Volokh notes, with professorial understatement, that the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office provides a “pretty good example of just how anti-gun some government organizations are.”
Madeline Singas, Acting District Attorney for Nassau County, New York, is a hypocrite. Worse, she is willing to gamble with the lives and safety of her staff and their families for her own perceived political benefit. While claiming “a commitment to justice, compassion, and integrity” and boasting about keeping “more vulnerable people safe,” she enforces a policy of mandatory disarmament amongst the attorneys who put their own safety on the line to administer justice in her jurisdiction. On Monday, Prof. Eugene Volokh broke the story that the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office bars prosecutors from having handguns, even at home.
Prosecutors, considered the top law enforcement officials of their jurisdictions, take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. They are invested with great public trust, making decisions that profoundly affect the life, liberty, and property of the residents of their jurisdictions, decisions that can increase or decrease the public’s respect for the justice system and the rule of law. The system can only work if they take that oath seriously.
Prosecutors also face a unique career hazard in taking public roles in seeing justice meted out to often very dangerous people. Some of those people will hold grudges and will look to settle scores. An article at FoxNews.com recounts the murders of 14 prosecutors and underscores the risks of those “who confront evil for a living.”
Thanks to Singas’ policy, Nassau County prosecutors will be finding themselves especially exposed, should they be forced to confront an aggrieved offender bent on doing them or their innocent family members harm. The policy will also ensure that armed offenders have the upper hand in any such confrontation.
That’s a lot to ask of anybody for $52,000 a year, the salary of an entry level prosecutor in Ringas’s office in 2014. For anybody who has tried to earn a living in the New York City Metropolitan Area, that’s not a lot of money. Clearly, the policy is aimed at impressionable young attorneys eager to begin their professional careers and to make a name for themselves. “Vulnerable” indeed.
According to Prof. Volokh, Ringas’s Office justified the policy as follows: “Our practice of asking prosecutors to not possess handguns is to ensure the safety and comfort of staff, victims, and witnesses, and is consistent with other district attorney’s offices in the New York City metropolitan area.”