I am a sports fan, and as such I listen to sports talk radio, usually ESPN radio. Here in Indianastan, our local ESPN affiliate is AM 1070 The Fan. The 1pm-3pm block is when they air The Herd with Colin Cowherd, which is one of my favorite sports radio shows.
Unfortunately, yesterday I was listening to the show around 1:30, and I had the misfortune of listening to some serious topic drift. Colin was talking about a story from New York where a stuffed moose head had injured a restaurant patron, and quite expectedly the conversation drifted into hunting/trophy mounting and related topics. All well and good until the point where all of a sudden, they’re talking about gun control. I kid you not, Colin then up and says “New York’s murder rate has fallen because Mayor Bloomberg is tough on guns”. That’s when I started yelling at my radio.
Now, I don’t have the national audience that ESPN Radio has, I don’t have the pull that Colin Cowherd has…but I do have something that they don’t, which is the facts. I’m not actually mad at Colin, because he doesn’t know any better. He wasn’t making his statement out of malice, but rather out of ignorance. Unfortunately, he’s bought into the PR spin put on by the Bloomberg Machine about “effective gun laws”. For the sake of argument, let’s take a look at how “effective” New York’s gun laws really are.
In 2009 year to date, New York City with it’s incredibly restrictive gun laws marked their fewest murders ever, coming in at 461 homicides so far. Wow, that seems great, right? On the surface, it is – although you can’t really attribute it to gun laws, because at the same time, New York has instituted much more effective and pro-active policing policies, put more cops on the streets, and generally been “tougher” on crime. Additionally, crime numbers nationwide have been generally in decline, which just makes New York part of the larger overal trend.
The final nail in the coffin of “the gun laws are working” is you have to look at NYC’s total violent crime figures. Sure, murders are on the decline, but violent crime in New York is still among the highest in the nation, albiet lagging behind Washington, DC.
Of course, all of my readers knew this already. The point I’m trying to make is that if you’re a sports broadcaster, Colin Cowherd of ESPN, you should probably stick to sports, and leave the gun politics to the professionals. You’re just out of your depth when the conversation isn’t about a game.