Gov. Andrew Cuomo is gone, thus ending his mafia-like tactics against the firearm industry. Now, Gov. Kathy Hochul has taken the helm. Hochul once was fairly pro-gun, but like so many other New York lawmakers, that changed when she decided to run for statewide office.
Now, she’s in the governor’s mansion and has the power to do as she wishes within the constraints of the state’s constitution.
Unsurprisingly, she’s going to address “gun violence.”
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the state will be awarding $23.7 million in grant funding to cut down on gun violence statewide.
The state is looking to spend the money on new gun violence prevention efforts, including job training, community activities and intervention in areas with high concentrations of gun violence.
About two-thirds of the grant funds, roughly $16 million, will go towards workforce development and job placement programs across 20 cities that are the most heavily impacted by gun violence statewide.
The hope is that those programs will help connect at-risk youth — including young adults age 18-24 who are unemployed, or out-of-school — with permanent, good-paying jobs.
This is in addition to $12 million the state had previously awarded to the Consortium for Worker Education to help youth in New York City.
I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand, does anyone really think the reason we have violent crime is that we just haven’t thrown enough money at the problem? Most of the homicides we’re seeing don’t appear to be from desperate people looking to support their families however they can. They’re gang members. People in gangs don’t generally feel bad about being in a gang. They’re not going to jump ship because there are some job placement programs out there.
Yet, on the other hand, there are a lot of people who turn to gangs and violent crime in general because they don’t think they have any options. For those people, provided you can reach them before they join the gang, and make it clear they have better options, it might actually work.
I’m encouraged by the fact that none of this seems to go directly toward advancing any real gun control agenda. Instead, it seems to focus on trying to prevent people from becoming criminals in the first place. While my inner libertarian would prefer that be private money rather than tax dollars, realistically I know how it works and this is as good as we’re going to get.
Now, the question remains what Hochul will do next. If she sticks with trying to address violent crime in such a manner, then New York may well come out ahead in the long run. Cuomo was likely to push still more gun control and would likely have used the current influx of homicides as a pretext to do just that.
Will Hochul go down the gun control path? Possibly, especially if this effort doesn’t seem to yield any results. But for now, it looks like she’s at least looking elsewhere to start addressing the violent crime issue in New York.