Stop and frisk (courtesy wsj.com)

Last night, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly defended the NYPD’s now-discontinued stop ‘n frisk policing practice. The bloviating blowhard claimed it’s OK to trample citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights because stop ‘n frisk “takes guns off the street.” More firearms-related arrests = less firearms-related crime. A theory which only works if the arrests lead to convictions and, thinking out loud, incarceration. After all, removing bad guys from the streets is an actual possibility. Choking off criminals’ supply of guns to the point where they can’t get one rivals the Rock’s version of Hercules for credibility-stretching fantasy. And here’s something else Mr. O’Reilly and his fellow anti-gun elitists don’t take into account  . . .

As many as half of the most serious gun arrests by the NYPD are dismissed or not prosecuted in some of the city’s more violent boroughs, according to court statistics.

State court statistics show that last year there were more cases of the most serious gun charge, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, tossed out in the Bronx and Brooklyn than in the other boroughs: 41.5 percent in the Bronx and 31.9 percent in Brooklyn.

Combined with arrests that prosecutors decline to prosecute, the Bronx saw 53 percent of those gun arrests shelved, while the number was 40 percent in Brooklyn, state records show.

amny.com‘s report backs-up the NRA’s longstanding contention that the “problem” with our gun laws has nothing to do with so-called loopholes. We’re simply not enforcing the criminal statutes that are already on the books. Here, then, is proof. And culprits both old (police ineptitude, corruption, plea bargaining) and new (“diversion programs”):

Under state law, first offenders get a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years in prison for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon while the lesser count will draw two years, said Brooklyn defense attorney James DiPietro.

But one high-ranking assistant district attorney who didn’t want to be identified said many gun possession defendants are 17 years old or younger, and if they are treated as youthful offenders, there is no mandatory minimum term.

“For every 35-year-old caught there are two 17-year-olds,” said the prosecutor, adding that some judges are reluctant to sentence a 17-year-old gun defendant without a prior record to a mandatory term . . .

[NYPD Commissioner William] Bratton also has complained about prosecutorial diversion programs, saying that in at least one case, a defendant in the program was out on bail and got picked up for a gun used in five shootings.

“So there is an individual who should never be in diversion program in the first place,” Bratton said earlier this year . . .

Many of the gun cases in the Bronx, for example, are dismissed because Manhattan federal prosecutors eventually take them as part of a program known as “Trigger Lock,” which allows prosecutors to get more leverage of suspects through stringent federal sentencing law, said one Bronx prosecutor. Bronx juries also have a reputation for being skeptical of cops, said the prosecutor.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors also take Trigger Lock cases, but much less frequently. The problem, both prosecutors and police officials said, is that federal judges in Brooklyn have questioned the credibility of police testimony in gun arrests in some controversial cases.

“They [police] had issues with bad rulings from judges who found officers had incredible explanations ,” said a Brooklyn prosecutor.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has embarked on a quixotic head-’em-off-at-the-pass initiative called FixNICS. They want legislators to “fix” the FBI’s background check system for new gun sales by being more efficient about entering criminals and mental patients into the system – rather than (or before?) expanding NICs to private transfers. The NRA counters calls for “universal background checks” (recently passed in Oregon) using the same strategy.

Wrong answer. If preventing firearms-related crime is the question, fixing the broken criminal justice system in the [strangely anti-gun] urban enclaves where it lives is the answer. I wonder why the NSSF and NRA aren’t preaching that particular gospel….

67 Responses to The Secret Truth About “Gun Crime”

  1. O’Reilly is a piece of crap. His “logic” can be used to deny everyone all of their rights. It is unimaginable that anyone would think “stop and frisk” is in any way compatible with the basic human liberty.

    • O’Reilly is pretty liberal on a lot of subjects. He is pro-gun control, anti-freedom (4th Amendment), he is for price controls, and on and on.

      • That’s a huge oversimplification of his views. He is not for outright price controls nor is he explicitly anti-gun. He has spoken multiple times about the importance of gun rights. The problem is that he knows jack squat about guns for the most part, in particular the AR-15, assuming it is some “high-powered” weapon.

      • The guy built his career in entertainment news which is about as light weight intellectually as feather herding. So he gets to Fox News where his stock-and-trade became pretentious condescension and peddling the kind of east-coast RINO twaddle that passes for conservatism in that part of the world. It’s a good thing he’s making a good living as a talking head because he’s not much good for anything else. It’s no surprise he’s also ignorant about guns. I doubt that the guy knows how to change a tire.

  2. I’m far less impressed with FOX than I used to be. Bill O’Reilly, Jim Grey, Carl Rove, A Colmes, etc….aren’t exactly straight shooters, (NPI) in my estimation. The news has become crowd control.

  3. Sorry, this bears repeating over and over and over –

    What part of “…shall not be infringed.” gives ANY government entity the authority to determine who should be denied their Second Amendment rights or compile, maintain and enforce such a list?

    The Second Amendment exists exactly to deny the government the authority to do just that.

  4. O’Reily is one of those dinosaur military-industrial-complex statist conservatives who gobble at the jock of every man in uniform they see.

    A dying breed thankfully.

    • >A dying breed thankfully.

      Can’t agree more on thankfully but I doubt they are dying. Last I checked the lamestream GOP is fully packed with law-and-order knob-gobblers.

  5. “Consider, as well, the attempts to limit the possession of firearms, as a means towards
    their complete and permanent disposal. The futility, and danger, of this idea can be
    demonstrated by pointing one’s first and middle finger at someone with one’s thumb pointed
    straight up and the other two fingers cupped towards ones’ palm. One doesn’t have to utter
    ‘bang’ for most of the population of the earth to recognize what is being mimicked.
    Therefore, since the idea of firearms [a gun] cannot be eradicated, then their legal
    possession by the lawful must be maintained as a contradictory threat to their actual creation,
    possession and use by the unlawful [9]. Employing the maxim ‘I will not pay to raise up an
    army against myself’, hypothetically, I will not pay (provide support in any way) for you to
    prevent me from protecting myself against you, or other foe, who does not feel equal compulsion
    to support such a doctrine.
    In affect, I will not support you in your attempts to disarm me for my enemies, and to
    preempt further shaded attacks on my security, You give up your ‘gun’ and I will get you to give
    up everything else. Again, this idea can be expanded to a family, a town, a city, a country, the
    globe, the universe.
    The question is hereby asked, and answer demanded: How long will America last? [10].
    This is an unknown, and assertions can be guaranteed by no one. However the existence of
    America requires not only the desire by its incorporated societies, to defend it but by THE
    VERY MEANS. Therefore, possession and retention of arms (as a right) IS HEREBY
    GUARANTEED to outlive even the idea of America.” [TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012]

    BTW – O’Reilly may or may not be a blowhard, but if he is even close the liberal (non-conservative) cr_p foisted upon us by the other media is intolerable.

  6. A rich, privileged, white guy defending Stop-and-Frisk which was applies almost exclusively to poor minorities?

    This is my shocked face.

      • I’m sure he had to deal with being randomly picked out by a cop and have his 4th Amendment rights violated on a constant basis, too.

      • The figures I have seen state that O’Reilly’s father earned over 30,000 dollars a year in the early 1970s. That is not poor; heck, 30k in 1972 would be over 165,000 in today’s dollar. I wish I had to pull myself up from that sort of poverty.

  7. S. T. you and the previous commenter know a little too much about knob-gobbling and it sounds like you are afraid of similar competition.

    • GOP-defender to the rescue! At least try to be original with retorts, bro. 🙂

      • I have only defended conservatives and conservatism, I even use the term rino negatively as “Republican” although shifting on sand as a term throughout the history of the U.S. has ALWAYS been conservative.

        If you play the game out to the end in your head, WE ARE ALL CONSERVATIVE(S) AT SOME LEVEL [loosely paraphrased TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012] If you get to decide how much, then I get to decide when, and will likely chuck it first, and you will be hunted.

        • >although shifting on sand as a term throughout the history of the U.S. has ALWAYS been conservative.

          It is easy to make that claim when you can just define “conservatism” as you see fit over each era. Was Reagan a proper conservative when he banned open carry in California? Was Nixon a proper conservative when he raped the 3rd and 4th amendments when the drug war? Cultural conservatives say yes, liberty-minded conservatives say no.

          I find it amusing when you or a TV pundit claim dominion over the word “conservative”. 🙂

        • “It is understood that much of what past civilizations were can only remain, piecemeal:
          language, customs, persons. What remains the longest, is that which is mutually sustainable, but
          sustainable is only that which continually passes the “test.”
          Any of these can be distilled down to the few things that can remain. The chain of
          which, meanders through human inclusion, the formulation being quite absolute, although not
          necessarily linear in its custody.
          The overall standards of previous civilization, mores, norms, beliefs, have been vastly
          varied, each and all of which were continued until they were not, or until they could not be.
          What are considered lasting standards might vary over the length of a decade, but not
          over the length of a century, and certainly have not over the length of millennia.
          You could say [it could be postulated] that nothing then has lasted that long. If true
          discernment be had, however, what past society has been replaced with, or supplanted with, has
          always returned to reaffirm the same true bedrock standard[s].
          Survivable standards.
          These standards can only be described in Terms, of ACTION and INACTION; FOR and
          AGAINST. What are described therein have been called many things, and they are not likely to
          maintain their current names, however, what we communicate when we use such Terms will
          remain.” [TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012 Pg. 17]

        • If you’re going to copy and paste something, at least format the text. 🙂

        • What the heck is this TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012? I’ve googled it several times and can never find what you’re talking about. Is it a book? A paper? Please explain.

        • You mad bro? 🙂

          I bet Kristen Beck can teach you a thing or two about actual knob-gobbling, when you can take some time off from the proverbial knob-gobbling (of jack-booted thugs).

  8. If you are from a Blue state, you may be part of the problem, if you have a (D) after your name, are a liberal or a rino, the problem is part-of-you.

    • There it is! It seems like no article that touches on politics here on TTAG escapes without Joe R.’s “part of the problem” shtick. That train is never late…

      • Stinkeye – if you would like a late-train, try prison. But sure, attack the dude if you have trouble getting your toe-under-the-turtle on the message.

      • Where only have an argument over it here because Conservatives have taken the linguistic high-road. If you are liberal you are a POS, and a drag on Society that you have no idea why it even exists.

        All of these ideas have already been hashed-out one way or another over time and the liberal way has eventually been rejected. One could say that Society has by and large become more and more liberal over time, but you cannot point to a single society in human history that has lasted in a single fashion for more than a few generations, and most if not all were ended in some form of violence. Societal Agreement is what restores it, or what rises from the ashes and it begins again with CONSERVATIVE ideals. [loosely paraphrased TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012]

        • You don’t have to preach to me why liberalism sucks. I’m about as small-l libertarian as you can get before you get to anarchist. I’m just pointing out that you’re like a broken record with that particular “the problem is part of you, etc” bit. It’s not quite clever enough to repeat it as often as you do.

  9. But… but… this is an ARCH CONSERVATIVE site and Bill O’Riley is somewhere to the right of 0bama so he’s an ARCH CONSERVATIVE too! Given the utter dogmatism of ARCH CONSERVATISM you *C*A*N*T* criticize O’Reilly!!!!!

    /sarc (if it ain’t obvious)

  10. Bill O’Reily is just the Michael Moore of the conservative crowd, with equal credibility, and equal like-ability.

    • O’Reilly is far more credible than Michael Moore. IMO, Glenn Beck is more the right-wing Michael Moore, and even then, he still is more credible than Moore.

    • “Michael Moore of the conservative crowd”

      Bingo. A pompous ass who found an audience. Nothing more. Tried watching him once. Only made it as far as the first commercial break.

  11. Maybe some of the judges and prosecutors just didn’t like putting people in jail for exercising their 2nd Amendment rights after their 4th Amendment rights were violated?

  12. There’s a difference between conservatives and “statists that pretend to be conservatives.”

  13. If universal background checks work for illegal guns, why isn’t every body calling for universal background checks to buy heroine, cocaine, crystal meth, marijuana, etc.? Things that decent, law-abiding citizens aren’t interested in.

    As if stopping a gun sale would solve the problem. You still have a criminal who won’t stop being a criminal.

    You keep criminals away from guns using the same means by which we keep criminals away from the rest of us.

  14. I can’t stand O’Reilly..Him and that freakin hannity,can both pound sand.. Hannity’s claim that freddie grey broke his own back, was the stupidest thing i’v ever heard… Both of these idiots lack the ability to exercise critical thinking.. it’s all about the R party, regardless how ridiculous their defense is.

  15. O’Reilly isn’t anti-gun. He has spoken multiple times about the importance of gun rights. But he isn’t as pro-gun as he gun rights people are, although from listening to him, I get the impression that this is more due to ignorance of the subject on his part. For example, he has said he thinks that people who own AR-15s should have to register them with the government. He knows nothing about the AR-15 which is why he holds these views and he also understands nothing about gun registration and what it really entails.

    • O’Reily speaks out of ignorance A LOT. And he tends to shut down people trying to explain things to him.

  16. Why are nearly all the comments about Bill O’Riley rather than the theme of the original posting (i.e., the criminal justice system convicts only half the criminal possession of guns cases they prosecute)?

    • Exactly.

      I wish I could find it, but someone correlated the numbers on homicides and arrest records in a particular city. (Maybe Chicago)

      Essentially the conclusion was some astronomical percentage of homicides would not have occurred if the shooter had actually been charged with felony gun possession on a previous arrest. They would have been locked up.

      The gist being that if lazy DA’s actually enforced existing gun laws, gun related homicides would drop exponentially.

      • That could be the product of their belief that it’s the gun, not the person, that’s responsible for the shooting death.

        I’d like to see your stat repeated far, wide and often, because it’s a fine refutation of this foundational element of the antis’ arguments.

      • I’ve been on about this for years. The overwhelming majority of killers are no stranger to police or the courts. They’ve been arrested for violent acts before, they’ve been arrested for gun possession before. Usually they’re out of prison for less than a year (after serving less than 5) when they kill someone. Inevitably, they would have been in prison for much longer if the DA had simply not null-proc’d and declined the charges that come with these mandatory sentencing guidelines that come with the firearm riders on violent crimes. When a 24 year old who has 14 felonies on his record stretching back 10 years is out on the street before he’s eligible for social security, you can’t even be surprised when he kills someone, and we shouldn’t allow it to happen. Our system is broken. Inadequately prosecuting criminal gun possession is an epidemic, and I’m really wondering if it’s intentional.

  17. O’Reilly is the most pro-gun Catholic I know. Which means he supports the Second Amendment, but . . . .

  18. Elect Loonburg for Dictator @ #EveryMoronForGunNonsense.
    Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly defended the NYPD’s now-discontinued stop ‘n frisk policing practice. The right wing and the left wing are both connected to the body of a big bird of prey.

  19. Any gun arrest or charge relating to a stop and frisk moment should be thrown out and the persons gun returned. Stop and frisk was so far out of bounds as to be criminal.

  20. O’Reilly is the only Fox thing I watch…and I yell at the screen a lot. Yes stop and frisk is something out of East Germany or North Korea. Didn’t O’reilly say he had guns in his house? Whatever-he is clueless about the internet and wondered what a You-tube channel was…and he wants the FBI to target the hildebest so he’s Ok by me.

    • There’s guns in his house, though his private security contractors are the only ones who know how to use them.

    • Replace “O’Reilly” with “Gutfeld” and that’s me. Oh and “laugh at people’s stupidity” with “yell” also.

  21. As long as there is supposed to be a “backgroundcheck” system then there ar no rational arguments against making sure all relevant information is put into the system.
    You either get rid of the whole thing, or you improve it.

  22. Billy boy, speaks with forked tongue! most of the time he pretends symbolically to be for the Constitution!
    A couple of things make me disavow this theory of his
    1. He make words for Money {the more controversial the fatter the paycheck}!
    2. His ending statement with Chis Kyle told me he is an opinionated butt head {He implied Chief Kyle’s reason for so many tours was that he liked too kill}! Billy boy doesn’t know the difference between killing and murder!
    3. He’s OK with liberal policies that do not affect his freedom or paycheck!
    4. He has no balls, afraid to defend freedom of speech because it offends the Islamic life style.

  23. I am pleased to see that this issue of dismissing/pleading-down gun crimes is getting some attention. That said, this posting and the underlying AMNY.com article – when CAREFULLY read – demonstrate how muddy the real picture is. WE PotG should not be JUMPING to conclusions here; we OUGHT to be COOL-HEADED . . . see comments at the end.

    Look at these texts:

    “. . . the large majority of serious gun convictions around the city lead to substantial prison time either at or above the mandatory minimum terms.” Substantially dilutes the theme of the article!

    “. . . decisions by prosecutors to let federal courts handle the cases and impose stricter sentences . . . ” Also dilutes the theme.

    In the case of the diverted kid caught with a gun used in 5 shootings, the kid was: “. . . in diversion for credit card fraud, not gun possession. The gun was later found in his apartment and not out on the street . . . ” Was this a case: “. . . where a weapon is found in an apartment . . . and everyone is charged with possession”?

    “In most diversion cases, “the results have been mostly successful, with a low percentage of re-offenders,” Remember our poster-girl, Shaneen Allan; she finally got diversion and justly so.

    “. . . many gun possession defendants are 17 years old or younger . . .” On the one hand, we PotG claim to defend-to-the-death the right of a law-abiding person to carry a gun in defense-of-self; and, on the other hand, condemn a teenager living in a ghetto for carrying when he has a well-founded fear of death. Presumably, at least some of these under-18-year-olds don’t yet have a criminal record (if for no other reason, they haven’t been caught yet.) I will grant you that they are in violation of the law; but a law which we PotG are skeptical-of or outright condemn! After all, most of these kids are of militia age and many of us carried long guns in rural areas in our teens. What’s the difference? Oh, yes, they are carrying handguns in the city possibly for self-defense and we were carrying long-guns for recreation.

    “. . . cops . . . mishandle evidence . . . ” “They [police] had issues with bad rulings from judges who found officers had incredible explanations ,” Are we PotG exhibiting ‘selective-skepticism’ here? I.e., when we don’t like the report we disbelieve the cops; when we like the report we presume the cops were honest?

    “. . . gun arrests at the airports . . . ” Aren’t most of these cases inadvertent?

    We NEED a few serious academic studies that pursue in depth a representative sample of cases. We need data from several major metro areas and a few rural areas as well. Follow individual cases from the original police report to find out where they ended up and WHY! Where did these individuals eventually wind-up? Convicted of violent crimes? Convicted of non-violent crimes? Leading law-abiding lives?

    My suspicion is that the article’s thesis would be SUSTAINED after careful study; i.e., antecedent gun-posession crimes were followed by violent felonies in certain cases. I also suspect that we will find that the statistics are distorted by plenty of BENIGN cases (such as airports, or carrying for self-defense in Won’t-Issue States). As long as the picture remains as muddy as presented in this article, popular outrage is apt to lead to still more miscarriages of justice (e.g., Shaneen Allen) rather than incarceration of violent criminals.

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