The Same Old Same Old In NYC

I think the old saying goes “that the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Eric Adams, Mayor-elect of New York City, has announced a number of his selections to head various departments and agencies within city government.

Among the positions that he filled was that of his communications director.

From the New York Post:

Meanwhile, Maxwell Young, the head of public affairs at gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety, will be Adams’ communications director. He previously advised Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- NY), and led the MTA’s external affairs.

From Twitter profile

According to his LinkedIn profile, Young has been the Chief Public Affairs Officer and Senior VP of Everytown since September 2019. He also seems to have worked on and off for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) since 2007 with interludes working for the MTA and the Rockefeller Foundation. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2006.

The only surprise here is that he didn’t work in the Bloomberg Administration. That said, Bloomberg and Schumer both hate individual freedoms. I will admit to being amazed that Young announced on Twitter that he bought a subscription to Stephen Gutowski’s The Reload. Maybe he can learn something and have his viewpoints expanded.

Questions Not Asked (Updated)

I received a press release late this morning regarding a recent shooting in Durham, North Carolina. It was from the North Carolina chapters of Everytown, Moms Demand, and Students Demand. The tenor of this missive was that “gun violence” (sic) is killing the youth of North Carolina.

Lest I be accused of selective editing, here it is in its entirety:

DURHAM, N.C. —  The North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after a shooting in Durham left two people dead and four others injured. According to local reporting, the six victims were driving in an SUV when they received fire at around 3 a.m. Monday morning. Most of those shot were under the age of 18, with some of the youngest being just middle school students, WRAL reports.

“The shooting in Durham is another tragic example of the devastating impact gun violence has had on North Carolina’s youth,” said Sylvia Burns, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We can’t sit idly while young lives continue to be cut short by gun violence. Enough is enough.”

The shooting comes at the end of Durham’s deadliest year — by September 30, 2021, Durham police had investigated 43 homicides, surpassing 2016’s previous record of 42, according to INDY Week.

In an average year, 1,388 people die and 3,407 are wounded by guns in North Carolina. Guns are the second-leading cause of death among the state’s youth population, with an average of 104 children and teens being killed by guns every year. 60% of these deaths are homicides. More information on North Carolina gun violence can be found here.

There are a number of questions that this press release ignores while saying “enough is enough.”

Why were these “youths” out driving around at 3am on what is a school night?

Did the parents of those that were identified as “middle school students” know their children were out at this time of the morning? According to a more recent report, the middle schools students included a 13 year old boy, a 13 year old girl, and a 12 year old girl.

Given police say this shooting was not random, were any of these “youths” members of a gang?

Did the victims know their attackers?

Was this shooting gang related? Durham officials said earlier in the year that the city has a gang problem.

Were any firearms found in the SUV of the “victims”?

With one of those killed being 19 years of age, does Everytown consider this victim a “youth” or an adult?

The Durham Police Department reports that the SUV, a Hyundai Santa Fe, was reported stolen sometime on Sunday. Were these “youths” involved in the theft of the car and did the theft play any role in the shooting?

I do agree that it is a tragedy to see any young person’s life end prematurely. However, there are so many factors at play here that to heap all the blame on firearms is both misleading and simplistic.

UPDATE: More details emerge on this incident.

In addition to there being a seventh passenger in the stolen car, a firearm was found in it by police.

From WRAL Raleigh:

A police report indicates a .308 Winchester 88 was recovered from the Hyundai Santa Fe, which crashed into a utility pole near the intersection of Mathison and Eugene streets after the shooting.

Police said the SUV had been reported stolen on Sunday from a location in Durham that they didn’t disclose. There was no information as to whether the rifle was stolen along with the vehicle. Police haven’t said whether any of the teens have been linked to the vehicle theft.

A Winchester 88 is a magazine-fed lever action rifle. I will say it is not what one would expect to find at the scene of the crime.

Taliban – You Don’t Need Weapons For Personal Protection

As the Taliban consolidate their power in Kabul, Afghanistan, they have started going door to door collecting weapons from private citizens.

From Reuters:

Taliban fighters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, started collecting weapons from civilians on Monday because people no longer need them for personal protection, a Taliban official said.

“We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians,” the official told Reuters.

The Taliban also believe in a strict interpretation of Muslim law including women should not leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative and to be fully covered in a burqa. There are numerous stories of how they have killed or beaten innocent women as they moved back to power.

This leads me to ponder on the the conundrum facing American gun prohibitionists like Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, and the Brady Campaign. On the one hand you have a group that brutally subjugates women like it was the 7th Century. On the other hand, they want to ban the private possession of firearms saying, in essence, the state will protect you.

Choices are tough.

The Next Battle Has Begun – Salvo One

The war for our gun rights began in 1934 with the National Firearms Act if not earlier. Battles that were fought along the way include the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (with the Hughes Amendment), the Brady Bill, and the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban.

The first shots in the next battle have been fired. We knew it was coming the moment the Democrats essentially won control of the Senate.

Last week, Bide policy advisors Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond had all the major gun control groups to the White House to discuss strategy. Here is the White House’s release on it:

Today, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice and White House Public Engagement Director and Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond hosted a virtual discussion with leaders of gun violence prevention advocacy groups – Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, and Brady. They discussed the ongoing public health crisis of gun violence in America, the historic increase in homicides across American cities last year, and commonsense steps that can be taken to make our communities safer such as closing background check loopholes, stopping the proliferation of unregulated and untraceable “ghost” guns, and expanding community-based violence intervention programs.

Ambassador Rice and Congressman Richmond expressed gratitude for the leaders’ ideas, persistent advocacy efforts over the years, and commitment to working together to tackle the gun violence epidemic. Ambassador Rice and Congressman Richmond also underscored President Biden’s longstanding record of fighting for families impacted by gun violence, his full support for taking commonsense actions to reduce gun violence, and his unwavering commitment to pushing ahead further steps to make our communities safer.

The Bloomberg groups had this comment on the event:

“This meeting provided more evidence that the Biden Administration is committed to being the strongest we’ve ever seen on gun safety,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “With Covid making gun violence worse and armed extremists literally holding our democracy at gunpoint, the time for action is now –– and we fully expect to see it soon.”

“Gun safety was a cornerstone of President Biden’s campaign, and this meeting confirmed that gun safety is a top priority for the Biden administration as well,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We look forward to working with the administration to save lives and stop gun violence, and we’re confident that we will see executive and legislative action in the near future.”

Remember, it is not about the criminal misuse of a firearm with these people. It is about power and they need a disarmed populace to achieve it.