“Boycott New Jersey, Not Mexico”
Will Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly call for a boycott of the state of New Jersey because it is charging an innocent non-criminal American citizen woman with a felony of illegal possession of a firearm and hollow point bullets?
She is a young mother of two children who legally purchased a semi-automatic pistol in Pennsylvania, went through the crime check waiting period and was issued a license to carry a pistol. She had no idea that the permit was not recognized in neighboring New Jersey.
Is it possible that New Jersey has never heard of the “full faith and credit” clause of the U.S. Constitution? Or has never heard of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution regarding firearms?
Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution states: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the Public Acts, Records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”
In other words, if the state of Pennsylvania has legally issued a license to carry and own a weapon in Pennsylvania, shall that legal permit be recognized by every other state?
But, it doesn’t. The wonderfully corrupt state of New Jersey has charged this woman with a FELONY for carrying her legally registered and licensed gun a few miles into New Jersey on the road to the dying city of Atlantic City. She violated New Jersey law prosecutors claim and she must be tried, convicted and sent to prison for three years for violating this New Jersey law.
To prove their case, prosecutors must prove she had criminal intent to break the law; they claim that not knowing the law is not a valid defense, she must know the law. It matters not what her intent was, she must be imprisoned for the minimum of three years.
Where is Bill O’Reilly? He calls for a boycott of Mexico because it has jailed and is trying an American man, who is a Marine war veteran and is in the Marine Reserves, for illegal possession of weapons in Mexico of weapons that are prohibited except for the Mexican military’s use.
He is being held without bail because he is obviously a flight risk. He is undergoing a trial under Mexican law that is transitioning from the old Napoleonic Code of guilty by a judge until proven innocent to a modern American style innocent until proven guilty by a jury.
The Marine Sergeant claims that he drove his pick-up truck into Mexico by mistake carrying all his possessions including three weapons. He had no intent to break the law as he had no intent to even drive into Mexico. From an American border parking lot he took an Interstate 5 frontage road heading north which hair pinned south into the Mexico entry with no return to the USA anywhere near his barricaded one way only lane. He had no choice but to drive into Mexico. There is no return to the USA between his entry onto the freeway and the Mexican customs lanes – none.
Moreover, he says he didn’t know his legally purchased and registered firearms were illegal in Mexico. So, on intent, he had none to enter Mexico and was forced to by ill-marked and badly designed and constructed roads; he had no intent to break Mexican laws because he had no idea it was illegal to even possess these weapons that he had legally purchased and registered in the U.S.
Nonetheless, he is in the clutches of the Mexican judicial system. It normally crawls slowly. Many Americans like O’Reilly are impatient to get the Sergeant back; they don’t understand the normal Mexican process.
Mexico is a sovereign nation with its own laws and judicial system and we must abide by its system, like it or not.
Granted, international power politics properly played by President Barack Obama should have brought the Marine home months ago. He should have called President Nieto of Mexico and asked for the Marine’s return forthwith. He should have nicely told Nieto that for every day the Sergeant was in prison and undergoing trial, all aid to Mexico’s drug war under the Merida Plan and its $1.5 billion would be held back, day for day.
Oops, he did talk to President Nieto – twice – and President Obama, according to the official record of the conversations, never mentioned the Sergeant.
He sits in jail. O’Reilly fumes. Obama ignores the problem. Money still flows from the U.S. Treasury to Mexico. Mexican oligarchs who run the government gleefully steal millions of that aid.
And, in New Jersey Mexican-style prosecutors are busy trying to convict a non-criminal innocent mother of two for violating a stupid law that doesn’t even begin to fulfill a clearly stated provision of the U.S. Constitution.
Boycott New Jersey!
Contreras formerly wrote for the
New American News Service of the New York Times