By Rob Morse
Louisiana- (Ammoland.com)- It isn’t what you know that counts in New York City. It is who you know, and how much you pay them, that counts. Here is another example. It takes a long time for ordinary honest citizens to get a permit to own a gun in New York City. It is impossible for ordinary citizens to get a license to carry a concealed firearm in public. Being New York City, that rule has exceptions. You can get a carry permit if you make large political donations or are a major celebrity. Those exceptions almost don't matter since most of these people rent their own armed security details. Lesser human beings like us have to do without self-protection .. or we have to pay off the police to get a permit. That isn't an accident.
Let's put the latest events in context. Murder, rape and other violent crimes are increasing in New York City. In this recent case, ordinary citizens paid a man with political connections so the ordinary citizens could get firearms ownership and concealed carry permits. What these New York citizens wanted was what we all want, and what most of us in the rest of the United States already have. These citizens wanted the right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves. They wanted to protect their family and to protect their co-workers. That takes a permit application and a couple of dollars in most states.
In New York City, it takes a couple months and a pocket full of money for bribes.
How did this happen.. again? Both the middleman who brokered the New York permits and the corrupt police officers were charged with a crime. New York has a may-issue firearms permit scheme. That means it is up to New York City law enforcement to issue a permit to carry.. or not. That scheme was historically used by City politicians to deny gun permits to minorities and the poor. Today, the may-issue system is used to generate bribes and political kickbacks. Today's may-issue system works for the police. Today's system works for New York politicians, and the system works for those with wealth and power.
It stinks to be an ordinary citizen, but, hey, you knew that elections have consequences.
I have to ask an obvious question given the history of political corruption in New York. Is the traditional bribery system a fault in the firearms registration and permit issue program, or was corruption there all along, for years and years, exactly by political design? You and I don’t want corruption, or should I say, more corruption, in the New York City Police Department. It isn’t clear that anyone who obtained a firearms permit committed any criminal act other than having to ransom their rights back from the city by paying bribes. Now I ask, who is guilty here. Is it the politicians, judges and police officers who took rights away from honest citizens, or is it the citizen who bought his rights back?
I think the judges, police, and politicians are guilty as hell.
I'll make a prediction. The citizens who paid middlemen and the police will be charged and convicted. The police officers will keep their jobs. Most significantly, the judges and politicians will look the other way and continue the may-issue permit system. That is how prohibition works! The New York City prohibition on armed self-defense supports politicians, judges and cops .. who then sell exceptions .. or should we call them indulgences. To misquote Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, corruption is, after all, “only a tax.”
Right. And being an unarmed victim of increasing violent crime is simply another tax you pay for living in New York City.
Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.