Stop me if you have heard this one before, “A leading Democrat makes a career from crusading against guns and the Second Amendment only to be accused of moral turpitude and gun crimes.” They preach against you and me owning guns, claim they have the moral high ground to legislate and restrict our Second Amendment rights and all the while are wearing hypocrisy on their sleeves. California State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) was recently arrested for gun running among a laundry list of other major crimes.
For those outside the umbrella of California’s leftwing-leaning politics, Sen. Yee is well-recognized as one of the state’s strongest advocates for restrictive gun control laws. Yee led many of the campaigns to further restrict California’s assault on detachable magazines and Modern Sporting Rifles. When pro Second Amendment groups protested the move, they were described as racists.
On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Lee was arrested on charges including scheming to defraud citizens of honest services and conspiracy to illegally traffic firearms. The charges resulted from a lengthy FBI corruption probe, but the depth of the charges against Yee shows a deeper involvement (according to the FBI affidavit) with a criminal enterprise known as the Chee Kung Tong, or CKT.
Sen. Yee made an unsuccessful bid to become mayor in San Francisco in 2011, which left him $70,000 in debt. To be eligible to run for California secretary of state, Yee needed to clear the books. According to the FBI, he attempted to do that through dealings with the CKT and its infamous leader, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
In 2011, while running for mayor, Yee and his political advisor, Keith Jackson, 49, were first officially observed coming in contact with members of the CKT, according to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. Yee and Jackson solicited FBI agent posing as CKT members for donations in excess of the legal $500 limit. Yee allegedly offered to perform certain “official acts” in exchange for the donations.
During one such exchange, Jackson and Yee took the extraordinary step to arrange a meeting between the undercover FBI agents and an arms dealer. The purpose was to arrange the sale and importation of many weapons. According to the affidavit, the plan was to import the illegal weapons through another bastion of gun control—the Port of Newark in New Jersey. The investigation shows that Yee even discussed the details of the weapons to be illegally imported.
Let’s put that in perspective. Yee is the same Democratic lawmaker who railed on against firearm ownership and touted the need for transparency in government. During the time Yee allegedly solicited donations from members of organized crime, he also introduced legislation banning 3-D printed weapons and detachable-magazine conversion kits for the law-abiding citizens of the Golden State and claimed California needed to set the standard as a model for other states.
Since this article is written for the audience of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s Shooter’s Log, it primarily is focused around guns and the Second Amendment. However, in the interest of fairness, the disgraced Senator faces many more accusations according to the federal criminal complaint, including firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder for hire, drug distribution, accepting bribes, wire fraud related to corruption of a public office and trafficking in contraband cigarettes. Doesn’t California also lead the nation in anti-tobacco laws?
If convicted on all charges, Yee faces well more than 100 years behind bars. However, Yee was released late Wednesday on an unsecured bail of $500,000, with the provision that he is not allowed to leave the state. After all, that seems fair; he is a Senator so he did not have to spend a single night in jail. Surely with credentials such as those he must be a man of his word, someone who would not lie, betray the public trust or make promises that he had no intention of honoring. Oh wait—that is exactly what he is charged with doing.
Is there a double standard? Weigh in with your opinions in the comments section.
Growing up in Pennsylvanias game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Daves writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersens Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersens Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!
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