Monday, December 23, 2013

So the issue is much larger than David Grimaldi, or Dennis Williams, or Pete Schwartzkopf, but then again, it isn't

Nancy Willing is, perhaps justifiably, unhappy with me over the post below this one--When Delaware passes HB 88, Who is going to take away David Grimaldi's guns.  David is a friend of Nancy's, and she feels that he has a side to these stories that isn't being credited, and--moreover--she tells me that David doesn't actually own any firearms.  On that last I wouldn't know.

And for accuracy's sake, here are links to some of Nancy's own posts telling Grimaldi's side of the story:  here, here, and here.

But I think that in her anger with me, Nancy misses the point of the post.

Gun control legislation in Delaware is supported by a lot of people with what I am sure are great intentions, but the devil is always in the details, and in two details in specific.

The first is that HB 88--while possibly defensible line-by-line as written--is part of a concerted attempt on the part of a sizable political minority in Delaware and elsewhere to categorize simply the act of gun ownership as prima facie evidence of mental instability.  Yes, this is a slippery slope argument, but you can actually see the mud from here.  When, for example, Salon purports to accurately summarize research on how simply possessing a weapon creates aggression, but slides by all the parts of the science that the author doesn't like, I'm starting to feel my feet lose traction.

But that wasn't the point of the post that Nancy feels smeared David Grimaldi.

That is the second detail:  that these new laws are specifically designed to exempt or at least cushion the elites against their impact.

When Mayor Dennis Williams tells everybody that he walks around with a concealed weapon because he's worried about old enemies, nobody wonders if he's paranoid, and his primary defender is Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf.

And, speaking of Schwartzkopf, notice how the Speaker (and former State Trooper) insured that current and retired law enforcement officers would be exempted from the requirement for "universal" background checks, even though those individuals as a group have far higher than average chances of suffering from alcoholism, depression, PTSD, and other forms of mental illness as well as of committing domestic abuse.

So when I saw El Somnambulo's end-of-year write-up on David Grimaldi, I thought, yep, here's another guy in the leadership elite widely perceived (rightly or wrongly) as having anger management issues in a big way.  Had Grimaldi been a conservative nobody from Kent or Sussex who ended up in similar reporting, it is even money that somebody would have used him as a poster child for why really angry, aggressive people need to be kept away from guns.

That's the point, Nancy:  we make these laws and find ways to exempt our self-proclaimed elites from having to follow them.  Who's more likely in the event of hearing about his relative sanity to be able to bring to bear powerful attorneys and sympathetic mental health professionals to defend his right to keep his property?

Hint:  it won't be a blue-collar worker at the Delaware City refinery, or a truck driver making deliveries to a poultry plant, but it will be somebody like Williams, Schwartzkopf, and--yes--Grimaldi, who is not only likely to have the resources to fight the case through successfully, but is also very likely to know the judge or the prosecutors personally.

That's the point.


NCSDad said...

Not so fast ....

delacrat said...

Since you don't believe the authorities should keep Mr. Grimaldi away from guns, do you also not believe they should have kept Mr. Lanza away from guns ?

Steve Newton said...


Please work on reading comprehension. I said that the people who make the laws regarding guns and mental health won't enforce them on themselves (as the power elites).

Hube said...

delacrat has been working on that skill for quite some now ... to no avail.

delacrat said...


Your point is people who make the laws won't enforce it on themselves.

Assume for the sake of argument that is, has been, and always will be true, and onetime district attorney Thomas Capano, (a "power-elite", if there ever was one) was never tried, convicted, sentenced for murder nor died in prison.

Therefore, you conclude, we should not have laws that "self-proclaimed elites" will/can exempt themselves from.

Well, if that's your prerequisite for any bill in the legislatures or law on the books, then you're arguing for a rule, not of law, but of the "self-proclaimed elites".

delacrat said...

Oh Hube,

Ya can dish out, ......

Jay Booth said...

I just saw this, trooper can't have a gun off duty, on duty, that's fine; because illness disappears when you put on a badge.