“These initiatives will give communities the tools they need to effectively fight gun violence and reduce crime,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo [above left] announced yesterday,”making the state a safer and better place to live for all.” Before we examine these austerity-minded initiatives (JK), I’d like to point out that the wordsmiths at nydailynews.com correctly (if unintentionally) called the announcement a “$2 million anti-gun initiative.” Not anti-gun violence. Not anti-crime. Anti-gun. OK, so, the new program focuses on “four strategies for reducing New York’s gun violence” . . .
– Giving $1 million to six communities, including in the Bronx and Manhattan, to work with academics to create new programs.
Run that by me again: academics? What possible role could eggheads play in the reduction of violent crime? And who’s working with these scholarly types? Communities or community organizers? I’m thinking . . .
This smells of a political rescue operation for Operation SNUG (GUNS spelled backwards), the Empire State’s version of Chicago’s Ceasefire. Both programs paid “violence interrupters” (ex-cons) to convince gang bangers not to shoot each other. The program had no metrics for success, no accountability of any sort.
Back in November, Cuomo’s minions cut SNUG’s $4 million budget, casting adrift the ex-cons and their administrative support (of course) at eight urban centers (New York City, Buffalo, Yonkers, Westchester, Albany, Rochester and Syracuse). What’s the bet the “academics” in question are either former SNUGGIES or SNUG-ERAW (AWARE backwards)?
Even if that’s tin hat time. Cuomo’s forking out a mil to eggheads to create new
“anti-gun” programs, so they can spend more money. A grant to create even more expensive new anti-gun programs. How great is that?
– Continuing to fund programs with a record of success, including ones in Harlem and Brooklyn.
Hmm. See above, adding Harlem and Brooklyn to the eight cities where SNUG reduced violent firearm-related crime by . . . an indeterminate amount. Probably close to not at all.
– Launching an anti-gun ad campaign this spring.
There it is again: “anti-gun.” One can only imagine the anti-pistol pathos that’s about to be plastered on the state’s bus shelters and billboards. TV ads with former gang bangers or gang banger survivors tearfully waving the bloody shirt. It’ll be the usual Nike-style stuff: Just Don’t Do It. With one key difference . . .
– Creating a toll-free tip line — 1-855-GUNS-NYS where callers can give the locations of illegal guns.
This is the latest trend in anti-gun crime posturing: drop the dime on people—anonymously—who own illegal guns.
It’s a win for pols, who appear to be doing something about gang violence—I mean “gun crime” without actually doing anything. Actually, that’s not strictly true. The “rat out the other guy on guns” could increase gang violence. One gang squeals on another (without having to pay for the ‘phone call), creating vendettas, which lead to violent retribution.
Given that all the urban areas named in the Gov’s new anti-gun plans are likely to have a SWAT team, the gun reporting program is an ideal solution for New York’s under-utilized (i.e. bored) paramilitary police. You gotta call the flash bang boys in blue, right? We’re talking about bad guys WITH GUNS!
The only people who lose from this program are legal gun owners (who can be plunged into a potentially fatal bureaucratic nightmare by vindictive or (indeed) well-meaning neighbors), taxpayers (‘natch) who have to foot the bill and anyone who doesn’t think America in general and New York in particular should continue its march towards a police state.
“We” may be winning, but gun rights advocates who don’t push back against gun control wherever it rears its ugly head run the risk of seeing their rights rolled back. Maybe not now. But eventually. And that’s the truth.