While it’s not universal, most of the people who have pushed for bail reform in New York City also support anti-gun efforts in the Big Apple. They think things like homemade firearms are some monstrous scourge to our land and laws that hit that are good and noble things.
However, an op-ed at the New York Post points out an issue with these two positions.
Police say Edison Cruz of the Bronx has been trying hard to go to jail, which is not easy to do in New York City. He kept getting arrested and they kept letting him go and, so really, what’s an up-and-coming convict to do?
Kill somebody, police say. And shoot two innocent bystanders. With a “ghost gun” — a handgun assembled illegally from mail-order parts.
So, persistence does pay: After three previous ghost-gun-related busts — followed by two instant releases under New York’s insane bail laws and then a timely bail-out arranged by a Bronx “alternative justice” group — Cruz was free finally to make the big time.
He now stands accused of second-degree murder, manslaughter and weapons charges — a list likely to grow as authorities finish sorting the spare parts he allegedly used to build untraceable weapons.
Now, there’s a lot to disagree with in this op-ed–particularly since it basically calls me a lunatic–but there’s a broader point here that I do find interesting.
Namely, how supporting both gun control and bail reform requires, at a minimum, some cognitive dissonance if not outright hypocrisy.
You see, bail advocates pushed to reduce bail for any number of offenses, and now you have people being arrested for gun law violations–the same gun laws that many of these same advocates were essential for public safety–being let loose almost immediately.
The way I see it, you either think gun laws aren’t a big deal and that people should be released or you think gun control is essential, in which case you shouldn’t support letting accused violators be put back on the streets quite so easily.
One or the other, but not both.
If you support bail reform for those accused of breaking gun laws, you’re essentially saying that these gun control regulations aren’t that big of a deal in the first place. If you feel gun control is vital toward saving lives, then you should oppose bail reform efforts. Either/or.
Unsurprisingly, though, I doubt you’ll find that many who will admit that maybe, just maybe, this was a mistake. They’ll double down and try to maintain a stake in both positions.
However, all they manage to do is illustrate just how little laws like this are really meant to control crime. I’ve given a lot of people the benefit of the doubt, choosing to believe that most people aren’t that Machiavellian when discussing political things, and taking them at their word as to why they support such laws.
Yet now it’s clear that it’s not about the bad guys. It really is about controlling us. If it weren’t, I suspect we’d see a very different set of laws, at least regarding bail reform.