Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Why Bloomberg Is Right and LaPierre Is Wrong (Part II)

The National Rifle Association is paranoid about universal background checks leading to national registries leading to confiscation of guns. The NRA threatens politicians who favor limits on the size of magazines. And CEO Wayne LaPierre was downright hysterical on “Meet the Press” last week, attacking New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s $12 million gun control campaign — as if the NRA doesn’t use its clout to block gun control.

On the other hand, LaPierre has these points in his favor: enforcement of existing gun laws is not consistent, as Syracuse University TRAC reports show. And every jurisdiction ought to adopt the NRA’s Project Exile, whereby a criminal using a gun gets automatic extra jail time.

But as David Brooks opined in The New York Times this week, the response to gun violence has been excessively focused on banning guns, not on policing. As he said, “the sad fact is that gun acquisition is probably the link on the killing chain least amenable to influence.”

“Past efforts to control guns have not dramatically reduced violence,” he added. “The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Brady Act of 1993 and the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 all failed to reduce homicides significantly.” He cited studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona State University and the University of Cincinnati.

Better is what’s going on in Bloomberg’s own New York City.

As Heather Mac Donald wrote in The Wall Street Journal last year, New York’s pro-active policing policies probably have saved the lives of 10,000 black and Hispanic men since 1993 — a number based on the fact that blacks and Hispanics made up 79 percent of the decline in homicide victims since 1993.

“Blacks were 62% of the city’s murder victims in 2011,” she wrote, “even though they are only 23% of the population. They also made up a disproportionate share of criminals, committing 80% of all shootings, nearly 70% of all robberies and 66% of all violent crime, according to crime reports filed with the NYPD by victims and witnesses, usually minorities themselves.

“Whites, by contrast, committed a little over 1% of all shootings, less than 5% of all robberies, and 5% of all violent crime in 2011, even though they are 35% of New York City’s population. Given where crime is happening, the police cannot target their resources where they’re needed without producing racially disparate stops and arrests.”

In New York, police commanders are held responsible for changes in the murder rate in their areas and homicide has dropped 80 percent there, as Brooks observed.

What works in New York would work in, say, Chicago, now the nation’s murder capital. But the NYPD’s tactic — 684,000 cases last year of stopping people, questioning them and sometimes patting them down — is being challenged in court as racially discriminatory. Stop and frisk might be more diplomatically conducted, but because blacks and Hispanics are the most frequent victims of crime, it’s also in their communities’ advantage.

The bottom line is: Universal background checks are good. So, probably, is limiting magazines. These aren’t violations of the Second Amendment; not even the NRA objects to outlawing machine guns and bombs.

But if we really want to stop gun violence, the one proven answer is more and better policing. Bloomberg and LaPierre may detest each other, but they’re both right on that score.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Shaw/100000695749663 Charles Shaw

    Background checks make four
    assumptions;

    1. Once a criminal, always a
    criminal and the crime is of no importance. Any crime ever punishable by
    greater than a year in jail makes the perpetrator a danger to society for life.
    Possession of 2 ounces of Marijuana in 1969 = multiple murder in 2009.

    2. Criminals obey the law and
    cannot find a way to get weapons without background checks, just as no one has
    been able to buy cocaine or heroin since they were outlawed.

    3. No persons who have not
    already committed a crime will endanger society without consulting a psychiatrist.

    4.A system which has only forty
    percent coverage and has accomplished nothing measurable will be dramatically improved
    by increasing it to 85% (anyone who thinks private sales reporting will not be ignored by at least 15% of legitimate
    gun owners endangers the validity 2
    above).

    Freedom of speech does not allow
    a person the right to shout fore in a crowded theater, right? So why don’t we
    require all persons to wear gags in theaters so it won’t happen?

    Any law which seeks to prevent
    rather than punish crime by denying freedom to all citizens is suspect,
    especially with a Federal government that is bloated, broke, and unable to
    accept the concept that its own actions could be causing rather than solving problems.
    A government whose internal police forces (HS and ICE) have, according to an
    article in Forb’s Magazine, recently ordered enough small arms ammunition to fight
    the Afghanistan War for another quarter of a century.

  • Cecil Hardin

    How about some quotes from our founding fathers, who new then, as some realize now, the Second Amendment it the only thing protecting our freedoms.

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

    – Thomas Jefferson

    “[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.” — Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775

    - Thomas Paine

    “…who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country…? I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers.”

    - George Mason

    “The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them” – Tench Coxe, An American Citizen IV, October 21, 1787

    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American . . . . The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” — The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788

    “As the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    - Thomas Jefferson, in letter to William S. Smith, 1787

    “Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
    George Washington
    First President of the United States

    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”
    Patrick Henry
    American Patriot

    “The ruling class doesn’t care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake.”
    Malcolm Wallop
    former U.S. Sen. (R-WY)

    “An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject.”
    Anon.

    Just a few quotes from the Great Men who struggled long and hard that WE THE PEOPLE, Should have such liberties. The Declaration tells us, it not only is our right, but our responsibility to watch over, and throw off when, necessary, such a govt. that would take our liberties.

    Now try out these final quotes from those who support, taking the guns from the people. Those same people whom work and strife to keep this country strong and free.
    PRO-GUN CONTROL
    “Our main agenda is to have all guns banned. We must use whatever means possible. It doesn’t matter if you have to distort the facts or even lie. Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.”
    Sara Brady
    Chairman, Handgun Control Inc, to Senator Howard Metzenbaum
    The National Educator, January 1994, Page 3.

    “If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things.”

    “This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
    Adolph Hitler
    Chancellor, Germany, 1933.

    I submit to you that Mr. Bloomberg is far from right on this matter. Also, you must consider that a registry even, can be used for evil means in the wrong hands.
    Even the Japanese wouldn’t attack our mainland, because, I believe it was Yamamoto who stated “behind every blade of grass, there is a gun.
    We ARE to be armed to defend OUR Constitution from within, as well as, from without.

    “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. ”
    Noah Webster
    American Lexicographer

    “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”
    Edmund Burke
    British Statesman, 1784

    “They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Ben Franklin
    American Statesman

  • Cecil Hardin

    “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

  • http://twitter.com/amajorpain a major pain

    I am really getting tired of guys like this guy who can talk their behind off and never say one freakin thing that makes any kind of sense.

    So Mort here is what you will do. Either you screw that noggin of yours on straight or only talk to your equally brain dead friends. All of your rules do not stop bad guys. Bullets stop bad guys. Rules do not stop bad guys. Disclaimer: The aforementioned statement does not include natural or GOD-made rules. The aforementioned statement only covers stupidity that congress deems necessary for me to follow that allows bad guys to have safe passage across my property.

    Now any moron can see through your argument against self-protection. And bless your little itty bitty heart, what was it a couple of weeks ago you, dear sir, attempted to give us advice about the future of the party that (should be) opposing you and your cohorts.

    Fail.

    That is also something that will perplex me until the end of time.

    Without opposition, liberals would have brought this country to her knees years ago. For that we can thank the Founding Fathers for creating such a s-l-o-w and l-a-b-o-r-i-o-u-s process. Even though that process produced sundry departments of various flavors of complete uselessness, the process did not fail. Our leaders did.

    Our leaders failed us miserably.

    So no …NO …N-O-! …The GOP had better learn what that word means AND they had better start using it frequently, as in 100% percent of the time. This crap we got going of only cutting the growth of spending, and by simple math …gummet, and then all they can do is cut the increase by freakin percentages points? Oh Morty, “something has got to be did.”

    But wait there’s more,

    Because you know what? Every time one of yous post stupidity like this somebody with measurable IQ should ‘counter-’post. Requirements for the poster: Given that you are operating at such a low level of intelligence? How about we set the bar at IQ = 58. (That is not meant to be an embarrassment. I only want to help. So we will break it down…)

    Breakdown intro: (parting music for Mort please)

    There is not one liberal policy or program or anything that has worked in the past 50 years. You can feel free to point one out. But there’s none.

    But just to make you happy and so you feel satisfied, i’ll wait…

    • http://twitter.com/amajorpain a major pain

      Hey Morty,

      And we are back live and all up in your grill.

      I will try to not take too long EVEN THOUGH you and yours have created such a target rich field of sitting ducks (quack quack).

      Agriculture?
      We can get rid of them. Don’t need them. You need them because you funnel the bulk (but interestingly not all) of welfare through USDA but that is no reason to keep them. Cut USDA and cut a fifth or more of spending? I like that.
      (quack quack)

      Education?
      There is absolutely no reason for this at the federal level. None. Zip.
      Zilch. Nada. No Magilla. No espana. No pina colada… I even argue
      against this waste of money at the state level. County by county is the
      way to go.
      (quack quack)

      Energy?
      Need we say anything more than: Chu? …or do you like paying $3/4 a gallon at the pump? That dummy “Well they are paying $7 in Europe” and mind you that was four years ago. Or how about “I don’t drive and my house is electric heat.” I know the above IQ 58 folks aren’t stupid enough to say that, but Mort’s people like the line or something like it.
      (quack quack)

      Interior?
      What is the freak-a-fied reason for these people’s existence? Parks? Are you kidding me?
      (quack quack)

      Treasury?
      Well we do need you …errrr! …Hold on a minute. It has been just about
      100 years, hasn’t it?, since you abdicated your responsibility to the
      feddy. OK, congress gave it to them but you gave it to congress first,
      and now you have been reduced to a rubber-check-stamper.
      (quack quack)

      Epa?
      We are told this is not a department but a cabinet-level agency…
      Who the ^&)(^& cares what it is? What it ain’t is needed. In Virginia, for example, we get enough annoyances from DEQ. At the federal
      level this makes no sense.
      (quack quack)

      We could go on and on and on. (oh by the way, seeing that we have been headless for over four years, not to mention i am not in love with the predecessor either, why do we need a federal government? Just asking.)

      Done with the examples. None, we shall repeat that, el nun-no …that’s right ZERO is what we got back from the above-mentioned ratholes. ZILCH! And yet you still try to tell me their “great, they just need more money.” Bullcrap!

      Morty, Why do you folks insist on wasting money (in the name of helping, of course) when help is not what you do? I will bet you folks can’t even spell the
      word.

      I know, we done got you in over your head. So here’s a homework assignment. Learn to spell ‘help’. But you won’t need that for a
      while. It’s not due until the next semester. For next week learn the word
      ‘waste’.

      Learn to spell ‘waste’

      Learn to pronounce ‘waste’

      Learn to use ‘waste’ in a sentence

      Write a report on ‘waste’

      Write a report on ‘waste’ by government

      Write a report on ‘waste’ by Mort

      When finished, then do it backwards.

      By the time you are finish, hopefully you are as sick of unproductive waste as i am.

      Thank for you time Mort.

      It’s been a pleasure.

      • http://twitter.com/rlr524 Rob

        Nice name calling, guy. Your entire argument lost all credibility when you resorted to the same tactics as my children.

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