This Is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace: New York City Projects Edition

Cops roust a resident in the projects (courtesy

“’I love my police officers, I really do’ said Carmen Quinones, a member of the project’s volunteer resident watch and a public housing resident for 40 years. ‘But they’re not protecting our buildings. We’re still being robbed. We’re still being mugged.'” And there you have it: proof positive that the police can’t prevent crime. Well, proof positive for anyone with a brain. Gun control advocates and their statist supporters would insist there aren’t enough police. Or education or economic opportunities for disadvantaged youth. Something, anything other than the simple idea that people in public housing should be armed against robbers and muggers. In fact, grass roots gun ownership is so antithetical to their world view they can’t see it. Check this out . . .

About two-thirds of crimes in public housing are violent, compared with about one-third citywide. So far this year, 55 of the city’s 328 homicides and 144 of the 1,365 rapes have occurred in public housing. (The number of robberies so far this year in public housing — 1,140 out of 18,634 citywide — is roughly proportional to the population.)

The locations of public housing, often in higher-crime neighborhoods, and the layout of the complexes heighten the need for more policing, said Fritz Umbach of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who wrote a history of the housing police, “The Last Neighborhood Cops.”

“Public housing is a unique policing context, not because the residents are more criminally prone, but because the architecture is distinctive and where it is in the city is distinctive,” he said. “This presents unique police challenges that can only be met with these over-and-above services.”

No, of course the population living in New York City housing projects aren’t more “criminally prone.” It’s the fault of architecture! But seriously folks, this New York Times article – Policing the Projects of New York City, at a Hefty Price – doesn’t even mention the possibility that increasing the number of law-abiding residents exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arm could reduce criminal predation and, thus, lower the crime rate and demand for police services.

New York City residents live under a de facto concealed carry ban. (Less than 500 residents have permits.) So that’s out. As for a housing project resident keeping a legal gun inside their apartment, they can do so – once they jump through the usual hoops. They need to complete an online application (including four notarized references), submit their fingerprints (taken at police HQ), undergo a background check and pay a $340 fee. The New York City Police Department Licensing Division tells TTAG applications are currently being processed in around six months.

That’s a lot of time, money and travel for an aspiring gun owner. Not to mention the computer and education required to fill out the forms and the possibility that the applicant will be denied. All of which means legal gun ownership in the projects is, as you’d expect, low. More than that, the Times’ blind spot on the subject reflects the city’s all-pervasive culture of dependency. It never even occurs to the Powers That Be that the answer to a problem lies with the people afflicted. Two Americas.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    If you’re living in the projects to start with you are at an economic disadvantage. 340 bucks for a permit could be a months groceries for a hard up family. How, in NYC does a project dweller that has mastered all the hoops to legally buy a gun do so? Are there ffl’s in the projects? How far does the project dweller have to travel on public transit to a licensed dealer and can he then carry his new purchase home on public transit without being arrested?

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I still cannot understand how, after Heller, states like NY and NJ can still charge fees for owning a firearm.

      “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution. The power to impose a license tax on the exercise of these freedoms is indeed as potent as the power of censorship which this Court has repeatedly struck down a person cannot be compelled ‘to purchase, through a license fee or a license tax, the privilege freely granted by the Constitution.’ “

      1. avatar Rick says:

        Because no one has taken NY and NJ and DC to court over the matter. Those state governments and DC are not going to surrender their positions without one or more trips through the justice system.

        Sure, you and I agree that charging a tax for the exercise of a constitutional right is illegal, but until the Supreme Court rules on the matter, the states and DC can continue their practices.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Unfortunately, someone has taken NY to court. Kwong v. Bloomberg, in 2012. Bloomie won, and the USSC refused to hear the case. So despite the fact that having a gun in your home is a constitutional right (Heller 2008) and despite the fact that the state cannot license and charge a fee for a right (Murdock v. Pennsylvania 1942), our court system doesn’t seem to care that such a thing is happening constantly.

          Hey, how are those poll taxes holding up?

    2. avatar RobGR says:

      Good point, jwm.

      Citizens also don’t need guns to create anti crime organizations, the fact is, they just can’t be bothered and leave it up to someone else. Poor people in impoverished densely populated urban areas, like Brazil, carry hammers, a very capable CCW! Laugh all you want, it’s absolutely true. But again, it amounts to people taking the first stand, if they sit around like a bunch of idol fools, that ain’t my problem.

  2. avatar MudPuppy says:

    There are 119 Police Officers per square mile in NYC. That is twice the density of Chicago and Washington DC and nearly ten times the density of Atlanta. They have enough cops.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Is that 119 figure actual boots on the ground or does that include all the worthless admin types wearing badges and guns that never leave the station house or HQ?

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        And the amazingly bloated Counter Terror Unit “operators” that are getting in the way of actual agents all over the world. Also the “liaisons” on the NYPD payroll that do squat in cities all over the US and Canada. Right…

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Just in my small dept., there was one POG for every 5 officers.
        I’m thinking most agencies are about the same.

      3. avatar MudPuppy says:

        No, but it doesn’t really matter, each police force has the same relative need for command structure and logistics.

        1. avatar MudPuppy says:

          Also keep in mind these are sworn officers, not clerks that work for the NYPD.

  3. avatar T says:

    Sad thing is about the people in those areas will not gather together and fight for what is their right! But their more into the, if we take away guns we will be safe message. Thus continuing 3rd world standards for their communities.

    1. avatar ST says:

      You cannot fight for a right you do not know you have.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        But I bet they can easily explain to a newly pregnant 15 year old how to navigate the public assistance maze and have benefits in time to get her own subsidized housing . . . . . Just saying

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Sad but true.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Well, they are like docile bred European honeybees.

  4. avatar gloomhound says:

    Block War!

  5. avatar crashbbear says:

    1st paragraph: “people in PUBIC housing…” I didn’t realize this was about disarmed brothels (see: amputee fetishists)

    1. avatar Rick says:

      …a member of the project’s volunteer resident watch and a public housing resident for 40 years.

      40 years in public housing?? WTFF?

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        Location. Location. Location.

      2. avatar Tom Collins says:

        What he said…

  6. avatar Larry says:

    So the projects are in bad neighborhoods, huh? Ha ha. Well, they were nice / nicer before the social engineering experiments of the 50’s and 60’s and the advent of “projects”.

  7. avatar Salwolff says:

    That fee is quite high.Gun cost is already a difficult item to save up for.I am glad things are different in my state.

    1. avatar Erik says:

      They’d take your money, but you would not be getting the permit anyways.

  8. avatar Marcus says:

    Just… Wow. Until I bought a gun and started reading up, I had no idea that things had gotten to this extent anywhere in the U.S. The truth of the matter is truly enlightening – and alarming, to say the least. I’m in Maine, a few states up from NY, and only now starting to realize how easy we have it up here. It’s astounding that a place so nearby is so politically fugged up. Catch me even visiting NY any time soon.

  9. avatar Ima Yeti says:

    If it wasn’t for guns we’d all be British.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      If it wasn’t for guns AND GOOD DENTAL CARE, we’d all be British.

      There I fixed it for ya

    2. And the British would all be German.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      Brain bleach, quick! I’m going to have trouble sleeping tonight.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Oh no.
        Now I’ve got a vision of a one armed fetishist with bad teeth and a German accent.

  10. avatar tdiinva says:

    The writer at the Times doesn’t understand. The ghetto is supposed to be crime ridden. The criminals are there to provide social control.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      No, criminals have to have somewhere to go for R&R in-between their murder, robbing, raping, and general mayhem. Oh, I. Forgot. They also need somewhere to repopulate

  11. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    So is it time to start a “Projects Patrol Militia”? Certainly the anti’s couldn’t argue that a militia isn’t protected by the Constitution, right? Teams of three armed with fairly inexpensive shotty’s should just about do it. Imagine the horror the anti’s would feel when the neighborhoods in question see dropping crime rates and a resurgence of a social structure/neighborhood bond.

    1. avatar Salty Bear says:

      It DOES say “militia” right there in the 2A. They keep telling us, “You’re not in a militia, so you have no RKBA.” I wonder too, what they’d say if I said, “Well, I’m starting a militia.” They’d probably ask me if I registered it with the government, wouldn’t they.

      Anyways, the antis have these funny eyes that makes the 2nd amendment read something like this : “A government-run army being necessary to coerce the public to comply with social progress, the right to keep and bear arms shall be restricted to the military, national guard, and police forces.”

  12. avatar Jus Bill says:

    I seem to remember reading an article in one of the NY rags a few years back about how the NYHA Police were afraid to enter some of the worse buildings because they would wind up being carried out. And NYPD won’t go in because their union (the PBA) tells them it’s not their territory.

    Meanwhile, the residents are busy trying to stay alive long enough to collect the next check. Only the criminals are armed in the projects. Nice work, Bloomie.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      That must be an old article. The NYC Housing Authority Police were absorbed into the NYPD in 1995, along with the Transit Authority Police.

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        And the kicking and screaming from the PD unions about the merger was quite the epic temper tantrum if memory serves.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      I hate the way agencies are named in NY/NJ and a lot of the northeast. “Authority” this “authority” that. Such a freaking arrogant practice, even when it’s something as mundane as “Waste Management Authority.”

      “Don’t screw with us, we’re the AUTHORITY. It’s on my badge, see?”

      1. avatar 505markf says:

        I like it better than the Department of Public Safety, which is what the TX state troopers were before I left the state. That DPS has always sounded so Stalinist to me.

        1. avatar Swarf says:

          The Department of Homeland Security even beats the Nazis when it comes to creepy government agency names, as far as I’m concerned.

  13. avatar Pete says:

    Am I the only guy that takes issue with someone being “a public housing resident for 40 years”?
    Could this be part of the (crime) problem?

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Professional welfare recipient.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      You’re not the only one who takes issue with it, Pete. 40 frickin’ years? Ridiculous.

    3. avatar Cold Frog says:

      In my opinion…Kind of plays into that “give a man a fish and teach a man to fish” parable.

  14. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Police anywhere are not crime prevention. They come in after the crime and take a report. They are reporters with a badge and a gun. nothing more then that.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Bullshit. There are plenty of places and police officers that are proactive and actively patrol to deter crime and stop it in-progress.

  15. avatar Gunr, from Oregon says:

    Why would anybody want to live in New York?
    $2500 for a cheap apartment, paper thin pizza, And practically no one is allowed to protect themselves!
    Terrible place to live!

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Why would anybody want to live in New York? Because they can’t afford bus fare to CT, and they’re afraid to get off at any PATH station.. Besides, the pickings are too good in Times Square.

      1. avatar Joe says:

        Don’t mess with the pizza! Live in NV now and can’t get good pizza to save my life… On the flip side I can buy whatever gun I like with however many rounds…

        1. avatar Swarf says:

          You know what? I’ve had genuine New York pizza, and I’ve had Chicago deep dish, and the fact is, you are both right.

          New York pizza is real pizza, but it is a terrible piece of mealy crust with a stingy portion of tomato paste rubbed on it and some greasy cheese melted on top.

          Chicago deep dish pizza is… is a casserole. That’s all there is to it. AND it is f’ing delicious.

          The true path to awesome pizza lies somewhere in between.

          Also guns. Just so I’m on topic.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          You want good pizza or any other edibles you avoid the chain places and go off the beaten path. A family owned eatery in a small town in WV had the best pizza I ever ate.

          A small off the main drag restuarant found by accident in seaside Ca had great food, superb service and a local brewed and bottled root beer that was the best ever.

          Oh yes, and guns. Just to stay on subject, also.

        3. avatar Cold Frog says:

          PIZZA!!!….unfortunately, western Washington state is like the sahara desert for pizza and my proverbial canteen is empty as I have found no oasis, I have tried dozens of places and have not found one really good place.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        CT? If we’re talking about where we want to live based on the rights you have to give up, CT ain’t far behind.

  16. avatar Cubby123 says:

    Complete Bafoons,you wanna live in Sh.tsville,you get sh.tsville laws.I don’t feel sorry for these idiots.You vote ‘Dope’ you get Dopes running your city.If you get robbed and raped and you hate guns,enjoy your life and Shut Up,you choose it!

  17. avatar WV Cycling says:

    I know this sounds less than ideal for people living in public housing, but couldn’t they hire armed guards or protection for the entire building? Say (Random example number) $5 / Week per house?

    if not, band together an create their own militia/patrol group?

    I really don’t know much about the culture and lifestyles of public housing, and I more than welcome anyone to teach or correct my naive views!

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Yeah, good idea; the problem being that anyone with initiative has moved out leaving the chronically dependant or the criminally inclined.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Another problem is that if you leave your apartment and stand around for too long or look like you’re going to challenge any of the youts you’ll get beaten to a pulp, shot, and fed to the rats.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      I suspect that any reputable, quality armed security firm wouldn’t touch the NYC projects for any kind of rate that could be afforded by the people who live there. This isn’t the kind of place where you can get away with a couple guards with .38 revolvers, flashlights, and a golf cart. You’d need a real security team that wouldn’t be intimidated by the gangs.

      It also wouldn’t surprise me to find out that there is some kind of local law or regulation forbidding it. Can’t have the underclasses getting too independent, you know.

      1. avatar slicer87 says:

        You guys should see the episode of MST3K where they riffed Escape 2000. Basic plot is in the future a company is hired to clean up and rebuild the Bronx. The company’s first step to doing this is just using flame throwers on all the people currently living in the Bronx to “clear it out”.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        If you do nothing, you’re fine but useless. If you try and do something and fail, you die. If you try and do something and succeed, you get sued out of anything you own because the little gangbanger was “just getting his life around and that Zimmerman didn’t need to shoot him!”

  18. avatar Joseph says:

    In the town i live in, the PHA here does not allow firearm ownership, including airsoft and BB guns.
    I get that it may be a federal demand so the PHA can keep getting grants, because in this area, gun ownership is encouraged.
    having seen how Low Income Housing (LIH) works, i only see it as slavery. The system penalizes you for every step you take to move up and out. Brother gives you $500 to help you out by depositing it in your bank account… Your rent goes up. If you cut corners everywhere to save up for a college class, your’re screwed. (yeah, even if it is still falls within your monthly income, “savings” counts as you living large and…rent goes up.) You get a job and you are soon being asked to move out where ya going to scrape the $500+ for deposits, first month’s rent, and so on?
    in my eyes, it is 21rst century slavery, and with the rampant crime serving as the crop being harvested for the gun control crowd to use against us.

    1. avatar BT in Afghan says:

      You are absolutely right. Once you are in the system they make it impossible to work your way out of it. It is an all or nothing program. As soon as you try to work your way up and off the dole, they will cut all your benefits and kick you out unless you quit work and remain in the system.

      They have been convinced the democrat party is looking out for them, yet in reality they are being held in modern slavery. This is by far the most loyal voter block as well as the most deceived. Democrats wanted to keep slavery. Democrats gave us the KKK, Jim Crow laws and segregation. No way will the democrats give the residents of public housing the right to keep and bare arms 2a or not.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        It’s the government equivalent of a coal mining “company town,” but without the benefits.

  19. avatar Bob5 says:

    I legal carry every day, and as a result, I live everyday without fear. I am blessed to live in a free state where law abiding citizens are allowed to protect themselves and their families regardless of economic status or political connections, and I feel for those less fortunate souls who live in fear under the iron fist of progressivism.

  20. avatar Jim Scrummy says:

    Just wait until deBlasio is sworn in! NYC will be re-incarnated to that liberal utopia it was in the 1970’s, with it’s crime and bankruptcy. Escape from New York will be the new reality TV show for 2014. I have plenty of popcorn to pop, and watch.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Because I’m far enough away that it doesn’t affect me, I really am looking forward to seeing how this de Blasio thing turns out.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Great! Even more control freaks will descend on DC now.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah Bloomy was a lefty-dictator when it comes to guns but he wasn’t a ‘hug-a-thug’ mayor so crime didn’t explode. Now that the new mayor wants police to sit on their asses instead of finding crime (for fear of the locking up his constituents) things are gonna get bad.

  21. avatar Akira says:

    “Gun control advocates and their statist supporters would insist there aren’t enough police. Or education or economic opportunities for disadvantaged youth. Something, anything other than the simple idea that people in public housing should be armed against robbers and muggers.”

    Well I think their first suggestion would be that the government needs to tighten gun laws.

    A combination of an armed populace, better policing, and more jobs would wipe out crime in an instant.

    1. avatar jon says:

      you got that absolutly correct.

  22. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    The money shot: ” a member of the project’s volunteer resident watch and a public housing resident for 40 years.”. Really? Forty years? So much for the American Dream and upward mobility or a rising tide lifting all boats. The “Blue Model” has been an abject failure and has done incalculable damage to our country’s social fabric. God damn the progressives and every last little thing that they stand for.

  23. avatar C says:

    Equally valid question: Why are there 40 year residents of public housing”

    edit: Did not see Greg’s comment until after.

  24. avatar Roger Cain says:

    Cops cannot be everywhere. If guns were ever outlawed and the lawmakers seriously attempted to address the in growth in crime (which would inevitably occur), they’d have to (at the very least) triple the size of the police force nation wide. That would blow up the budgets for most municipalities nation-wide as their pension cost would spin out of control. Of course, there isn’t a sick and twisted liberal mind out there that can wrap their mind around this twisted logic.

  25. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

    You make the bed you lie in. Like I tell my family remaining in NY, if NY’ers aren’t happy with the shit hole they’ve made for themselves then they can either continue to live with it, leave NY or change NY; they’ll continue to live with it. Would be best for the rest of the common sense upstaters in NY if they cut off the cyst of NY city.

    Balls in their court. They should Intentionally ignore the law and nullify in the court room. That is one of the few ways that NY could ever gain back respect in my eyes. What a waste of a great state.

  26. avatar GS650G says:

    Taken at face value we are supposed to think criminals don’t reside in the projects, they arrive from somewhere else to take advantage of the uniquely dangerous architecture to ply their trade.

    And that gawker link to the 500 permit holders was written by an immature person who seems to have a hard-on for fox news people, for some unexplained reason.

  27. avatar jon says:

    Get someone else in office over there who is pro-gun and you will see a change for the better. 500 permits in the whole city is a shame. We have projects here in wny, Google the stats

  28. avatar Mat says:

    Imagine if the residents of the “projects” were required to jump through all those gun licensing hoops to excercise their 15th and 19th amendment rights to vote.

    4 notarized references $8.00
    trip to HQ for fingerprints $91.50
    License fee $340
    Application must be typed
    Bring 2 passport photos
    birth certificate
    proof of citizenship
    proof of residence
    arrest information
    Letter of Necessity
    Original Social Security card

    If you want one to carry in your business you must also be able to furnish:
    2 recent copies of business sales tax report
    personal income tax return for previous year
    daily bank deposit slips and bank statements going back 6 months
    statement from bank detailing total payroll


    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Heller + Murdock v. Pennsylvania 319 US 105 (1942) What. The. Fuck.

      1. avatar Mat says:

        Brilliantly connected. After it becomes established that the right to self defense exists outside the home, Murdoch v Penn. becomes the next argument.

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