In arguing that the Second Amendment case now before the Supreme Court shouldn't have any bearing on state gun control laws, Attorney General Cuomo is finding himself largely alone among state attorneys general.
Mr. Cuomo filed a brief, signed onto by only four other states and Puerto Rico, to the federal high court last week in District of Columbia v. Heller, which will be heard in March. In the case, the Supreme Court will review whether Washington, D.C., residents have a right under the Second Amendment to keep handguns at home for self-protection. The District of Columbia has what amounts to a blanket ban on handguns.
Let's look at who signed this brief, shall we?
The brief, prepared by Mr. Cuomo's office, is joined by Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico.
I don't know much about Hawaii or Maryland, but I know that the crime rates for New Jersey and Massachusetts is up there. And since I happen to be living in Puerto Rico right now, why don't I expound a bit on that, Hmmmmm?
Let me start by telling you about La Pearla. La Pearla is a barrio right outside the northern walls of Old San Juan. It occupies maybe five to ten acres of land, squeezed in between the wall and the Atlantic Ocean. It's known as an area controlled by gangs, drug lords and criminals. A couple of years ago, the Feds decided that they were going to go into La Pearla in order to pick up a criminal they knew to be living in there.
They made it about 100 feet before their cars were turned into Swiss cheese. No lives were lost, but they made a hasty retreat, and have never attempted anything like that again. They came up against too much firepower.
Now, keeping that in mind, let me inform you that gun laws in Puerto Rico are stricter than almost anywhere else I've been in the USA. You have to apply for a permit to get a gun. And if you are allowed by the corrupt, shit-eating bastards in the PR gummint to buy the gun, you must then apply for a permit to travel with it. If you wish to carry it with you, that's another permit. One of my co-workers added it all up, and figured that you might spend $2,000 in permits just to be able to get a firearm, IF, and let me restate that, IF the gummint allows you to buy one.
So, just how did those criminals in La Pearla get all those firearms?
I had to leave my guns in my father's gun safe when I PCS'ed down here, because there's no guarantee that the Puerto Rican gummint would even allow me to have those weapons. And if they were in my household goods, that means that I don't get my household goods delivered.
And yet, the drug lords of La Pearla have enough firepower to keep the cops well away from their barrio.
I was once lamenting the fact that since I didn't have my weapons, I couldn't go to the range to practice. A fellow Soldier told me "Oh, I can get you a gun if you want it." I asked about the permits. He stated "I didn't say it would be a legal gun, but I can get one if you want it."
Guns, illegal guns are easy to get, cheap to buy, and everywhere on the streets. And yet a law-abiding citizen can't buy a gun without jumping through multiple hoops and the possibility that the gummint will tell them "Nope. You can't buy one. Thanks for the permit fees."
Did I mention that the crime rate here in Puerto Rico is astronomical? Oh yeah. People either live in a gated community with private security guards, or they have bars on their doors, bars over their windows, barred and locked garages. It's like a prison everywhere you go. Bars and locks, bars and locks, on everything from private homes to shops. Until you get to about the third or fourth floor of a building, and then the bars seem to peter out. The gated communities have barbed wire on the walls, razor wire, I've even seen broken glass sticking out of the top of the concrete.
Forget the white picket fence. Here in Puerto Rico, it's white iron bars with multiple locks on them.
And yet people keep dying, murdered by some criminal or another. Here's a link from 2004, that shows the murder rate for NINE MONTHS was 574 murders. In 2003 for that same time period, it was 604. Puerto Rico has a homicide rate three times that of the USA. All with the most restrictive gun laws in place.
I have no choice but to call that an abject failure at every level. This island doesn't need gun control, it needs to start allowing the law abiding citizens to protect themselves. More laws that people refuse to obey WILL NOT SOLVE ANYTHING. Allowing private citizens to protect themselves from criminals would bring much of the problem to a screeching halt. When the people no longer have to barricade themselves into their homes, and instead have the means to defend their property and their families, the criminals will either die off, move elsewhere or find a new line of work.
Repealing the gun laws would be one of the best things to happen to this island. But if a Gun Bigot like Cuomo gets his way, it's not going to happen.
UPDATE: SayUncle says that "Gun Bigot" was coined by Joe Huffman. There's another blog I have to add to the blogroll.