Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
In April, a black nationalist terrorist named Frank James opened fire on the downtown N subway train in Manhattan. While the racist gunman had a large stockpile of weapons, he happened to use a Glock pistol that he had bought over ten years ago. Now Glock is being sued.
James bought the gun in Columbus, Ohio in 2011. So he quite clearly didn’t purchase it, intending to shoot up a New York City subway train. Nevertheless the lawsuit blames the gunmaker for having “contributed to creating and maintaining a public nuisance in the State of New York” even though the gun wasn’t even sold in New York.
A month later, Andrew Abdullah, a career criminal, shot and killed Daniel Enriquez, a Goldman Sachs employee, on the Q train using a Luger. It’s not the brand of gun that’s the problem.
Lugers and Glocks don’t shoot people. Racist criminals do.
And yet the lawsuit against Glock, unintentionally, lays out a much more legitimate case. The lawsuit correctly notes that James is a “black nationalist” and that “crime in the subway has increased 68% from 2022 compared to the same time in 2021”.
Glock didn’t do that. Pro-crime policies by Democrats and support for black nationalism did.
The Black Lives Matter movement helped lead to the decriminalization of crime and ushered in a massive wave of violence. Criminals were freed from prison, others were no longer tried.
But the problem predates 2020.
Take James, who had a long criminal record and had done everything but take out an ad in the paper warning that he would carry out a mass shooting. In the 90s, James got a job at Curtiss-Wright, a defense contractor, where he repeatedly botched his work, refused to fix it, and blamed racism. After his racial discrimination lawsuit failed, he made violent threats against the company, but got off with a harassment charge and only one year of probation.
The court sent him to counseling: a typical “diversion” program favored by pro-crime advocates of defunding the police and abolishing the criminal justice system. The counseling program gave him a job and then fired him after “making threatening comments toward staff members.”
One of his YouTube videos included “a thumbnail photo” of Anthony Ferrill. Ferrill, also a black man of around James’ age, opened fire at a Coors plant, killing five white employees, after allegedly blaming racism. Instead of condemning Ferril’s murderous racism, the media tried to justify it by investigating reports of a noose at the brewery.
Or, as the Washington Post put it, “Milwaukee Molson Coors Shooting Came Years After Noose” and blamed a “long-held culture of racism” by the white people whom Ferrill shot.
It’s easy to see why James might have thought his subway shooting would be similarly justified.
Beyond the racist workplace issues, James had a packed criminal record, investigated for arson, arrested four times for posession of burglary tools, and for an unstated “sex offense”.
The issue isn’t whether James should have been able to buy a gun, but whether he should have been running around on the loose. This was not a case where no one saw it coming.
Everyone saw it coming.
James had spent forty years engaging in violent, threatening, and illegal behavior. It’s not Glock’s fault that New York and New Jersey failed to do anything about him. Or the legion of other violent thugs roaming major cities and occasionally opening fire with varied guns.
It’s not Glock’s fault that Democrat cities have empty prisons and streets full of criminal thugs.
After the shooting authorities found rifle magazines and ammunition. Had James not used the Glock, then instead of 10 people being wounded, they might have been killed instead.
James also had a file labeled, “By-Any-Means-Necessary-Malcolm-X” referring to the black nationalist’s call for violence. The racist black Muslim leader had threatened to “strike also at whatever and whoever gets in the way.”
A bunch of people on the N train got in James’ way.
James took Malcolm X’s advice to heart, “Too many of you don’t know what they did to you, and this is what makes you so quick to want to forget and forgive. No, brothers, when you see what has happened to you, you will never forget and you’ll never forgive. And, as I say, all of them might not be guilty. But most of them are. Most of them are.”
Ilene Steur, who is suing Glock, is, like most of James’ victims, white. James’ bullet is still lodged in her body and because of the damage, she has trouble standing or sitting, and has been forced to use a colostomy bag. Her pain is real, but the gun that a racist bought in a pawn shop during the first term of the Obama administration didn’t cause it.
Federal, state, and city governments created a dangerous environment in which criminals like James faced few consequences and in which black nationalist hate, like the kind embraced by the racist subway gunman, was taught in schools and promoted by government agencies.
Around the time that James was getting into trouble in the 90s, the Post Office put out a Malcolm X stamp to honor the former KKK ally. And that’s without delving into the political support for more contemporary black supremacist movements like Black Lives Matter.
Glock didn’t create “a public nuisance in the State of New York” No more than Luger did. Ms. Steur would be in just as much pain if the racist shooter had used any other brand of firearm. And Daniel Enriquez would be just as dead. As her lawsuit admits, there has been a massive increase in subway crime. And urban crime in general. That’s not the doing of Luger and Glock.
If Ms. Steur wants to sue someone over her condition; she can start with the government officials who let James slide over the years and with the Democrats who wrecked the criminal justice system and embraced the black supremacist ideology that was behind James’ attack.
The Glock lawsuit is flawed in almost painfully obvious ways. It relies on a 2021 law aimed at gun manufacturers in a case where the gun in question had been purchased a decade earlier. Even if Glock had complied with the law, it would have had no impact on James’ gun. But, more importantly, it blames the gun manufacturer for a domestic terrorist attack by a violent racist criminal whose criminal past, racism, and violent nature the lawsuit carefully documents.
Racists don’t pick up guns and starting shooting people because of Gaston Glock, Samuel Colt, Eliphalet Remington, or any designer, company, or brand of firearms. Inanimate objects don’t kill people, racist ideas and a lawless society that doesn’t lock up criminals leads to mass death.
There were 105 shootings in New York City the month of the black supremacist subway attack. A multitude of different firearms were no doubt used in those attacks. There were also numerous stabbings, including on the subway, without regard to the brand of knife. And over 1,800 assaults in general, along with 1,300 robberies, 255 rapes, and 42 murders.
This is not a gun problem. This is a crime problem. It won’t stop until the criminals and their political enablers are held accountable for unleashing a wave of violence and hate.