Written January 24, 2013     

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Should people be allowed to own assault rifles?

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© 2016 Bob Lonsberry


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Actually, I’m not clairvoyant.

I don’t even have x-ray vision.

If I did, I’d sit at the mall all day, holding up Olympic-style scores as women passed.

As it turns out, information for stories I report is typically given to me by other people. These people have different motivations. Some are spiteful, some are angry, some want to see justice done or a full story told.

Sometimes I go to them, and sometimes they come to me.

Like yesterday, about the middle of the morning, when I heard about Congress Avenue.

Someone was angry about what appeared to be an effort by the chief of the Rochester Police Department to keep a story, for political reasons, from becoming public.

So this person told me the story.

And I quickly got others to confirm the story, and concerns about the chief. I reported the story, and later in the day the chief responded with a press conference.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the chief, and think he’s doing a fine job. But, sometimes, not telling a story is the same thing as telling a lie.

Here’s the timeline.

On January 9, as part of the governor’s State of the State presentation, the Rochester police chief, in full uniform, stood before the assembled thousands and called for a ban on assault rifles. Just before midnight on January 14, that ban was rammed through the state legislature in an omnibus gun-control law that made New York a nation-leading violator of the Second Amendment.

A hullabaloo ensued.

A BIG hullabaloo.

Then, a week later, on the night of Sunday January 20, two nearly identical crimes were committed.

About 7, two young black men with a gun broke into the apartment of a couple of University of Rochester students and robbed them of electronics.

About 5 hours later, at midnight, two young black men with a gun broke into the apartment of a couple of Rochester Institute of Technology students and attempted to rob them.

The two home invasions took place in the same neighborhood of the same city on the same night.

In both cases, no arrests were made and no weapons were recovered. One was reported by police to the news media. Not a word was said about the other one.

One led local newscasts, the other was known only to the victims, the perpetrators and the cops.

The one the police reported was a story about bad guys winning. Two innocent grad students get ripped off by a couple of home-invading street thugs.

The story the police kept quiet was very different.

According to police documents, here’s what happened. “S” stands for suspect and “V” stands for victim.

“The S’s smashed a basement window to gain entry into the house and then unlocked the back door to escape.

“The two V’s, RIT Students, were upstairs in their individual bedrooms when V1 heard the sound of glass breaking. At first he wasn't alarmed, thinking that it was a noise from his roommate's television. He then checked with the roommate who denied the noise coming from his room.

“V1 went downstairs to investigate and was immediately confronted by S1 who was standing at the bottom of the stairs pointing a black semi-automatic handgun at him. S1 ordered him back up the stairs.

“Hearing the verbal exchange, V2 retrieved his legal (AR-15) rifle and confronted the two S’s, who then fled out the back door. V1 went to his bedroom, retrieved his legal 9 mm handgun.

“He then called 911 and waited for police to arrive.

“There were no city cameras in the area. K9 track and neighborhood canvas both had negative results. Tech responded and processed the scene.”

That story the police department did not release.

This is the same police department that is hip-deep in a goofy Twitter campaign to “open channels of communication” with “the community.” This is the same police department that bought a smartphone app that lets residents bitch about officers.

This is the same police department that lists transparency and open communications with residents among its highest priorities.

One incident gets reported, the other gets covered up.

In the middle of a raging debate over assault rifles, the Democrat police chief protégé of the Democrat lieutenant governor neglects to tell the community that a law-abiding college student used a legal assault rifle to turn away two armed home invaders.

Wow, what an ironic coincidence.

As assault rifles are being vilified by the chief, the mayor, the governor and the president, as pundit after pundit claims there is no reason for citizens to have military arms, a law-abiding 21-year-old quite possibly saved the lives of himself and his roommate by brandishing a military-style assault rifle.

Two young college students, each with legal weapons that will be outlawed by the governor’s gun ban, saved themselves from home-invasion thugs.

The assault rifle can no longer be sold in New York. The 9mm can only be sold with a seven-round magazine, which doesn’t exist.

On that night, one set of college students were unarmed victims. Another set of college students were able to defend themselves. One story was told, one story was covered up.

And it appears to have been covered up in order to further the police chief’s gun-banning politics.

That’s called “policing in the spirit of cover your political arse.”

Your mother called it lying.

But the home-invading thugs should take comfort. Thanks to the chief, the mayor, the governor and the president, there will soon be a lot more disarmed citizens ripe for the picking.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2013

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