New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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By Hannah Cox

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency over gun violence in the state.

The nation has seen a spike in crime in many places during the pandemic, but New York’s increase in violence has garnered heightened attention from viral videos of sudden sidewalk attacks, brutal subway abuse, and random gunfire in Times Square.

New York’s increase in gun crimes does indeed outpace many other states. New York City experienced a 73 percent increase in shooting incidents between May of 2020 and May of 2021. In comparison, Washington DC, which also experienced a spike in gun crimes, reported a 23 percent increase during the first five months of 2021.

And yet, New York has long employed some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In the city, where most of the violence is concentrated, it is virtually impossible for anyone outside of law enforcement to obtain a gun permit—they often can’t even have them in their homes, much less on their person.

Commenting on his executive order, Cuomo said there are currently more people dying in New York by gun violence and crime than of COVID-19. “We went from one epidemic to another epidemic,” he said. “We went from Covid to the epidemic of gun violence and the fear and the death that goes along with it.”

The governor also picked up a familiar talking point that other leaders in strict gun control areas have relied on when facing rampant gun violence. He blamed neighboring states.

According to Cuomo, many of the illegal guns in the state are purchased from outside of New York. “I have a vision of a border war because we wasted so much time and money in this nation fighting illegal immigration,” he said. “Illegal immigration is not killing Americans! Illegal guns are killing Americans.”

While not all of the policies under Cuomo’s new plan to combat violence focus on gun control, his executive order indicates these policies will get more than their fair share of resources.

new york governor cuomo ghost guns ghost knives
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The executive order creates an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which the administration says will coordinate efforts and direct resources to emerging gun violence hot spots. It also creates a new state police Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit that will focus on illegal guns being transported into the state.

According to the descriptions under the executive order, the powers and resources given to these new government agencies will be pretty sweeping. And there’s no telling what their final cost will be.

For those who’ve followed the issue of gun control, many of these initiatives look familiar. They say if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Democrats seem to have taken that motto to heart as they continue to approach spikes in crime and gun violence with more of the same failed policies that led to the problem in the first place.

Gun control has not only failed to make a dent in crime, as evidenced by New York’s own “epidemic” among others, it has cost many innocent people their lives as well.

Millions of Americans carry guns every day and use them to prevent crimes. Notably, every victim of gun violence in New York was first a victim of authoritarian and unconstitutional laws in the state that robbed them of their right to self-defense.

On top of that, gun control represents a tremendous opportunity cost. When you create criminals out of law-abiding, non-violent people—as gun control does—you expand the pool of people that law enforcement must police.

Instead of police spending their time identifying and apprehending those who’ve committed violence with a gun, they spend their time identifying and tracking down people who merely have a gun—a much larger group of people, most of whom will never commit violence. This means we’re actually less likely to catch criminals as we spread our resources too thin across a large number of people who are not a threat, versus honing in on the small percentage of the population who are

ATF agent
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

If you’re familiar with studies on deterrence, you know that the actual best deterrent to crime is the assuredness that a person will be caught and held accountable. Those who commit harm in the US know that that is almost certainly not the reality they are facing.

violent crime homicide clearance rate
Courtesy Manhattan Institute

We solve an abysmally low percentage of crimes, and much of this is to blame on an overabundance of laws and spreading our resources too thin.

In his classic essay, That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen, Frederic Bastiat explains that people tend to focus only on the beneficial aspects of a policy (“the seen”), and neglect its potentially negative consequences (“the unseen”).

In this case, Cuomo seems to be fixating on “the seen.” The governor sees an item involved in crime and believes he can eliminate the object and therefore eliminate the behavior.

He never stops to consider the lives that could have been saved had they had access to guns (but we know that number is high), nor does he consider the ways the resources he wastes on product bans could be redirected towards policies that actually work to make communities safer.

Gun control proponents may never admit the numerous failures under their policies, but executive orders like this one spell it out loud and clear. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

Hannah Cox is the Content Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education.


This article was originally published on Read the original article.

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  1. My first comment vanished. Here’s the condensed version.

    You want to cut down on crime and violence? Ban democrats.

    • OK, we ban the democrats. Sounds good. But, what are we going to do about all those voting democrats in the cemeteries? Do we ban graveyards next?

      • “But, what are we going to do about all those voting democrats in the cemeteries? Do we ban graveyards next?”

        Double execution.

        Dig ’em up, kill ’em again, and then erase their names from the voter rolls… 🙂

  2. “The governor sees an item involved in crime and believes he can eliminate the object and therefore eliminate the behavior”

    he does, and he can. it all comes clear when you realize he’s acting against, not present crime, but future crime – the crime of resistance against leftist takeover of the united states.

    • Aren’t “thoughtcrimes” already being punished by electronic banishment, aka cancelling?

        • Either way I sense a new division within the Dept. of Health full of highly paid governor appointed positions. They may have some trouble pushing gun control with regular state workers after all of us saw the uptick in crime in our primary work locations and no police capability to provide even the typical illusion of safety.

  3. “According to Cuomo, “I have a vision of a border war because we wasted so much time and money in this nation fighting illegal immigration,” he said…..“Illegal immigration is not killing Americans! ̶I̶l̶l̶e̶g̶a̶l̶ ̶g̶u̶n̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶k̶i̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶s̶.̶ 𝙢𝙮 𝙣𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚!”.


    • Mix of idiots and human predators the latter you usually do not see on tv. With that said NY is tragically overloaded with fools (guess where their money is) as can be seen with how many cults we have had. NXIVM for a while was providing training to state employees and had several members in higher level positions. Scientology still has a bit of a presence but is not doing as well after pandemic and that documentary about them being binged for a year and a half. Then we have our politicians………….yeah we unfortunately have the government we previously deserved and I fear even with a governor election coming up most of our residents still cannot be bothered to see their options (or results of previous decisions). In short partially led and entirely endorsed by idiots. Damned annoying insightful possum.

  4. Shouldn’t those “illegal” guns be properly called undocumented firearms?

    How’s that no cash bail working out for you Coomo, you liberal moron?

    What’s the ratio of people dying from gunfire to those who died in your nursing homes?

    • Questions without answers since January 2020 (except for the first that goes back around a century). Bail reform and reducing the police/prosecutor’s resources are the overwhelming majority of the driver of all of our crime increases.

  5. Cuomo knows that the best defense is a good offense. He literally created the problem by signing bail reform into law, among other transgressions, so he declares an emergency to address the problem. The same playbook as COVID. Be seen as taking action; New Yorkers (& the media) are stupid. They see the action and equate it with results. Brilliant play, politically. I can’t stand him but you have to give the clown credit.

    • To most New Yorkers, either the world ends at the Hudson River or there is a vast wilderness between them and Kalifornia known as “flyover country”.

      • Even within the state flyover country can start north of Yonkers where we “rock people” dwell. Albany is a mere outpost in the wilderness trying to bring civilization after all.

  6. These people create the crime and let the real perps walk. Then they declare the crime and blame you for it. You must give up your guns because they caused a crime wave. All the while, killing seniors by the 10’s of thousands and no one says a word. Don’t you just love it?

  7. “If you’re familiar with studies on deterrence, you know that the actual best deterrent to crime is the assuredness that a person will be caught and held accountable”

    This coming from the person who, according to her website, “served as the Sr. National Manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty where her work contributed to the repeal of capital punishment in three states.”

    Doublespeak at it’s best.

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