U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The latest example of misuse of “public health emergency” as an Orwellian phrase is by Governor Cuomo of New York. Governor Cuomo declared a First-in the Nation “Gun Violence Disaster Emergency”.
Big government proponents love “emergencies” because “emergencies” give them the power they otherwise do not have. This is why we see the ever-expanding use of “emergency” or “disaster” to apply to otherwise ordinary events.
Leftists have successfully used the term to expand their power to override nearly all Constitutionally protected rights. Progressives’ “public health” power was the start of their successful degradation of the checks and balances in the Constitution. Emergency War powers may be the only thing that is used to override Constitutional protections more than “Public Health Emergencies”.
From the news release of the office of the governor.ny.gov:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. This new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the State to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.
Governor Cuomo is using the emergency powers to shift “gun violence” away from law enforcement to public health agencies. The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be overseen by the New York State Department of Public Health and will be lead by an appointee of Governor Cuomo.
Cuomo will be using the “emergency” to send $138.7 million dollars to his political allies. None of the money appears to go to the police, especially not to the local police. $76 million will go to a “jobs” program. The “jobs” program is another way to give money to political allies to dole out to buy votes. It is classic machine politics.
The plan includes some possibilities for actual homicide reduction. The plan acknowledges only a small number of individuals are responsible for most homicides. From the press release:
As with COVID, the State will use a cluster-based strategy to contain and combat the epidemic and identify gun violence hot spots where clusters of shootings are driven by small numbers of people. Initial hot spots identified in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Long Island include just 4,090 young men aged 18-24 but account for 48.5 percent of recent gun violence in those communities.
Concentrating on the small number of offenders has had success in reducing homicides. It remains to be seen whether the Cuomo plan will utilize what has been learned from past successes.
There is very little emphasis on crime in the plans. Governor Cuomo says a “Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit will be created within the New York State Police. From the press release:
To combat the flow of illegal guns onto New York streets, the State will create a new Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit within the New York State Police. New York State will also work with other states in the region to share gun tracing data that can stop inter-state gun traffickers and straw purchasers from introducing illegal guns into New York communities.
Notice the false assumption built into the statement.
gun tracing data that can stop inter-state gun traffickers and straw purchasers from introducing illegal guns into New York communities.
No, it can not. Gun tracing data simply does not do this to any significant extent. A few people smuggling guns into New York may be prosecuted. Just as with bootleg liquor, marijuana, and other drugs, the effect will not be measurable. Gun tracing, as a crime prevention feature, has been a colossal failure.
In all of 2019, (latest data available) only 7,363 guns were traced in all of New York State. About half of those were in New York City (3,495). The vast majority of those traced were almost certainly for simple possession, not for violent crimes.
There were about 300 homicides with guns and about 3,000 robberies with guns in 2019, In New York according to the FBI UCR.
All the guns traced by the ATF in New York in a year can be replaced with a mere 20 guns smuggled into the black market a day. This does not require extensive smuggling networks, just a few informal networks smuggling in guns one or two at a time. Guns are common and easily and legally available throughout the United States. Millions of vehicles move into and out of New York every day. The average time between when a gun is purchased, and when it is traced by New York police, is 11.25 years.
Only tiny numbers of guns are used in criminal shootings. 20 guns a day, smuggled a few at a time in private vehicles, is simply impossible to stop, or make a significant dent in. One gun can be used in multiple shootings. Guns are often shared among gang members.
There are over 470 million private guns in the United States. More than a million are being added to the private stockpile each month.
Governor Cuomo is mired in corruption, sexual harassment, and the investigation of his complicity in causing tens of thousands of deaths of elderly people by his irrational and irresponsible decisions in the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is to be expected he will use every device at his disposal to hang onto power.
The Biden Administration has used its power to send New York (read ally Governor Cuomo) tens of billions of dollars to make up for decades of bad government by the state.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.