‘Deafening Silence’

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

Mayor Bloomberg, on a visit yesterday to a Sikh community in Queens, turned a moment that called for the delivery of condolences to a magnificent, patriotic population of immigrant Americans into yet another opportunity for posturing and doublespeak on guns. The mayor accused President Obama and Governor Romney of maintaining a “deafening silence” in respect of guns. The mayor is oblivious to the possibility that a liberal president and a conservative challenger — and the vast majority of Americans — just don’t agree with the mayor that the recent tragedies at Wisconsin and Colorado call for a new round of restrictions on weapons.

The mayor’s hysteria on this issue is pushing him into a territory where, if he goes much further, his integrity is going to be questioned. Yesterday he claimed his campaign was not about gun control but about crime control. Yet he keeps talking about illegal guns. To the Constitution, he feigns fealty. “Guns,” he said yesterday, “you have a right to carry by the Second Amendment. The courts have said that municipalities, states, and the federal government have the right to enact reasonable protections to the public.” In fact the Supreme Court has left only a little leeway to the states and municipalities — schools, hospitals, government buildings — and the Mayor doesn’t agree with the court.

Neither is the mayor being honest when he tries to suggest, as he has done from time to time, that the police are with him. This canard was exploded last week in the Wall Street Journal in a memorable op-ed page dispatch by one of the nation’s leading experts, John Lott. He picked up on the outburst in which the mayor said: “I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to strike.” Mr. Lott then made it clear that the overwhelming majority of police chiefs surveyed in America believe “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense.”

That, Mr. Lott noted, was the finding of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. It covered more than 20,000 chiefs of police and sheriffs. Added Mr. Lott: “Seventy-seven percent believed that concealed-handgun permits issued in one state should be honored by other states ‘in the way that drivers’ licenses are recognized through the country’—and that making citizens’ permits portable would ‘facilitate the violent crime-fighting potential of the professional law enforcement community.’”

We don’t believe that Mr. Bloomberg is a dishonest man. But he is not being forthright with New Yorkers when it comes to guns. He is supposed to be a data-focused technocrat who knows his numbers. Yet he keeps saying the most outlandish, unsupported, even hysterical things. It’s almost painful to read a piece like Mr. Lott’s and see a mayor, who claims to be speaking on behalf of police, so detached from broad law enforcement opinion in this country. The truth is that in Mayor Bloomberg’s New York, the Second Amendment doesn’t apply. That is the point on which the silence is truly deafening, and until it is corrected the mayor will be without credibility in the national debate.

The New York Sun

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