A magazine filled with questions.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Last week, NBC News contacted the Washington Police Department, asking if they could display a high capacity rifle magazine during a program that originates in Washington DC. Their request was denied. They were told that not just the display of, but even the possession of, a high capacity magazine is illegal within DC city limits.

Nevertheless, on Meet the Press that day David Gregory displayed what he described as a high-capacity ammunition magazine.

The District of Columbia Police Department says it is investigating the incident.

Two questions--no, make that several:

One, what will WPD do?

Two, if they decide that Gregory has broken the law, which he obviously has, what should the penalty be?

Three, if they decide that Gregory has broken the law, which he obviously has, what WILL the penalty be?

Four, if they say they will let him off if he just disposes of the clip, how would you like to see him dispose of it?

Five, would sideways seem inappropriate?


Pat Randall 4 years ago

Where did they get the magazine? Who printed it? How far are the lawmakers going to go with what we can have or do? We have to have a license for almost anything we do. We have to wear what the law says we should. They are now telling us what we can eat or not eat in some states. We can't smoke in public places and I believe there is one town in Calif. you can't smoke anywhere outside your house. Not even on the sidewalk. Some things are legal depending on your age. Are you going to be more responsible drinking alcohol on your 21st birthday than you were at 20 years and 360 days? A better driver at 16 years old than at 15 yrs. and 6 months.

But soon you can go into a "Pot House" and buy marijuana because you have a pain.

As I said before, the lunatics are running the asylum.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

"Where did they get the magazine? Who printed it?"

Now you know why I hate the term "magazine."

I was brought up saying "clip."

As in, "My 45 has seven rounds in its clip."

"As I said before, the lunatics are running the asylum."


One of our favorite expressions on guard duty in the Air Force, one we used when some clown gave us a hard time about some rule we had no choice but to enforce, was this:

"I have have 52 reasons why you're not going to do that."

"Oh, yeah? What are they?"

"A 45 and seven rounds."

Talking about which, when I arrived at Tachikawa Airbase in Japan one my trainess, just an ordinary looking kid who I will call Charlie, was always held in such respect by the rest of the men that I asked why. They told me this story. Since the whole squadron believed it, including several men who said they were stationed at the base where it happened, when it happened, I had to believe them.

Charlie was on guard at the main gate. A young man in a car drove up and stopped.

Charlie asked, "Where are you going, sir?"

Lamebrain answered, "Why didn't you salute me?"

"I don't recognize you as an officer, sir." (No markings on car, no uniform.)

"Well I am an Anapolis Cadet and I rate a salute."

The traffic was beginning to pile up behind Lamebrain, so Charlie told him, "Sir, if you will pull over into the special lane ahead on your right I will explain to you why that is not so as soon as I have a moment."

"It IS so, and I am NOT going to held up; I am going through this gate."

"I would not do that sir. I am required by my orders to stop you."

With a laugh. "How?"

"Sir, please pull over into the special lane and I will be with you in just a moment."

Car revs up and starts forward. Charlie pulls out his service weapon, takes aim, and fires--just once--through the rear window. Car runs off the side of the road. Twnety-five minutes later, Lamebrain is pronounced dead.

I have never come across a word in writing that verifies that story, but I believe it to be true for two reasons. One, as the training NCO, I was aware that Charlie's had retrained from Air Policemen into Air Passenger and Operations Specialist. I had asked him about that before I ever heard the story, and Charlie's comment was, "They let me retrain when I said I would prefer a job where I didn't have to shoot anyone." Two, it seemed impossible that eight or ten men in our squadron who had been stationed on the base at the time could have gotten something like that wrong.


ALLAN SIMS 4 years ago

I heard a similar story that was bolstered by several of my friends, independently, who knew the airman.

He was a new Air Police guard, and was on guard duty, alone, at a Minuteman Missile Silo near Faith, South Dakota. The time frame was in the mid-sixties. (I got there in ’67, and it was a year or two before that.) The situation included his First Sergeant (Whom he’d seen once, at a distance) and his new commanding officer (Whom he’d never seen.) The missile was still in the silo, although it was due to be pulled later that day-thus the physical guard.

The airman saw the two pull up in an Air Force station wagon. The officer approached the gate and demanded entry, and the airman refused. Then the First Sergeant approached the gate, and identified the Major. Even though the airman heard the sergeant say the officer was cleared to enter the site, the officer refused to show his ID. While the airman was engaged with the sergeant, who was chewing him royally, the officer left the gate area, and proceeded to climb the fence about 20 feet from the fence.

The airman yelled “Sir, Halt”, “Halt” and finally “Halt or I’ll fire”. The officer swung over the fence and the airman shot him twice with his M2 carbine. He was dead before he hit the ground, because both shots were dead center.

His orders had been explicit. Allow no one, even someone he knew to enter the site, without proper ID, and a clear need to enter. He was released without prosecution, and transferred out of the Air Police.

After that, the Air Police were extensively retrained, and those who we carried to the missile silos with us were so stiff that we couldn’t even have a good conversation with them, until they’d tripped with us several times. Then, they would loosen up a bit, except for this one, who was really quite a cool head. I even taught him how to drive the big vans without using a clutch. I had him convinced he could transfer into missile maintenance. And, you know? He could have, too.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

"20 feet from the gate, not from the fence."

I'm glad someone else did that. Typos are of my favorite habits and I get tired of being the only one. :-)

As to your story, what people do not realize is that the way that major was thinking is exactly what penetrators use to gain entry to places. They know how to use "weak links." What that airman did was exactly correct. He had his orders; he followed them. End of story. Doing anything else negates the whole security system.

There are a thousand scenarios in which that Major--or the First sergeant, for that matter--could have been a penetrator. Here's one, a common one: A terrorist group goes to the First Sergeant's house, takes over, puts guns to the heads of his wife and kids, and tell the first shirt that he either cooperates or they're all dead. Then one of the the terrorists, who is dressed in a uniform, goes with the First Sergeant to the silo and uses "face recognition" (which was once considered the highest form of security recognition) to get where he wants to go.

That's what penetrators try to do. They face you with an unexpected situation, something startling, hoping that you will fail to react. I served as an Air Policeman for a very short period of time while I was in the National Guard. A number of us had just enlisted and they were trying to fill slots in the squadron. An old Army MP drilled it into our heads, "Follow your orders. Don't hesitate. Warn them and then shoot! If you don't shoot you might as well be a cigar store indian with a wooden rifle."

I didn't stay an AP long, just long enough to almost shoot an old WWII retread sergeant one night as he approached our three man post. He was partly deaf and was wearing one of those old pull-down woolen caps. The night was cloudy, pitch black, and freezing cold. He came across a field where mud puddles had frozen and left a thin crust of ice with nothing underneath it.

I heard crunch, crunch, crunch, tinkle, tinkle, tinkle.

I called out, "Halt!"


Crunch, crunch, crunch, tinkle, tinkle, tinkle.


Still nothing.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, tinkle, tinkle, tinkle.

"Halt or I'll shoot!"

And still nothing!

I pulled back the operating slide, let it go so it chambered a round, leaned forward, flicked off the safety, aimed in the direction of the continuing sound of breaking ice, and pulled the trigger. Luckily, I had been training not to jerk the dumb trigger or this story would have ended differently. Just before the weapon went off a light appeared as the poor old guy clicked his flashlight on, lighted his face, and said, "S-Sergeant of the G-Guard."

He had finally heard something--the bolt closing.

He never checked our post again that night.

The next day, that other NCO, the old Army MP, read the riot act to the other two troops who had been on duty with me. Neither of them had so much as raised their weapons.

That's what penetrators bank on.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Here's a little update for you.

The incident where David Gregory displayed the magazine on national television took place on 23 Dec 2012. It is now 6 Jan 2013. So far there has been no report of any decision from the Washington D.C. attorney general’s office, which is responsible for a decision to file charges. As of the last report that office has declined comment.

However, other people have been busy.

For example, the Washington Times has identified that D.C. arrested 105 individuals for the same crime of possession of high capacity magazines in 2012. The Times has also found a case of a federal government employee who was arrested and jailed in September 2012 by the Metroolitan Police Department, and was prosecuted by the Washington D.C. attorney general’s office.

Anyone taking bets on whether or not we will ever hear another word on this? I'd like to put down a hundred on NO (only if it's legal, of course; I do not work for NBC News).


Ronald Hamric 4 years ago

David Gregory is a member of the "protected elite" in this nation. The laws that pertain to us peons and serfs simply do not apply to those folks. For all the hoopla over his little "gotcha" stunt, the most supreme of those "elites" actually appeared on Gregory's show the following weekend to help aleviate the pressure brought about by his "30 round magazine" fiasco. And to show his appreciation for the support, Gregory threw nothing but softballs and acclimation at the POTUS. So you see, they are just "special" and above all the stuff us mere mortals have to comply with.


Tom Garrett 4 years ago

Ah. Thanks, Ron. I do not see TV and so missed that fiasco.


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