Headlines about a spike in crime throughout 2021 are somewhat overblown and the reality is far more nuanced than the narrative being spun by police and prosecutors in the media. Yet it is true that some major cities are indeed experiencing an epidemic of violence. New York City is among them. Unfortunately, NYC’s new Mayor, Eric Adams, is responding to the uptick in violent crime in the worst possible way.
Here’s the background.
Violent Crime is On the Rise in NYC
The overall crime rate in New York City is up 11.2 percent. What’s more, robberies jumped 15.8 percent and felonious assaults increased by 13.8 percent from October 2020 to October 2021. Arrests for guns are also up 13.9 percent.
On that last point, it’s important to note that gun ownership is heavily restricted and carrying a weapon is all but outlawed in New York City. This means that “gun arrests” do not necessarily represent violent actors being apprehended. They more so capture the city’s blatant disrespect for the Second Amendment.
And there’s reason to think that New York City’s anti-gun policies have something to do with their violence problem. After all, we know that gun ownership is a deterrent to violence and crime. The simple truth is police can not be everywhere. In fact, they typically can’t be anywhere fast enough to actually prevent violence from occurring.
Mayor Adams is Going After Guns in Response
In response to the fatal shooting of a cop in Manhattan recently, Adams has announced he will reinstate an “anti-gun” crime unit in the city.
“We will not surrender our city to the violent few,” the mayor said. “Gun violence is a public health crisis. There is no time to wait.”
In a solemn speech just three days after a police officer was killed in Manhattan, Mayor Eric Adams called for immediate changes to add police officers to city streets to remove guns, and for help from the courts and state lawmakers in the months ahead. https://t.co/A4S0r9vZnR
— NYT Metro (@NYTMetro) January 24, 2022
Gun violence has inflicted a heartbreaking tragedy on our city. We must turn that pain into purpose. We're fighting back against gun violence and building communities where every resident feels safe.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 24, 2022
Guns Actually Make Citizens Safer
Armed people are safe people, and the statistics back that up.
As Forbes reported in 2013, “U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. Where did that data come from? The Department of Justice. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent.”
Guess what else was going on during that time? Gun sales were skyrocketing.
Further research shows that states that make it easy for citizens to obtain gun permits and carry firearms on their person actually see a steady decline in violent crime. Meanwhile, the cities and states with the strictest gun laws continue to see some of the highest numbers for gun violence in the nation.
Moreover, surveys consistently show that guns are used many more times in self-defense annually than they are used in violent crimes.
So if New York City actually wants to address its violence problem, there’s an easy solution. They just need to reinstate citizens’ ability to defend themselves. (Instead of forcing them to be sitting ducks waiting on incompetent government bureaucrats to save the day.)
Unfortunately, Adams is going in the opposite direction. Yet given the mayor’s background as a former police officer, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Police Unions Often Work Against the Second Amendment
Police and their unions are some of the best lobbyists against the Second Amendment in business. (This fact sadly seems to escape many “back the blue,” gun-loving Republicans.) These unions, funded by your tax dollars, spend a significant amount of time pushing anti-gun laws at the state and city level throughout the US.
According to the Associated Press, cops in Texas, Tennessee, and Louisiana opposed Constitutional Carry laws in 2021. These laws basically just mean that citizens don’t have to pay their government for a permit before exercising their gun rights. It’s important to know that such permits are often cost-prohibitive for those who live on the margins. These restrictive licensing regimes are one way the government has continued to get around the Constitution and strip people of their gun rights for decades.
At the end of the day, cops are government bureaucrats. They believe in the power of the state over the power of the people.
So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Mayor Adams’ first response to a real issue facing New York City is more government instead of giving power back to the citizenry. But it should serve as an important reminder that the police are usually not working to uphold your rights in this country. Most of the time, they’re actively seeking to usurp them.