To hear some lawmakers talk about it, having a gun illegally is tantamount to a crime against humanity. Guns are supposedly the great scourge in American cities and something simply has to be done about them, which is why constitutional carry is some great unmitigated evil.
However, what we also see is that there’s a disconnect from the words of those people and their actions.
All too often, people who are found to have been carrying a firearm in violation of the law are given little more than slaps on the wrist, only for them to turn around and do something worse.
At the time, Aguilar was on probation after 38 days in jail for the case involving the gun on the bus, the resolution of which came after a plea agreement that underscores the tension seen daily in criminal prosecutions across the country: How much punishment should a person receive if they illegally possessed a gun but didn’t point it or fire it at anyone?
“It’s inexcusable that he was out of jail that quickly,” said retired Takoma Park police chief Alan Goldberg, who previously served 31 years in the Montgomery County Police Department. “This is a homicide that could have been prevented.”
Goldberg and other experienced police executives have long believed that one of the most effective ways to curb gun violence is to find illegal guns before they are used. Significant punishment, they say, is a necessary deterrent.
“They have to know there are consequences,” Goldberg said.
The chief public defender argues that he was punished, a whopping 38 days in jail with another 40 days of at-home confinement and that further confinement wasn’t warranted.
I mean, we all did more time than that in 2020 because of a virus. You can’t convince me that 40 days of house arrest actually made any impact on him at all. Especially not in this day and age. We can all do that standing on our heads.
Neither did 38 days in jail, apparently.
For the record, Aguilar could have received as much as three years in prison for a first offense.
Now, let’s keep in mind that Maryland is one of those states dominated by the “guns are bad” crowd. They make it as difficult as they can manage for law-abiding citizens to get guns. There’s no doubt how the state officially views firearms.
So why didn’t Aguilar get at least something close to the full treatment? If guns are so awful, if they’re such a scourge on society, why are those who carry them illegally getting a slap on the wrist?
The answer is that…I honestly don’t know what the answer is besides someone’s lying about something.
Yes, there’s been a push to minimize sentences, to treat criminals as if they’re really just misunderstood and need a hug instead of a prison sentence. That’s playing a huge factor, to be sure.
And as a result of this “give a crook a hug” approach, someone is dead instead of Aguilar doing time for the previous offense.
Look, if they want to stop pretending that guns in private hands are the problem, then I’m all for it. Constitutional carry all around, I say. The problem is that they’ll lower the hammer on a regular citizen who is carrying for his or her own protection despite the law while letting a known gang member off with almost nothing.
There’s nothing right about that.