Waking up to the fact that voters are worried about crime, scandal-battered Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday lurched for some good headlines by dropping an executive order declaring a statewide gun-violence emergency.
But his initiatives were all plainly chosen with an eye on not offending lefty sensibilities (after all, the hard-left Assembly still has an impeachment probe going). They won’t do much to turn the tide that over the holiday weekend saw 14 shot in Buffalo, five in Syracuse and 26 in New York City in the latest statewide surge in gun crime.
To do that, he’d need to start working to un-do all the foolish laws passed on his watch. But there’s not a word in his long release about fixing the disastrous bail reforms that he so proudly signed onto — not even the one that guaranteed that nobody would see jail time “just” because he got caught with an illegal gun.
Nor about undoing his “Say Their Name” package of restrictions on cops, which encouraged police all across New York to look the other way rather than act when they see suspicious activity, lest the officer’s career be ruined by good-faith attempts to proactively protect the public.
Instead, he’s telling the State Police to do more to cut the flow of illegal guns from out-of-state — but guns used illegally in New York are typically a decade old. Imports aren’t driving this crisis, they’re just a safe target for “bold action.”
The gov makes a big deal of treating the bloodshed as a “public health crisis” — signaling that his “help” will be all about supposed “root causes,” not actually getting guns off the street. His $138.7 million for “intervention and prevention” means more “violence interrupters” and social workers, not more or even better policing.
Heck, his new state Office of Gun Violence Prevention will report to the state Department of Health — the very agency that so bungled the pandemic’s onset, to deadly effect for thousands of elderly nursing-home residents.
Anyway, it’s plainly absurd to think that micromanaging policing from Albany will improve results. All the gov’s orders to local police departments — from his new demand that they share data on shootings to his mandate last year that they all come up with plans for de-policing reforms to appease Defund protesters — are just loud posturing.
New York needs its cops getting guns off the streets, and its prosecutors and judges jailing those caught with illegal firearms. But the politicians have spent the last several years making that work near-impossible: That’s the “root cause” of the crime spike Cuomo pretends he’s addressing, and his own fingerprints are all over it.