Following a truck attack in New York City on Tuesday that left at least eight people dead, both the mayor and the governor started squawking about gun control.
In fairness, it was a question by a reporter that prompted the response. Yet, their answers should have been something along the lines of “Guns weren’t used in this attack.” Instead, we got this.
“There’s a much bigger conversation we could have about gun safety,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a Wednesday press conference.
“The NYPD has always vigorously believed that we need to keep guns out of this city and that gun safety laws are here to protect us and protect our officers,” he added.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted the merits of the SAFE Act. Passed in 2013, the SAFE Act expanded the ban on “assault weapons,” restricted magazines to 10 rounds and criminalized private transfers.
“As far as gun laws, I am increasingly proud that New York State passed some of the smartest gun laws in the country, the SAFE Act,” Cuomo stated at the news gathering.
“I think it is madness the number of assault weapons that we have in this country,” he added. “I think that it endangers law enforcement. I think that it costs us untold numbers of deaths. And I hope that one day we’ll have a federal policy that actually brings sanity to the gun policy laws in this country.”
Again, the assailant used a rental truck to carry out the attack. Not an “assault weapon”!
Cuomo needs to get his facts straight. Data shows that rifles of any make or model are used in approximately four percent of gun-related homicides. The number isn’t “untold.” It’s just not as much as Cuomo would like us to believe.
In 2016, rifles were used in the murder of 374 victims. Again, this is all rifles. Not just those dreaded “assault weapons.” Knives or cutting instruments, by comparison, were used to kill 1,604 victims.
The number of rifles used may be a bit higher because there is a category of “other weapons or weapons not stated.” But assuming that that category contains some rifles, it’s highly doubtful that they make up the majority.
All that to say black rifles aren’t the threat that Cuomo claims they are. Guns, in general, aren’t a scourge to society. But saying so makes for a good headline. Especially when the cameras are rolling and a grieving city is desperate to stop lone wolf attacks that are, by their very nature, almost impossible to stop.
Really, a well-armed and well-trained citizenry is the best way to stop spree killers. The exact opposite of the culture that de Blasio and Cuomo have created in NYC.