While Massachusetts citizens and police are mourning the slaying of a 32-year-old Yarmouth police officer Thursday, one fact that seems to have been overlooked is that it amounts to a monumental failure of that state’s court system and restrictive gun control laws.
The suspect in this case is identified as Thomas Latanowich, whose criminal history reportedly includes more than 100 charges – many related to gun law violations – and a stretch in prison. He allegedly shot Officer Sean Gannon and his K-9 partner when the officer was attempting to serve a warrant.
According to the Fox News affiliate in Boston, the suspect has been in trouble with the law since the age of 17, when he was arrested in a South Yarmouth motel room and charged with possession of cocaine. Since then, he’s been arrested for “violent assaults, heroin trafficking and gun possession,” the Cape Cod Times said.
Among those capers, the newspaper reported, was an allegation about strangling a pregnant woman and vandalizing her car in 2016. At the time, the newspaper said he was released on $1,500 bail.
The Boston Globe reported that the suspect “was well known to law enforcement on Cape Cod, and had more than 100 prior criminal charges in Massachusetts, according to the Yarmouth Police Department.”
In a state that has recently had its ban on so-called “assault weapons” upheld by a federal judge, and where law-abiding citizens must jump through several legal hoops in order to possess and carry a firearm, how is it that a man with this kind of record is even on the streets, much less still breathing?
Maybe the question should be, “How is the gun prohibition lobby going to blame this one on the Second Amendment?”
The Boston Globe reported that Latanowich “had 28 cases against him in Barnstable district court alone.” That newspaper also noted the following:
“Many of the district court cases on the record, which date back to 2005, were dismissed. Sometimes the cases were dismissed when the victim refused to go forward. In at least two cases, he was found not guilty by a judge, according a Globe review of the Barnstable district court records.”—Boston Globe
The suspect has been essentially portrayed as a one-man crime epidemic. He was wanted for violating conditions of his probation from a 2010 case that involved drugs and illegal firearms possession. That is reportedly what Officer Gannon was doing when he was fatally shot.
Massachusetts has a long history of gun control failures dating back to 1775, when British troops were dispatched to seize weapons and powder stores from the colonial militia. The anniversary of that fateful day is coming up next week. April 19 marks the 243rd anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord.