New York’s primary elections have been marred by all kinds of issues with mail in voting that have resulted in long delays for election results and a huge number of ballots thrown out in races across the state. After nearly a month, however, some races in the New York City area are finally being called, and it looks like Democrats are going to be moving even further to the Left in the state legislature than they already are.
— Jabari Brisport🌹 (@JabariBrisport) July 22, 2020
That’s New York Senate candidate Jabari Brisport, whose own race has yet to be called. However, the socialist is currently leading the primary to represent the Brooklyn district in Albany, and as he mentioned, two other socialists are heading to the capitol as well, as Patch.com’s Matt Troutman recently reported:
Long-awaited absentee ballots results from the June 23 Democratic primary showed a socialist surge in state Assembly races.
It washed out several incumbents, including 23-term Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, who conceded Wednesday to neighborhood organizer Emily Gallagher.
Gallagher’s upset victory in North Brooklyn was joined by Phara Souffrant Forrest, who claimed a win Wednesday over incumbent Assembly Member Walter Mosley in a nearby Brooklyn District.
In another borough that day, Zohran Mamdani prevailed over Assembly Member Aravella Simotas in Queens.
Last week, absentee votes allowed Marcela Mitaynes to claim victory over incumbent Felix Ortiz in a West Brooklyn district.
Mamdani, Mitaynes and Souffrant Forrest are all backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, which appeared nearing what its backers called a “clean sweep” of its primary races.
Gallagher isn’t an official socialist, but she’s a “fellow traveler” if you will; ideologically aligned without a formal declaration of support for socialism.
Now, these are all primary victories, but they’re also primary victories in New York City, which means that all of these candidates are virtually guaranteed to win against their Republican challengers, if they have any, in November. There are 150 seats in the NY Assembly, and right now Democrats hold about 100 seats. Five percent of the caucus may not be much, but they’ll likely push the Assembly even further to the left than it’s trended in recent years.
I’m not a fan of socialism, so I consider that to be really bad news for New Yorkers in many ways, but there’s a slim possibility of a silver lining for gun owners. I’m not saying that it will happen, but there’s a chance, however slight, that these new Democratic Socialists may actually be more amendable to a pro-2A point of view than their old-school Democrat counterparts.
Just a few days ago the Washington Post published a piece attacking Joe Biden’s gun control plan from the Left (it would be unheard of for the paper to publish anything attacking Joe Biden from the Right). Author Kim Kelly, a socialist labor activist and writer, argues that Biden’s gun bans, licensing laws, red flag laws, and the like would have a disproportionate impact on the poor while doing nothing to address violent crime. It’s an argument quite familiar to most conservative gun owners, though Kelly throws in some gratuitous criticism of “right wing militias” while ignoring some of the problems that socialist gun owners have cause in places like Seattle. Even with the needless injection of partisan politics, it’s a piece that’s worth a read if only to see what a Leftist pro-Second Amendment argument looks like.
The Left has a pretty vibrant Second Amendment community, though it’s obviously a pretty small part of the Democrat Party’s membership. Moreover, the move towards de-policing and using things like violence interrupters to help reduce violent crime is a distinct move away from the “ban our way to safety” mentality of old-school Democrats. Remember: every new gun law is a new crime that has to be enforced by armed agents of the State. Its success is gauged by how many people it puts in prison, scarring them with a criminal record for something that was perfectly legal before the law took effect and may still be legal in the next state over.
Socialists want to dismantle the current socio-economic system down to the foundation and replace it with something they swear will be better (but historically, has proved ruinous to economic prosperity and human freedom). In places like New York, that actually means dismantling the city and state’s gun control regime, which focus on depriving law-abiding residents of their Second Amendment rights.
New York City has some of the most restrictive and prohibitory gun laws in the nation, and we can see how well that’s working at the moment, with murders and shootings increasing again over the weekend. If these newly-elected socialists are serious about justice and equality, one of the things they must fight for is equal access to the Second Amendment. It shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars and months of your time to simply possess a firearm in the home. You shouldn’t have to be wealthy or famous to legally carry a concealed firearm. In fact, it’s genuinely obscene that a wealthy New Yorker can literally purchase her Second Amendment rights while a working mom in a high-crime neighborhood knows that she will never be approved for a pistol license. It’s a right of the people, but in New York City its a privilege reserved for a few.
Will these New York socialists fight to overhaul the state’s draconian gun laws, which have a disproportionate impact on lower-income and minority residents? Could this emerge as a major split between the far-Left and Left wings of the party in New York State? Could conservative Republicans and socialists form a decidedly unusual pro-2A voting bloc, or will the socialists abandon their idea of justice in the name of Party unity?
My gut instinct is that the socialists will find some reason why real reform of the city and state’s classist gun control laws will have to wait, and because of the size of the Democrat majority, they aren’t really needed to pass gun control measures. In fact, they could vote against every gun control bill if they want to without causing major internal damage to the Party, and who knows, maybe they will. Still, don’t expect to see any of them giving any speeches denouncing the inevitable gun control bills that will be filed in the months ahead. Quiet opposition is allowed as long as it doesn’t impact the outcome, but if you want to be a team player you’ll keep your dissent to yourself.
So, no, ultimately, I don’t think these candidates will help the Second Amendment in New York all that much, if at all. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see a strong Second Amendment voice emerge on the Left somewhere in the country in the next election cycle, but I just don’t it will be any of these New York socialists. I hope I’m proven wrong, but a socialist candidate from the upper midwest or the Pacific northwest seems like a more likely possibility to me than a guy from Brooklyn, though the Leftist argument against gun control is just as valid in the Big Apple as it is on the Left Coast.