No one expects the New York police commissioner to be pro-gun. It’s a political appointment in a vehemently anti-gun city. Even if the person filling the role believes in the Second Amendment, he certainly can’t say it.
However, I’m more than a little annoyed by the commissioner’s recent comments regarding people who carry guns.
The NYPD has been working to reduce a growth in gun violence across the city.
But Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says first and foremost, people need to be held accountable.
“We need people that carry firearms to know three things — that there’s going to be swift, certain, punishment. Period. And if we get to that point, we’re going to be in a much, much better place,” he told NY1 in an exclusive interview.
Shea pointed to a recent double shooting incident in Elmhurst, Queens, where he recognized a person’s name on the report.
“In a city of 8.6 million people, how does the police commissioner recognize and know the history of this individual? Well the reason is because he’s had five prior gun incidents in New York City,” he said.
“We need people to have consequences for carrying guns,” said Shea.
See, this is a problem for a number of reasons. Perhaps most importantly is that Shea has failed to recognize that some people carry guns lawfully and are not part of the freaking problem in New York or anywhere else.
Yes, even in the Big Apple, some people can carry firearms lawfully. They have the required permits. Sure, they’re rare as hens’ teeth, but they exist. So far, not a one of those individuals has turned up to be part of the problem New York is having with violence.
The problem is the criminal element that is illegally carrying guns with the intent to use them for illegal purposes. However, those are individuals who are breaking the law as it currently stands. New laws aren’t going to stop them because the legion of existing gun laws in New York certainly haven’t.
Meanwhile, Shea and his bosses are failing to recognize that law-abiding citizens are powerless against the bad guys because New York’s gun laws are so draconian that only the very wealthy and/or very connected can get the permits that allow them to protect themselves. Those are the same permits that the bad guys simply ignore the need for.
The problem isn’t people with guns and it would be nice if Shea recognized that.
The problem in New York is that there isn’t “swift, certain, punishment” for carrying out a criminal act against a law-abiding person. Oh, Shea can talk tough about it, but he and I both know that his officers simply aren’t going to be everywhere all the time. There’s no “swift, certain, punishment” without an armed population that can meet the threats when it happens.
If you want to put an end to the violence, New York has to do something that it’s simply unwilling to do. It needs to trust its law-abiding citizens with the means to protect themselves and others. It needs to comply with the Constitution for a change.