Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Idaho's Treatment of Gun Offenders reports on the latest incident of a gun offender getting special treatment.

The Coeur d'Alene man who wielded a gun downtown in January pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace on Monday.

Even that's misleading. He did a good bit more than "wield" the gun.

Chapman was originally arrested for aggravated battery near the Third Street parking lot and Front Avenue around 2:30 that morning. Soon after, those charges were downgraded to possession of a concealed weapon while intoxicated.

The incident occurred as Chapman was leaving the Baja Bargarita on North Second Street. Witness testimonies varied on what happened, according to police reports, but shots were never fired.

Chapman told officers at the scene he began walking away from the group of five to eight men, some of whom followed Chapman to his truck parked on Sherman Avenue.

Defense attorney David Lohman said Chapman and his friend were being beaten and kicked as they tried to walk away.

According to police reports, Chapman said he retrieved the weapon after reaching his truck and placed it in his pants, but one witness, who was following Chapman telling him to "go home," said Chapman got the gun out of his truck and pointed it at the witness, chasing him to near the parking lot where the rest of the group was.

The incident ended in a physical altercation off Front Avenue, leaving Chapman in need of medical attention. City attorney Wes Somerton said it was an "unfortunate situation" in which Chapman was not the aggressor, but a situation that was fueled by "lots of alcohol."

"A drunken-fueled melee," he called it.

I say, "one strike you're out," and this was a big strike. But in Idaho, they wouldn't think of such a thing. He had to surrender the gun he had that night, but nothing is done about the others he owns or will acquire in the future. A guy like this if far too dangerous to own guns responsibly and to believe he's learned his lesson from this slap on the wrist is foolish.

This is where judges and newspapers and fellow gun owners all work together to allow risky people among them to continue owning and misusing guns, all for fear that stricter application of the laws will somehow eventually inconvenience them. This is a moral corruption and a self-centeredness that makes them all complicit.

Gun owners should be marching in the streets to strip people like this of their rights to own guns. That would be the smart move. By doing that consistently, the quality of the average gun owner would rise considerably, they'd minimize the taint with which cases like this cover them. But, I guess that's expecting too much.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. > Witness testimonies varied

    This is cop-speak for the eight guys were lying.

    Sure, Chapman may be lying that he and his frend were getting assaulted by the other eight guys, so the misdemeanor charge fits, but sentencing is up to the judge.

  2. If I were a judge, it would be one strike you're out.