Wednesday, February 11, 2009

David Olofson - felon

Ah, but there's more to the story than the fact that he's a felon. David Olofson was an Army reservist, an average citizen, and a gun-owner. David owned an AR-15 rifle, which is basically a replica of the M-16 military rifle, but without some of the military specs. It's a great gun to shoot, as I've used them on multiple occasions (both the M-16 and AR-15!)
David loaned his gun to a friend, who brought it to a local rifle range. During his session, the friend moved the safety switch past the 'fire' position and fired. The M-16 has three positions, safe, single shot, & three round burst. The AR-15 has two positions, safe and fire. The gun fired several short bursts of multiple rounds, then jammed. Obviously this was a malfunction of the weapon, as an AR-15 is not designed for multiple shots. However, someone near the range called the police and reported machine-gun fire. The ATF got involved and found that the weapon was NOT modified by Olofson or his friend. Obviously the ATF and the prosecutor felt that they could not charge him with the modification of the weapon as there were none, so instead they charged him with the illegal transfer of a machine gun. Considering there was no transfer, other than a loan, I'm not sure exactly how that even flew, but the prosecutor brought the case and he was convicted. Now David Olofson sits in a federal penitentiary awaiting an appeal.

My first irritation with this entire case is the obvious stupidity of the prosecution. I can understand that someone may be prosecuted for the malfunction of a piece of equipment that they own. If my brakes fail and I plow into a crowd of people, killing someone, I would understand that I may be charged with involuntary manslaughter or something in that category. But in 95% of cases, there is no prosecution because there was no malice in the action. If everything else in the situation was legal (I wasn't speeding, driving recklessly, and made every effort to avoid the crowd), prosecution will usually pass on the case. In this case, they went for the throat.
My second irritation with this case is that the NRA is being gutless. Their lack of backing in this case confirms exactly what I've suspected for some time, that they are interested more in political power than actually standing up for gun owners. If they were to back Olofson and lose, they'd lose face and power. Gun Owners of America are backing Olofson and I predict will gain members as a result.
I wrote the following letter to the NRA via their website. I don't expect an answer, since oftentimes when an organization shows their true colors they don't want to respond, but we'll see. I urge anyone who reads this and agrees with me to send their own email and ensure that the NRA understands that their members and supporters are pissed.

Why is the NRA not jumping into the David Olofson case in Wisconsin with both feet? What seems to be the issue that would keep the NRA from backing him wholeheartedly? Afraid of Obama? Afraid that if he is let out, some sort of legislation will result?
The NRA I used to belong to had no qualms with backing ordinary citizens like David Olofson with their considerable legal and financial power.

What has happened?

I'm truly disappointed with you, first the McCain endorsement and now this. I don't see a reason that I'll ever belong to the NRA again. If you don't back law-abdiding gun owners, what the hell are you here for?

I received a response, quite soon after emailing the NRA. I said I'd post it, so here it is:

Thank you for your email to the NRA-ILA regarding the Olofson case. NRA has and will continue to assist Olofson counsel in this and similar cases. As is common practice, NRA seldom publicly discusses our involvement in active criminal cases, to avoid prejudicing the defendant's case.

The fact that the defendant or his attorney may want to discuss our involvement does not alter our policy in this regard. If you have further questions or need more information, please contact us at (800) 392-8683. We appreciate your support.


Krista Cupp
NRA-ILA Grassroots Division
So, perhaps I was hasty, merely taking the word of a talking head, rather than going to the NRA directly and checking with them. Mea Culpa
Thanks to Dr. Ken for the inspiration. Additionally, here's a bit more info for those of you who refuse to read stuff that I've linked. Let's let Lou Dobbs break it down for you:


Anonymous said...

The truth is that the NRA did not support David Olofson even after they were informed of his case. I know they tell the public that they have been involved and have been a support but that is so far from the truth. The truth is that GOA hired lawyers or counsel for David that had counseled cases for the NRA many years ago. These lawyers on longer do but the NRA is telling the public they are giving counsel. They are only saying this so they will keep there members as everyone knows, these programs are supported by all American's who believe in the 2nd Amendment and our Freedoms. Thank God for the GOA supporting my son through this horrible injustice. My son is not the first to go through this but I do hope he is the last. It was and still is a huge price to pay for our Freedom. He has lost so much for himself and his family but believes so strong for the rights of all Americans. We all need your prayers for a better future.
I wish we all could be as strong willed for our belief as he is but if we all stick together, I do believe we can make a difference.

Kinauki said...

Even if your brakes fail, is that your fault EVERY time.

Kinauki said...

This is simply an induction of fear to non gun owners so they will not become gun owners.