Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.
Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.
While this is actually a misquotation of a conversation between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, when applied to New York City’s pistol permits system, the rich (and famous) are different than you and me. They can get their pistol permit applications approved.
In an article published today entitled The Rich, the Famous, the Armed, the New York Times examined New York City public records to see who had a pistol permit. In a city of 8.3 million residents, only 37,000 people have pistol permits.
Among the more than 37,000 people licensed to have a handgun in the city are dozens of boldface names and public figures: prominent business leaders, elected officials, celebrities, journalists, judges and lawyers.
Some expressed pride in their gun ownership, like the renowned divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, who readily posed with his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. Others, including David Breitbart, Yetta Kurland and Walter Mack, all well-known lawyers, were irked to learn they would be included in an article based on the public records. And there were a few conflicted souls, like Alexis Stewart, co-host of “Whatever With Alexis and Jennifer” on SiriusXM radio and the Hallmark Channel.
“I don’t believe people should be allowed to have guns in America,” Ms. Stewart, daughter of Martha, said in an interview, explaining that she bought a .357 Magnum after 9/11 — but would be happy to give it up if handguns were banned. “Having a swimming pool is way more dangerous than having a gun,” she added.
While I would agree with Alexis Stewart that a swimming pool is more dangerous than a firearm in the house, her hypocrisy irks me. Because she is part of NYC’s privileged class, she can get a pistol permit and did. However, she doesn’t believe that people (other than her) should have guns in America. She, of course, would “give it up if handguns were banned”. Of course she would – because she’d would then just hire a bodyguard to protect her from the riff-raff.