Bloomberg is looking to crack down on drinking while carrying a firearm. I wouldn’t have too much issue if there was a legal limit for carrying, much like there is driving, but I take exception to the mayor’s claim that:
“Carrying while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated and should be just as illegal,” Bloomberg said at a Wednesday campaign announcement discussing three anti-gun law proposals. Alaska, Missouri and other states already have laws prohibiting carrying a firearm while drunk.
Is it though? In 2006, 13,470 people were killed in alcohol related motor vehicle accidents. If you factor in other drugs, that number increases by about 7600 to 21,047. In 2006, there were a total of about 642 accidental deaths from guns. Even if you include intentional deaths from guns, that number only rises to the same level as the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities. That’s without even controlling for alcohol or other impairing substances being a factor. Clearly this is not as large a public safety issue.
So while I would have little objection to carrying a firearm over some legal limit being a minor misdemeanor, and cause for revoking a license to carry, I have a big issue with it being treated as more dangerous than drunken driving. It is clearly not. The punishment should fit the crime, and Bloomberg’s proposal, of a year in jail and 10,000 fine, does not.
What I think Bloomberg is doing is attempting to create more legal hazards, in anticipation of the Courts gutting a lot of New York City’s gun laws. Facing the possibility of no longer being able to make gun possession largely illegal in the Big Apple, Bloomberg will do the next best thing; make it so outrageously hazardous legally that no one bothers. I would call that the New Jersey method. It’s very effective, and difficult to take to court.
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