Taylor’s case was discussed on Fox News this afternoon.
Unfortunately, Geraldo Rivera was on to discuss Taylor’s case and he was very ill informed about what was happening. Here are just five errors in his discussion.
1) Geraldo claims that Taylor is safe because Bennett will for certain be in jail for the next 4 years and she has nothing to worry about. But Bennett could be released from jail at any time and Taylor calls up every day to make sure that he hasn’t posted his bail. Bennett has hired one of the very best defense lawyers in San Diego county, and apparently been able to post a large retainer of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the lawyer. His bail is set at $300,000, which means that all he has to do is put up $30,000. It appears pretty clear that he has the resources to do that. The question has simply been why he hasn’t done it yet. The best that can be figured out is that it is based on advice from his lawyer. That said, Geraldo doesn’t realize that this guy could be out of jail tomorrow.
2) Geraldo claims that the law that would have protected Taylor is background checks that would prohibit people with misdemeanor stalking from gun purchases. Regarding background checks, Geraldo apparently doesn’t realize that Bennett is already a convicted felon because of his previous violation of the restraining order. It is illegal for him to obtain a gun as a convicted felon, but despite background checks in California that already cover everything that the Brady Campaign and President Obama have been asking for, Bennett was still able to illegally obtain guns. The background checks that Geraldo offers as a solution to these problems didn’t stop Bennett from obtaining weapons. In addition, Bennett is much taller and stronger than Taylor. Despite his age, he apparently works out with weights regularly and is in very good shape. Taylor has legitimate concerns for her safety even if Bennett didn’t have a gun. Note that the rape kit in Bennett’s car had other weapons besides a rape kit and that only a tiny percent of rapes are committed with a gun.
3) Not only can Bennett get out on bail at any time, Geraldo doesn’t know what prison term that this guy is actually facing. According to the prosecutors in Taylor’s case, the absolute most that Bennett will actually have to serve is 8 months (issues of prison overcrowding in California and reduced time due to good behavior (this occurred the last time he was in prison)). Note that during the over four years of stalking that he has engaged in, Bennett has already done two different stints in prison and gotten out to stalk her yet again. Beyond all that, as the other panelists who appeared at the Students for Concealed Carry/Crime Prevention Research Center conference noted, Taylor is not unusual in the threat that she faces.
4) Geraldo also apparently doesn’t know the timing of Taylor’s requests to have a gun on campus. She asked this past year for a gun after Bennett had sent her various emails and texts. Bennett was out of prison when she asked for the ability to have a gun.
5) Geraldo is simply wrong about the rate of problems that young permit holders get into with their guns. He talks about possibilities that might happen, but he hasn’t actually looked at the data. In the nine states that currently mandate that permit holders be able to have their guns on public university campuses and 20 states that leave it up to the individual schools, there is not one single case where a permit holder of any age has had their permits revoke for anything that happened on a college campus. In addition, the revocation rates for permit holders are extremely low and the rate of revocations for permit holders of college age are low also.
There are other errors with what Geraldo said, but those five are the most important ones.