The horrific incident in Tucson almost two weeks ago has prompted a lot of talk here about the forcible citizen disarmament advocates’ grotesque tendency to exploit any high profile shooting atrocity to push for yet more draconian gun laws. This, of course, is hardly a new observation, with many gun writers referring to such behavior as “dancing in the blood” of the victims–an apt description. One particulalry loathsome example is Carolyn “What’s a Barrel Shroud?” McCarthy’s introduction of H.R. 1859 (a magazine ban bill, somewhat similar to the one she introduced earlier this week) on April 16, 2007–within hours of the Virginia Tech shootings.
Another odd habit of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby is using such atrocities to justify new restrictive gun laws that very clearly have exactly zero to do with the atrocity in question. Thus Virginia Tech is still cited as a reason to close the mythical “gun show loophole” (as are, to a lesser extent, the Tucson shootings) despite the fact that neither of the guns used were bought at a gun show. One of the laws proposed in the Tucson aftermath is Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-NY) “Firesale Loophole Closing Act,” despite the fact that the firearm used was not sold by a dealer whose license had been revoked.
A press release yesterday from Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) at least made an effort to draw a link between the shootings and the laws they want changed. From SunHerald.com:
Arizona is one of only three states that doesn’t require a permit to carry a concealed gun. In light of that, even if police had any indication that the Arizona shooter, Jared Loughner, was carrying a gun as he approached Representative Giffords and the other victims, it is unlikely they could have stopped him.
Right away, of course, this argument runs into the little problem that there apparently was no law enforcement presence on hand, to have seen any indication that the shooter was carrying a gun. The police, in fact, apparently didn’t arrive until more than 10 minutes after the shooting.
MAIG’s press release then goes on to condemn not only Constitutional carry (legal defensive firearm carry, open or concealed, without a permit), but “shall issue” carry in general, touting instead the supposed virtue of “may issue,” in which local police have the discretion to an application for a carry permit at whim, just as Senator Boxer (D-CA) wants to impose on the entire country.
Here is where it gets really interesting, though:
Concealed carry permitting gives law enforcement the basis to stop a suspicious person, search them and possibly arrest them on further information. Under Arizona’s current law, a law officer who saw a bulge in Loughner’s clothing that suggested he was carrying a gun, likely would not have been able to stop and search him because to do so requires reasonable suspicion that he was committing a crime.
The interesting thing about that is that MAIG is the pet project of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and we have discussed (more than once) just how Bloomberg tends to determine that somone is “a suspicious person.” Bob Herbert, of the New York Times:
The police in New York City are not just permitted, they are encouraged to trample on the rights of black and Hispanic New Yorkers by relentlessly enforcing the city’s degrading, unlawful and outright racist stop-and-frisk policy. Hundreds of thousands of wholly innocent individuals, most of them young, are routinely humiliated by the police, day in and day out, year after shameful year.
And it’s not as if Bloomberg can offer even the poor excuse that such profiling is effective:
The rate of gun seizures is near zero — 0.15 guns seized for every 100 stops. “The N.Y.P.D. stop-and-frisk tactics,” wrote Professor Fagan, “produce rates of seizures of guns or other contraband that are no greater than would be produced simply by chance.”
The alleged shooter, by the way, is white, meaning he fits into the category that in New York, according to DNAinfo, constitutes only nine percent of the “stop and frisk” searches:
Over the quarter, police stopped and interrogated 137,894 people, 93 percent of whom were men, and 58 percent were black.
Hispanic men made up 31 percent of those who were stopped and frisked, and white men were stopped just 9 percent of the time, according to the report.
That’s in New York City. Cosmopolitan, sophisticated New York City, in the liberal, tolerant northeast (or so we’re told). Should we expect a less racially discriminatory application of “stop and frisk” (never mind the Fourth Amendment) in Arizona, described by Pima County’s Sheriff Dupnik (who is another vocal critic of Constitutional carry) as a “mecca for racism and bigotry”?
- Tucson aftermath: Here come the gun laws
- Mayor Bloomberg’s racist gun policies
- NYC’s Bloomberg should call his group ‘Mayors Against Armed Dark-Skinned People’