New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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By Larry Keane

Big city mayors must have a standard checklist in the back of their press briefing binders. That page would have one entry that would read:

“When your failed policies create chaos, blame guns.”

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Pool)

It would sound ridiculous, but that is what is happening. Crime is skyrocketing in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle. Those aren’t the only cities, but a crime storm is brewing.

City leaders are engaging in a blame game rather than accountability when the consequences of failed policies wreak havoc in their communities. Their bogeyman is a gun. Laying the blame at the feet of the criminals committing the crimes would be problematic because it would call into question a series of poor decisions that left citizens vulnerable and forfeited their streets to criminals.

Blame the Guns

Blaming guns has become almost a knee-jerk reaction. The accusation is lobbed at the inanimate object enough that it would seem to be losing luster if it were not for an adoring and unquestioning media.

Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot was asked about the meteoric rise in homicides and attempted murders in the Windy City. Her answer minimized the issue and anyone who dared question her answer all at the same time.

Lori Lightfoot
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

“That’s a complicated question,” Mayor Lightfoot said, according to the Washington Examiner. “We have way too many guns on the streets.”

Her trite response came after the news that murders in Chicago were up by 78 percent in June, criminal shootings were up by 75 percent, over 2019’s figures. That accounts for 424 people shot, and 89 people murdered. For comparison, in June 2019, those figures were 242 shootings and 50 murders. It’s also on the horrific revelation a 3-year-old was murdered on Father’s Day and a 14-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl were murdered over July 4th weekend.

Same Story, Different City

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Pool)

Seattle showed the absurdity of elected officials refusing to address criminal activity, too. Protestors set up their “Capitol Hill Occupied Zone” (CHOP) or “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and it quickly became a den of criminal activity.

NSSF pointed out organizers were illegally distributing firearms in contravention of recently-passed state laws. Seattle’s Democratic Mayor Jennie Durkan called it a “summer of love” and a “block party atmosphere.” That was until protestors showed up on her doorstep and tragically, two were killed in the protest zone and another four were injured from criminal shootings. One teen was killed when his vehicle approached barriers at the protest zone and criminals opened fire.

New York City’s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the spike in criminal activity on the coronavirus and quarantine orders. The Big Apple witnessed more than 64 people shot and 10 killed over July 4th weekend. One was a father holding his 6-year-old daughter’s hand as they crossed the street. Criminals pulled up in a car in broad daylight and murdered the man in front of his child.

Shootings in NYC totaled 528 at the end of June, making it the worst year from criminal misuse of guns since 1996.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms decried the murder that claimed the life of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner. “You shot and killed a baby,” the mayor said to the criminals who claimed control of the area surrounding a fast-food restaurant. Armed men told news media just weeks ago that “police aren’t allowed here,” after taking over the area. Citizens told media they were threatened and intimidated. No action was taken until Secoria was murdered.

Get to the Root

These problems are not an issue of lawful gun ownership. These are crimes. People lawfully buying firearms today are overwhelmingly saying they are concerned for their personal safety. Those concerns began when mayors and governors began releasing criminals back into the community at the onset of the coronavirus.

Mayor de Blasio released nearly a thousand prisoners in the first month alone. New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law last year eliminating bail holds for those accused of crimes and turns criminals back on the street within hours. Illinois’ Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker released 4,000 prisoners, including 64 convicted murderers. Washington’s Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee released 1,000 convicts from prison.

On top of that, these same elected officials are backing calls to defund police. Mayor de Blasio slashed $1 billion in police funding and disbanded plain-clothes anti-crime police units that were highly effective at taking illegally possessed firearms out of the hands of criminals. Seattle’s Mayor Durkan proposed cutting $409 million from city police budgets. Atlanta’s Mayor Bottoms said her city is “ahead of the curve” on “reallocating funds” from police.

These cities don’t have a gun problem. They have a crime problem. They also have a leadership problem that will scapegoat the issue and expose their citizens to criminals who will prey on the most vulnerable in our communities.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. I blame stupid democRat mayors for kissing criminal butts. Pucker up you ratbassturds.

  2. And nothing will change because the same idiots that voted them in office are uneducated puppets & will vote them back into office,,, watch & see, hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

    • “Uneducated puppets” not always, some have high levels of education. They just attended a school that took away their ability to think things all the way through and brainwashed them into believing the world is only rainbows and unicorns.

        • Indoctrinated (brainwashed) puppets.
          Calling State Indoctrination Centers education is ludicrous.

      • The problem is they are politically driven and take an unrealistic view of what really works. Instead for them, it is much more important to appear “Compassionate.” then able to fix crime or poverty problems. .

    • There is and has been a misconception that education is equal to intelligence.
      The only thing that education gives you is the opportunity to acquire knowledge (or whatever pass for it in today’s colleges and universities) true intelligence is the application of knowledge and/or experience with the ability to put it into useful applications (with useful being a very broad term) any flaw in knowledge (willfully or not) will result in less then optimal results to put it nicely.

      • This country is chock-full of educated idiots. Some of them have educated themselves so hard that they’re even dumber and less capable than they were when they went into the university system.

      • “misconception that education is equal to intelligence.”

        Very true. I know an extremely intelligent and successful businessman that dropped out of school in the eighth grade.

  3. The only place where the Governor had the stones to call out the National Guard was Atlanta, wonder why? Because unlike the other places mentioned we have a Republican in that office. Atlanta/Fulton county is the cesspit of Georgia, most states have at least one.

  4. My freezer is full of deer, duck, elk, dove, and antelope. I’m getting fat – and I too blame guns!

    • I love how you organized your sentence like your freezer, mammal, fowl, mammal, fowl, mammal

      I am jealous though…. my freezer is only full of ice cream.

  5. If NY wanted to cut crime, it could use the $1B saved to buy 2M handguns or ARs and start handing them out to the good citizens of the 5 boroughs. If 1/4 of the population was loaded for bear, they wouldn’t need the police. Drivebys will stop when every other house or apartment returns fire.

    • Right after enacting Constitutional carry for the state of N. Y.,your idea would solve the problem, that’s why N.Y. Leftards will never do what will work.

      • We would also need appropriate castle and stand your ground laws that prevent civil litigation in the absence of a criminal conviction for a defensive shooting. Otherwise we may have some (more) interesting case law horror stories.

  6. Those must be all those racist guns in the suburbs invading our Cities and hunting down innocent black people. If isn’t the racist cops killing innocent thugs it’s those white hooded guns ruining the summer of love.

  7. If that doesn’t work, there’s always white supremacy or Trump. It’s good to have options.

    • All this chaos and violence, while intentionally created by Democrats, will be blamed on Trump. Remember the great economy, high real incomes and lowest unemployment in decades few months ago? Few will in November. Happy people don’t vote Dem.

  8. Lance Bottoms? Sounds like a doctor with a very obscure specialty ridding patients of boils.

    • She really needs to get together with that Eileen Filler-Corn dingbat from Virginia. They’d be a proctologist’s dream. And a hyphenated nightmare.

  9. Ah the striving to elect a braindead Leftard,only to once they are elected
    consistently Fail at everything they touch and clueless to repair the damage their ideology caused.

  10. It’s all part of their long game. Stir the pot until things are so bad the proles will be clamoring for safety and security of any type, even the totalitarian kind, which the left will be happy to supply.

  11. Well, you do know that the shootings in Chicago come from the police in unmarked cars. So if you eliminate the police you will eliminate the shootings.

  12. It’s almost like voting democrats into city hall causes crime problems. That can’t be true.

  13. You would think that TTAG, of all places, would use proper terminology to describe the weekend that just passed. The holiday is INDEPENDENCE DAY, not 4th of July.

    Of course, the only reason that we celebrate anything is that ordinary folks brought their own unserialized, untraceable, unregistered assault-weapons-of-the-day to oppose what had become a tyrannical government that was no longer responsive to the needs of its citizens. Which is of course exactly why the Founding Fathers codified our pre-existing RTKBA into the Bill of Rights.

    That said, the day that we REALLY ought to celebrate is April 19, 1775.

    • “TTAG, of all places, would use proper terminology to describe the weekend that just passed”

      The author was speaking about the the 3rd, 4th and 5th. Not a single day, notice the autor said “July 4th Weekend” both times. People can always find something to complain about if they look hard enough.

  14. *Yawn* Lock people down for 2 months over a virus that really seriously effects less than 1% of 1% and then wonder why people get pissed.

    If they try another one pretty sure we will finally see mass noncompliance which should of happened with the first one. People do strange things when subjected to isolation. Not blaming this all on Coronavirus but it is a side effect of the miss managed ‘treatment”. Ironcally all we really did was hammer the economy and move the curve to later in the year.

  15. Blaming legal gun ownership in NYC? How is that even possible when virtually every NYC subject’s 2A rights are infringed?

  16. BLAH BLAH BLAH , heard it all before, guns are the problem, which reminds me that I have to go pick up my new AR- 10 from my FFL, and don’t forget the bullets. “ Ammunition, the new currency of the world”

  17. Never accept the all to appropriate blame for the failure of your ill considered ideas/programs, especially when there is an oh so convenient inanimate object, firearms, on which the blame can be heaped. Unfortunately, it seems that this is the fall back position of to many in public office.

  18. Guns are not the problem Guns were never the problem ,The policy of no bail for criminals now that’s a problem ,Letting convicts out of jail because of covid 19 that’s a problem attacking the police for doing their job that’s a major problem and top it all off with some dumbass Mayor wanting to Defund the Police then when the shit hits the fan blame guns it doesn’t take a genius to figure this crap out .

  19. Another problem is the bloated book of laws that any state now has. Instead of changing a law, they write a new one and keep everything on the books. We pay police to arrest old men in the park playing chess for $1 a game(even Boris Spassky couldn’t live on that). They take in 20 or so and issue them tickets that end up costing the perp $500 or more. Maybe these vice officers could be used in a more efficient manner(but why, these old and crippled men playing chess in the park don’t shoot back)

  20. This socialist uppity “LBJ/KGB” style class warfare elitism confirms and proves what I have been saying about the depraved treasonous Democrats for decades. They along with their corrupt ilk (mayors of big cities including urban metro Democrat Party mob controlled rule) can again be rightly described in five words: deceitful crooked immoral treasonous and socialist!

    James A. “Jim” Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)
    Long Live The State of Jefferson!

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