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SAWYER FOR SHERIFF OF PHILA COUNTY - FOAC Questionnaire Answers
#1
cone 
OK, so the election in November has been set for the last few weeks. You will have Jewell Williams running as a Democrat, and myself, as Republican.

FOAC (Firearm Owners Against Crime) sent me this quiz and I think it's important that you see exactly how I answered it (sorry for the chicken scratch):
https://www.scribd.com/doc/261567000/F-O-A-C-Questions

While filling this out I noticed a few flaws... sure it's obvious from the line of questioning you can tell what answers they're looking for, but a couple of questions left choices to loaded answers in kind-of a (YES, YES, YES, FUCK NO) way.



My answer to Question 1 will probably alarm them. This is why I answered YES to supporting legislative changes to the UFA...



If gun violence is to really be addressed, the people on both sides of the gun control issue do not ever really address the most influential factor in gun-violence... the criminal justice system itself.

In a RARE case, straw purchasing was finally given a mando minimum in Pennsylvania and people have been hit with the minimum 5 year sentence, which automatically sends you to a state penitentiary rather than county prison. This was a victory for firearms owners AND gun control advocates because one more hitching post and debate argument has been addressed and removed.



But with gun crimes, Philadelphia County in particular as well as many other counties continue to roll up gun charges into a packaged sentence, known as "nolle prosse". You're going to prison because of the robbery, or the assault, etc. The material fact that you had a stolen firearm and used it in the felony is never really considered separately from sentencing, and that's where I think we can change the street calculus.

You SHOULD be given a lesser sentence for committing a felony with a knife, or with your hands, than with a firearm. It should be made clear at sentencing that a portion of your sentence is only because of the fact that you are being convicted of VUFA.

And for recidivists who continue to come back into the courtroom over and over again, those VUFA penalties should increase higher and higher each time you're hit with VUFA on a co-committing felony. The 2nd time you're in court for a serious felony and there's VUFA charges, you should get a couple extra bonus years on your sentence for the gun.

3rd time around... nearly a decade

4th VUFA with a serious felony: 20 years for the gun charges alone.

I have sat in the courtroom and have witnessed criminals with their 3rd and 4th round of VUFA charges and get 18-27 months. MONTHS.


If we as a Commonwealth seriously look at who we're sending to prison and why, I think you'll agree that we've overstuffed our prisons with too many non-violent people and at the same time we're giving out an incentive for violent offenders to commit felonies again and put our lives in danger once more, and we're not changing the calculus of the street that says "if you're handling a gun when you rob and shoot people, you just scored an extra decade on your sentence."

I'm totally OK with judges telling defendants at sentencing "well, if you had used a knife you'd be free in a year or so... but because of the gun you'll need to go upstate. Sorry, my hands are tied."


Yes, I am for decriminalization of certain classes of substances (held in personal quantities), I think suspended sentences are still a good motivator, so this type of treatment can be held over your head so you don't have to do the time if you can stay focused and away from trouble, but for the many, MANY felons who just cannot do this--we need to find a home for these people. This change isn't going to come cheaply, but this is the kind of change that will definitely cause a major shift in criminal thought for the recidivist. Opposition to what I'm suggesting will run deep among lawyers and judges. But that's really where the most impact can be had on gun violence.



To put it another way: sprinkling our firearms laws with all these new bans and gotchas to entrap more firearms owners who are legal right now will throw these people into the same criminal justice system where sentencing is relatively light. If we have way too many men who have no problem earning their forth VUFA, then when you criminalize legal firearms owners to throw even more people into this same system---actual criminals who really do want to kill you will only get even lighter sentencing.

Pennsylvania firearms law is actually rather strict and it already criminalizes firearms use and trade among criminals. We are reaching those criminals with gun charges each and every day. We are not giving those criminals the kind of punishment and motivators to convince them to drop the gun, and switch to something else instead---something that will raise the rate of survivability from a violent crime, and also makes it easier and safer for those who do choose to defend themselves with a legal firearm and those who don't.



So... that's why you'll see my answers on the FOAC questionnaire appear weird to you.



If you live in Philadelphia County, you'll only have two choices: an old-school machine politics Democrat in charge of a corrupt Sheriff's Office that's been raided by the FBI, or myself.... a rational, pragmatic, anti-blight, good-government-progressive firearms-owner Republican who rises above the vitriol of the day.
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#2
I disagree with increasing the severity of charges because of the type of weapon used. What matters is intent. If you pull a knife on me, it's still a deadly weapon, and I'm gonna shoot you the same as if you had a gun.

Anyway, fuck the FOAC.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#3
jahwarrior72;164292 Wrote:I disagree with increasing the severity of charges because of the type of weapon used. What matters is intent. If you pull a knife on me, it's still a deadly weapon, and I'm gonna shoot you the same as if you had a gun.

Anyway, fuck the FOAC.


Hah. Cool

My point I think is proven. If either side really cared about the gun violence issue that both sides espouse so much to care about, then the focus would be on sentencing guideline changes for gun charges--on-existing law--that people routinely break. But 2As and the anti's mostly don't give a shit about fixing the crim justice process and when you back either up against a wall this is what you get -> ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


That aside, I do support moving the PPD Gun Permit Unit under the Sheriff's Office and transferring those employees under my watch. They can stay in the FOP5 union. Not much would change there except the processing time. No more deliberate maximum wait where they process your BG searches and then sit the manila file folder in a basket to sit it out as long as possible. When the checks pass, the letter goes out to tell you to come pick up the card.

In order to make these changes though I need Harrisburg to pass an amendment to the Uniform Firearms Act to order the City of Philadelphia to shift the responsibility (and the employees and office equipment) over to my watch, because the Administration will resist it.

Either that, or re-introduce the legislation from the rep of Cumberland County to allow PA citizens to apply for LTCF permits and renewals in adjacent counties of the ones they reside in, so Philadelphians can travel to Bucks, MontCo, Chester and DelCo instead of Spring Garden.
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#4
I've been working on the campaign website this weekend.

http://phlsheriff.com


Donate button won't be turned on until Friday since I'm still doing my PAC registration paperwork.
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#5
Whatever you do, DONT google image search Chris Sawyer.....

o.0
[Image: picsay-1358258813.jpg]
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#6
My point I think is proven. If either side really cared about the gun violence issue that both sides espouse so much to care about, then the focus would be on sentencing guideline changes for gun charges--on-existing law--that people routinely break. But 2As and the anti's mostly don't give a shit about fixing the crim justice process and when you back either up against a wall this is what you get -> ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

...except your point wasn't really proven. Instead of changing guidelines, how about enforcing the laws that are already on the books, and stop letting people walk away with a slap on the wrist by allowing them to plead out to lesser charges? The onus is on the DAs and judges, not legislators.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#7
Mr_Gixxer;164315 Wrote:Whatever you do, DONT google image search Chris Sawyer.....

o.0

Yeah I know. Some weird dude who's also into furry. it's kinda great though because I'm not that easy to find on the Internet.

If I wanted to I could get one of my buds who runs an SEO company to pop me above all that shit but meh.

jahwarrior72;164316 Wrote:...except your point wasn't really proven. Instead of changing guidelines, how about enforcing the laws that are already on the books, and stop letting people walk away with a slap on the wrist by allowing them to plead out to lesser charges? The onus is on the DAs and judges, not legislators.


Circular argument. Judges already have the freedom to sentence now within guidelines set by state legislatures, and DA's and Judges everywhere collude to nolle prosse gun charges away. Many times it's because of a plea arrangement where the principal offense (like robbery) is what's the focal point of the charges, the gun charges are just a sweetner.

You can't change the behavior of 5,000+ judges and assistant DAs across the entire Commonwealth just because you say it's on the onus of all those people. If you edit the sentencing guidelines to take the discretion away from the judge and force gun charges to be adjudicated separately, just like we do with many other things like capital punishment, then it forces all of those people to rethink their strategy since the current one is not working, and your suggestion is simply moot because we both know it won't ever happen.
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#8
Mr_Gixxer;164315 Wrote:Whatever you do, DONT google image search Chris Sawyer.....

o.0

I didn't know dinosaurs and unicorns... wtf...?
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#9
Mr_Gixxer;164315 Wrote:Whatever you do, DONT google image search Chris Sawyer.....

o.0

Note to self, the next time gixxer says don't google something, listen. Every time I think the imternet has loss the ability to make me say wtf........ it steps up and answers the challenge.
Everytime we look the other way when someone else loses rights we disagree with, we make it easier to lose the rights we support.

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#10
If you read question number one you see that it had to do with the regulation of firearms, not judicial discretion or plea bargains. Those issues were asked in a separate questions.

Also you support creating a special legal category that holds gun owners to a higher standard and more accountable for accidents with a firearm then other accidents when a child is involved in question 19.

Question 16 deals with registering weapons and you attempted to make it about something else. Even so, because a warrant is issued any firearms found should be put on the record?

I hope you will reconsider your answers and get back to FOAC! And if you do a little research you will find that FOAC has always been in favor of prosecuting criminals for firearm crime and not letting the judicial system plea those charges away...
LBaker, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Mar 2013.
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