Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Shaneen Allen and The Democratic Narrative

 

pic_giant_091814_SM_Shaneen-Allen(Update 09/24/2014: McClain has reversed course and admitted Allen to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program she’d been denied access to. Whatever else it may be, that’s wonderful new for Allen and worth celebrating).

It’s not necessarily damning that Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown’s deaths became rallying cries within Leftist and Civil Rights circles: as initially presented, both cases appeared to confirm the Democratic narrative that American society is beleaguered by divisions of race, gender, and class.

It does, however, say a lot about those groups that they stuck with those stories long after the original facts were shown to be factually incorrect, heavily edited, or outright fabricated in an effort to cast Martin and Brown as hapless victims of prejudice.

It says even more about Leftism and the Modern Civil Rights movements that their support has — simultaneously — been almost entirely absent from the Shaneen Allen case. Last year, Ms. Allen was arrested on weapons charges and she now faces a minimum of three years in prison. Her crime? After being pulled over for a minor traffic infraction, Allen disclosed to the police officer that she had a handgun in her purse and presented him with her Pennsylvania firearms license on the (erroneous) assumption that it was valid in New Jersey.

Despite having no previous criminal record and causing no harm to anyone, Atlantic County Prosecutor James McClain decided to throw the book at her, even declining to use a sort of probationary program designed for first-time offenders who pose no threat to society (he is, belatedly, reconsidering that stance). Amazingly, McClain did see fit to offer that same program to then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after the footballer knocked his girlfriend unconscious.

Given the obvious, multiple layers of injustice — and adding the facts that Ms. Allen is a single, African-American woman and that Mr. McClain is a powerful, white man — one might think this would be political catnip for those who look for such cases. Reality tells a different story: search for “Shaneen Allen” on Google either as a regular search or as a news search, and you’ll have to scroll a long way down before you find something that’s not from either National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke, the Washington Post’s Radley Balko (formerly of Reason), local news sites, or pro-2nd Amendment sites. If the NAACP has ever said a word about Allen, I cannot find it. The only piece I’ve found on an explicitly progressive website is here (kudos to author Josh Israel).

The point here is not to ask why Democrats aren’t race-mongering the Allen case; there’s little reason to suppose that there actually is a race angle to her case, and the fewer causes Al Sharpton takes up, the better. But unless the Leftist outrage machine requires a dead body to activate, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that they don’t actually believe their own talking points.

Image Credit: National Review.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Prosecutors look for seemingly easy targets. Justice has nothing to do with it. The left is very similar.

    • #1
    • September 23, 2014, at 10:13 AM PDT
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  2. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The only other place where I heard a comparison to Rice was on channel 9’s Chasing NJ. That is a local news show that looks like it filmed on iPhones and they deliver the news in a TMZ style. It is, however, the only local news show that doesn’t lean left.

    • #2
    • September 23, 2014, at 10:38 AM PDT
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  3. The Question Inactive

    This confirms how the left uses racism purely as a device to increase their power.

    One of the things that angers me most about the left’s race-mongering is it benefits the Democratic party and leftist organizations, almost certainly at the expense of black people in general. Travon Martin and Michael Browne appear to have been thugs. I know lots of black people and none of them are thugs, but the left wants all of us to identify Trayvon Martin and Michael Browne with all black people. What good does that do, other than to turn the police against black people, black people against the police, and white people against black people? In other words, it helps make the left-wing narrative about racism a reality. It’s satanic.

    • #3
    • September 23, 2014, at 11:26 AM PDT
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  4. Dr. Strangelove Thatcher
    Dr. Strangelove Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: But unless the Leftist outrage machine requires a dead body to activate, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that they don’t actually believe their own talking points.

    A simply superb turn of phrase, Tom!

    (genuflects in admiration)

    • #4
    • September 23, 2014, at 12:53 PM PDT
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  5. jmelvin Member

    This narrative is not nearly as useful to the left as the supposed War on Women, despite this being a perfect example of a real war on women, a war on the elderly, a war on the handicapped, or anyone else that may be subject to the violent whims of criminals. I have a post I’ve been churning on in my head that I mean to get to that covers some of this, but I’m waiting for a resolution to a major problem right now that will implicate a prime example.

    • #5
    • September 23, 2014, at 12:54 PM PDT
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  6. Solon Inactive

    This story says a lot, thanks for bringing it to our attention. I think they don’t care about this case because it involves gun ownership, plus the fact that no one was killed.

    The left doesn’t care about real actual racism. In addition to this sort of story, they also don’t care about black people being racist against whites; it’s not even a consideration for them. Ergo, they don’t really care about racism

    • #6
    • September 23, 2014, at 1:30 PM PDT
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  7. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I just came in from the mailbox. The latest issue of America’s First Freedom, an NRA magazine, features Shaneen Allen on the cover. To answer Jason Rudert’s question on New Jersey, this is one of the reasons.

    • #7
    • September 23, 2014, at 1:34 PM PDT
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  8. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    The problem in this case is that there really isn’t any prosecutorial discretion. The absurd law under which Ms. Allen has been charged is the problem. It will take legislative action to reverse her conviction.

    As a conceal carry permit holder, I have to say that it is the obligation of anyone legally carrying to know not just the laws in the state in which the permit is issued, but also the laws in all adjoining states that one might travel into. This is particularly important in the Northeast where the gun laws are absurdly strict.

    I feel great sympathy for Ms. Allen, but I also think that she made a serious mistake. The prosecution has nothing to do with her race or gender. There have been numerous cases over the years of people being arrested for something as simple as having a loaded round on their possession without a weapon in which it could be fired. The possession of a standard 30 round magazine for an AR-15 can land you in jail in at least a couple of states in that area. Ignorance of the law has never been considered an acceptable excuse.

    • #8
    • September 23, 2014, at 2:39 PM PDT
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  9. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Eugene Kriegsmann: The problem in this case is that there really isn’t any prosecutorial discretion. The absurd law under which Ms. Allen has been charged is the problem. It will take legislative action to reverse her conviction.

    I don’t believe that’s correct. Not only is it entirely within McClain’s discretion as to whether or not he’d like to offer Allen PTI, his predecessor apparently did so regularly, as do most of McClain’s colleagues.

    [Records] show that not only do other prosecutors allow for PTI or probation in these cases, McClain’s predecessor also allowed them.

    Former Prosecutor Ted Housel liberally applied a normally rare exception in these cases, which allows for parole or pretrial intervention. Housel said in a 2012 memorandum that Atlantic County is unique since tourists who legally own guns often bring them into the state not realizing their permits do not cross state lines.

    • #9
    • September 23, 2014, at 2:50 PM PDT
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  10. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Perhaps the state of New Jersey should buy some highway billboards in Pennsylvania, a few miles short of the border, warning gun owners that they ought to turn around and stay out of NJ.

    • #10
    • September 23, 2014, at 3:10 PM PDT
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  11. Randy Webster Member

    Where’s Christie in all this? Can’t he just pardon her?

    • #11
    • September 23, 2014, at 3:18 PM PDT
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  12. jmelvin Member

    Randy Webster:Where’s Christie in all this? Can’t he just pardon her?

    He could after a conviction has been achieved, but that could still result in a permanent prohibition from owning firearms ever again, since the felony conviction would carry with it the lifetime prohibition. Acceptance of a pardon would likely involve her admittance to guilt of the crime and the gracious relief from its penalty. Somehow her entire record would need to be expunged, but I don’t think a pardon does that. It simply provides some relief from the punishment for a crime committed.

    A knowledgeable attorney skilled in these matters would know more than I, though.

    • #12
    • September 23, 2014, at 3:38 PM PDT
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  13. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Randy Webster: Where’s Christie in all this?

    Same place he was when Brian Aitken was getting prosecuted.

    • #13
    • September 23, 2014, at 3:39 PM PDT
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  14. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    jmelvin:

    Randy Webster:Where’s Christie in all this? Can’t he just pardon her?

    He could after a conviction has been achieved, but that could still result in a permanent prohibition from owning firearms ever again, since the felony conviction would carry with it the lifetime prohibition. Acceptance of a pardon would likely involve her admittance to guilt of the crime and the gracious relief from its penalty. Somehow her entire record would need to be expunged, but I don’t think a pardon does that. It simply provides some relief from the punishment for a crime committed.

    A knowledgeable attorney skilled in these matters would know more than I, though.

    I think a pardon would expunge her record, however if Christie only commuted her sentence, then her record would not be expunged.

    • #14
    • September 23, 2014, at 5:13 PM PDT
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  15. Paul DeRocco Member
    Paul DeRocco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She shouldn’t even have to face probation. Perhaps the best outcome would be if she faced trial, and the jury declared her not guilty. Some laws deserve nullification in some circumstances.

    • #15
    • September 23, 2014, at 7:02 PM PDT
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  16. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here I thought the right to keep and best arms was an individual right that trumps overly restrictive gun laws in places like Wash DC and Illinois.
    New Jersey must be immune.

    • #16
    • September 24, 2014, at 4:07 AM PDT
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  17. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Instugator:Here I thought the right to keep and best arms was an individual right that trumps overly restrictive gun laws in places like Wash DC and Illinois. New Jersey must be immune.

    You can keep arms in NJ, you just have to keep them locked in your basement.

    For a conceal carry permit you have to prove that you “need” to carry. Not surprisingly, unless you are an actively serving police officer in the state there is about a 99% chance that the state will tell you that you do not “need” to carry a handgun. So, concealed carry is not technically banned in NJ, but it is.

    • #17
    • September 24, 2014, at 5:43 AM PDT
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  18. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards:You can keep arms in NJ, you just have to keep them locked in your basement.

    For a conceal carry permit you have to prove that you “need” to carry. Not surprisingly, unless you are an actively serving police officer in the state there is about a 99% chance that the state will tell you that you do not “need” to carry a handgun. So, concealed carry is not technically banned in NJ, but it is.

    I wonder if we will some day have a case go to the Supreme Court challenging this “need” provision? The 2nd amendment says “keep and bear”, and to bear means to have on your person. Are there any other constitutional rights that you can only exercise if you prove to your state that you need to do it?

    Imagine if a state treated the 1st amendment like some states treat the 2nd. What if they said you have a right to publish any article you want, but first you must get a permit, and you can only get a permit after you prove a need to publish. You have a right to go to church, but only if you can satisfy the state that it is truly necessary for your spiritual health.

    • #18
    • September 24, 2014, at 6:49 AM PDT
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  19. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Randy Weivoda:

    Vance Richards:You can keep arms in NJ, you just have to keep them locked in your basement.

    For a conceal carry permit you have to prove that you “need” to carry. Not surprisingly, unless you are an actively serving police officer in the state there is about a 99% chance that the state will tell you that you do not “need” to carry a handgun. So, concealed carry is not technically banned in NJ, but it is.

    I wonder if we will some day have a case go to the Supreme Court challenging this “need” provision? The 2nd amendment says “keep and bear”, and to bear means to have on your person. Are there any other constitutional rights that you can only exercise if you prove to your state that you need to do it?

    Imagine if a state treated the 1st amendment like some states treat the 2nd. What if they said you have a right to publish any article you want, but first you must get a permit, and you can only get a permit after you prove a need to publish. You have a right to go to church, but only if you can satisfy the state that it is truly necessary for your spiritual health.

    A few months ago the Supreme Court refused to hear a case about NJ’s “justifiable need” provision.

    • #19
    • September 24, 2014, at 7:45 AM PDT
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  20. Barkha Herman Inactive

    There are other cases like this, such as that of Merissa Alexander – who was sentenced 20 years for firing a warning shot.

    People are irrelevant, the narrative reigns supreme in most arguments made by statists. The need to control the population is greater than divide and conquer rhetoric; so making the public opinion support disarming the population is more important than another race bait.

    • #20
    • September 24, 2014, at 8:21 AM PDT
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  21. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    News: McClain has reversed course and admitted Allen to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program she’d been denied access to. Whatever else it may be, that’s wonderful new for Allen and worth celebrating.

    • #21
    • September 24, 2014, at 2:53 PM PDT
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  22. Tuck Inactive

    Chris Christie pardons mom arrested for carrying licensed firearm

    Good for him.

    • #22
    • April 2, 2015, at 12:49 PM PDT
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