Lewis Morris / May 16, 2022

NYC Mayor Isn’t as Pro-2A as He Claims

Eric Adams rode into office on a tough-on-crime platform, but he hasn’t lived up to the hype.

When former cop Eric Adams was elected mayor of New York City last November, there was cautious optimism that things might take a turn for the better in the Big Apple. True, Adams is a Democrat, but during the campaign he sounded like a man who respected the Second Amendment and understood its importance in ensuring the fundamental human right of self-defense. Beyond that, his awful mayoral predecessor, Bill de Blasio, had deliberately hobbled the city’s police department and invited a predictable crime spree.

Nowhere to go but up, right?

Unfortunately, Adams hasn’t lived up to the hype. The tough-on-crime rhetoric that got him elected has since melted away, replaced by the same demonstrably false leftist canards about guns and crime that the media has shamelessly echoed for years.

Adams released a “Blueprint to End Gun Violence” when he took office, a plan his administration touted as a tough response to the city’s crime problem.

A major part of the plan calls for going hat-in-hand to the federal government to pass tougher gun legislation and give more dollars to New York City’s law enforcement efforts. The city’s operating budget in 2021 was $101 billion — larger than all but four U.S. states. Yet as with spendthrift governments everywhere, the issue is not about more dollars, but about logically prioritizing the dollars they have.

As for tougher gun legislation, please. New York state and the municipality of New York City have some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. The state doesn’t recognize valid gun permits from other states, and it’s virtually impossible to get a pistol permit in the city.

These laws, many of which have been on the books for decades, have clearly had no impact on crime there. Adams said as much at a recent press conference, referring to the criminal class’s “total disregard and fearlessness of carrying a gun and using a gun.”

And where did this fearlessness come from? False and destructive narratives of rampant police violence — those spread by the likes of Black Lives Matter and the “defund the police” movement — have sown distrust of law enforcement among an ill-informed and malleable public. In 2019 and 2020, municipal police departments across the country came under withering attack for merely doing their jobs. Accordingly, cops reduced their patrols of minority neighborhoods, reluctant to get involved in interactions that could be misconstrued as racist. They also retired at record rates, leaving police departments woefully understaffed. The result was a surge in violent crime in cities across the country.

Closer to home for Adams is the New York City Council’s so-called bail reform measure, which returned scores of violent offenders to the streets. Additionally, the city’s hard-left district attorney’s office has arbitrarily decided to stop prosecuting certain crimes, such as turnstile jumping and random acts of violence and menace. Of course, it’s a statistical fact that criminals who go unchallenged for lower-level crimes tend to become bolder and commit more violent crimes later. It’s called the Broken Windows theory, and it was the genesis of then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s historic clean-up of New York City in the 1990s.

Giuliani’s gun-grabbing successor, Michael Bloomberg, was at least smart enough to keep those tough-on-crime policies in place, but New York’s elected officials have systematically undone them ever since, largely due to a woke unwillingness to see the world as it truly is. Even Adams’s call for giving police better technology to do their jobs has been met with resistance from city council members.

Adams says that the problem is bigger than bail reform. It is, but not by much. Being tough on crime means being tough on criminals — and anything short of that will lead to more hardship for law-abiding citizens.

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