Bloomberg is looking to crack down on drinking while carrying a firearm. Â 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:
â€œCarrying while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated and should be just as illegal,â€ 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? Â 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. Â Even if you include intentional deaths from guns, that number only rises to the same level as the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities. Â That’s without even controlling for alcohol or other impairing substances being a factor. Â 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. Â It is clearly not. Â 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. Â 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. Â I would call that the New Jersey method. Â It’s very effective, and difficult to take to court.