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July 04. 2013 11:02PM

Mass. failure: Aaron Hernandez and guns

Whether former Patriot Aaron Hernandez is guilty of murder is up to a Massachusetts jury. But looking at the case laid out by Bristol County assistant district attorney William McCauley, the futility of attempts to reduce gun violence by restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is clear.

Hernandez is charged with the execution-style murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. In addition to first-degree murder, Hernandez faces five gun charges. Strict Bay State gun-control laws did nothing to protect Lloyd. And if the prosecution is correct, they did little to discourage Hernandez from accumulating a stash of weapons.

No changes to the nation’s system of background checks would have prevented this grisly murder.

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, the Attorney General’s office has determined that Ian Peters was justified in using deadly force that resulted in the death of 24-year old Michael LaRocque Jr. on June 9th. The AG’s report found that LaRocque and another man broke into Peters’ home, Peter fired his gun at them, prompting the intruders to run away.

According to the report, “Peters told Larocque to get down on the ground and not to move. Instead, Larocque turned and attacked Peters. Peters and LaRocque started to physically struggle and during that struggle, Peters’ gun went off.”

Will New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) add Larocque to its list of victims of gun violence? MAIG has been rightly chastised for including Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev among the list of gun victims at a recent gun control rally in Concord. The group also lumps in dozens of criminals shot by police and by civilians in self-defense.

MAIG’s plunge into political advocacy advertising prompted Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau to leave the group, even before the embarrassing victims list revelations. Lozeau signed up thinking the effort would concentrate preventing criminals from using stolen and unregistered weapons, not on passing new laws to keep law-abiding Americans from protecting themselves.

Lozeau explained her split from MAIG to the Union Leader’s John Distaso. “You’re Mayors Against Illegal Guns, you’re not mayors for gun control,” Lozeau said. Oh, but mayors for gun control is what they are. Boston Mayor Tom Menino is a member. It isn’t doing his city’s murder victims much good.

— Grant Bosse

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(Editor’s note: The Union Leader will run guest editorials this week while the editorial director is on vacation.)


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