New York City Mayor Eric Adams is shamelessly trying to tie in the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the state’s “may issue” carry laws to the brutal murder of a 20-year old woman who was pushing her baby in a stroller on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, telling reporters that the point-blank shooting of the woman was the result of the “overproliferation of guns” in the city; something that the mayor expects will get much worse as more New Yorkers seek to exercise their right to carry a firearm in self-defense thanks to the decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
There’s no evidence that the suspect in question was one of the 4,000 or so New York City residents currently permitted to carry a firearm on city streets, or that the suspect used a homebuilt gun as opposed to one that was legally purchased or unlawfully stolen, but that didn’t stop Adams from railing against “ghost guns” as well. As we’ve pointed out here previously, Adams is always willing to point the finger elsewhere to avoid taking responsibility for the increase in major crimes that’s happened on his watch, and “guns” is his go-to scapegoat.
But the victim’s mother in this case is pointing the finger at officials like Adams and the New York Police Department, which she says failed to protect her daughter in the months before her senseless slaying.
“The city failed my daughter because on January 1, my daughter called me and said she was being abused while she was six months pregnant,” Desort said. “She was scared to call the police so she gave me the address. I called police.”
Desort says police did respond and made sure Johnson was safe. Johnson then went to live with her mother, who says police said they couldn’t track down the baby’s father who was allegedly abusing her. Eventually, she ended up in a domestic violence shelter.
“She worked to the end of her pregnancy. She was on maternity leave with this baby. He kept harassing her, and threatening my life and my younger daughter’s life,” Desort said, adding that she genuinely was in fear for Johnson’s safety. She says the threats were reported to a detective at the time but the cop said they didn’t constitute a crime.
Instead, the detective told her she could continue to report the threats, she said. Further details on the case history with NYPD weren’t immediately available, though department officials did confirm reports were filed.
As of now, no arrests have been made in Johnson’s murder and police haven’t said whether her ex is considered a suspect, though they have said they don’t believe the murder was a random incident. There’s a lot we don’t know about Johnson’s murder, but one thing we do know is that police are not required to protect you as an individual. The Supreme Court has made that clear in several cases, including Castle Rock v. Gonzales, which held that “state law did not entitle the holder of a restraining order to any specific mandatory action by the police. Instead, restraining orders only provide grounds for arresting the subject of the order. The specific action to be taken is up to the discretion of the police.”
Thankfully, we have an individual right to self-defense in addition to law enforcement’s general duty to protect the public (but not individual) safety. Well, at least most of us do, despite the objections of anti-gun activists.
Not in New York City, however. There the anti-gun activists still hold sway, and Adams is making a habit of lumping in those law-abiding adults who want to access their right to armed self-defense with the growing number of violent criminals he’s been unable to reform or remove from society through the criminal justice system. He really wants to make it illegal to keep and bear arms, of course, but the gun control movement he belongs to also wants to make it culturally unacceptable as well, and in New York City they’ve largely succeeded.
I don’t know that Azsia Johnson would have even wanted a gun for personal protection if she’d been allowed to possess one under New York City law (at 20-years old she was too young to even lawfully own a gun in her own home), but I don’t buy the argument that an adult woman and a mother who was afraid of an abusive ex didn’t have the right to have one. Adams can talk about the “overproliferation of guns” all he wants, but the real problem is that while New York’s laws aren’t stopping guns from ending up in the hands of criminals, they’re doing a bang-up job of blocking law-abiding citizens from keeping or bearing a firearm in self-defense.