College Professor Blames the NRA for the Deaths of Slain NYPD Officers in Editorial
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It’s apparently a week for college professors to wade in to the gun debate up to their neck. Peter Dreier, a Professor of Politics with Occidental University has published an op-ed on the Huffington Post essentially blaming the NRA for the deaths of the two NYPD police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, the week before Christmas.
Dreier blames not the fanatical media coverage of the situation in Ferguson, not New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s apparent lack of support for his city’s law enforcement personnel, not even the probable mental illness that the shooter suffered from – no, he blames the NRA.
Despite the fact that crimes committed with firearms and deaths related to firearms are down over the last 20 years (during the same time period in which private gun ownership has soared), Dreier apparently wants to create an issue where there isn’t one. Here’s part of his diatribe:
If Lynch wants to point the finger of blame for his colleagues’ deaths, he should focus on the NRA, not de Blasio. For decades, the NRA has fought every effort to get Congress and states to adopt reasonable laws that would make it much less likely that people like Brinsley would be able to obtain a gun. The NRA even defends the right of Americans to carry concealed weapons in bars, churches, schools, universities, and elsewhere. This poses a huge threat to police and civilians alike.
The news media will spend an inordinate amount of effort trying to figure out what was in Brinsley’s head before he shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend at an Owings Mills, Maryland apartment complex, posted anti-police messages on social media, then traveled to Brooklyn, where he fired his gun several times through the window of a parked police car, killing the two police officers.
Although the psychology and motives of the murderer may be fascinating, it should not be the major focus. There are plenty of deranged people in the world, but in most well-off countries they can’t easily get their hands on a firearm.
So we’re just going to ignore the fact that New York has the strictest gun laws in the country?
Investigators have traced the gun Brinsley used to kill Ramos and Liu to the Arrowhead Pawn Shop in Jonesboro, Georgia, south of Atlanta. The gun was purchased there in 1996. The buyer told police that he gave the gun to a cousin, according to the New York Times.
Federal investigators are trying to figure out what happened to the gun since then, but the lack of a legal paper trail makes doing so difficult. There have been no traceable purchases since then, so law enforcement officials don’t know if Brinsley purchased the gun from an individual, or a website, or a gun show, or whether he stole it.
Ah. OK. So we’re basically acknowledging that Brinsley committed a felony when he acquired that gun – however he did it, right? So the answer is to pass more laws for people like Brinsley to break in their search for illegal firearms? Sounds like a solid plan.
As of 2010, Georgia was the fifth-largest source of guns used in crimes nationally and the largest source of out-of-state guns seized by the New York Police Department, the Times reported. Of the 2,433 guns used in crimes in New York City whose point of sale can be traced, 90 percent come from out-of-state, most of them from states with few restrictions on selling or buying guns. Officials call the gun trail between Georgia and New York City the “iron pipeline.”
Well, by that logic the crime rate in Georgia must be absolutely astronomical right? Well, no, it’s not. It’s pretty average for a state with several metropolitan cities and nearly identical to New York State. The states with the lowest violent crime rates include Vermont, North Dakota and South Dakota, all states which are extremely gun friendly and allow residents to carry firearms without any kind of license according to government data.
As we know, more gun laws are only going to affect law abiding citizens. Let’s also not forget that a majority of the country doesn’t favor new gun control measures.