Man Gets Prosecuted By Zero-Tolerance Law; Friends Appeal To His Intent

An interesting and instructive story out of Buffalo: "[Dwayne Ferguson] was among local activists who stood with Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes last year lobbying for a law that would make possessing a gun on school property a felony."

Problem: Last week, Mr. Ferguson was found in possession of a gun on school property—so, he supported a law that has now ended up tagging him with two felony charges—unintended consequences, anyone?

I believe this excerpt from the story includes the key point: "Both Schools Superintendent Pamela C. Brown and Kevin Brinkworth, the district’s chief of police, school safety and security, said it is unclear why Ferguson had the gun on school property, but officials do not believe he had any ill intent."

Did you get that? No "ill intent."

Historically, the Western legal system has termed that "mens rea"—evil or bad motives (Latin: "guilty mind"). This concept should be the key factor in virtually every application of law. Zero tolerance laws are commonly well-intentioned, but almost as often short-sighted and foolish, and wind up punishing fine citizens—like Dwayne Ferguson.

From everything in this article, Mr. Ferguson appears to be the kind of neighbor we should all covet—a man very involved in his community, investing time to guide young lives in a positive direction. But his insufficient grasp of legal theory and practice has now cost him—as it has cost countless upstanding men and women before him: he's charged with felonies that may remain on his record for the rest of his days,

Bottom-line: Zero tolerance laws should be scrapped in virtually every instance where they exist. Such laws almost never prevent anything—people with criminal intent, by definition, don't care about such laws!--and they often ensnare individuals who had no designs to do harm and who, in truth, would be a huge asset to the innocent, should anyone with "ill intent" arrive on the scene.

It's a long-shot, but I hope Mr. Ferguson and all who support him switch on their brains, and learn a valuable lesson which changes their views. In reality we will likely see one of two outcomes: 1) total hypocrisy and injustice, as those who supported such laws make an exception for a "friend" but continue to apply them against others (a gross failure of equal-justice), or 2) Mr. Ferguson will be prosecuted, and another upstanding citizen will be disarmed and unable to respond to evil in the future (a gross offense against authentic justice).

Free Dwayne Ferguson. Scrap the stupid laws.



11 thoughts on “Man Gets Prosecuted By Zero-Tolerance Law; Friends Appeal To His Intent

  1. Put him in the slam where all his type put the average citizen who had no 'Ill intent". New York state has a long history of ignoring the federal firearm transportation law allowing people to transport firearms thru NYS with out harassment.

  2. SORRY, BOB! I don't think Ferguson gets a pass. I'm betting he was all down with Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo and righteously fired up over taking OUR GUNS via the SAFE act and in the meanwhile, thinking he had a pass because he is a liberal. Just like Whoopi Goldberg, who carries a gun (and many other hypocrites in Hollywood) but don't want you to have one. Just like the Liberals who sold Obamacare to anyone who came within earshot, and who are now incredulous because they lost their insurance, these control freaks need to feel the pain first-hand or they will continue to crank out more Zero-tolerance pain. Here's a good example of Zero-Tolerance: Airport security forces at London's Heathrow Airport recently confiscated the tiny plastic toy six-gun from the holster of a Sheriff Woody doll being carried by a little boy. Zero-tolerance outlaws judgement and forbids common sense. If I was the one carrying the gun in the school, I wouldn't get a get-out-of-jail-free card, would I?

  3. It seems Mr. Ferguson has fallen victim to the law he helped craft/promote. Since he can not plead ignorance, and stupidity is not a viable defense, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Given that, if he is an Obama fanatic, the laws don't apply to those favored by the King!

  4. Dwayne Ferguson wasn't short-sighted and foolish; he was part of the anti-gun group that will use any means to take guns away from citizens. No law that does this is too over bearing, even if it has unintended consequences. The argument of "no ill intent" is only available to those who prescribe to the "no gun" policy and will be pushed by the lame stream media. Do you think a pro-gun advocate would be offered this argument? I think not and they would be vilified in the media. Sorry Dwayne, you got caught up in your own action.

  5. All those who believe in a "Gun Free Zone" should have to put such a sign in their front yard. People like Bloomberg should not be allowed to have body guards.

  6. Young children get expelled for drawing a picture of a gun, pointing their finger at a classmate. eating a pastry wrong, etc.. Why should this guy be different???

  7. Actually, since he is an advocate FOR denying 2nd Amendment rights, let him burn both as a felon (by his own standards) and a hypocrite.

  8. I agree with 427cobraman but add that one should be careful of what you wish for as you might get it. This is what happened to Ferguson, he and other wished for not tolerance and got it. Like others who have forgot they have an object that they carry alot and are subject to the stupid law of not tolerance he should be charged and prosecuted.

  9. He did this to himself, stupid is as stupid does. Take away his body guards, and if he gets out of jail all his guns, better yet, have a SWAT team trash his house. That would be justice. These clowns write "Statute" and NO they are not Positive LAW that purport to create public safety with the exact opposite results. He should suffer for his stupidity.