Mayors joined Chris Cuomo's show to call for gun control

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Chris Cuomo had a primetime spot on CNN, which was probably a pretty sweet gig. Unfortunately, that’s come and gone. Apparently, his prop-comedy schtick with his then-governor big brother wasn’t the winning strategy he thought it would be.


Go figure.

He’s got a job, though, and shockingly, he managed to bring gun control into things.

Not just gun control, mind you–that’s sure to come as well, I have no doubt–but as just one of a number of policies absolutely essential, we’re told, to address the nation’s growing crime problem.

Mayors across four cities in the United States discussed how officials need to deal with lack of housing, mental health crises and gun reforms to address crime in a NewsNation town hall on Monday.

Chris Cuomo hosted a town hall edition of his “Cuomo” show on NewsNation with the mayors of four major cities: Little Rock, Ark., Hartford, Conn., Durham, N.C. and Toledo, Ohio. During the town hall, Cuomo and audience members asked the four mayors how officials should address crime in their own cities.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz (D) said while mental health is important to address, politicians should not “hide” behind it to address gun violence.

“I bristle though when there are politicians who sometimes hide behind mental illness as an excuse not to take stronger action on guns in general,” he said. “Here’s where I’m headed with this. We’re the only — we’re the only country in the history of the world where there are more guns than people.”

“It shouldn’t be going out on a limb to try to take AR-15s away from the mentally ill and terrorists, but yet our US Senate won’t do it and our Supreme Court doesn’t seem to care,” he added.


Now, to be clear, some of the policies presented included things like mental health efforts and housing–I’m not so sure housing is really the problem here, but that’s another topic entirely–yet let’s talk about the gun control side of things for a bit because, well, that’s what we do.

First, let’s acknowledge that yes, violent crime has been up over the last few years. It spiked in 2020 and while it’s trickling down, it’s still high enough to be a concern.

Yet let’s also remember that there weren’t any massive shifts in gun control policy in 2020.

In fact, the last major bit of gun control we saw before last summer’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban. It came just as homicide rates were starting to trend downward, a trend that continued even after the ban expired.

Year after year, we saw more and more guns purchased by law-abiding citizens–that includes AR-15s, which became incredibly popular thanks to the 1994 restrictions, actually–and crime continued to drop.

Now, correlation doesn’t equal causation, but causation should result in correlation. If more guns meant more crime, why was crime dropping during this time?


The answer, of course, is that guns aren’t the problem and never have been. You all know this, but apparently, the mayor of Toledo doesn’t.

Kapszukiewicz is falling into the trap of blaming the tools and not the tools using it. While the other four seemed to take issue with things that might address the underlying issues that lead to violent crime, Kapszukiewicz is the one who is quoted as blaming the weapons, which to steal a worn but accurate cliche, is like saying spoons make you fat.

Gun control is popular, though, with mayors and other lawmakers who are more interested in kicking cans down the road and passing blame than rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.

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