I thought I had Seen It All, but I was wrong.
Republican In Name Only Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, has proposed new laws (city ordinances?) which would do two things:
- Require people convicted of gun crimes to register as 'firearms offenders' the same was as 'sex offenders; are required, and
- Outlaw painting firearms in bright colors.
Laws would track offenders, ban paint that disguises guns as toys
By SARA KUGLER
Associated Press Writer
June 5, 2006, 2:05 PM EDT
NEW YORK -- Criminals convicted of gun crimes in New York City would have to register and update their addresses _ similar to sex offenders _ under a law proposed by city officials on Monday.
The gun registry act is one of several modest measures that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to push through the City Council as part of his effort to crack down further on illegal firearms. The city and state already have tough gun laws on the books.
The registry would require offenders convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree to list their addresses and check in every six months, for four years after their convictions.
Bloomberg said hundreds of people are convicted of these offenses each year in New York City, and deserve heightened supervision "because as a group they are highly prone to committing repeat violent crimes."
Oh my goodness.
What Mikey isn't telling us is that ANYONE who possesses a firearm in NYC without a permit is guilty of a third-degree felony.
(NOTE: A third-degree felony is less than a second-degree; a second-degree is less than a first-degree. While I haven't found the text which describes "criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree", it sounds to me as if it might be described as "simple possession". That is, if the convicted felon were found to have displayed or "brandished" the firearm, it might be a second-degree felony. If the felon were found to have actually fired the weapon, it might be a first-degree felony. I can cite no references which define the degree of "wrong-ness", these only seem reasonable to assume given the way the "degree" context is commonly structured. See here for a rough comparison of the way Utah structured its polygamy laws in 2003.)
As nearly as I can tell, "criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree" need not be supported by any display of violence; if violence were involved, the charge would probably be of a higher degree.
Yet Bloomberg justifies his proposal by saying: " ... as a group they are highly prone to committing repeat violent crimes."
What violent crimes? We don't see any evidence of violence. How can you repeat something that you haven't done yet?
The only logical construct I can imagine for Bloomberg's proposal is that if a person is found to have been in possession of a firearm, he must be judged to be capable of a violent crime, and therefore must be registered, tracked and controlled because he is more likely to commit a violent crime in the future than someone who does NOT possess a firearm.
If that logic structure sounds reasonable to you, I offer you a syllogism:
Michaell Bloomberg possesses a penis. He has not charged with having used this penis in a violent crime (rape), but because he has been found to be in possession of a penis, he must be judged to be capable of a violent crime, and therefore must be registered, tracked and controlled because he is more likely to commit a violent crime in the future than someone who does NOT possess a penis.
Sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it?
Wait. It gets better.
The council also will seek to ban gun painting kits that are used to make real firearms look like toys.
Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said guns painted in playful fluorescent colors [emphasis added] endanger police officers who must assess risk in a split second when they are faced with someone brandishing a weapon." ... sick deception ..."?
Kelly did acknowledge that no painted guns are believed to have been used in city crimes or recovered by law enforcement officials, but said they learned of the paint kits through advertisements in gun enthusiast magazines.
To illustrate the danger, Bloomberg waved two handguns above his podium at the City Hall news conference, one real and one fake, but both painted like toys.
"Just imagine the tragic consequences of this kind of sick deception," he said.
You're got your Sick Deception right there, Pal.
This is a law proposed to resolve a problem which does not exist. Bloomberg admits it is so, but because he "... learned of the paint kits through advertisements in gun enthusiast magazines" he assumes it to be a problem and by golly he's going to stop this nefarious painting of guns in 'playful ... colors' before it starts. (What is he doing, reading gun enthusiast magazines on company time?)
His personal philosophy about writing laws is different from mine.
I think laws should be proposed in response to demonstrated real problems. He thinks they should be proposed in response to his own sick fantasies. I wonder what he would do when confronted to an IPSC pistol (I know, already illegal in NYC) with the grips splatter-painted.
Although more deaths nation-wide are caused by automobile accidents than by deliberate use of firearms, you have to ask yourself why Mayor Bloomberg hasn't proposed a law prohibiting the painting of automobiles in "Playful Flourescent Colors".
(By the way, aren't toy guns already outlawed in NYC? If not, it's not because they haven't already tried. Why not toy automobiles? That would solve that problem immediately, because we all know that as soon as something is something is defined as 'illegal', it disappears from the City Scene. ) ( /sarcasm_mode )
Gun control has become one of Bloomberg's top priorities in his second term. The Republican mayor lobbies for the cause on Capitol Hill, and has formed a coalition of his counterparts from dozens of U.S. cities to push for stricter federal and state anti-gun laws.Nobody in NYC is listening to Cox or the NRA.
The National Rifle Assocation's chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, said a gun offender registry is unnecessary because the criminal record system essentially serves the purpose of tracking felons. And banning paint kits, Cox added, "is not going to bring down crime rates."
Because it doesn't address their priorities. It's not about guns, or "gun violence", murders or injuries due to (already illegal) firearms possession or usage. It's about catching the headlines. They don't care about firearms or injuries; what they really care about is the amount of press time they get every week.
When the numbers go down, the rhetoric ramps up.
If they really cared about crime in the streets, they would try to do something about welfare moms, single-parent families, out-of-wedlock births, gangs, the drug culture and the revolving-door justice system.
But that's too hard, and it doesn't make headlines.
It's easier to adjudicate the legal system than the social dysfunctions which are rampant across America.
Politicians always treat the symptoms instead of the disease, because their priority isn't to fix the problem ... it's only their own personal aggrandizement.
They don't have to walk the streets. They only have to get re-elected.