Philadelphia/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The recent shooting of at least six police officers in Philadelphia is being used as a call for gun control. However, revelations that the shooter in question had a lengthy rap sheet is likely to cause this shooting to fade from the news. Second Amendment supporters should not let that happen.
Here’s the deal, like the Parkland and Sutherland Springs mass shooter, this was a person who could have been dealt with long ago by cops. Very early on, he was caught with a gun that had an altered serial number. That violation of 18 USC 922(k) should land someone five years in federal prison.
The Philadelphia shooter was busted numerous other times, including a 55-month sentence on gun charges in 2010 for two guns. That really should have been closer to 20 years, not roughly four and a half. It also does not include the numerous charges that were dropped or which didn’t result in convictions.
This is something anti-Second Amendment extremists will try to move on from. The Parkland shooter and the activists from there are an afterthought – largely due to the fact that the bumbling cowards of Broward County and the fumbles of the Federal Bureau of Investigation got out there. Sutherland Springs sputtered out because the fact that the killer there had a disqualifying conviction that was not in NICS became known.
When we talk about helping to alleviate concerns from the suburban voters that have been far too receptive to the siren song of Bloomberg’s gun-ban agenda, addressing things like NICS shortcomings and law enforcement failures are things that can do just that. This is especially important when anti-Second Amendment extremists try to push unjust infringements on our rights in response to a preventable tragedy.
Project Exile can do the same thing as those other items, and actually, serve as a pro-Second Amendment double play. When you look at cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and other cities with high rates of violent crime, Project Exile could be crucial to reaching out to these people, whose interest in the Second Amendment is far different than those of someone in rural Iowa or West Virginia. The provisions of 18 USC 922(d), 18 USC 922(g), 18 USC 922(i), 18 USC 922(j), and 18 USC 922(u) combined with sentencing enhancements from 18 USC 924 play a big role in this.
The benefits of supporting a revived Project Exile are obvious: We show suburban voters that we treat the misuse of Second Amendment rights seriously. Those in the crime-ridden urban areas, though, will see the worst of the worst get put away for a long time – after the express advocacy of Second Amendment supporters.
The shooter in Philadelphia is a classic example of the type of person Project Exile could take out of circulation before they got into a multi-hour shootout with cops (or cause some other tragedy). This guy’s rap sheet means that he could have been eligible for the armed career criminal enhancement provided by 18 USC 924(e) – a 15-year mandatory minimum.
Not many people know about these provisions. Tell a soccer mom that with proper action, potential shooters could be stopped with existing laws on the books that just aren’t used by the same folks demanding new laws, and have the proof with these laws being used to put other bad guys away, and we get a chance to convince them that at the very least they should not support new restrictions.
But to do that, we must have credibility, and to have that requires not falling for hoaxes that sound good, being aware of how our support for the Second Amendment comes across to others, and not making stupid mistakes that help Bloomberg discredit us and our arguments. Supporting a revival of Project Exile can build that credibility up.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.