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 nypost.com. “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.