The Basic Facts in the Ferguson Case
We all know what happened. Officials at Harvey Austin Elementary School, located in Buffalo, New York, received an anonymous tip. A person had entered the school with a gun. The police were alerted; a SWAT team responded, and the school was “locked down.” Scouring the school, the police eventually traced the weapon to a dubious source: Dewayne Ferguson. Ferguson, 52 years old, father of three, operator of a printing press, who worked as a security guard for community events, was caught. He had carried a gun into a school building. At no time, during the police sweep of the building, did Ferguson inform the police he had a gun on him. What was Ferguson doing in the school? He isn’t a teacher. Still, Ferguson had a legitimate purpose for being at the School, but that purpose did not extend to his having a gun on him.
The Buffalo News said that “Ferguson is not employed by the Buffalo School District but was working in the 21st Century Community Learning Program, an after-school academic enrichment initiative that tutors disadvantaged students.” The police arrested Ferguson and he was charged under the same law he fought to pass – the NYSAFE Act. According to WGRZ-TV, a Buffalo news station, Ferguson pleaded not guilty to two weapons charges. WGRZ-TV also reported that prosecutors asked the Court to set bail at $10,000.00, but “City Court Judge Jeanette Ogden released the activist on his own recognizance, citing his community involvement and the fact that Ferguson has no prior run-ins with the law.”
Ferguson, a proponent of NYSAFE, is a friend of “antigun” zealots who promoted it. As reported by The Buffalo News, “he 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.” Ironically, Ferguson was charged under the same law he advocated for.
The facts as presented here are not in dispute but disturbing questions remain.
Many Questions Loom
Beyond the salient facts, many questions about Ferguson loom. The mainstream media and local news sources are not asking them. So the Arbalest Quarrel will. They are important. Who alerted the school and why? Was the tip truly anonymous? Why did the tipster fail to mention Ferguson by name? If the tipster knew a person had brought a gun into a school, presumably the tipster would also know who that person was. Why wasn’t Ferguson immediately forthcoming to the police about the gun he had on him? When finally confronted by the police, why was Ferguson noncommittal about the gun he had on him?
Ferguson claimed he did not know he had carried a gun into the school building. Is that assertion credible? If so, does Ferguson suffer from memory lapses? According to The Buffalo News, Ferguson’s friend, Rev. James E. Giles, says the incident is an “unfortunate mistake.” But what is the unfortunate mistake here: Ferguson bringing a gun into a school at all or the police finding a gun on him? Did this unfortunate mistake happen once or has it happened before? Did Ferguson carry a gun into Harvey Austin Elementary School on previous occasions? If so, perhaps this unfortunate mistake has happened many times.
Does Ferguson always carry a gun into Schools? Did Ferguson carry a gun into Harvey Austin Elementary School on every occasion? Does Ferguson carry a gun whenever he is out in public. Was Ferguson carrying his gun during the time he 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? Should we forgive Ferguson his unfortunate mistake? Should we forgive Ferguson all his unfortunate mistakes? And, if so, should we not forgive similar unfortunate mistakes of others?
Once again: does Ferguson carry a gun whenever he ventures out in public?
Ferguson has a valid New York State license to carry a gun. But how did Ferguson qualify for his license? They are difficult to obtain as any New York resident whoever tried to acquire one knows.
Did Ferguson meet the “need” requirement for a “carry” license? What are the licensing procedures in Erie County, New York? What kind of gun did Ferguson carry into the school? Is the gun Ferguson carried into the school an “assault weapon” as defined by the NYSAFE Act? How many rounds did the gun have? How many guns does Ferguson possess? Ferguson apparently “patrols” shopping malls and streets. Did Ferguson carry a gun while patrolling shopping malls and City streets? If so, is Ferguson also a licensed security guard?
Carrying a Weapon into a School Building is Illegal
Knowingly carrying a gun into a school is a felony. Ferguson must be aware of that. After all, he is a vocal supporter for NYSAFE. And, as we have seen, Ferguson particularly supported laws criminalizing carrying a gun into schools. Section 41 of the NYSAFE Act is titled, “Criminal Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds.” Section 41 of NYSAFE is codified in Section 265.01-A of the New York Penal Code. Section 265.01-A of the Penal Code reads in pertinent part: “A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds when he or she knowingly has in his or her possession a rifle, shotgun, or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes. . . . Criminal possession of a firearm is a Class E felony.” Ferguson had a loaded gun on him when the police arrested him in an elementary school. That is a fact. That fact is not in dispute. But Ferguson claims he did not “know” he had a weapon on him. That issue goes to Ferguson’s state of mind. That is a critical legal issue. Since the Ferguson story has now become the Ferguson case, the Arbalest Quarrel will monitor the case against Ferguson, closely.
How will the case against Ferguson proceed? Will the case settle out of Court? If so, what will the nature of that settlement be? If the case proceeds to trial, what new facts will come out at trial? What will the defining legal issues be? And, if Ferguson is found guilty, what will his punishment be? The Public should know. The Public has a right to know. These are critical questions to ponder as the Public sees how NYSAFE applies to individuals and to circumstances. Will some people feel the full brunt of NYSAFE while others get a free pass? The Ferguson case is an important test case. The Arbalest Quarrel will keep you apprised of developments in the case.
Why Isn’t the Ferguson Story Pursued by News Sources?
The mainstream media never reported the Ferguson story. To the MSM the story does not exist. The story never existed. Local news sources did report the story but dropped it. The story simply died. Why is that? The news media’s lack of interest in this story raises its own issues. Surely the MSM had heard of the Ferguson incident as first reported by local news sources. Why didn’t the MSM carry it? And the local news outlets that broke the story know a criminal case is pending against Ferguson. Why aren’t these local news sources pursuing it?
We know the MSM reports with machinelike precision all unlawful shootings and unlawful possession of guns. So, the failure of the MSM to report the Ferguson gun incident is suspect. This is an instance of selective reporting. The MSM reports what it wishes to report about guns to create an illusion. The MSM seeks to create the illusion that shootings are prevalent. Yet, in relation to the millions of guns in circulation in the United States, the prevalence of shootings is insignificant. And the vast majority of those shootings are traceable to gang related activities and other criminal conduct. Law-abiding citizens, apart from the police, do defend themselves with guns, but those happenstances are underreported if they are reported at all. The MSM does not want the Public to know that, often enough, a shooting can be and is prevented not by the absence of firearms but through their singular presence. And, if a lawful shooting does occur and if an individual is killed, the MSM prefers not to acknowledge that the innocent life saved through the shooting of a pathological criminal was the better life preserved than the one by necessity taken. The MSM can have none of that. Governor Cuomo and the drafters of NYSAFE will have none of that because the ludicrousness of the rationale behind NYSAFE would then be plain for all to see.
The MSM seeks to sway Public Opinion in one direction: toward gun confiscation and away from gun possession. Weighted news accounts of unlawful use of firearms when not offset by news accounts of lawful use of firearms amount to carefully postulated and promulgated propaganda. So, the failure of the MSM to report news can be as suspect as the news that is reported. The Ferguson story draws unwanted attention to NYSAFE. The MSM supports NYSAFE. The MSM is a major proponent of NYSAFE. Individuals who support NYSAFE should not be carrying guns – and they certainly should not be caught carrying guns in school buildings. Antigun zealots who possess guns are, then, not sending the correct message to the Public. Antigun zealots, like Ferguson, who possess and carry guns convey a mode of thought and action that may confuse the Public. Such antigun zealots who possess and carry guns convey an attitude about guns and promote conduct toward guns inconsistent with and antithetical to the goals, aspirations and strategy of the antigun movement. The MSM does not wish to confuse and must not confuse the Public on matters pertaining to guns. The MSM wants its messaging about guns to be clear and categorical and unambiguous. Duplicity cannot be admitted. So the MSM does not report the Ferguson story. The story does not receive national attention. The story does not exist. News stories that reflect badly on NYSAFE and that cast understandable doubt on the character of those who support it and create confusion in the mind of the Public cannot be reported. Those stories must not be reported. So the Ferguson story must not be reported. The Public must not know NYSAFE has flaws. And the Public must not know that some – perhaps many – supporters of NYSAFE are flawed individuals because they want to possess guns and because, knowingly or not, they happen to break the very laws they so fervently support.
NYSAFE cannot be presented to the Public in a bad light. A myth is created. Nothing about NYSAFE can be reported that reflects badly on it and nothing about NYSAFE can be reported that reflects badly upon the lawmakers who drafted it and upon those who support it, like Governor Cuomo. The Governor apparently has aspirations for higher public office. Were he to succeed to the National Stage, he would likely bring NYSAFE along with him to that Stage. Were that to happen, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be effectively repealed among the several States, not simply in New York.
With all this in mind, local news sources that broke the Ferguson story are told to kill it. And the local affiliates always obey their masters. But the Arbalest Quarrel will not ignore the Ferguson story even as the MSM and local news sources and news outlets do ignore it. We will not let it lie dormant or dead. We intend to resurrect it.
Hypocrisy in Politics
The Ferguson story must remain on the radar because it exposes hypocrisy. It reveals hypocrisy in politics. And it reveals hypocrisy in politics on a vast scale and in high Public Office. The Ferguson story, in particular, raises a question about the application of NYSAFE. Does NYSAFE apply to some persons and not to others? Are some individuals de facto exempted from the rigid requirements and penalties of NYSAFE?
The MSM isn’t interested in answering these questions. The MSM does not wish to investigate these questions or to resolve them. This is not surprising. The MSM supports NYSAFE. It wants embarrassing questions to go unresolved, unanswered. But the Ferguson story cannot be laid to rest. The Ferguson story is a test bed for application of NYSAFE. How will the provisions of NYSAFE be applied? Does due process and equal protection under our Nation’s laws apply to some and not to others? The Arbalest Quarrel will follow the Ferguson case to conclusion.
Is The Arbalest Quarrel Being Vindictive?
Some persons may argue the Arbalest Quarrel is vindictive toward Dewayne Ferguson. That is not true. Yes, we detest Ferguson, but we do not detest him because he happened to bring a firearm into a school building. The Arbalest Quarrel detests Ferguson because he is a hypocrite. The stance of the Arbalest Quarrel on hypocrisy is clear and unambiguous. We detest hypocrisy and those who practice it. Why do we detest hypocrisy? We detest hypocrisy because we detest the practice of lying. Hypocrisy is the practice of lying. We detest liars. We have taken as our motto a statement from the philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas: “As a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.” As a matter of honor, one American citizen owes it to another to manifest the truth.” Do you believe America’s political leaders and spokespersons for America’s political leaders manifest the truth toward the American Public? We don’t believe they do. And, if not, they do not honor the Public.
A person who lies does not honor his fellows. No one should lie as a matter of practice. But those who know their words affect the lives of millions of others should be especially mindful of the impact of their words. Those who impact the lives of millions of people through lies are particularly heinous individuals. They do not honor their fellow man. And by failing to honor their fellow man they themselves are not honorable and are not worthy of honor.
When a person lies, he or she fails to honor the recipient of the lie. Worse, when a person lies, he or she shows contempt for the recipient of the lie. Dewayne Ferguson does not honor his fellow Americans because he actively supports laws averse to the Second Amendment but apparently exalts the Second Amendment for a few people only – among those few, himself. The Second Amendment applies to all American Citizens, not to a few special folk. Dewayne Ferguson does not honor his fellow Americans because he actively supports gun confiscation but carries a gun. Ferguson is in a position of power and influence. His words and conduct have weight. He portrays himself as a pacifist. That position is antithetical to carrying a firearm. He calls for more restrictive firearms measures – this, in a State that, prior to NYSAFE, had among the most restrictive gun laws in the Country.
NYSAFE is Gun Confiscation.
NYSAFE is gun confiscation policy. How do we know this? The answer is plain. Read the text of the Act. An entire category of firearms is outlawed. NYSAFE defines many firearms as “assault weapons.” If a gun is defined as an “assault weapon,” it is a banned firearm. If a New York resident purchased an “assault weapon” lawfully, prior to enactment of NYSAFE, he can keep it but only if he adheres to stringent new requirements that NYSAFE requires. The New York gun owner’s ability to transfer an “assault weapon” to another is also constrained. In fact, a firearm defined as an “assault weapon” cannot be transferred to a family member. Do not be deceived. Lawmakers will define ever more firearms as “assault weapons” under NYSAFE unless this unconstitutional restrictive firearms Act is either struck down in its entirety by the Courts or repealed outright. If NYSAFE is not struck down or repealed, eventually all firearms will be banned as illegal “assault weapons.”
Do not be misled. NYSAFE is not legislation to curb crime. How do we know this? Simple. No scientific test was conducted prior to enactment of NYSAFE to establish whether implementation of it would help curb crime. NYSAFE was not enacted through an intention to combat crime. That wasn’t the reason it was enacted. It was enacted to restrict and constrain possession of firearms, period. That’s how NYSAFE operates. Its provisions are directed to that end. Yet, NYSAFE, like all restrictive gun measures, is heralded as something it is not: a means to curb crime. Crime prevention is always presented as a salient purpose of these laws. Restrictive gun laws are never presented as laws designed to infringe upon the Second Amendment although that is their unstated intent. These laws are presented in a false and innocuous light: to prevent crime; to protect society, to curb violence. They are directed toward a seeming general utilitarian good. What is right and good and proper for the individual isn’t a factor in that equation. And the Public is told to take all this on faith. We are supposed to accept the truth of the pronouncements absent supporting evidence. We are expected to accept and many individuals do accept the pronouncements as certain and as immutable as the laws of nature. The true purpose is thereby successfully cloaked: gun confiscation and gun elimination and quiet disassembling of the Second Amendment.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Animal Farm, an allegory, by George Orwell
Dewayne Ferguson promotes gun confiscation because he is a fervent supporter of NYSAFE. He spoke for it. Now, Ferguson happened to have a New York State pistol license that permitted him to carry his weapon concealed. You and I would never have known about that if Ferguson had not blundered. Ferguson carried his firearm into an elementary school. That is not something Ferguson wanted the public to know. But, we found out anyway. Should this be dismissed as an unfortunate mistake as a friend and apologist for Ferguson argues? Or is this behavior so brash it cries out for justice? Is Ferguson confident he is above the law? How many other Fergusons, proponents of NYSAFE who argue against possession of firearms, walk the streets (and, perhaps, the schools) wielding guns? Are they just as confident? Just as haughty? We are all equal under the law. But, are some people more equal than others? Still, Ferguson was caught. Now he has a little explaining to do. He has to explain to the City Court why he brought a gun into a school in contravention to and in seeming defiance of the Act he fervently supports. Ferguson did so anyway. As an advocate for NYSAFE, Ferguson should explain to the Public why firearms confiscation is good for us but not for him. Ferguson should also explain why his life is worthy of preservation and ours, apparently, less so.
Ferguson lobbied for NYSAFE. He, along with Governor Cuomo and State Legislators who support NYSAFE, says NYSAFE reduces gun violence and crime. That is a dodge. That is a lame rationale for the real purpose of NYSAFE: elimination of firearms. NYSAFE is a tactical move toward de facto repeal of the Second Amendment. NYSAFE is an incremental step toward total firearms confiscation. But some individuals will obtain dispensation – special individuals such as Ferguson. After all, Ferguson is more trustworthy than you and me. And his life is worth more than yours or mine.
The Public is Tired of Lies.
A movement is afoot across America. The American Public demands responsive and responsible representation from its Country’s leaders. The Public yearns for and deserves the truth. The Public is tired of being lied to. Lies are concomitant with politics today. Hypocrisy is widespread. There are many practitioners of it – too many. They consider hypocrisy acceptable practice in public discourse. Some even consider hypocrisy commendable practice. Politicians and the mainstream media certainly do. The “Arbalest Quarrel,” though, does not. Hypocrisy must stop.
The Public demands the truth in all matters impacting upon them. The Public has a right to the truth in all matters impacting upon them. The Public demands the truth from its elected leaders. The Public’s political leaders and spokespersons are not forthcoming with the Public. They are never forthcoming with the American Public. They operate deviously and underhandedly. This must stop.
The Arbalest Quarrel has much to say about truth and hypocrisy. See our recent Article on the subject, posted on February 18, 2014: “Truth and Hypocrisy: ‘Bill of Rights’ Betrayal” on this Blog.
Unwelcome Attention and Embarrassment!
The Ferguson story has drawn unwelcome, embarrassing attention to the lies surrounding NYSAFE and to the deceitfulness of those who promote it at all levels of the political spectrum. Local and National news sources are banking on the Public’s short attention span. So, the story has died a quiet death. From the perspective of the MSM that chose never to report the story, the story doesn’t exist and never did exist. But the story does exist. And for those who have thought the story died, the Arbalest Quarrel has resurrected it.
Lies and Betrayal
The importance of the Dewayne Ferguson matter goes beyond Ferguson. We are dealing here with lies and betrayal on an order of magnitude never before seen. Consider Federal and State Statutes, International Pacts and Treaties, Executive Orders and “Signing Statements.” Most are prepared in secret and all in the absence of Public debate. This is true of NYSAFE. These Federal and States laws, pacts and treaties, executive orders and signing statements are thrust on the American Public in absolute contradistinction to and in defiance of the Bill Of Rights. The Public is told these restrictive Federal and State laws, international pacts and treaties, executive orders and signing statements are needed to “curb violence,” to “fight terrorism,” to “preserve the financial system,” to “create jobs,” to “restore confidence.” Clichés are thrown at us. We are presented with politically orchestrated drama. The Public is spoon fed this Pablum – this moronic nonsense on a daily basis.
The Federal and State Governments operate in secret. The Public suffers a constant campaign of disinformation, non-information and misinformation. The expression ‘national security’ is bandied about ad nauseum. Do you know what ‘national security’ means? The expression is never defined. It is spoken so often, it has no meaning. But, we accept it as a moral imperative. The expression has become the excuse for ever more secrecy in Government policy. The founders of the Republic abhorred secrecy.
Our Government is an open Government, at least as originally contemplated by and designed by our Founding Fathers. No event, no circumstance can be so dire the Public should not be told. But these proponents of secrecy are rewriting our history. Our Bill Of Rights shall be a thing of the past – a quaint curiosity of a bygone time. Why? The Bill Of Rights demands openness. Openness in Government is integrally tied to our Liberties. Those concepts are inconsistent with present Government plans for repression of ideas. And an armed Public is a danger to those who seek further curbs on freedom of expression.
What the Arbalest Quarrel Wants.
The Arbalest Quarrel wants sanctimonious hypocrites like Governor Cuomo and those lawmakers who drafted NYSAFE removed from Public Office. They do not belong in Public Office; nor should they serve in any Governmental capacity. They do not represent the best interests of the Public. They do not support and defend our Bill Of Rights, Their statements do not match their deeds. Governor Cuomo forces an odd ideology down our throats. And he presumes to know what is in our best interests. He does not speak for the majority of New York’s residents. And he certainly cares not for the sanctity of and preservation of the Second Amendment. The majority of New York residents want NYSAFE repealed. Governor Cuomo, who signed NYSAFE into law, does not. His NYSAFE site sets forth, “this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns.” The assertion is blatantly false, but the Governor asserts it anyway.
NYSAFE severely restricts the guns a New York resident may own and possess and places extraordinary constraints on buying, keeping, using and transferring guns. So, who is the Governor fooling? He is fooling no one except the ignorant. And whom does the Governor purport to speak for? He speaks for a small minority of New Yorkers who are fearful of their own shadows. He speaks for those who want and expect the Government to protect them from themselves. And he speaks for those inside the Country and outside it who want to make our sacred “Bill Of Rights” compatible with the Constitutions of foreign Countries. He speaks for those who believe our Constitution is too old and not in conformity with modern judicial and jurisprudential thought. He speaks for those who want to bring our Nation’s laws into the fold of those other Western Nations, discounting, then, over 200 years of our unique history. He speaks for those who would like foreign laws to override those of the U.S. Constitution. And he speaks for those who would like to extinguish those rights and protections set forth in and mandated by our sacred Bill of Rights.
We want and expect honesty and forthrightness from those in Office who serve in our name. These are not qualities most in public Office possess. Truth is not something they choose to give us. Truth is not something they would willingly give us. Truth in Public Office is a commodity in short supply these days.
So, we want the Nation’s political leaders to know we can and will remove them from Office when they are untruthful to the Public. We want the Nation’s political leaders to know we can and will remove them from Office when they fail to uphold the Bill Of Rights. We want the Nation’s political leaders to know we can and will remove them from Office when they place their interests above those of the American People.
Your Help is Sorely Needed
Have you had enough of Government intrusiveness and Government lies and Government secrecy? We have.
Together, we can defeat the Anti-American elements both within our Society and outside it that are working quietly but inexorably to dismantle our “Bill Of Rights.” We can begin to fight back through repeal of the Anti-American NYSAFE Act.
Will you be a part of our Grassroots effort in New York? In the weeks ahead, the Arbalest Quarrel will provide you the steps you can take as we, together, work toward repeal of NYSAFE. New York may then proudly stand with Colorado as we take back our Country from the destroyers of our sacred “Bill Of Rights.” Keep abreast of the facts about gun laws. Check out our website often!