It only took The Donald a couple of hours to figure out how to use the Paris craziness to once again demonstrate that if there’s something worth saying in a totally outrageous way, he’ll figure it out. And while the other Republican Presidential candidates initially kept to themselves about what happened in the City of Light, leave it to Trump to jump onto Twitter and let fly with what we now expect from him, namely, a comment that is obscenely stupid or totally false, or both.
In this case, along with making some statements about Syrian refugees that could have easily tumbled out of the mouth of the fascist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, we were then treated to what has become the standard Trump-ism for dealing with all the world’s problems, namely, giving everyone a gun. Here’s how he ‘analyzed’ the problem, in Paris: “If they had guns, if our people were allowed to carry, it would have been a much different situation.
And to make sure that nobody would fail to make the connection between everything that’s wrong in the world and the Kenyan-born occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Trump went on to say, “You look at certain cities that have the highest violence with guns and shootings and killings – Chicago is an example, toughest gun laws in the United States.”
When you stop to think about it, however, why should we condemn Trump for reminding us about the dangers of gun-free zones, when the NRA has been saying the same thing for years? Isn’t this what Wayne-o said one week after Sandy Hook? Isn’t this what red-meat noisemakers like Breitbart say every chance they get? In fact, it appears that the tweet put out there by Trump-o was actually a replay of what he tweeted back in January after the Charlie Hebdo attack. One way or another, the phrase ‘gun-free zone’ has become a standard part of the American political lexicon and Trump-o can’t be blamed just because he gives it yet another digital whirl.
On the other hand, if Trump is going to talk about the negative results of gun control in the city whose current residents include the President of the United States, sooner or later someone from the media might actually try to earn a day’s salary by asking him about gun-control efforts in his own city, in this case not his adopted home town, but the place where he was born, which happens to be New York. Because, in fact, New York boasts the country’s toughest gun-control statute known as the Sullivan Act, which went into effect before World War I. And the result of this law is that The Big Apple is, to all intents and purposes, a totally gun-free zone. If you’re willing to plunk down $434.95 and wait six months, you might be allowed to keep an unloaded gun in your home, but as for concealed-carry, unless you’re Donald Trump, fuggedabout it, which means, don’t waste your time.
Now it just so happens that this gun-free zone containing 8 million people has a gun-homicide rate of 2.2 per 100,000 residents, which makes it far and away the safest city – in terms of gun violence -in the entire United States. Chicago’s gun homicide rate is 4 times higher, Los Angeles comes in at 3.52. And the neighborhood where Trump-o himself lives has not seen a single gun homicide or any kind of homicide for the last several years. And don’t think for one second that there aren’t plenty of opportunities for the bad guys to bring guns into New York; the city of Newark right across the harbor just recorded its 44th gun homicide in 2015 which works out to an annual rate of nearly 16.
Want to understand the connection between gun-free zones and gun violence? It’s about the same as the connection between the crime rate in New York City and the gun that Trump claims he maybe carries around all or maybe some of the time.