New York City solves its public gun problem (kidding!)

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Big Apple continues to battle escalating crime problems with a diminished number of law enforcement officers and soft-on-crime DAs and prosecutors. As you’ve likely heard, it’s not going well. Among the biggest concerns are the number of shootings taking place, the majority of which can be traced to the city’s unrelenting gang violence plague. But now the city has come up with a sure-fire plan to reduce the number of shootings by reducing the number of guns in public spaces, particularly the crowded areas where tourists tend to congregate. The plan does not include locking up a greater number of shooters for longer periods of time, however. Instead, as our colleague Julio Rosas reports at Townhall, there will now be permanent electronic signs and billboards staged around Times Square declaring the area to be a “gun-free zone” whether you have a permit or not. Grab a bag of popcorn, sit back, and watch how this works out.

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New York City is attempting to prevent people from carrying concealed firearms when they enter Times Square by posting signage stating the area is a “Gun Free Zone,” whether a person has a permit or not.

NYC Department of Transportation trucks were seen driving around the popular tourist destination with signs declaring no firearms are allowed.

At a City Council meeting, the permanent signs that will be placed were on display.

The laughable nature of this “solution” should be immediately obvious, as are the legal implications for the government trying to implement it. As Julio notes in the linked report, the true targets this message is intended for are not going to be swayed. Virtually all of the people who might be wandering the city with the intent of doing harm are gang members and other criminals who don’t have a permit for their firearms and are not concerned with public safety. A “no guns allowed” sign is unlikely to modify their behavior, to say the least.

The municipal government has clearly learned nothing from the nation’s experiences in the past. I’m sure you recall when the nation began declaring all public schools to be “gun-free zones.” That only made the schools even more tempting targets for would-be mass shooters since they knew that nobody else would be armed and able to fire back at them. It’s clearly possible that the same effect will play in the favor of New York’s gangs if they believe that the chances of a “good guy with a gun” being in the crowd have decreased.

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As already noted, this pointless plan will likely only cause more legal headaches (and bills) for both the city and the state. New York has lost one court battle after another in recent years in its efforts to ban guns and restrict the ability of lawful gun owners to carry or transport their firearms. If they are allowed to ignore those rulings and simply declare Times Square a “gun-free zone,” what’s to stop them from putting up similar signs all over the city? Or even across the state?

I’m left wondering if this sort of outside-the-box thinking will soon be showing up in other new bits of legislation in New York. All of the Democrats claim to be terribly worried about global warming and climate change. Will we see signs in Manhatten reading, “No Temperatures Above 85 Degrees?” The banks of the Hudson River will no doubt soon sport signs forbidding the dumping of murder victims’ bodies. After all, most people who are willing to kill someone would surely balk at the prospect of a ticket for littering the riverbed, right? The possibilities are endless. Ah, New York. How these people manage to walk and chew gum at the same time remains a mystery.

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024
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