Mimesis Law
2 June 2020

De Blasio: Fixing NYC’s Gun Problem That Isn’t

Jan. 12, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — How much does it suck to be New York City’s “progressive” mayor, Bill de Blasio, right now? While it’s nearly impossible to provide any real numbers about guns and violence, given that there are no reliable statistics, crime is at historic lows.  Good news if one wants to take credit, but terrible news if one wants to hop aboard the speeding gun epidemic that needs fixing train.  And de Blasio wants nothing more than to be in a first class seat.

The answer seemed plain as could be: tug on the gun-hating bias of New Yorkers and pander to their prejudice. Problem solved!

Seeking to quell stubbornly persistent gun-related violence in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday will unveil a new system for handling such cases, creating a dedicated gun court in Brooklyn and a 200-officer police division focused on gun crime.

Under ordinary journalistic norms, writing something like “stubbornly persistent gun-related violence” would never make it past the fact-checker, since, well, it doesn’t exist.  There were a couple weekends last summer where homicides exceeded expectations, and the headlines of the local tabloids shrieked about how everybody in NYC was getting murdered, but then it disappeared. Because a momentary aberration might make for good headlines, but not for any change in the fact that violent crime, gun crime, is at historic lows.

So if there is no actual problem, but a huge push by the president, by gun control advocates, by ordinary citizens shaking in fear about very high profile murders that they saw on the TV, then, dagnabbit, it needs to be fixed!

The courts will work in conjunction with the new Gun Violence Suppression Division, which will be made up mostly of detectives and handle all police investigations related to illegal firearms, assigning a specific officer to oversee each gun case from beginning to end.

To a city so firmly entrenched in eradicating the demon handgun, this would seem a fabulous initiative.  After all, who wouldn’t want to get guns off the streets?  Who wouldn’t want fewer people to die from guns?  And who wants those amorphous gun criminals to get away with it?  How quickly we forget.

Millions of young black men were unceremoniously (and without any suspicion aside from skin color) tossed against walls during Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s “stop & frisk,” all under the guise of ridding the city of guns.  The mayor campaigned on a promise of ending the blight of this flagrantly unconstitutional tactic, though it’s easier to claim to have ended it and fudge the number than to let anyone get away with possessing a gun.

But what’s the harm of creating a new, onerous scheme to eradicate guns from a city that doesn’t actually have a gun epidemic?  We’re right back to dumping on young black kids.

There will be a special task force whose purpose is to make their lives miserable in their search for guns. There will be a special court, because the criminal courts can’t possibly impose the minimum two year sentence on their own, to make extra-special sure that any kid in possession of a gun goes to prison for long enough to protect the children (and destroy his life permanently).

When a new initiative like this happens, it becomes incumbent on the police to prove what a great job they’re doing by having heads to show, and they no doubt will. They will be mostly black heads from black neighborhoods, because that’s where the cops go when they need to nab somebody. There will be unhappiness on the street when the tactics return to tossing kids against walls. And there will be mothers and children crying about their loved one not coming home for years.

It will prove a huge success. If only there was a problem in need of this fix.

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  • Bryan Gates
    12 January 2016 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    It’s should be a red flag when a special court gets created to deal with a particular societal problem. At one time, courts were neutral forums where juries determined whether a crime had been committed. If so, a judge determined what punishment was appropriate. Now courts are “tools” to used to combat gun violence, domestic violence, drunk driving, drugs, truancy, mental health, etc.

    At some point, the greater world told the legal system that it was time to think outside the box and take responsibility for making the world a better place. No one noticed that we were only doing a barely adequate job of separating the guilty from the innocent and imposing just punishment. Also, the world overlooked the fact lawyers and judges have no special expertise in social work, addiction treatment, economics or sociology.

    So a judge is assigned to gun violence court has already abandoned the role as an impartial arbiter. The gun court judge is expected to go after violent criminals. The DUI judge has assumed responsibility for eliminating the scourge of drunk driving. Reducing gun violence and drunk driving are good things, but that is not what the courts are supposed to be doing.