A Pennsylvania mayor who has pushed for tougher gun-control laws is now going to jail after holding his homosexual crush hostage while armed with a gun.
Former Marcus Hook Mayor James Schiliro was sentenced to 10 to 20 months for an alcohol-fueled episode last February.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Schiliro “had a police car bring a former neighbor – a 20-year-old to whom he said he was attracted – to his home, made him drink wine, and refused to let him leave for three and a half hours.”
Schiliro reportedly threatened to kill himself and fired a gun into a stack of papers during the incident. Eventually, the victim, Nicholas Dorsam, was able to leave and then called police.
“That night was a culmination of feelings which had built up over 25 years,” said Schiliro.
The former mayor told authorities he knew Dorsam as a teen and helped him as a mentor. Schiliro said he became attracted to Dorsam when the young man turned 20.
The Inquirer reports: “At the house that night in February, Schiliro told Dorsam he wanted to commit suicide. Then Dorsam talked about Schiliro’s daughter, who was asleep upstairs.”
“I was so drunk and so upset with myself for what I did, if Nick didn’t mention my daughter I would have killed myself,” Schiliro said. “That is the only thing that kept me from pulling the trigger.”
After the encounter, Schiliro sold the weapon, entered an alcohol-treatment program and underwent counseling.
He had been convicted in November of recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression, and furnishing liquor to a minor.
On Monday, 13 of Schiliro’s family and friends spoke on his behalf at the sentencing hearing.
They portrayed him as “a caring man who gave back to his community as mayor, helped create jobs, formed basketball and baseball leagues for the borough’s children, served as a volunteer firefighter, and was a good friend and father,” according to the Inquirer.
“I’ve seen him reach into his pocket and give people he didn’t know money when they needed it,” said Bill Cox, a friend who has known Schiliro for 15 years.
“This is really a case of a complex person with complex issues,” said Michael Malloy, Schiliro’s defense attorney, referring to his client’s acknowledged bisexuality.
Delaware County Court Judge James F. Nilon was not moved by pleas from Schiliro’s family and friends.
“I don’t think you appreciate the seriousness of the nature of the behavior that you engaged in,” Nilon said.
In addition to his jail time, Schiliro received five years of probation and 50 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $1,300 in fines and court costs, and he’s eligible for work release and time off for good behavior.
As WND previously reported, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” organization was revealed in the fall of 2012 to include a long list of mayors who, because of their convictions, were no longer eligible to own weapons themselves.
“Mayor Schiliro is one more example of why we started the ‘Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors’ campaign,” said Alan Gottlieb, the organization’s executive director.
“He joins recently convicted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and recently indicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, both of whom were MAIG members.”
SAF launched its campaign last fall, and “the list keeps growing,” Gottlieb said.
“Schiliro’s case is not only bad, but bizarre,” Gottlieb explained at the time. “He’s been charged with false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, serving alcohol to a minor and other crimes, and he also allegedly used more than one gun in this incident, in which at least one shot was fired.
“The allegations against Schiliro creeped me out. With associates like this, I can understand why Bloomberg doesn’t trust people with guns,” Gottlieb said.
“According to published reports, Schiliro’s attorney says the mayor has sold his guns and entered alcoholism treatment, but this doesn’t get any traction with me. If the charges against this guy are proven in court, he deserves to have the book thrown at him, same as Mayor Bloomberg would demand if any other gun owner did what police and prosecutors think Schiliro did.
“It is amusing,” Gottlieb added, “that Schiliro – who signed an infamous letter to the U.S. Senate with 600 other mayors – has suddenly disappeared from the MAIG roster on that group’s website.
“Mayor Bloomberg should be more interested in the conduct of MAIG members than trying to pry into the personal lives of gun owners or soda drinkers,” he stated. “If anybody needs a background check, it would be a MAIG member.”
WND reported earlier on the SAF’s campaign about Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, set up in 2006 by Bloomberg.
“Michael Bloomberg created this group to further his personal agenda of public disarmament,” Gottlieb explained at the time “But within the ranks of his organization, our research has found several politicians who have been convicted of various serious crimes, thus making it impossible for them to finish their terms.
“We discovered,” he said, “one mayor convicted of perjury and embezzlement, another who was convicted of attempted child molestation, and yet another who was convicted of assault and racketeering. There was one who was convicted on bribery, fraud and money laundering, and another who was convicted of domestic violence.
“In short,” Gottlieb said, “many of these elitist politicians can no longer own firearms. The crimes they were convicted of suggest they are public enemies rather than public servants. No wonder they want to take guns from law-abiding citizens!”
On April 25, 2006, 15 mayors worked with Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to set up the organization to restrict guns.
The group said it wanted to make cities safer by cracking down on illegal guns, because mayors “have a responsibility to protect their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable.”
They say they want trace data for law enforcement efforts, and they want lawmakers to fix gaps and loopholes in laws “that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.”
The group boasts that it has grown to more than 725 mayors in 40 states.
But SAF is publicizing mayors who have run into their own troubles.
It launched its campaign in newspapers, magazines and on the Internet, revealing the criminal and ethical wrongdoings of many of the mayors themselves.
Gottlieb reported the research conducted by the foundation found “a far higher rate of criminal activity within the ranks of the MAIG than among the ranks of more than eight million citizens who are licensed to carry concealed firearms in 49 states.”
“While Michael Bloomberg has been campaigning to turn gun owners into criminals,” Gottlieb said, “the criminals in his own ranks were engaged in such activities as tax evasion , extortion, accepting bribes, child pornography, trademark counterfeiting and perjury. One was even convicted of assaulting a police officer.
“And these people have the audacity to smear law-abiding gun owners as potential criminals, simply because they exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” he concluded. “He should pay more attention to what his friends are up to than worry about the gun owners he’s been trying to demonize.”
The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation’s oldest and biggest group to focus on the constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, the foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters. In addition to the precedent-setting McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, Conn.; New Orleans; Chicago; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners.
The organization also has been acting largely under the radar to fight unconstitutional firearms restrictions across the nation. Recently, it won its request for preliminary injunction against the New Mexico standard.
The injunction was handed down just days ago by District Judge M. Christina Armijo, who took action in the case of John Jackson, a permanent legal resident alien who could not obtain a concealed carry permit in the state.
The organization also announced it has filed a motion for injunctive relief in a related case in Nebraska. There, non-citizens legally living in the state are prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry permit.
The SAF fought and won the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case that applied Second Amendment rights to individuals in states all across the nation.
Another recent battle for the SAF was in Alameda County, Calif., which changed the rules as three businessmen were trying to open a gun shop. The foundation successfully sued the county for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of three businessmen by wrongfully denying them permits to open a gun shop.
The foundation also recently argued a pair of California cities and the state’s Department of Justice improperly confiscated firearms during investigations and then refused to return them to their owners – even after the subjects of the inquiries were cleared.
Other cases the SAF has handled recently:
* SAF sued the state of California over a “vague” gun ban over a case in which a man twice was jailed and then cleared. The focal point is the definition of an “assault weapon.” The statute’s definition of weapons is so “vague and ambiguous,” the group contends, that one man was arrested on two different occasions for violations but ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. “It’s an insult to be arrested once for violating a law that is so vague and ambiguous that law enforcement officers cannot tell the difference between what is and what is not a legal firearm under this statute,” said Gottlieb, “but to be arrested and jailed twice for the same offense is an outrage.”
* In New York, the organization has asked for a summary judgment that would strike New York City’s $340 triennial fee for just owning a handgun. The legal brief explains that under U.S. Supreme Court rulings “the right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense is a part of the ‘core’ of the Second Amendment’s protections.” The case, brought by SAF, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and individuals including an electrical contractor, a paramedic, CPA and woodworker, argues, “The city’s $340 fee is inherently prohibitive and serves the impermissible purpose of discouraging the exercise of constitutional rights. While the city can charge a nominal fee to defray costs, the $340 fee is not nominal, and has never been calculated to defray costs.”
* The organization has sued New Jersey and officials and judges over procedures that allowed them to refuse firearms permits for a kidnap victim, a man who carries large amounts of cash for his business and a civilian FBI employee who fears attacks from radical Islamists. The permissions were denied on the grounds people had not shown a “justifiable need.” “Law-abiding New Jersey citizens have been arbitrarily deprived of their ability to defend themselves and their families for years under the state’s horribly crafted laws,” said an SAF spokesman. “The law grants uncontrolled discretion to police chiefs and other public officials to deny license applications even in cases where the applicant has shown a clear and present danger exists.”
* The SAF filed a case on behalf of an honorably discharged veteran from the Vietnam War and names as defendants Attorney General Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Jefferson Wayne Schrader. The question is whether the state of Maryland can deprive an individual of the right to possess a weapon over a misdemeanor. Schrader had been convicted of misdemeanor assault relating to a fight involving a man who previously had assaulted him in Annapolis. But he was denied the opportunity to receive a shotgun as a gift or to purchase a handgun for personal protection.
* SAF filed a claim against Maryland for a man who alleged the state was violating the Second Amendment by refusing to renew his handgun permit. Raymond Woollard originally was issued a carry permit after a man broke into his home during a family event in 2002. Woollard’s permit was renewed in 2005 after the defendant in the case was released from prison. But state officials later refused to renew the permit, even though the intruder now lives some three miles from Woollard.
* SAF sued Westchester County, N.Y., because officials there were requiring that residents have a “good cause” to ask for a handgun permit. The federal lawsuit alleges the requirement conflicts with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment establishes a personal right to “keep and bear arms.” Individual plaintiffs in the case are Alan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov, both Westchester County residents whose permit applications were denied.
In January, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, President Obama issued a “Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence,” along with 22 other “initiatives.” That study, subcontracted out to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, was completed in June and contained some surprises for the president.
Obama had announced at the beginning of the year his push for three major gun control initiatives – universal background checks, a ban on “assault weapons,” and a ban on “high-capacity” magazines – to prevent future mass shootings, no doubt hoping that the CDC study would oblige him by providing evidence that additional gun control measures were justified to reduce gun violence. On the contrary, that study refuted nearly all the standard anti-gun narrative and instead supported many of the positions taken by gun ownership supporters.
For example, the majority of gun-related deaths between 2000 and 2010 were due to suicide and not criminal violence:
Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.
In addition, defensive use of guns “is a common occurrence,” according to the study:
Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.
Accidental deaths due to firearms has continued to fall as well, with “the number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents account[ing] for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”
Furthermore, the key finding the president was no doubt seeking – that more laws would result in less crime – was missing. The study said that “interventions,” such as background checks and restrictions on firearms and increased penalties for illegal gun use, showed “mixed” results, while “turn-in” programs “are ineffective” in reducing crime. The study noted that most criminals obtained their guns in the underground economy – from friends, family members, or gang members – well outside any influence from gun controls on legitimate gun owners.
Also, the report noted that mass shootings such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, have declined and “account for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.”
There was one startling conclusion which, taken at face value, seemed to give the president what he was looking for. The study reported that “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.” However, Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute, produced a map that compared gun violence rates in the major metropolitan areas of the country to rates of foreign countries. As Graham Noble of Guardian Express noted, “If one were to exclude figures for Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington, DC, the homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country.” These areas, of course, are noted for the most restrictive gun laws in the country, thus negating any opportunity for the president to celebrate the report’s findings.
The current report from the CDC echoed findings the CDC published back in 2003 that showed that suicides were responsible for 58 percent of all firearms-related deaths in 2000. Also noted is that back in 2003 Americans owned an estimated 192 million firearms, while today that number is estimated to be closer to 300 million, an increase of more than 55 percent.
Said the CDC back in 2003, “Evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these laws” (Emphasis added.):
Bans on specified firearms or ammunition,
Restrictions on firearm acquisition,
Waiting periods for firearm acquisition,
Firearm registration and licensing of owners, and
Zero tolerance for firearms in schools.
If the president was looking to the CDC report for support on how to reduce the threat of firearm-related violence through legislation restricting the rights of American citizens, he was sorely disappointed. Perhaps that’s why so few of the media have publicized the report. In fact, the only establishment media even to mention the report was the Washington Post, which criticized it for not answering questions that it wasn’t asked to answer!
An aide to Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers got off with a warning after illegally bringing a gun into a public building.
Security officers at a federal building in downtown Detroit found a gun in the purse of Betty Petrenz, Conyers’ office manager. Bringing weapons into government buildings is strictly forbidden, but Petrenz received no sentence or formal punishment. Just a ticket, which will be stricken from her record if she demonstrates good behavior.
Conyers is a strong advocate of stronger gun control laws who has received an “F” grade from the National Rifle Association.
The lenient punishment is in stark contrast with the fates of three other people who broke the law, and were either fired, force to resign, or criminally charged, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Petrenz is fortunate that she isn’t a kindergartner on her way to school. Kids who were discovered carrying toy guns on buses have faced steep punishments, including expulsion.
“Children are literally suspended from school for bringing gun-shaped pop tarts to school, yet this Democratic clerk gets off scott-free,” said a post at the conservative site Rare.
Chewing a pop tart into the shape of a gun earned eight-year-old Joshua Welch a suspension.
A North Carolina high school student and Eagle Scout was arrested and suspended after accidentally parking on campus with a gun in his car. And wearing a t-shirt with a National Rifle Association logo was enough to get Jared Marcum, a West Virginian eighth-grader, suspended and arrested.
Conyers’ staffer is not alone among anti-gun political figures who have gotten in trouble for bringing weapons into ostensibly gun-free zones. Last year, Illinois state Sen. Donne Trotter was charged with a felony when he tried to bring a loaded handgun onto a flight from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to Washington, DC. Trotter’s case was reduced to a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge, to which he pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to a year of court supervision. His state senate job was unaffected by the incident.
Opponents of Colorado Senate President John Morse on Monday turned in more than 16,000 signatures demanding the Democratic leader’s recall. That’s more than twice the number required to trigger a special election that’s expected to be fought behind the scenes by national interests on both sides of the gun control debate.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has 15 days to certify that at least 7,178 of the signatures are valid for the recall election to proceed.
One of the main organizers of the effort told Denver’s 9News that she feels “very comfortable” meeting the threshold.
“With that much of a cushion, having half of them get tossed out, I’ve never seen that many be invalid,” Laura Carno, a political strategist, told the station.
Meanwhile, Morse and his supporters have charged that many of the signatures were gathered under false pretenses. The Denver Post reports that some of its readers said petitioners told them that Morse wanted to repeal Colorado’s “Make My Day” law, which immunizes homeowners from prosecution if they’re defending themselves against intruders.
In fact, Morse had proposed holding the owners, sellers and manufacturers of sporting rifles liable for any damage they cause, but he dropped the legislation before it could be voted on. Even a fellow Democrat called the proposal “absolutely nuts.”
Morse was the highest-profile Democrat in the state legislature supporting a wide range of gun control bills. Of seven bills that were introduced, five passed and will become law next month.
Morse can challenge the signatures in court, which he told 9News he was considering.
“Thousands of those signatures were obtained inappropriately,” Morse said. “Now, will we be able to prove that? We’ll have 15 days to figure that out. That’s going to be tricky.”
If petitioners have met the threshold, Morse can either go through with an election or he can resign and have the Democrats choose a replacement to serve out his term, an option he has said in the past he wouldn’t take.
An election will cost taxpayers about $150,000, El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams told the Denver Post, but many expect the race to attract national attention and campaigning.
“It does look increasingly like Morse is going to be fighting for his political life, and Morse is almost a bit player in all this,” Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli said in the Colorado Observer.
“It’s going to be national behemoths squaring off against each other in the form of [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg and the NRA,” he said.
Just the news that Morse’s opponents are submitting signatures has garnered national comment.
In a statement released Monday, Michael Sargeant, the director of the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee blasted Morse’s opponents as “extremists in Colorado [who] want to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to recall Senator Morse, for the supposed ‘malfeasance’ of working to make his community safer.”
Morse is term- limited and ineligible to run again after 2014. Democrat Mike Merrifield, a former state representative and former state coordinator for Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has already filed paperwork to run for the seat. Speculation has been that if Morse chooses to resign rather than run in a special election, Merrifield would be the obvious replacement.
In a very strange and sad story developing out of Pennsylvania, one of Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” members has found himself in jail. James Schiliro, mayor of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, was arrested this past Thursday for official oppression, reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, and furnishing a minor with alcohol.
Schiliro ordered a local policemen to bring him a 20-year-old male to his home. At which point Schiliro allegedly served the minor alcohol and tried to have sex with him. When the minor refused, Schiliro apparently retrieved multiple handguns, where he then proceeded to fire one of them in the minors direction as a form of intimidation.
Schiliro was released on bail and states he will be fighting the charges.
Let him know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Colorado lawmaker who apologized last month for suggesting women should use a whistle instead of a gun to ward off rapists is in hot water again. Democrat state senator Joe Salazar said before the senate Monday he had been wrong for suggesting women’s best defense against rape was to carry a whistle to blow, although he maintained his anti-armed/gun stance, offering even more colorful prevention methods for women.
“I admit, I was wrong about the whistle thing,” said Salazar. “It’s really Chipotle that is the best defense against rape. …You try raping a woman who’s been eating Chipotle and you’ll be in for one hell of a shock and regret… and mess!”
Silence reigned throughout the senate chamber after Salazar’s “Chipotle rape prevention” suggestion. Salazar, fearing he had perhaps again committed another anti-rape faux pas in the name of gun control tried to clarify his newest suggestion. “…Or maybe some extra-spicy Indian food… or some old Taco Bell burrito women could carry around in their purse and eat real quick before being attacked. Or even squirt some Visine down your throat.”
As senate colleagues still sat with mouths agape, Salazar continued, “We need to study multiple steps women can take to fend off rapists without using guns. But I’m telling you: a quick downing of Chipotle will do the trick.”
The McDonald’s-owned Chipotle franchise has grown nationwide for people seeking quick servings of decent Mexican food at affordable prices. Chipotle has also become the brunt of jokes about its food causing diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems among unsuspecting consumers.
Years ago Italian food was synonymous with uncontrollable flatulence and “solid” waste eruptions, then Chinese food and the popular growth of sushi in the 1990s, followed by Indian food last decade. Now Chipotle holds the unfortunate stereotype of wreaking havoc among consumers’ bowels, although the chain continues to grow in popularity.
“These are certainly explosive suggestions,” said Republican state senator Bill Cadman. “We all want women to protect themselves. But we still think carrying a firearm is the best defense for Colorado’s women, not carrying around some Chipotle burrito they’d have to wolf down in a second – literally a second – and pray it causes explosive diarrhea before her attacker has the chance to assault her.”
Fellow Democrat and Senator Mary Hodge agreed with Sen. Cadman, criticizing Salazar yet again for “ridiculous, implausible” suggestions on how women can prevent a rape without using a gun. Said an apparently angry Hodge to Senator Salazar after the senate’s adjournment Monday, “So, Joe, let me get this straight: I’m walking out to my car at night and am approached by a man that grabs me and begins assaulting me… You expect me to eat a red hot chili pepper Chipotle burrito in less than a second and then hope its effects hit me in time so I can uncontrollably excrete all over the guy, thereby warding him off and preventing a rape? Are you serious?”
Replied Salazar, “O-Okay then, how about Indian food or even some beans..? Anything that would cause an explosion in ‘that area’ in short order, you know?”
“Nonsense!” retorted Hodge. “Everyone knows that a milkshake made with curdled milk is the best defense against rapists!”
“Explosive” Infighting Compounds Senator’s Pleas
Among Salazar’s detractors are not only his fellow lawmakers, but the heads of various fast food chains (local and state). Said Huang Liu Chung, owner of Colorado’s largest Chinese take-out chain, Ming Dynasty Take-Out, to reporters Monday, “Senator Sarazar’s craims that eating Chipotre in the moments before an attack wirr cause quick enough ‘expursions ’ to ward off sex attacker are absurd. Anyone who’s ever eaten Ming Dynasty Take-Out know they wirr feer the effects within seconds! We are the champions of uncontrorrable expursions, and any woman who varues their safety knows it is Ming Dynasty they need to eat as they’re getting attacked, not Chipotre crap!”
Added Chung, “Senator Sarazar is prooving he is just in the pocket of Big Chipotre!”
William C. Weldon, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, which owns Visine, also chimed in Monday with his input on Senator Salazar’s Chipotle suggestion. Defending his product’s longtime reputation of causing involuntary diarrhea if ingested orally, Weldon issued a public statement condemning Salazar’s “Chipotle promotion,” saying that adding a few drops of Visine to any food would produce the effects Salazar hopes would ward off potential rapists. “It is not just an old wives’ tale,” said Weldon, “but ingesting Visine will cause explosive gas and fecal matter in a way never conceived by the recipient or the person attacking her. It is Visine women should carry with them at all times to prevent rape, not spicy ethnic foods.”
“That’s why we invented Visine in the first place,” Weldon added, “so people could play vicious pranks on each other by lacing each others’ food and causing uncontrollable diarrhea. Only years later did we discover (Visine) was also good at relieving dry, irritated eyes.”
Some non-food providers are also offering other solutions to Sen. Salazar’s how-to-prevent-rape suggestions. James Debney, CEO of the popular gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson was asked by reporters about the Salazar-Chipotle fray. Commented Debney to Duh Progressive, “All these (food-diarrhea) suggestions are well-intentioned. But I’ve never have heard of a rapist being stopped by a woman who had just eaten bowel-relieving foods. (Women) can try it, or even the whistle thing if they want. Good luck.”
Added Debney, “A woman can eat all these ‘explosive’ foods and Visine she wants, but nothing can stop a rapist better than offering him a .357 Magnum for ‘dessert.’ Let your potential rapist dine on a .44 hollow point and see how it goes. It’s kinda hard to rape someone when half of your face and skull are missing… studies have shown.”
A Virginia lawmaker who drew gasps from his colleagues when he brandished a borrowed AK-47 during an anti-gun speech Thursday was found guilty in 2002 of committing a vicious 1999 assault, was sanctioned for legal misconduct while prosecuting a rape case, spent six months in jail for contempt of a federal court, and saw his law license revoked in 2003.
Democratic Delegate Joseph Morrissey brought the rifle to the floor of the House of Delegates to demonstrate how easy it is to carry firearms in Virginia. Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert interrupted Morrissey’s speech to ask him to remove his finger from inside the gun’s trigger-guard – a basic gun-safety practice.
“I don’t think you should be able to possess an assault rifle,” Morrissey told ABC News on Friday.
But while Morrissey introduced a gun-control bill Thursday aimed at reducing criminal violence in Virginia, he has a history that involves physical violence of another kind.
Morrissey paid a man $500,000 in 2007 to settle a 2002 court judgment against him, related to a 1999 physical assault.
According to legal brief filed by the victim’s attorneys, Morrissey shouted, “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to beat your head in,” before beating the victim and “smash[ing] his head into the corner of a brick wall.”
The 2003 revocation of Morrissey’s law license followed that courtroom reckoning, but by then his disciplinary record in the legal profession was already a lengthy one.
After he applied for the reinstatement of his law license, the Virginia State Bar listed a litany of Morrissey’s misdeeds when it published his petition.
That list included the December 1993 suspension of Morrissey’s law license for six months following a complaint from a rape victim in a case he prosecuted. Morrissey, she said, allowed her rapist to plea-bargain his case down to a misdemeanor after his father paid $50,000- half to the victim and the other half to charities Morrissey chose. She also testified that Morrissey hid the details of the plea-bargain from her.
The bar had already sanctioned Morrissey in June of that year when it learned of his misconduct in a felony drunk-driving case. Without asking the court’s permission, Morrissey issued a new arrest warrant with a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. He was required to write a formal letter of apology to the judge.
By that time, the bar was accustomed to hearing about Morrissey.
It forced him to attend legal ethics training after he represented a criminal defendant in the same case in which he had previously prosecuted him. Another reprimand came for engaging in a fist fight with a defense attorney whose client he was prosecuting.
In 1999, the bar suspended Morrissey’s law license again, this time for three years, after he made “public statements about the identity, testimony or credibility of prospective witnesses” in a federal court case.
Morrissey was convicted on two counts of contempt of court in that case, and sentenced to 90 days in jail plus three years of probation. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia also disbarred him, effectively denying him future access to plead cases in federal court.
In a separate case that contributed to that suspension of his law license, Morrissey was cited for contempt in Chesterfield County, Va. after he directed an angry outburst at a judge during a sentencing hearing.
After he was released from jail, Morrissey violated the terms of his probation by “attempting to circumvent the conditions of probation and lying to [his] probation officer,” according to the Virginia State Bar. As a result, he spent an additional 90 days in jail and his law license was formally revoked.
The bar issued a recommendation to the Supreme Court of Virginia in May 2011, arguing that Morrissey’s petition for reinstatement should be denied. The court disagreed, ruling in December 2011 that he could have his law license back after ten years of disbarment.
Morrissey’s AK-47 stunt on Thursday likely pleased at least one man.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported in 2010 that one witness in his license reinstatement hearing was longtime gay-rights activist Guy Kinman, who said he missed Morrissey’s headline-grabbing antics.
“When I pick up the Times-Dispatch, generally his name is not there” anymore, Kinman explained.
“Some of the drama is gone. Where are you Joe? Any drama freaks among us would wish the old Joe were here.”
President Obama’s recent announcement that he seeks to circumvent the Legislative branch of our federal government and implement changes to America’s gun laws via executive order has got every right-leaning American’s knickers in a twist, and rightly so. However, the specifics of what he may propose or attempt to accomplish in this regard are of secondary concern to those of us who still respect our Constitution. To us, the primary matter of consequence is that he would even conceive of such a scheme to begin with.
It’s his fascistic mindset, his conspicuous contempt for our superior culture and largely admirable history, and his brazen disregard for the God-given rights and thoughtful opinions of the people he’s supposed to serve which matter more than anything to those of us who hold sacred the concept of individual liberty.
Suffice it to say that I – and my many, many fellow American patriots – don’t care even slightly what Barack Obama considers to be “responsible” gun-control measures. All we have to know is that it’s not his prerogative to impose ANY limitations whatsoever upon our common Bill of Rights.
Once that simple fact is understood, no other argument is germane to the topic.
If I were a lawyer, this is the point at which I would say: I rest my case.
Today’s arrest of Illinois State Sen. Donne Trotter by authorities at O’Hare International Airport for having a gun in his carry-on bag is a revealing look at the hypocrisy of anti-gunners, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Trotter was arrested at a security checkpoint early this morning. A candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat vacated recently by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Trotter had a .25-caliber Beretta semiautomatic pistol in his bag. The Chicago Tribune said Trotter told police he worked late last night as a security guard and didn’t realize the pistol was in his bag.
“Trotter is a South Side Democrat and he was a leader in the move to ban so-called ‘assault weapons’ during his first term as a state representative,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “A man who favored banning firearms for thousands of his fellow Illinois residents shouldn’t even have a gun, much less be packing one illegally into an airport.”
Trotter has reportedly been charged with one count of attempting to board an airplane with a weapon, which is a Class 4 felony.
“Senator Trotter, by his own action, has demonstrated the monumental hypocrisy of gun control advocates who try to disarm average citizens while reserving the right to bear arms for themselves alone,” Gottlieb observed. “He should not even be serving in the state legislature, much less be running for a seat in Congress, which already has its share of gun prohibition hypocrites.
“Today’s incident underscores just how pathetic the anti-gun philosophy has gotten,” he concluded. “Perhaps now he will realize how other citizens feel when they run afoul of some anti-gun law or regulation. He should apologize to every gun owner in Illinois.”