It looks like 2020 is going to be the most violent year in almost two decades for New York City, with shootings up by almost 100% and homicides 40% higher than 2019. There’s a growing sense of lawlessness throughout the city, even in the heart of Manhattan, where scenes like the one captured below are becoming increasingly common.
Witnessed a disturbing incident in broad daylight on 5th ave / 21st St in NYC today. About 50 young boys on bikes blocked 5th ave traffic & trashed an SUV, riders inside, jumping on the windshield. Car had medical license plates & a man & older woman inside. pic.twitter.com/33QeQc4ObC
— Maria Petrova (@_MariaPetrova) December 30, 2020
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea made an interesting declaration; the police will be putting their “resources against attacking people, not necessarily the guns,” because Shea says the city’s facing “almost an endless supply of guns.”
“We are making gun arrests at a breakneck pace and one could argue it is not having a significant impact on the level of violence,” Shea said. “I am going to go after [those] who are the people pulling the trigger on the streets of New York City, that is a much more manageable number and controllable number.”
The commissioner went on to say that people “would be shocked how many guns are on the streets,” which begs the question; given the ease with which people are carrying illegally, why can’t the average New Yorker legally carry a gun? Why subject them to hundreds of dollars in fees and a byzantine licensing system that’s far more likely to deny them a permit to carry than to grant them permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights?
I’m not shocked at all at the number of illicit guns in New York City, because I know how illicit markets work. Frankly, I think it’s a very good idea for the NYPD to focus on those pulling the trigger rather than trying to arrest everyone carrying a gun without a license, but the NYPD should also be putting pressure on city officials to revise the city’s carry laws.
Now, I know that’s not likely to happen, but it’s still the logical next step if the NYPD is trying to focus on the most violent offenders in the city. You can actually cut down on the illegal carrying of firearms by encouraging legal carry. Unfortunately New York City does all that it can to discourage residents from even applying for a concealed carry license through invasive questioning, costly non-refundable fees, and a discretionary issuing process that allows the police to deny a license to someone based on subjective standards of “suitability.”
New York City’s gun laws are clearly doing more to prevent law-abiding residents from exercising their Second Amendment rights than preventing criminals from accessing or using guns in the commission of violent crimes. Dermot Shea basically admitted as much in his most recent press conference. It’s time to go one step further; acknowledge that the city’s gun laws have created a situation where the city’s criminals are better armed than the general public and work to change that. To do anything less is simply unconscionable, and I believe unconstitutional as well