When the White House initiated the “We The People” website for persons to use in getting the attention of the Obama administration by accumulating at least 25,000 electronic signatures, I don't think they expected it to be used as much and as often as it is.
One of the complaints that has surpassed the halfway point is a petition to have NBC News reporter David Gregory arrested for using a 30-round AR-15 gun magazine as a prop during his interview with National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre on last Sunday's edition of “Meet the Press.”
The title of the poll is “Press charges against David Gregory for possession of a 30-round, high-capacity assault rifle magazine in Washington D.C.” and it reads:
David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.
The document quotes a section of the law in the District of Columbia entitled “DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines – D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01” Section (b) states:
No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large-capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
“We The People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law,” the petition concludes.
Obviously dissatisfied with LaPierre's answers to his questions on Sunday, the NBC moderator held up the empty gun magazine and waved it around while pressing the NRA executive to back down on his stance supporting gun rights.
On Monday, Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard website charged that while Gregory was mocking LaPierre for proposing that armed guards be present at every school in America, the NBC host sends his children with those of President Barack Obama to the co-ed Quaker school Sidwell Friends, which has a security department made up of at least 11 guards.
It would appear that in David Gregory's world, elitists like him can rest easy knowing that they have armed people defending their schoolchildren. But the little people? Well, that's something they just can't be allowed to have. But the NBC host seems to have no problem with armed guards protecting his kids every day where they attend school in Washington, D.C.
Then on Wednesday, NewsBusters reported that the District of Columbia Police Department was taking aim at the “Meet the Press” host by starting an investigation of the incident.
Later that day, the situation took another turn when the New York Times noted:
According to a federal law enforcement official, an NBC employee contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Friday to ask whether it would be legal for Mr. Gregory to show the magazine on television without the ammunition. The bureau, which does not enforce Washington’s gun laws, said it would be legal. That information, however, was incorrect, as it is illegal to have any empty magazine in Washington, the official said.
Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast site joined the fray on Thursday by implying that even if David Gregory broke the law, he shouldn't be prosecuted for it. "The late word that NBC requested, and failed to receive, permission from the police certainly complicates the matter,” he stated. “But I don’t think Gregory was planning to commit any crimes.”
Meanwhile, Tommy Christopher harshly criticized “the right-wing media” for pouncing on Gregory's prop because LaPierre “embarrassed himself on national television.”
He also sarcastically slammed the people who is petitioning the White House to have the NBC newsman arrested as “a group of geniuses” whose only response will be that “the federal government has no jurisdiction to enforce a local gun control measure.”
Despite NBC's announcement that Gregory would not host the December 30 edition of "Meet the Press," the host interviewed President Obama for the program and asked whether this is his "Lincoln moment."