One would have to ask why this is.
The answer, I think, are pretty self-evident from the story itself.
First, Will is a Libertarian and had been an LPD party official. Of course, the LPD is so statistically small, reporters tell me (just over 800 folks registered in the party and just over 8,000 voting for at least one Libertarian in 2012) that it doesn't merit coverage in the normal run of things. I can even recall one reporter advising me to have our candidates "do something dramatic" if they wanted coverage. I guess this was dramatic enough to suit them.
But, second, I think that the charges proffered by the State probably figured into the mix. After all, Will has been charged with:
Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, drug dealing and possession of a weapon by person prohibited. Misdemeanor counts included possession of a Schedule I controlled substance (ecstasy tablet) and drug paraphernalia (packaging for marijuana), records said.OK, in terms of America's (and Delaware's) drug war this is a fascinating case. As I go through this, keep firmly in mind that Will McVay allegedly had possession of less than 1/2 oz. of marijuana and a single ecstasy tablet. That's going to be important later.
"Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony"? Uh, that conjures up images of a crazed McVay sticking up someone at gunpoint, doesn't it? But the felony in this case--the ONLY felony in the mix that could have led to this--is "Drug dealing."
"Drug dealing"? Half an ounce? One pill? And a digital scale? Uh, folks, I sell a lot of stuff on eBay and I own a similar digital scale for purposes of estimating postage on small packages. But, according to the State, that same scale becomes "drug paraphernalia". And I'd go with that than the "packaging for marijuana," which was--wait for it--Ziploc bags. Ziploc bags? Oh my God, my household is the f--king French Connection!
So the State has taken 1/2 oz of marijuana (which many states have now, in keeping with the popular will, decriminalized or legalized), a single ecstasy pill, a scale that is primarily used for weighing postage, and Ziploc bags, and manufactured the FELONY of "drug dealing"?
Thus that 1/2 oz (and etc.) becomes the FELONY that makes having a pistol and a shotgun a FELONY for "possession of a firearm during the commission of a FELONY," which is (let's admit it) a completely bullshit charge thrown in to plea bargain away, because they then added another FELONY for the same weapons--"Possession of a weapon by a person prohibited." Clever.
(More than likely they are also going to key on the fact that the unemployed McVay had $2,200 in cash in the house. I can hear prosecutors now asking where an unemployed man might get that kind of money with a hefty leer, and demanding Will explain it. This is America. I am not quite sure when we passed over the hill so far that Americans could be inferred to be guilty of something because they actually had money. Or where they could be required to explain it when the State lacked ANY evidence that it came from criminal activities.)
What's really going on here? Law enforcement in the State of Delaware, like law enforcement agencies nationwide, are afraid that the pendulum of unreserved (and undeserved) latitude granted them after 9/11 will swing back. You can already see it as cops in Delaware line up to demand that the death sentence not be repealed. You can see it as cops across the country fight marijuana legalization, and the Federal government spreads lies to maintain the drug war in operation (and give the US the largest prison population, per capita, of any major nation on Earth).
So when they get the opportunity to bust somebody--be it Will McVay or Tyler Nixon--who has been an outspoken advocate of ending the drug war, legalizing marijuana, and supporting the 2nd Amendment, guess what? He has to be morphed into John f--king Dillinger.
Personally, I believe it is time for Libertarians around Delaware to realize that what's happened here is not so much an embarrassment as an advertisement for what is wrong with the system and needs to be changed.
Will McVay hadn't threatened anyone with the firearms in his apartment. (How do we know that? Because there was no search warrant indicating any "probable cause"; they just found them when the probation officer stopped by.)
There is no evidence in this case that Will McVay dealt drugs--hell, there aren't enough drugs in this case for Will to have been dealing drugs.
The "drug paraphernalia" makes about as much sense as the City of Newark trying to label Sharpies as illegal (which, you will recall, it attempted last year).
And am I--or any other Libertarian--supposed to be embarrassed or upset about Will having a small amount of marijuana or ecstasy for personal use? I could indict him for being hopelessly naive in thinking he wouldn't be targeted during his probation, but other than that you should remember that Libertarians believe all this stuff should be legal for adults.
I am no more ashamed of Will McVay for breaking the law simple possession than I would have been of an African-American in the Deep South during the 1960s being arrested for using a "Whites Only" drinking fountain. I do not believe our current drug laws have any great moral force behind them, and so I cannot muster any moral outrage when somebody breaks them.
Tyler Nixon was, and still is, a stand-up guy who has fought for countless "little people" before the people in power he'd pissed off decided to make an "example" out of him.
Will McVay was, and still is, a bright (often annoying, OK I'll give you that) motivated guy who not only thinks outside the box about Delaware politics, but would like to have the box sent to be recycled into something useful.
If, as Libertarians, we do not actually stand by our people and our principles when times are tough and the State (as well as the State-dominated media) decide to target one of our own with exactly the tactics we have been decrying forever, then we might as well go home and wait for the end. Because we have no principles and no guts.
Nobody said changing the culture of the country was going to be easy.
I don't really care, Libertarians of Delaware, if you don't personally like Will, or if you think he was stupid to get caught. The facts of the matter are clear: this is the same kind of zealous State overreach that arguably has a political component we have been opposing all along. If we really hold the view that the Drug War is wrong, then it is wrong NOW.
It was wrong when they came for Tyler Nixon and it is wrong when they've come for Will McVay.
I must admit that I do have ONE bone to pick with Will, however.
The Mossberg 12-gauge, OK. But how could you be so clueless as to waste good money on a piece of crap like the Rock Island Armory .45?