Mayor Bloomberg = Mayor Blameberg?

Hands up if you think “stronger” gun control laws would make it more difficult for violent criminals to purchase/steal firearms. Hands in the air (like you just don’t care) if you believe more draconian gun laws would, thus, reduce violent crime. Setting aside hard evidence of gun control’s abject failure in America’s high-crime urban areas (e.g., D.C., LA, Chicago), the logical fallacy is obvious. Criminals don’t obey the law. Making illegal guns illegaller would do little to reduce criminal access to firearms. Even in gun control mad New York City. Why just last night, Brooklyn resident Nakwon Foxworth shot four cops with—wait for it—illegal guns. According to nydailynews.com . . .

Brooklyn resident Nakwon Foxworth, 33, got into an argument with a group of moving company employees, Kelly said, and threatened them with a gun.

Foxworth took his pregnant girlfriend — who was also carrying their 4-month-old son in her arms — back to their Nostrand Ave. apartment on the sixth floor.

One of the moving company employees called police, according to Kelly, and told a dispatcher, “He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun.”

NYPD investigators teamed up with the building superintendent to use surveillance footage to determine where Foxworth lived, Kelly said. Once they found his apartment, police looked through the peephole and saw that Foxworth was holding the girlfriend and infant at gunpoint.

A short while later, Kelly said, the woman busted through the apartment door and told police that she was being held hostage. She also said that Foxworth had a gun.

Cops entered and a gun battle broke out.

“The gunfight occurred in close quarters with the assailant and the officers no more than 10 feet apart,” Kelly said. “With Det. Ayala and Officer Granahan returning fire and sticking Foxworth in the abdomen. A third ESU officer also fired. It was a good thing that Foxworth stopped shooting.”

Foxworth fired 12 rounds at the officers, police said.
The officers include: Det. Michael Keenan, 52, who was shot in front calf; Det. Kenneth Ayala, 40, who was shot twice — once in the thigh and once in the left ankle; Officer Matthew Granahan, 35, who was shot in the calf; and Captn. Al Pizzano, 49, who was grazed in the face.

As always, the official account of an armed encounter in The City That Never Sleeps doesn’t seem quite like it seems. Why did NYPD Emergency Service Officers enter the apartment all guns blazing after the “hostages” came out? Who was at risk then, exactly? How many rounds did the cops fire? And why didn’t New York’s finest shoot a dog? Speaking of dangerous curs . . .

Records show that Foxworth was incarcerated for 10 years for robbery and selling drugs in prison, and two years for attempted murder.

So Foxworth was an ex-con—without legal gun rights—who held—illegally—a 9 mm Browning handgun, a .22 caliber revolver and a “military assault rifle” equipped with a scope. And a new law could have stopped Foxworth by . . .

Preventing him from buying illegal guns!

At the post-shooting press conference, New York City Police Commissioner Kelly was quick to direct press attention to the source of Foxworth’s firearms. The Commish said the Browning heater was ”part of a multiple-gun purchase in Wilmington, North Carolina.” Legal or illegal? By Foxworth or someone else?

The rifle discovered at the scene was “stolen from Florida.” The barrel was “sawed-off.” So it was an illegal gun illegally modified by unknown criminals transported in an unknown fashion to a New York City criminal who possessed it illegally and used it illegally.

And if that wasn’t enough to stoke the fires of gun control advocacy, gothamist.com reports that “Foxworth had a total of 50 rounds for his mini-14 assault weapon – the same ammunition used by the U.S. military in M-4 and M-16 rifles.” Oh, and the .22 caliber revolver was “defaced.” So it, too, was illegally modified by unknown criminals and held and used illegally by a convicted criminal.

So how do we keep these illegal weapons from getting into the hands of dangerous criminals? I’m thinking we arrest the dangerous criminals who stole them. And the ones who modified them. And transported them. And sold them. And bought them. And used them.

Do we need new laws for that action? No we do not. And while it’s best to stop the bad guys from getting the guns in the first place (i.e. stealing them), sometimes you can only catch them after the guns have been used. Life’s like that. Bottom line? Society’s anti-gun crime forces need to focus on the bad guys, not the guns or the gun laws per se.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg knows this. But he also knows that the New York City justice system doesn’t do so well in the putting bad guys away for a long time department (for various reasons). In fact, Mayor Mike knows the court system works so badly that a Brooklyn judge let a man wanted for shooting someone in a parking lot in North Carolina skate. Lamont Pride then shot a New York City police officer named Peter Figoski. [Click here for TTAG's coverage.]

Notice how prominently figures in Bloomberg’s post-game wrap-up in the quad-officer shooting conference.

We have now had eight – that’s correct, eight – members of the department shot in the last four months. And this is the second time in the last 24 hours police have been fired upon by armed assailants. All the shootings have a disgraceful fact in common: all were committed with illegal guns that came from out of state. And that is the case with nearly every shooting in our city. We got very lucky tonight, with no life-threatening injuries to officers or innocent bystanders. But sometimes, as you remember, we aren’t so lucky, as we saw with the murder of Police Officer Peter Figoski in December. We will continue to do everything that we can take illegal weapons off our streets, but until Congress wakes up and finds some courage to stand up to the gun lobby, illegal guns will continue to end up in the hands of dangerous people like tonight’s shooter, who had a small arsenal of illegal guns.

That’s it: let’s blame the gun lobby and out-of-state gun smugglers for all of the Big Apple’s officer-involved shootings. Or, more effectively, not. [h/t Allen]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

47 Responses to Mayor Bloomberg = Mayor Blameberg?

  1. avatarCarlosT says:

    Well, gun control certain hasn’t worked for Brazil, as we saw in the recent TTAG post. That kind of crime is a common occurrence. Gun rights were all but eliminated in 2003, and yet people are shot all the time. Criminals somehow seem unconcerned that they must commit an additional crime or two to secure weapons. This leaves the situation where the only people with guns are the criminals and the government. Sadly, it can be sometimes be difficult to distinguish the two by their behavior, although they do tend to dress differently.

  2. Foxworth fired 12 rounds at the officers, police said.
    The officers include: Det. Michael Keenan, 52, who was shot in front calf; Det. Kenneth Ayala, 40, who was shot twice — once in the thigh and once in the left ankle; Officer Matthew Granahan, 35, who was shot in the calf; and Captn. Al Pizzano, 49, who was grazed in the face.

    ?? He wasn’t trying to kill them, he was trying to kill the rats.

    Records show that Foxworth was incarcerated for 10 years for robbery and selling drugs in prison, and two years for attempted murder.

    There’s the problem. Also, if prisons are surrounded by tall fences, armed guards, and traffic is heavily regulated, and drugs still get in, how does Blameburg plan to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals freely walking the streets?

    • avatarKWAL says:

      From his rants that I’ve read lately it seems that he’d like to break away and have his own little monarchy. I say GOOD RIDDANCE! All of NYC is a huge disgusting toilet bowl. Bloomy can be King of all the shit.

  3. avatarRandomhero says:

    NYC, where the average law abiding citizen has no rights, and the criminals run free.

  4. avatarAharon says:

    “That’s it: let’s blame the gun lobby and out-of-state gun smugglers for all of the Big Apple’s officer-involved shootings. Or, more effectively, not.”

    I can think of several factors that socialize or condition someone to being the person who they are (behavior, views on reality): education, community/political/social environment, mass media (news of the world), entertainment, spiritual ethical teachings (overlaps with education), and even diet, etc. Yet, I think the most important and influential factor in developing a person’s character and moral behavior is the quality of the family environment. America’s standards are increasingly sliding into the sewer.

    Yesterday was Lipstick Day at Trader Joes. All Crew Members (female and male) were encouraged by the TJ human resource department to wear bright lipstick to help deepen their employee teamwork. Really? There was no other or better way, and does TJ really need any improvement in that area? Let’s face it: most likely some anti-male feminist in the HR department got the idea from somewhere else how to carry-on the fight in the workplace to feminize men (and make for a better world I guess). Is the solution to stop male gun violence to feminize men or would it be better to instill the traditional values of manliness and old fashioned male codes of honor and responsibility and decency to others? Eight-five percent of men in prison for a second violent offense grew up in today’s modern single parent homes and that means usually a mother/female value-based home environment. I don’t think the answer is to feminize men and make them more like women. It often seems to backfire at the worst times. On average, just maybe the old fashioned two-parent marriages were actually the best way for a society to co-exist with itself and raise the next generation.

  5. avatarRalph says:

    It’s always someone else’s fault, because as we all know, the little king can do no wrong.

  6. avatarTom says:

    Society’s anti-gun crime forces need to focus on the bad guys, not the guns or the gun laws per se.
    I’m thinking we arrest the dangerous criminals who stole them. And the ones who modified them. And transported them. And sold them. And bought them. And used them.
    But then we could not have the revolving door Legal System we have now.

  7. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    2013 is Mayor Bonehead’s last year in office because he is term limited and he will finally be kicked to the curb of the rotten apple. Now NYC needs a new mayor who will actually comply with the 2nd amendment and do the right thing by the citizens of NY.

    • Technically he was term limited after two terms but had the law changed so that he could run for a third time. There’s no reason why he couldn’t do it again and run for a fourth or fifth time. Besides, I think the next mayor will probably be more like David Dinkins than Rudi Gulianni.

  8. avatarAPBTFan says:

    Not a surprise from a mayor that turns away private food donations for the homeless because the nanny state worries the donations might not meet salt, fat and fiber standards,

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/19/bloomberg-strikes-again-nyc-bans-food-donations-to-the-homeless/

  9. avatarPaul says:

    How does someone get shot in the front calf of the leg? Is not the calf in the back of the leg, or did I miss something in bio 101, while checking out Miss Hottotrot’s legs in school?

  10. You keep saying “criminals don’t obey the law,” as if that meant something. It doesn’t.

    The law abiding gun owners from whom the criminals are getting their guns are the problem. Since we all agree criminals don’t obey the laws, let’s move on from there. The sources of criminal guns can be controlled better.

    1. private sales with no background check
    2. straw purchasing
    3. theft.

    By focusing on the law-abiding gun owners and implementing FOR THE FIRST TIME the kinds of laws that would encourage them to do what they should have been doing right along, we can severely decrease gun flow to the criminals.

    Why would you oppose that?

    • avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

      If you can explain to me where the logical stopping point is, you know, the one where we don’t ban all guns, please help us.

      We tried doing what you’re proposing with Sudafed, because of meth fears. It didn’t work. What you’re suggesting with guns won’t work, either, for much the same reasons. The genie is out of the lamp, you are never going to stuff it back in.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      Once Mikey has us all disarmed I’m sure the criminals won’t use other methods to harm any of us. For those of us good with knives, swords, or martial arts this might not be that big a problem. The rest can thank Mikey and his friends for what happens next.

      • I don’t want to disarm ALL of you, GS.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Right. We’ll let you decide who amongst us is allowed to exercise their [allegedly unabridged] Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms from the comfort of the European continent. Or people with your perspective who live in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

        • You’ll be happy to know that I don’t expect to ever be in a policy-making position. I’m just talking.

          My ideas make sense though, that’s why the reaction to them comes in either two forms, vicious personal attacking or excessively defensive argument, both types continually claiming what I have to say doesn’t matter.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          So any attack on any of your ideas is down to the fact that the ideas make sense? And you call gun owners paranoid?

        • No, that’s not what I said.

          I said

          1. vicious personal attacks
          2. excessively defensive responses

          which pretty much cover what you guys dish out to me. What else would explain it, if not that I make sense and you don’t like it?

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Here’s a thought: you’re wrong. People tend to get pissed off when someone is willfully wrong on an issue that directly affects their life, and/or refuses to consider the possibility that they may be wrong when faced with credible evidence that such is the case. Or fails to defend their position with anything approaching intellectual vigor.

        • “Not approaching intellectual vigor,” is an opinion, a judgment call. Same with “willfully wrong.”

          Considering all you’ve got invested in this argument, isn’t it conceivable that you’re a tiny bit biased and that those are NOT accurate descriptions of me?

          How many times do I have to lay out the facts concerning background checks and preventing straw purchasing with registration for you to get it. I say you’re willfully wrong. And with all your intellectual vigor, whatever the hell that is, you haven’t proven a thing to me.

          It goes both ways.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          In answer to your question “how many times do I have to lay out the facts . . . ?” Try once. Give me one fact regarding background checks or straw purchasing that offers convincing evidence that the former lowers firearms-related crime or that the latter (registration) reduces straw purchasing. Fact. Not opinion. Or conjecture. Fact. One. For each preferably, but I’ll take what I can get. In fact, it doesn’t have to be convincing. Just factual.

        • It is a fact that if straw purchasers knew they’d have to produce the gun and paperwork at a later date or go to jail, they would stop doing what they do. That’s a fact based on human nature and the absolutely safe assumption that some of the straw purchasers are intelligent enough to put 2 and 2 together.

          Do you deny that? If we’re arguing in good faith, you should not demand facts or proof for that which is self-evident.

          Here’s another fact. If background checks were required on private sales, SOME of the criminals who heretofore had availed themselves of that method of acquiring guns would be out of luck.

          Do you deny that?

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Clearly the word “fact” doesn’t mean what you think it means. Here’s a definition from dictionary.com:

          1. something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.
          2. something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
          3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
          4. something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.
          5. Law . Often, facts; an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence.

          You’re peddling conjecture as a “fact based on human nature.”

          [Alleged] fact one: “if straw purchasers knew they’d have to produce the gun and paperwork at a later date or go to jail, they would stop doing what they do.”

          Before that statement can be accepted as a fact you need to supply credible evidence. In fact, you admit that it’s based entirely on an assumption. Facts may be based on assumptions but the connection must be established, documented, proven valid. That sort of thing.

          In fact, the recorded and documented and reported number of firearm crimes in countries where there is firearms registration and even spot inspections (e.g., the UK, Australia and Canada) exposes the utter fallacy of your theory. Theory. Not fact. Speaking of which . . .

          “You should not demand facts or proof for that which is self-evident.” Holy shit. Really? So if an idea is self-evident for you, it is beyond scrutiny? That’s one seriously messed-up way to go about life. No wonder people are scared of you.

          Moving on (dot org) . . .

          [Alleged] fact two: “If background checks were required on private sales, SOME of the criminals who heretofore had availed themselves of that method of acquiring guns would be out of luck.”

          Again, you need to provide more than rhetorical supposition when discussing matters of factuality. If we consider “out of luck” meaning unable to acquire firearms, again, there’s plenty of real world data showing that criminals who can’t purchase weapons get them through some other means. In fact (i.e. according to according to a 1986 NIJ study of incarcerated felons) . . .

          Only about one-sixth of the gun-owning felons obtained their most recent handguns through a customary retail transaction involving a licensed firearms dealer. The remainder — five out of six — obtained them via informal, off-the-record transactions involving friends and associates, family members, and various black market outlets. The means of acquisition from these informal sources included cash purchase, swaps and trades, borrowing and renting, and often theft. The criminal handgun market is overwhelmingly dominated by informal transactions and theft as mechanisms of supply.

          That sir, is a fact, based on research. We could suppose that if these felons (and their friends and family) were unable to purchase guns on their behalf, they would simply switch to other methods. As they have throughout Europe, Mexico, Australia and everywhere else where purchasing a gun legally is a bitch.

          I’ll ask you again: give me ONE fact that supports either of your two propositions. One. For either now.

        • “No wonder people are scared of you. Moving on (dot org)”

          What’s that mean?

          I didn’t say if something is self-evident to me it’s beyond scrutiny. I said you’re playing hard to get when you say what’s self-evident to me is not to you. Much of what I say and think is not able to be proven with “facts,” it requires common sense and honesty. I don’t think you’re using those, in the name of arguing, all’s fair on love and war, and all that.

          Let’s try this for a fact.

          Our homicide rate compared to the UK is sky high. Our gun rate per capita compared to the UK is sky high. The fact is, if we had the gun control laws of the UK, our homicide rate would be lower.

          Now, before you give me that old speech about correlation and causation, just try for a moment to be objective and tell me if that qualifies as a “fact.”

        • avatarGuywithagun says:

          Must…
          make…
          webpage…
          WIDER!

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Working on it!

        • avatarChas says:

          It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you think your ideas make sense.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Here’s the thing, Mike. We don’t want criminals to have guns any more than you do. So, as soon as you can deny guns to criminals WITHOUT INCONVENIECING LAW-ABIDING GUN OWNERS AT ALL, we can talk.

      • Thanks Moon, you are a prince of a guy. No inconvenience at all is where you draw the line to save lives. Wonderful.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          My pleasure. I’m certain you’ll agree to a background check and 7-day waiting period next time you want to buy a computer, right? Maybe get fingerprinted before joining a new church, yes?

        • avatarMatt Gregg says:

          They should make everyone get a full background check, psych eval, liscense, photo ID and training class before having kids. The bill of rights makes no mention of a right to multiply. Think of the lives we could save for just a little inconvenience.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          To be fair, I hear the training classes start in fourth grade these days.

        • avatarChas says:

          As opposed to the death wish that gun-haters like you have for innocent people so that you can be right. FLAME DELETED

        • avatarCharger says:

          Actually most people here draw the line at inconvenience that has no proven factual basis for reducing crime. If mandatory registration and spot checking eliminated violent crime we’d be getting somewhere…but it’s done currently in many countries yet they still have violent crime and gun crime. One can easily report registered guns as stolen (right after they’ve been illegally sold). Or are you planning on putting theft victims in jail?

        • Not in jail necessarily, but I believe gun owners should be required to secure their guns from theft. Failing to do that should be a criminal offense.

    • avatarBill says:

      Because I am a grown man and I don’t need the State to stand in for my parents. Growing up and becoming a mature adult; something you should consider.

  11. avatarDrew says:

    I would simply like an explanation of how Mike’s laws or arguments or whatever exactly PREVENT crimes. How exactly do they prevent deaths. How sir?

    • My ideas would prevent deaths and lower crime by keeping guns out of the hands of unfit individuals. If your bias and defensive posture about gun control does not allow you to see that, than I’m afraid there are no words that can help.

      Intentional homicide in the US compared to the UK. That might give you a hint.

      http://mikeb302000.blogspot.it/2012/04/intentional-homicide-rate-whos-worse-uk.html

      • avatarBill says:

        “My ideas would do nothing to prevent deaths, lower crime or keep guns out of the hands of unfit individuals. If your clear thinking and maturity about gun control allows you to see that, then I’m afraid there are no words that can help me become a responsible adult.”

        There, fixed it for you.

      • avatarScott Henrichs says:

        Your ideas are to strip Americans of their rights just like you outlined here http://mikeb302000.blogspot.it/2010/08/one-strike-youre-out.html
        You have proven that you have no real interest in crime control or reducing deaths. Your only interest is in BANNING all guns. Gun control isn’t crime control. Criminals are called criminals because they break laws. 1 law or 1000 laws, they don’t care because they aren’t going to follow them anyway. Law abiding citizens would end up disarmed victims and criminals would continue to break the law.

      • avatarCharger says:

        Focusing on gun crime is myopic. How about you look at total violent crime per capita? Picture doesn’t look so hot for the gun grabbing cause then…oh, right, now I realize why you focus only on gun crime!

        • But it does Charger. Haven’t you seen those recent reports comparing the intentional homicide rates in the US with those in the UK, most of which are done with guns?

  12. avatargirlswithguns says:

    Okay, I’ll play.

    “It is a fact that if straw purchasers knew they’d have to produce the gun and paperwork at a later date or go to jail, they would stop doing what they do.”

    Certainly some of them would, but you have to consider what the motivation of those purchasers is in the first place. Most straw purchasers are family, friends or acquaintances of the person they are buying for. Some do it for money – those with purely a dollar motive might stop. Many, however, do it for drugs or for drug money. They don’t care what’s going to happen later – they need drugs now! When it comes time to produce the gun and the paperwork they probably will not be anywhere where the police can find them. Many of these people change addresses and/or names more often than they change their underwear.

    Family and friends will just ask the person for the gun back long enough to go show it and the paperwork, or report it stolen. How many times can a person in a high crime area claim their gun has been stolen before they stop passing the background check?

    What about sales by crooked gun dealers? What about guns obtained via identity theft? Neither would be touched by your proposed regulations.

    • That’s quite an assumption, which I don’t think I agree with.

      “Many, however, do it for drugs or for drug money. They don’t care what’s going to happen later – they need drugs now!”

      I would imagine even those who do it to pay for a drug habit are not your trembling-junkie types who need a fix today to stave off the withdrawals. Those guys do smash-and-runs or break-ins, or even armed robberies, things that produce cash quickly.

      Most straw purchasers are a bit more aware than that and would be greatly deterred by my program.

      • avatargirlswithguns says:

        “I would imagine even those who do it to pay for a drug habit are not your trembling-junkie types who need a fix today to stave off the withdrawals.”

        That may be true now, but if your program were implemented then those wanting guns purchased for them would likely change their methods. Using addicts in dire need of a fix would probably increase, as would coerced purchases.

        My opinions are based on research and on defendants I see moving through the justice system. “Most straw purchasers are a bit more aware than that and would be greatly deterred by my program.” On what do you base that opinion? Any response to the other types of purchasers I mentioned?

        FWIW, I agree with you that straw purchasing is a real problem, I just disagree with you on the solution. Frankly, I haven’t come up with anything that I think will actually work. Criminals are too adept at beating the system, and there are always those criminals with lots of cash to “invest” who would be more than happy to bring guns from wherever they can be obtained to wherever they are wanted. It’s like the drug laws. All the laws that are in place have done little to actually stem the flow of illegal drugs.

      • avatarBill says:

        Everything you claim is quite an assumption Mikey.

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