By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the wholly unsurprising decision to not recommend criminal charges to the Loretta Lynch Justice Department.
“All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice,” Comey explained.
“This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences,” Comey cautioned, demonstrating there are rules for the elites and rules for the rest. “To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that’s not what we’re deciding now,' he said.
Whereas Hillary can skate on perceived reckless conduct when Comey himself acknowledges it is “a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way,” gun owners also deemed guilty of recklessness now face a “terrifying new precedent,” per a Conservative Review analysis of the Supreme Court’s 6 -2 decision in the Voisine case.
“[T]he court ruled that crimes of recklessness rise to the same level as ‘misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence’ which preclude individuals convicted of such a crime from firearm ownership by federal law,” the article explains.
“Congress was not worried about a husband dropping a plate on his wife’s foot or a parent injuring her child by texting while driving,” Justice Clarence Thomas protested in his dissent. “[U]nder the majority’s approach, a parent who has a car accident because he sent a text message while driving can lose his right to bear arms forever if his wife or child suffers the slightest injury from the crash. This is obviously not the correct reading … The ‘use of physical force’ does not include crimes involving purely reckless conduct.”
That’s an important distinction to make, especially when considering Thomas’ inarguable observation that “We treat no other constitutional right so cavalierly. At oral argument the Government could not identify any other fundamental constitutional right that a person could lose forever by a single conviction for an infraction punishable only by a fine.”
This significant departure from all precedent along with the magnitude of such risks for all gun owners, make it all the more unfathomable to understand why the Gun Owners Foundation is listed as the only “pro-gun group” having filed a friend of the court brief in Voisine (read the GOF brief here). Meanwhile, the “anti-gun” side had no problem presenting a tag team pileup including the Brady Center, Everytown and half a dozen well-funded citizen disarmament-pushing groups.
It's probable NRA and others didn't want to deal with the PR fallout of being portrayed in the media as defending domestic abusers. In this case, Stephen L. Voisine and William E. Armstrong III can hardly be described as model gun owners — and that's an understatement. Using a federal public defender in a legal long shot for two such individuals was probably viewed as a loser going in, something those planning Second Amendment legal defense strategies wished had never been filed in the first place. That said, it was filed, and that made it no longer about about Voisine and Armstrong, but about the concepts articulated in the GOF brief and in Justice Thomas's (joined in part by Justice Sotomayor) dissent. That's what merited being represented, what may have made a difference had legal scholars elevated arguments to those of principle, and why deliberate indifference to weighing in on such cases can be harmful.
“Progressive” media is now celebrating both Hillary’s victory with the false meme that she’s been “cleared” (they did the same thing with Eric Holder on Fast and Furious), and a new chance to stick it to gun owners.
What none of them in government and media seem to get is giving a pass to corrupt elite officials, while infringing on the fundamental rights of people without such connections, is so intentionally arrogant and reckless as to be downright dangerous.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.