There’s no doubt that concerns over inflation and an economic slowdown are the biggest motivating factors for voters this year, even before today’s grim economic numbers were released, but crime and public safety are still important issues according to recent polls. In New York, Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin is hoping to capitalize on the issue by embracing New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ call for a special session to reform the state’s bail laws, which many law enforcement officials have criticized for returning violent criminals to the streets even after multiple arrests.
While Adams’ call for a special session has irked a lot of Democratic lawmakers, that doesn’t mean he’s eager for Zeldin’s help. Adams has already endorsed Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul, and responded to Zeldin’s support for a special session by chiding him for his support for the Second Amendment.
“Mayor Adams’ call must be heeded with bold action to secure the streets, subways, homes, and businesses of New York. Enough is Enough!” Zeldin said in a statement Wednesday.
On Thursday afternoon, Zeldin was set to further solidify his pro-Adams stance, planning a virtual press conference to “speak out in support” of the mayor’s call for a special session “to address major flaws with New York’s cashless bail and ‘raise the age’ laws.”
… While Zeldin is openly embracing Adams, the mayor has sought to put distance between himself and the conservative congressman.Adams — who has endorsed Hochul in the gubernatorial race — posted a tweet late Wednesday pushing back against a message from Zeldin that lauded his demand for a special session.“Congressman, you can’t claim to want to keep New Yorkers safe while opposing common sense gun safety laws, as you have throughout your entire career,” Adams wrote, referencing Zeldin’s record of voting against gun control bills in Congress.
Sure you can, especially if those “common sense gun safety laws” don’t actually do anything to make us safer and are completely lacking in common sense. Still, it is a little odd for Zeldin to lavish praise on Adams’ call for a special session on bail reform when the mayor has been such a vocal proponent of new gun control laws. If Adams had his way, not only would be easier to keep those suspected of violent crimes behind bars while they await trial, but those arrested and charged with the “violent” felony offense of carrying a firearm without a concealed carry license or (starting September 1st) carrying a lawfully-possessed firearm into a “gun-free zone.”
Zeldin himself acknowledged the difference between legal gun owners and violent criminals shortly after Hochul signed a package of new restrictions on the right to carry into law, telling Laura Ingraham that New York Democrats like Hochul and Adams are “creating these locations as targets because now, as a criminal, if you wanted to carry out one of your acts of targeting someone with an illegal firearm, you know that you’re likely to encounter less resistance because the only people who care about these laws passed today are the law-abiding citizens.”
New York’s bail laws definitely need work, but the state’s gun control laws are an even more pressing concern in my opinion. I get why Zeldin wants to show his support for changing the status quo when it comes to judges letting those suspected of violent crimes walk away with little or no bond, but there has to be a better way of doing that than siding with a politician who views the right to keep and bear arms with utter contempt.