We’ve all grown accustomed to seeing cynical politicians point to horrific tragedies as “justification” to push various anti-gun schemes.
And it’s not often that they admit that the anti-gun proposals they’re pushing wouldn’t prevent the tragedies they seek to exploit.
But sometimes, the sheer pointlessness of their schemes—coupled with their open admission that they wouldn’t do any good—is enough to make you want to beat your head against the wall.
For a perfect example of that, just look at New Orleans, where Mayor Mitch Landrieu and several city council members are pushing a five-point anti-gun proposal that epitomizes “all talk and no action.”
In late April, New Orleans Mayor Landrieu called a press conference at Bunny Friend Park, where five months earlier, 17 people were injured in a melee that led to gunfire.
Together with City Council members Jason Rogers Williams and James Gray, Landrieu proclaimed, “When criminals are intent on doing harm ... I believe we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to fight back and to halt the stream of guns getting into the wrong hands.”Not only does the ordinance outlaw things that are already illegal—it also would actually reduce penalties for some gun offenses.
So: What’s their big plan? Their proposed five-part ordinance includes:
- A ban on the possession or transfer of guns whose serial numbers have been ground off.
- A requirement that firearm thefts be reported within 48 hours.
- Establishment of “Gun Free Zones” banning concealed firearms within 1,000 feet of parks or recreational facilities.
- A ban on possession of firearms by persons convicted of domestic abuse battery.
- A ban on “negligent carry” of a concealed firearm.
First of all, three of these earth-shattering proposals are already covered by existing laws:
- It’s already a federal felony to possess any firearm that lacks a serial number (unless you made the gun yourself, and we all know criminals do that all the time, right?)—and possessing a firearm without a serial number is already illegal under Louisiana state law, as well.
- It’s already illegal under federal law to possess a firearm if you’ve been convicted of domestic violence—just as it already is illegal under Louisiana state law.
- And it’s already illegal under Louisiana state law to carry a concealed firearm in a negligent manner.
Why don’t they just pass a law saying that murder is super-duper, Simon-says, “we really, really mean it this time” doubleplus illegal?
That would be one thing. But this nonsensical ordinance is not only redundant—it actually also would reduce penalties for offenses already illegal under state law.
Why not call a press conference to promote your “courageous and visionary” legislation to outlaw murder, rape and robbery?So it’s like calling a press conference to promote a city ordinance to make murder illegal—but failing to mention to the media that the penalty under your ordinance for murder would drop from the death penalty or life in prison to 90 minutes in the “time out” corner.
What could possibly be more of a waste of time—for the lawmakers who are supposed to protect the people, and the media who are supposed to keep them honest?
All they’re doing is pushing a lot of hot air around!
What’s more, Mayor Landrieu knows it and admits it.
Landrieu not only admitted that the proposed ordinance wouldn’t have prevented the Bunny Friend Park melee that he used to try to promote the scheme—he also admitted that it would only affect law-abiding people.
Nonetheless, Landrieu suggested that creating so-called “Gun Free Zones” around parks in the Big Easy—and posting “No Guns” signs there—would remind lawful Right-to-Carry permit holders of their responsibilities.
Since when do lawful Right-to-Carry permit holders pose a threat to anyone except criminals?
Since when are violent criminals deterred by reducing the possible penalties they face?
And since when do would-be killers see a “No Guns” sign and say, “Merciful heavens, I wouldn’t want to risk a $500 fine and misdemeanor citation by committing this mass murder here in a ‘Gun-Free Zone’ ... better do it across the street!”
And here’s the kicker: Louisiana has a firearms pre-emption law, meaning that local governments in the Creole State may not pass laws that are stricter than those passed by the state legislature.
Whether or not they can pass laws that reduce penalties for gun offenses to be less harsh than state law—while proclaiming their commitment to stopping violent crime—is something to be sorted out, I suppose.
But one fact is clear: This entire ordinance is a crock, a political publicity stunt of the most cynical kind.
For any politician to hold it up as a “solution” in a city where, according to the latest FBI statistics, violent crime has risen by 45 percent over the past four years, is shameful.