Freddie Gray Charges Filed

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So prosecutors have charged 6 police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, which of course was the spark for the riots we’ve all been watching.

As for the headline, that the officers stand accused of crimes including murder, I have no opinion.  I can’t have an opinion.  I haven’t looked at the MDT data, the dispatch tapes, the medical records, or anything else.  I’ve seen media reports based on leaks, but the media is a pack of liars and the leakers have unknown agendas, so what it comes down to is, I have my suspicions as to what happened, but that’s all they are, and anyone who tells me he “knows” what the real story is, is someone using a very different definition of “know” than I use.  Certainly media hype in the past has failed to live up to expectations.

But there’s a paragraph 15 factoid that jumped out at me: the prosecutor says that the arrest was improper in the first place, because Gray was carrying a “legal” pocket knife, and not an “illegal” switchblade.  I have written before about knife control, and that statement sticks in my craw.

First off, how very generous of the rulers of Maryland and Baltimore to kindly permit their subjects to possess folding knives.  Surely we are all grateful for the wisdom of our betters.  Second…if Freddie Gray had been carrying an “illegal” switchblade, does that somehow make all of this OK?  I’m sure nobody would actually answer “yes” to that question, but I’m equally sure that the Democrats who control Baltimore (and, for the most part, Maryland and the city of Washington just to the south) would never even consider loosening these absurd laws that criminalize the mere possession of an object.  Certainly, after Eric Garner’s death, de Blasio whined about police treatment of black citizens, but did absolutely nothing about NYC’s enormously high cigarette taxes and the use of the police to enforce laws against selling smuggled cigarettes.

Yet of all the things that we could do to improve police-community relations, having the police focus on actual crime rather than absurd regulatory “crime” rooted in the control-freakery of the (ahem, Democratic) urban ruling classes is probably #1.  Repeal switchblade laws.  Heck, repeal the NFA!  Drop the hammer on criminals who are actually busy hurting other people rather than those who “might” hurt someone in the future.

Will it work?  I don’t know for sure.  Some people are just evil and selfish and will hurt others; nothing can change that.  But if it does less harm than what we’re doing now, that would be an improvement.

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