you're going to commit some other, more serious confrontational crime. It assumes we have no choice as to whether or not to commit the more serious confrontational crime. It punishes us for having the potential, not the intent, of harming someone else unjustifiably.

I assume most of my readers are men. Imagine a law that punished you for possessing a penis. If you have trouble imagining such a law then ask your wife (or girlfriend) to explain it to you the next time she's pissed (especially if it's due to some real or imagined jealousy). The law that punishes you for possessing male genitalia would be based on the idea that since you have the means to be a rapist, then you cannot or will not choose to refrain from ravaging some helpless lady, & therefore you will be punished for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NY: High schoolers get education on new gun law with prison time

"Officials warned an audience of high schoolers Wednesday to resist the temptation to carry a gun â€" or even hold one for a friend â€" because getting caught now means a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison."

"'That's ninth grade, 10th grade, 11th grade and half of your senior year,' Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore told nearly 1,000 teens at Mount Vernon High School."

"DiFiore was launching a campaign to educate residents about a state law, in effect since Nov. 1, that eliminates the possibility of probation and forces judges to impose at least 3 1/2 years when someone is convicted of possessing an illegal, loaded handgun."

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Mayor Ernest Davis told the youngsters the new law was designed to keep them safe. Noting that the city had 169 felony assaults with a firearm so far this year, he said, "If we take the guns off the street then you don't have to carry a gun to be protected."

Link to Story
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Mayor Ernest Davis told the youngsters the new law was designed to keep them safe. Noting that the city had 169 felony assaults with a firearm so far this year, he said, "If we take the guns off the street then you don't have to carry a gun to be protected."
<logical_fallacy_exposed>
Even assuming, theoretically, that all guns WERE removed from the street. A 90lb sopping-wet woman is going to be unable to defend herself from a 6' 4", 230lb, well-muscled rapist in hand-to-hand combat. Her only hope is that she has a weapon to use as an equalizer. So yes, she does need a gun to be protected.
</logical_fallacy_exposed>
 
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