For years now, Gun Owners Action League executive director Jim Wallace has been pushing lawmakers in Boston to go after violent criminals instead of continually cracking down on lawful gun owners; a call that has largely gone unheeded by the Democratic supermajority in the state legislature. The state House recently approved legislation that created many new restrictions and non-violent, possessory crimes aimed directly at legal gun owners, and the state Senate seems likely to follow suit in the New Year.
The new gun control measures have drawn the ire and objections of gun owners and law enforcement groups like the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, whose members would prefer lawmakers go after violent criminals instead, and after stumbling across a recent case involving multiple shootings in the Boston area, it’s hard to disagree with the idea that legislators are aiming their bills in the wrong direction.
A Boston man pleaded guilty in connection with three separate shootings in Cambridge and Somerville that occurred over a three month period, according to a release by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Lennox Pierre-Louis, 22, will spend at at least five years in state prison after pleading guilty to the shootings that occurred on Dec. 27, 2021 in Somerville, March 11, 2022 and June 18, 2022, the release stated.Pierre-Louis was sentenced to five to six years in state prison for the June 2022 shooting, two and a half years in state prison for the March 2022 shooting, and another five to six years in state prison for the December 2021 shooting. The sentences for December and March will be served concurrent with sentencing for the June incident, Ryan said.
Five years for three separate shootings? Granted, it doesn’t appear that anyone was injured in any of the incidents, but that’s more the result of Pierre-Louis’s bad aim than anything else.
Ponder this for a moment: carrying a loaded pistol in public without a license comes with a mandatory minimum 18-month sentence, with an additional 36 months possible. Pierre-Louis could have been sentenced to four years behind bars even if he’d never pulled the trigger a single time. Every shooting he admitted to essentially was worth an additional four months in prison; eight months at most if Pierre-Louis ends up serving the maximum sentence of six years (which is highly unlikely to happen).
When carrying a gun without a license is treated more seriously than trying to murder someone, there’s something seriously screwy taking place. But this is the status quo in Massachusetts; lawful gun owners are seen by the Democratic establishment as a bigger threat to public safety than violent offenders.
Another example is former state assistant attorney general Gary Klein’s recent complaint that the state has “lost its way” when it comes to enforcement of gun laws; not because of cases like Pierre-Louis, but because (in his opinion) the state is spending too much time and energy going after people who possess guns illegally or use things like Glock switches in commission of violent crimes.
Our gun laws and enforcement efforts must target manufacturers and gun sellers in order to more effectively prevent the sale and distribution of dangerous contraband firearms and related products. Those laws need to be supplemented by creative use of our strong law against unfair trade practice to target illegal marketing, sale, and distribution practices. It plainly cannot be a legal practice to sell someone something that it is illegal for them to own. Nor should it be legal to publish or sell plans for creating an illegal and dangerous device by means such as 3-D printing.
If anti-gun Democrats aren’t blaming lawful gun owners for violent crime, they’re blaming firearm manufacturers and gun store owners for the actions of criminals. It’s not only a backward approach to public safety, but an affront to the constitutional rights of Massachusetts residents. Gun owners in the Bay State have an uphill road ahead of them in the new year when it comes to defeating the onslaught of anti-2A legislation heading their way, but they’re the ones who are presenting a truly common sense approach to fighting crime while protecting a fundamental civil right.