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After a rash of out-of-towners (legal gun carriers in their home states) were recently arrested for breaking New York City’s ludicrous gun laws, Michael Walsh details The Strange Birth of New York’s Gun Laws at “The Tammany Tiger needed to rein in the gangs without completely crippling them. Enter Big Tim (Sullivan) with the perfect solution: Ostensibly disarm the gangs — and ordinary citizens, too — while still keeping them on the streets.”

Responding to public pressure to “do something” about street gangs, Sullivan had to act. Or at least look like he was. Only one problem. The gangs were a very useful tool of the Tammany Hall political machine. They made sure people voted the way they were supposed to and roughed up the opposition.

In fact, (Sullivan) gave the game away during the debate on the bill, which flew through Albany: “I want to make it so the young thugs in my district will get three years for carrying dangerous weapons instead of getting a sentence in the electric chair a year from now.”

Sullivan knew the gangs would flout the law, but appearances were more important than results. Young toughs took to sewing the pockets of their coats shut, so that cops couldn’t plant firearms on them, and many gangsters stashed their weapons inside their girlfriends’ “bird cages” — wire-mesh fashion contraptions around which women would wind their hair.

Read the whole sordid story. It’s interesting to think of gangs of Jewish thugs running roughshod over the Big Apple. More important is how Tim Sullivan took the occasion of a tragic murder/suicide to pass the Sullivan Law that disarmed the public while retaining his political muscle. Now we know where Rahm Emmanuel probably learned his lesson about taking advantage of a crisis.

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    • You can see this in used-to-be-Great Britain, and in Stalin’s USSR, where the state uses the fear of criminals to make the sheeple afraid, thus needing more gov’t protection, thus ceding more power to the gov’t, and so on. It confirms why the states without “shall issue” concealed weapons laws have higher rates of violent crime. People in those parts of the US tend to rely on the gov’t for their safety, while people in the “cowboy/flyover” states tend to rely on themselves for self-defense.

      A self-reliant armed citizenry is anathema to the statists. What did our friend Sen. Dianne Feinstein say when they passed the Clintonista “assault weapon” ban with AlGores deciding vote? “If I could have gotten 51 votes to ban all guns, I would have. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them in!”

    • Don’t over-associate all Democrats with those policies. There are liberal Democrats and then there are libertarian Democrats. Democrats have run Washington State for decades and yet we have less restrictive gun laws than Texas with no real push at all to tighten them. Other than a futile and ultimately humiliating attempt by the then Seattle mayor at banning guns in Seattle parks, I’ve never heard of a Washington State politician try to make political hay off an anti-gun stance.

  1. It serves the purpose of the state to have a crime problem that only more tax revenue, laws, programs, agencies, and control from the top can address.

  2. New Yaawk city just needs to go. Corruption runs too deep and the powers that be are too entrenched. Don’t give the place moral legitimacy. Stop feeding the beast with your money or time. There’s something fundamentally wrong with wasting people’s energy on some dead-end tikkun olam. Our world isn’t broken. Some places are just not meant to be inhabited by the sane. New Yaawk city is one of them.

  3. I haven’t seen the NY gun control law refered to as the “Sullivan Law” in the Liberal media very much any more. Perhaps the story about “Big Tim” Sullivan and the purpose of his gun “regulations” has become too widely known.

    At the 1957 Apalachin “crime convention,” twelve of the 35 New York residents nabbed by local cops had permits. Nice. Sure, let’s have the police decide who gets a permit, they know who the BGs are..
    Some things never change.

  4. Robert Heinlein in 1940 (I believe) Magic, Inc wrote:

    “I see the drawbacks of magic as well as you do,” he went on, “but it is like firearms. Certainly guns made it possible for almost anyone to commit murder and get away with it. But once they were invented the damage was done. All you can do is try to cope with it. Things like the Sullivan Act – they didn’t keep the crooks from carrying guns and using them; they simply took guns out of the hands of honest people.”

    • If firearms were invented last Thursday it would be in the best interests to restrict their ownership. But that’s not the case. Until someone has a relatively foolproof plan for disarming the bad guys first it’s in our best interests to keep and bear them.

  5. This post and comments are as silly as all those other discussions about “the racist origins of gun control.”

    And calling NY gun laws ludicrous doesn’t seem appropriate. You guys love to use those inflammatory words for effect, but like the boy who cried wolf, what are you gonna do when something really ludicrous comes along? I guess you could call it preposterous, or is ludicrous already stronger than that?

    • Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine, whine, whine, come n Mike, you can do better than that.

      If not, pretty sure your local grocer has some cheese to go with your cheap whine!

    • What is “silly” about highlighting the political origins of New York’s gun laws?
      Would you be saying the same if it was the Jim Crow laws being discussed?
      (Quite possibly when one considers who brought them in….)
      I’m guessing you would rather history be forgotten so that the same “mistakes” can be made again.
      Any law used to penalise an otherwise law-abiding citizen for an act that does no harm is a bad law & should be expunged.
      Why don’t you enlighten us as to why you consider criminalising people who do no harm to be a good thing?

      Go on – because THAT is what you are advocating.

      • I don’t want to criminalize people who do no harm. I want stricter gun laws and more severe punishments for breaking them, especially the loss of the right to own guns.

        People who break gun laws are doing harm. In those cases where no one is actually injured but a law is broken, removal of the gun rights should be swift. Whenever we can identify unfit gun owners before they actually kill someone we’re that much better off.

        Your way, it’s always about clean-up. My way, we prevent lots of death and injury, and here’s the kicker, if you’re a responsible gun owner yourself, you will be little affected.

        • Well at least you’re now out in the open about your support for laws intended only to disarm the law abiding & make them easy targets for gun toting criminals.
          Why aren’t you shouting for mandatory 10 year sentences for any felon caught carrying a firearm?
          I can safely state the latter is a far more rational means to reduce their use in criminal acts.
          Oh; I forgot that you are a socialist & therefore rationality has no bearing on what wacko ideas you have.

        • We are almost in agreement.

          I want stricter GUN CRIME laws and more severe punishments for breaking them, especially the loss of the right to own guns.

          My ideal would be for a criminal to run at the sight of a gun. Not only out of fear that he could be shot, but that a jury might somehow conclude that he was in some way “in possession” of that weapon. The punishment for that crime of “possession by a felon” should be nearly as severe as being shot.

  6. “And calling NY gun laws ludicrous doesn’t seem appropriate.”

    Unfortunately, the Sullivan Law is ludicrous. More to the point, the people of New York have been made a laughing-stock by the officials they have elected. Isn’t it strange how this supposedly educated, urban, sophisticated population has been deceived into the present situation: where the criminal element carry guns without benefit of bureaucracy, while the permits are reserved for the rich, the famous, or those of any moral stripe who have the influence to trigger a “may issue” from the authorities.

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