The Manhattan Gun Control Lobby

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of numerous books, including "Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America," now available from ISI Books. Read Daniel's blog at www.flynnfiles.com.


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In Colorado, gun-permit applications spiked 44 percent in the wake of last Friday’s shooting at an Aurora cineplex. The public response to multiple victim public shootings isn’t gun control. It is more guns.

Colorado’s reaction to the Dark Knight Rises tragedy confuses Gothamites, who have been drawing the opposite lesson from the shooting that claimed twelve lives. Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN’s Piers Morgan, “I don’t understand why police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, ‘We’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.’” Morgan, a Brit who broadcasts out of the Big Apple, had days earlier treated More Guns, Less Crime author John Lott the way Robert Blake had recently treated the host: rudely. Morgan has spent the week lecturing a country where guns outnumber adults about the idiocy of private gun ownership. Last month, Morgan’s ratings reached a primetime low for CNN’s history.

There is the parochialism of cosmopolitans at work here, in which New Yorkers mistake the opinions prevailing among their neighbors as prevailing opinion. But when Manhattanites venture from their island, they discover the presence of woods where people hunt and the absence of a policeman on every corner where most people live. People so drenched in their gunless milieu can’t understand why anyone would want or need a firearm.

The New York Times counseled in an editorial, “The most appropriate response now to the shootings early Friday in Aurora, Colo., is also the simplest: sympathy for the victims, for the injured and for their families.” The editors then discarded their own advice by sermonizing against an “out-of-control gun market” and “too readily available” semi-automatic rifles. The bodies hadn’t even been cleared from the theater and the Times had already politicized the tragedy.

The newspaper of record has over the last week released a torrent of op-eds, editorials, blog posts, and news articles advocating government restrictions on private gun ownership. In a news article this week, the Times cited an “extensive review of the scholarly literature by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center” that maintains that the proliferation of guns proliferates murder.  “There is unanimous evidence that higher homicide rates lead to people getting more guns,” countered Florida State’s Gary Kleck. This is precisely what happened in Colorado.

The paper featured a debate between gun control supporter David Brooks and gun control supporter Gail Collins. “There are some parts of the gun control debate that are definitely open to, um, debate,” Collins conceded. “There are parts that aren’t, like the need to ban assault weapons.” Alas, as Nicolas Kristof pointed out Thursday in the Times, 53 percent of Americans oppose an assault-weapons ban, a position that Collins doesn’t even regard as worthy of discussion. And Brooks offered an “amen” to Collins’ intolerance, adding: “I’d support a ban on assault weapons. I’d support all the background checks you can imagine. I’d support a national registry.” Collins concluded by affirming “the importance of a civil debate.” The Times and its deferential debaters don’t seem grasp that allowing people who disagree into the discussion is a prerequisite of “civil debate.”

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  • mlcblog

    This is most astute to me! I have long been weary of this type of uninformed and judgmental, arrogant elitism.

  • Robert Pinkerton

    This is going to offend a lot of Big Noises, but I think Manhattan Island is an infected fece in the suppurating and pustulent anus of America.

    In 1861, several southern States tried seceding from the Union, and that attempt was suppressed by military force. After one hundred and forty-plus years, why have we not developed a means to expel a state or region from the Union? This country would benefit greatly by the expulsion of New York City from the Union.

    Again, for truth cannot be too often repeated, it is a "Copybook Headings" lesson of the last century, that disarming the citizenry is the harbinger of indecent designs on citizens' other liberties.

    • Amused

      You're an assshole ,with a worthy last name .You can own a rifle or shotgun in NYC , the ban is on handguns you jack-asss.

      • pagegl

        Yeah, you can own long guns in NYC but they must be registered and cannot be kept loaded except when in use at a licensed range (fat lot of good that does in a self defense situation), see http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/permit… for info about NYC laws and a for to register your long gun.

        • Amused

          UH ….it can loaded in your home .

          • pagegl

            Perhaps…

            §2-06 Storage of Rifles and Shotguns and Ammunition.
            (a) Pursuant to New York City Administrative Code §10-312, it shall be a criminal violation for any person who is the lawful owner or lawful custodian of a rifle or shotgun to store or otherwise place or leave such weapon in such a manner or under circumstances that it is out of her/his immediate possession or control, without having rendered such weapon inoperable by employing a safety locking device as defined in §2-05(j) of this chapter. Such offense shall constitute a misdemeanor if the offender has previously been found guilty of such violation or if the violation is committed under circumstances which create a substantial risk of physical injury to another person. The Rifle/Shotgun Section recognizes that all organizations have incurred an obligation by being registered to maintain and use rifles and shotguns in a responsible fashion. In order to assist organizations, the Rifle/Shotgun Section has issued the following safety guidelines for storing rifles and shotguns on the premises:
            (1) All rifle and shotgun cases shall be kept locked and secured at all times and shall be inaccessible to unauthorized individuals. All keys to such cases shall not leave the control of the custodian or alternate custodian.
            (2) Rifles and shotguns shall be incapable of firing when not in use. Rifles and shotguns may be temporarily deactivated by removing magazines or bolts; by securing with bars or chains through the trigger guard; or by using individual trigger locks or other safety locking devices composed primarily of steel or other metal of significant gauge to inhibit breaking.

            So, maybe you can keep it loaded in your home, but…

  • EthanP

    It is almost a religious mantra that leftists/liberals/progressives, from Manhattan or not, to fear and despise guns and those who use/possess them.

  • Guest

    “I don’t understand why police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, ‘We’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.’”

    A curious statement considering that no police were injured in the tragedy in Aurora. The only victims were civilians the police failed to keep safe. I'm not sure that's the point mayor for life Bloomberg meant to make.

  • Sprinklerman

    "This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty …. The right of self defence is the first law of nature" St George Tucker.
    What part of this doesn't the liberal left get.
    "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers…" Justice Story
    Notice that Justice Story didn't state just external rulers. For those who think that "assualt weapons" have no place in our country, please consider that police and military personnel are assigned those weapons. Do you think that our present "rulers" would think twice before attempting to use these organizations against us if they felt they needed to? Wouldn't you also want at least a semi-automatic similar weapon to defend yourself and your family from those who wish to do you harm? I'm not suggesting insurrection, but if someone attempts to take my home and possessions, I will defend myself, my family and my property.

  • Sprinklerman

    "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme Power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States." – Noah Webster
    Particularly after the most recent SCOTUS ruling, McDonald v. City of Chicago, no elected leader should even be thinking, no less verbalizing the idea of restricting the individuals right to keep and bear arms.

  • Rifleman

    It tickles me the way they call for a civil and reasonable debate on gun control, then immediately and unilaterally declare contentious parts of it settled in their favor and off limits to discussion. Not gonna happen anywhere but amongst themselves.

    Their first ‘assault weapon’ ban demonstrated that they are unable to functionally differentiate between them and any other semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine. It also repeatedly showed their dishonesty and bad faith. They broke congressional rules to pass it, and from the time it was passed to the time it was signed, the list of banned weapons magically went from 19 to over 120, and ended up banning over 200 models. Also, when the offending cosmetics used for criteria in the law were removed, those models were not removed from the list. Americans noticed and likely won’t fall for that again, which is why the left wants to just declare preemptive victory and move on to further 2nd Amendment restrictions.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Bang, bang, bang, is that someone at the door or someone just leaving quickly?………William

  • Rifleman

    As for bloomy, who considers a salt shaker a deadly weapon, he forgets the Supreme Court itself determined police are under no obligation to protect or defend citizens from assault. That’s particularly interesting and telling in this case, because it involved a uniformed NYPD officer who didn’t interfere with an assault he witnessed on a NYC subway platform.

    It’s also nice to know that bloomy has no scruples about using the police and selective law enforcement as a weapon against the law abiding, to coerce support for unpopular laws he wants. That’s as revealing as the northern mayors and city politicians abusing their power to ban Chick-Fil-A from their cities, for the personal beliefs and political positions of its’ owners. It’s all basically what we’re seeing out of the Justice Dept. right now, and it doesn’t go over well on Main St. To most of us, those are the kind of people who are unfit to wield power, and that’s why we limit the power of government.

  • oldtimer

    Where guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns. In Aurora, concealed carry, and discharging in public, except by police, is against the law. Do you think that the shooter didn't know this?

  • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

    Does anyone else see the incredible irony? If NYC police actually went on strike as Bloomberg suggested, citizens would be compelled to arm themselves and organize into private law enforcement groups in order to maintain security. I'll bet more than a few are already considering that may not be such a bad idea.

  • Drakken

    The time for civil discourse and discussion is over period, we Americans will not tollerate you leftist/liberal/progressives and your quest for good intentions which always leads to bloodshed, we will loudly proclaim we will not go quietly into the night and if you try our patience you will not like the result.

  • Moishe Pupick

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Why is it that government bureaucrats or elected officials who have 24/7 armed security details have the chutzpah to pontificate to us ("the little people") about "gun violence?" Why don't they instead say "violence committed by criminal use of guns?" The answer is easy: demonize the gun instead of focusing on its evil user. The 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting or shooting competitions. It's about the free citizenry's right to defend itself against a tyrranical government. The ACLU and Mayor Bloomberg don't like this fact, but it's in the Federalist Papers. Let them call for a constitutional convention if they don't like the 2nd Amendment! (Lotsa luck there!) Cf. http://www.jpfo.org

  • "gunner"

    we have been having a "civil debate" over the issues of gun control for some time now, years of it, and the gun control mob is losing, and getting rather uncivil about it.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Bloomy has that look and I remember now who it is, just some curly hair and the right
    hat and presto, Harpo Marx…………………….William

  • Bloomberg's Failure

    When does all this new GUN CONTROL start? Oh, that's right, you don't have the legal authority or required courage to take away our guns. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. To all the crybaby/liberal/wuss/commie/british/sissy/losers out there in NY…I say……..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Come On! When does the new round of gun control start??? I'm waiting. PLEASE come take my gun….PLEASE. Cowards.

  • mrbean

    The following statement is operative: " The government can take my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hands."

  • J. Clark

    Liberals tell us to depend on the police for protection. They need to read the book, DIAL 911 AND DIE, by attorney author, Richard Stevens. The police have no legal duty to protect you. They have no duty to respond to 9ll calls. They can stand by and watch you get beaten, raped and killed, without any liability. People need to protect themselves. A least have a small 410 shotgun next to your bed.

  • pagegl

    When are the idiot leftists going to learn that assault weapons ARE illegal unless you have a federal license to possess a full automatic fire weapon?

  • Amused

    Oh Really ? I own an M-4 and an AK , both assault weapons , they can't be auto , but legally can be semi-auto .

  • mrbean

    As for a gun, I would rather have one and never need to use it, than not to have one and absolutely need one. Better that my attacker is dead or wounded than me!