Metrofocus: June 6, 2022

FRONTPAGE FORECAST

In this week’s look ahead at the major headlines, New York becomes the first state to pass new gun control laws since the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. President Biden continues his push for Congress to enact meaningful, bi-partisan legislation after another deadly weekend across the nation, including in Philadelphia where a mass shooting left three people dead. And Mayor Eric Adams appoints a gun violence czar as New York City braces for what could be another violent summer. Joining us tonight to discuss the issues and what’s next for the tristate are Fordham University political science professor Dr. Christina Greer, Manhattan Institute policing and public safety expert Rafael Mangual, and Gotham Gazette Executive Editor Ben Max.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, ON THE FRONT PAGE FORECAST, NEW YORK BECOMES THE FIRST STATE TO PASS NEW GUN CONTROL LAWS SINCE BUFFALO AND UVALDE.

NEW YORK CITY GETS A GUN VIOLENCE CZAR, AND CONGRESS TRAYS TO REACH A PARTISAN DEAL.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO THE 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

IN THIS WEEK'S LOOK AHEAD AT THE HEADLINES, PRESIDENT BIDEN, AN EMOTIONAL AND RARE -- NEW YORK STATE, MEANWHILE, BECAME THE FIRST STATE TO PASS NEW GUN CONTROL BILLS IN THE WAKE OF THE MASS SHOOTINGS IN BUFFALO AND UVALDE.

AND HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, MAYOR ERIC ADAMS NAMED A GUN VIOLENCE CZAR AS THE CITY BRACES FOR A POTENTIAL SURGE IN SHOOTINGS IN THE SUMMER MONTHS.

JOINING US FOR MORE ON THESE STORIES ARE DR. CHRISTINA GREER, FORDHAM ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, AND HOST OF THE FAQNYC PODCAST.

RAPHAEL MANUEL, HEAD OF RESEARCH FOR THE POLICING AND PUBLIC SAFETY INITIATIVE AT THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE.

AND BEN MAX, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE GOTHAM GAZETTE.

WELCOME ALL OF YOU.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ONCE AGAIN.

BEN, LET ME START WITH YOU.

AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, IN A RARE EVENING TELEVISED SPEECH LAST WEEK, PRESIDENT BIDEN URGED CONGRESS TO PASS A SET OF GUN CONTROL REFORMS.

LAST WEEK, HOUSE DEMOCRATS ALSO PREPARED THEIR OWN LEGISLATION AND I BELIEVE THEY'RE GOING TO START VOTING ON THIS WEEK.

THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL IN THE HOUSE, LEGISLATION KIND OF OVERLAP EACH OTHER.

BEN, I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD FOR US SUMMARIZE WHAT THOSE PROPOSALS ARE.

SURE.

THERE'S A LONG LIST OF PROPOSALS BEING PROPOSED AND THAT ARE PROBABLY GOING PASS THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WHICH OBVIOUSLY HAS A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY, AND THE FATE WILL BE UNCERTAIN AND PROBABLY NOT LIKELY TO PASS IN THE SENATE.

BUT THOSE INCLUDE THINGS LIKE AN ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN, OR THE PRESIDENT SAID AT LEAST RAISING THE AGE THAT PEOPLE CAN PURCHASE, FROM 18 TO 21, UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS, NATIONWIDE RED FLAG LAW TO TRY TO REMOVE GUNS FROM THE HOMES OF PEOPLE EXHIBITING BEHAVIOR, SAFE STORAGE LAWS.

THE LIST GOES ON AND ON, BUT THOSE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS.

DR. GREER, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THOSE PROPOSALS?

THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSALS AND THOSE IN THE HOUSE THIS WEEK?

IS IT ENOUGH?

IT'S A START.

IN THE HYPERPARTISAN POLITICS WE HAVE NOW, THE LEGISLATION THAT SEEMED LIKE COMMON SENSE IN THE '90s WHEN BILL CLINTON WAS ABLE TO GET THINGS PASSED, WE KNOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BEL NOT AGREE TO THOSE AT ALL.

THIS IS AN OPENING BID TO SEE IF REPUBLICANS WILL COME TO THE TABLE IN A GOOD BID EFFORT TO TRY TO CURTAIL THE GUN VIOLENCE WE'RE SEEING ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THIS ISN'T AN URBAN PROBLEM ANYMORE.

WE'RE SEEING THIS IN SUBURBS, IN RURAL AREAS.

WE'RE SEEING DOMESTIC TERRORISM IN WAYS THAT WE JUST HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED BEFORE.

SO I THINK BEN IS CORRECT IN THE SENSE THAT I DON'T KNOW IF IT HAS A GOOD CHANCE OF PASSING THE SENATE.

BECAUSE SO MANY REPUBLICANS VIEW GUNS AS NOW IT'S A SOCIAL ISSUE, AND THEY KNOW THAT THEIR CONSTITUENTS, ESPECIALLY IN A PRIMARY, DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANY SORT OF GUN LEGISLATION THAT MOVES IN THE DIRECTION OF PROTECTING THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES.

WE'LL TOUCH ON THAT IN A MOMENT.

SOME GUN CONTROL ADVOCATES FOR DISAPPOINTED IN THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH.

THEY BELIEVE HE COULD HAVE INVOKED SOME OF THOSE THINGS THROUGH EXECUTIVE ORDER.

IS THAT A FAIR CRITICISM?

I THINK THE PRESIDENT COULD AND SHOULD USE EXECUTIVE ORDER A LOT MORE FREQUENTLY THAN HE DOES, BUT I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE STRATEGIC WHEN YOU USE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

IT'S NOT A LAW.

IT HAS THE WEIGHT OF THE LAW, BUT ONLY UNTIL YOUR SUCCESSOR COMES IN AND TRIES TO KEEP IT OR TRIES TO MAKE IT NULL AND VOIMD WE KNOW THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS TRYING TO ORGANIZE THEMSELVES, ESPECIALLY FOR 2024, SO THAT WOULD BE A TEMPORARY SOLUTION TO A GRAVE PROBLEM, BUT DOESN'T CODIFY IT THE WAY LEGISLATION WOULD.

I THINK HAVING FEDERAL LEGISLATION TO PROTECT THOSE OF US WHO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY IS REALLY NECESSARY RIGHT NOW, AND AS I SAID BEFORE, I THINK THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO BE STRATEGIC TO NOT OVERREACH SINCE SO MANY REPUBLICANS BELIEVE ANY CONVERSATION ABOUT GUNS MEANS WE'RE TRYING TO TAKE ALL GUN AWAY, WHICH IS NOT CAN AT ALL, BUT THAT'S NOT THE MARKETING AND FRAMING OF IT.

RAPHAEL, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PROPOSALS?

WILL THEY END OR SIGNIFICANTLY CURTAIL MASS SHOOTINGS IF ENACTED?

AND AS SOME SUGGEST, MIGHT THEY EVEN AFFECT POSITIVELY THE RISING GUN VIOLENCE ACROSS THE BOARD IN THIS COUNTRY?

THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION IS A LOT CLOSER TO YES, ALTHOUGH COMPLETELY UNCLEAR, THAN THE ANSWER TO THE SECOND QUESTION, WHICH IS ALMOST A RESOUNDING NO.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THOSE PROPOSALS REFLECT IS A KIND OF FAILURE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE MASS SHOOTING WE SAW IN UVALDE AND BUFFALO AND THE MORE COMMON TYPE OF COMMUNITY GUN VIOLENCE, WHICHOVER WHELMINGLY MAKE UP THE VAST MAJORITY OF GUN DEATHS, OF GUN HOMICIDES IN THIS COUNTRY.

GUN HOMICIDES ARE COMMUNITY VIOLENCE, GANG VIOLENCE THAT'S DRIVING THOSE NUMBERS.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT AN ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN, LEAVING ASIDE THE RESEARCH THAT THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN OF '94 IS MIXED OR LESS.

MORE PEOPLE ARE KILLED WITH HANDS AND FEET.

HANDGUNS ARE CLEARLY THE MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM.

YET THERE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH OF AN APP SITE ON THE DEMOCRATIC LEFT DO ANY OF THE THINGS WE KNOW WILL KEEP SHOOTER OFF THE STREET, WHICH IS A MUCH MORE VALUABLE APPROACH IF YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DENT IN GUN DEATHS.

A COUPLE OF WEEK AGO YOU MENTIONED EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

THE PRESIDENT SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ON POLICE REFORM, FURTHER CURTAILING THE POWERS OF POLICE.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS IS CLEAR FROM THE RESEARCH IS THAT MORE AGGRESSIVE PROACTIVE POLICING CONCENTRATE IN THE CRIME HOT SPOTS BACKED UP BY PROSECUTION PROGRAMS THAT WILL TAKE CRIMINAL OFFENDERS OFF THE STREET, THAT'S THE BEST ROUTE AT GUN VIOLENCE.

I THINK WE KNOW THAT BECAUSE IT WORKED IN THE '90s.

WE WENT FROM 2,062 MURDERS IN WORK TO LESS THAN 200.

WHEN YOU SEE NUMBERS LIKE OUT OF CHICAGO WHERE THE AVERAGE PERSON CHARGED WITH A SHOOTING OR HOMICIDE HAS 1 PRIOR ARRESTS, THAT TELLS YOU THAT GUN CONTROL HAS A LIMITED IMPACT IF WE'RE NOT WILLING TO PULL THE LEVERS NECESSARY TO BACK THOSE MEASURES UP WITH CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT.

BECAUSE IT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE CASE WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING THAT NOW.

THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO VIOLATE PREEXISTING GUN LAWS AND ARE NOT HELD PRETRIAL, ARE GIVEN PROBATION, ARE PAROLED EARLY.

THAT'S THE MUCH BIGGER ISSUE AND ONE THE DEMOCRATS NEED TO FOCUS ON IF THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A HEARING ON THOSE BROADER QUESTIONS.

DR. GREER, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

I'VE READ A NUMBER OF ARTICLES THAT SAYS THERE'S A CERTAIN CONTRADICTION AMONG THE DEMOCRATS.

ON THE ONE HAND THEY WANT STRICTER GUN LEGISLATION, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND SEEM TO WANT MORE LAX, MORE FLEXIBLE GUN ENFORCEMENT IN BIG CITIES.

IS THERE TRUTH TO THAT?

I THINK IT NEEDS NUANCED CONVERSATION.

DEMOCRATS MAKE CLEAR NO ONE NEEDS A AR-15.

THAT'S SOMETHING REPUBLICANS SEE AS A NONSTARTER.

SO, YOU KNOW, WHAT RAPHAEL LAYS OUT IS MUCH OF A REPUBLICAN TALKING POINT.

IT'S LIKE, WE ARE HAVING SIMULTANEOUS CONVERSATIONS.

ONE IS ABOUT ASSAULT WEAPONS THAT HAVE INCREASINGLY COME INTO COMMUNITIES, CHURCHES, GROCERY STORES, SCHOOLS OVER THE YEARS -- WE'RE THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT HAS THESE TYPE OF MASS SHOOTING, CONCERTS, YOU NAME IT.

THAT'S ONE CONVERSATION.

THE OTHER, YES, THERE IS A RISING CRIME IN CITIES, BUT WE CAN ALSO THINK ABOUT THAT IS CRIME RISES WHEN THERE'S LOW EMPLOYMENT, POOR SCHOOLS, LACK OF HOUSING, ALL THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET PROGRAMS THAT REPUBLICANS CONTINUOUSLY CUT.

AS WE SEE THE SPIKES FROM CRIME THAT ARE NOWHERE NEAR THE '08s AND '90s, WITH OF TO REMEMBER THE FUNDING THAT COULD PREVENT THIS, FUNDING FOR COMMUNITIES, WOULD DECREASE THE GUN LEVEL, THE GUN CRIME WE SEE HERE.

WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES, WHAT IS THE REAL INVESTMENT BEYOND THE LIP SERVICE OF SAYING, THIS STUFF HAPPENS IN CITIES.

IF WE FUNDED PROGRAM FOR PEOPLE IN CITIES, WE KNOW THAT DATA WORK.

THE DATA SHOW US INCREASING MONEY NOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS DOES NOT NECESSARILY DECREASE CRIME IN ANY CAPACITY, ESPECIALLY IN URBAN CENTER'S SO IF WE INCREASE MONEY FOR THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET AND ROBUST PROGRAMMING THAT COULD PREVENT SOME OF THIS STUFF, WE KNOW THIS WORKS WHEN NEW YORKERS HAD A SLOWDOWN IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WHEN NYPD WANTED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO DE BLASIO, CRIME WENT DOWN.

THEY PIVOTED THE STRATEGY.

COULDN'T KEEP ASKING FOR BILLION OF DOLLARS IF WE DON'T NEED THE TYPE OF POLICING WE HAVE.

IT'S ALL THE PROGRAMS AROUND POLICING THAT WOULD DECREASE GUN VIOLENCE AND ALL THE CONVERSATIONS WE'RE HAVING HANDGUNS AND --

I WANT TO --

IF I MIGHT, COULD I JUST PUSH BACK?

QUICKLY IF YOU COULD, WHY A.

VERY QUICKLY.

A COUPLE OF DATA POINTS.

BETWEEN 2007 TO 2010, THE HOMICIDE RATE DOUBLED OVER THAT TIME 1989, WHICH IS THE YEAR BEFORE NEW YORK CITY SAW ITS PEAK HOMICIDES, THE CITY'S POVERTY RATE WAS LOWER THAN IT WAS IN 2016, WHICH IS THE YEAR BEFORE NEW YORK CITY, SO IT'S A VALLEY FOR HOMICIDES, 292.

THE IDEA THERE'S A CLEAR CONNECTION BETWEEN SOME OF THE SOCIOECONOMIC INDICATOR AND GUN CRIME IS NOT REFLECTED IN THE DATA AT ALL.

OKAY, VI TO MOVE ON.

BEN, AS DR. GREER SAID EARLIER, THE SENATE IS WHERE GUN CONTROL LAW WILL LIVE OR DIE.

AND IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE THERE'S GOING TO BE 60 VOTES FOR ANY MEANINGFUL GUN REFORM LAW WITH REPUBLICAN SUPPORT BECAUSE OF THE FILIBUSTER, BUT THERE IS A BIPARTISAN GROUP THAT'S IN CONVERSATION ABOUT SOME REFORMS, THAT COULD GAIN BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.

WHAT'S THE LATEST ON THAT?

DO YOU KNOW?

I DON'T KNOW THE VERY LATEST, BUT I KNOW IN RECENT DAYS AND WEEKS THERE'S BEEN SOME CONVERSATION WHERE, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED SEE A LITTLE BIT OF DAYLIGHT FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR SOME KIND OF COMPROMISE ON REFORMS.

YOU HEAR SOME TALK ABOUT SOME THINGS RELATED TO BACKGROUND CHECKS OR RED FLAG LAWS, BUT YOU KNOW, FROM WHERE I SIT AND FROM PROBABLY WHERE EVERYBODY ON THIS PANEL SITS, I THINK THE LIKELIHOOD OF SIGNIFICANT REFORMS MAKING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE U.S. SENATE ARE VERY LOW.

THERE'S ALWAYS A CHANCE THAT SOMETHING COMES TOGETHER SO THAT LEGISLATORS CAN SAY THEY DID SOMETHING, BUT I THINK EVEN IF YOU HEAR A LITTLE OPTIMISM FROM THOSE INVOLVED IT SEEMS LIKE AN UNLIKELY SCENARIO THAT ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT MOVES THROUGH THE SENATE.

RAPHAEL 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' HAD A LENGTHY PIECE OVER THE WEEKEND.

MAYBE YOU READ IT.

I HOPE YOU READ IT.

IN WHICH IT USED DATA COLLECTSED ON MASS SHOOTINGS TO POSIT THAT IF SOME OF THE GUN CONTROL THAT HAVE BEEN IN PLACE SINCE COLUMBINE, IT MIGHT HAVE CHANGED THE COURSE OF 35 MASS SHOOTINGS, A THIRD THAT HAPPENED SINCE COLUMBINE.

THEY WRITE FOUR SHOOTERS YOUNGER THAN 21 WOULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM BUYING SUM AUTOMATIC RIFLES LEGALLY.

FOUR OTHER ASSAILANTS WOULD NOT HAVE SLIPPED THROUGH THE CRACKS SINCE THEY WOULD HAVE GONE THROUGH BACKGROUND CHECKS.

THAT TEN OTHER SHOOTERS MIGHT HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO STEAL THE WEAPONS BECAUSE OF RIGOROUS GUN STORAGE LAWS AND THAT 20 OTHER SHOOTERS MIDNIGHT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO PURCHASE THE HIEING CAPACITY MAGAZINES THEY USED WHICH OF COURSE MADE THE GUNS MORE LEGAL.

PERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS?

SEMI.

AGAIN, I THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHICH CONVERSATION WE'RE HAVING.

IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE STATISTICALLY RARE BUT TRAGIC MASS SHOOTINGS, I THINK THERE'S SOME MERRITT TO THAT THAT MAYBE RAISING THE AGE MIGHT HAVE PREVENTED A HANDFUL OF THE SHOOTERS FROM ACQUIRING WEAPONS.

ONE OF THE THINGS WE KNOW FROM THE DATA IN TERMS OF GUN VIOLENCE IN THIS COUNTRY IS TEENAGERS DON'T SEEM TO HAVE MUCH OF A PROBLEM GETTING THEIR HANDS ON ILLEGAL FIREARMS.

LOOK AT THE STATISTICS OUT OF CITIES LIKE NEW YORK, CHICAGO, BALTIMORE, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, LOS ANGELES.

WE TALK ABOUT RAISING THE AGE FOR PURCHASE, AND I THINK THAT'S A CONVERSATION WORTH HAVING, BUT I THINK AGAIN, IT'S HARD TO VIEW THAT AS A CREDIBLE ARGUMENT WHEN WE'RE NOT WILLING TO HAVE THE ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE OTHER RAISE THE AGE LAWS.

THE COST OF VIOLATING THE GUN LAWS BY PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 21.

YOU HAVE STATES LIKE NEW YORK HAVE ENGAGED IN THIS TYPE OF LEGISLATION WHICH MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO PROSECUTE TEENAGE GUN OFFENDERS IN CRIMINAL COURT, AND MAKE IT UNLIKELY THEY'RE GOING TO SPEND ANY TIME INCARCERATED, WHICH MEANS THEY'RE GOING TO BE BACK ON THE STREET, AND THEY WILL FIGURE OUT WAYS TO ACQUIRE.

IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WAY OF IMPACTING GUN VIOLENCE WRIT LARGE, I DON'T THINK THEY'RE GOING TO DO ENOUGH TO REGISTER THE DATA.

BUT AHN-OFFSHOOTINGS, SURE, I THINK THERE'S SOME MERRITT THERE.

DR. GREER, THE 'TIMES' PIECE ITSELF SAID THAT NO MEASURE MIGHT HAVE MADE A BIG MEASURE IN THIS COUNTRY SINCE, AS THEY PUT IT, THE U.S. IS AWASH WITH GUNS WE HAVE MORE GUNS THAN PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY.

BUT THE U.S. HAS BEEN AWASH WITH BEGINS FOR DECADES.

I'M OLDER THAN THE THREE OF YOU, SO I REMEMBER THE TIME WHEN WE SPOKE ABOUT MASS SHOOTINGS, WE SPOKE ABOUT ONLY CHARLES WHITMAN, WHO STABBED HIS MOTHER AND WIFE AND WENT UP IN THE TOWER AND SHOT PEOPLE WITH HIS LEGALLY PURCHASED SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLE.

WHAT ELSE IS CAUSING THE SPATE OF MASS SHOOTINGS SINCE COLUMBINE?

I WOULD ARGUE IT'S NOT ONE-OFFS ANYMORE.

WE KNOW THE DEFINITION OF A MASS SHOOTING IS FOUR PEOPLE OR MORE, BUT WE KNOW IF WE PAY ATTENTION TO OUR LOCAL AND STATE NEWS THAT EVERY DAY WE SEE PEOPLE WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS SHOOTING THREE OR UNDER, SO IT'S NOT BEING REGISTERED.

IT'S NOT JUST A RANDOM OCCASION.

I THINK UVALDE AND BUFFALO ARE EXTREME TRAGIC CAUSES BUT WE'RE SEEING THIS ON A MUCH MORE REGULAR BASIS.

I THINK FOR A LOT OF COMMUNITIES THE BASIS IS WHITE SUPREMACY.

WE SEE THIS IN CHARLESTON AND BUFFALO.

WE KNOW THERE'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

PART OF THE RED FLAG LAWS IT'S NOT JUST FOR MENTAL ILLNESSING BUT THERE ARE A LOFT INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE GUNS IN THEIR HOME -- THERE'S A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FATALITIES AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A WEAPON IN ONE'S HOME.

BUT I THINK THAT THIS COUNTRY EQUATES GUNS AS THIS SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT THEY MUST HAVE.

WE'RE NOT DISTINGUISHING THE FACT THAT, WHY DOES SOMEONE NEED AN AR-15?

YOU CAN'T GO HUNTING WITH IT.

IT'S SOMETHING WE USE OVERSEAS ON INDIVIDUALS, WHICH IS A DIFFERENT DEBATE AND CONVERSATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE SHOULD BE USING THOSE ON ANYONE.

BUT I THINK IN A NATION THAT IS PREDICATED ON WHITE SUPREMACY AND ANTI-BLACK RACISM, CAPITALISM, AND PATRIARCHY, THAT'S PART OF THE UNDERGIRDING ROOT CAUSE OF WHY SO MANY PEOPLE WANT/NEED TO HAVE THEIR GUNS BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN FED THIS INFORMATION THAT A WAR IS COMING, THAT THEY ARE LOSING.

THE IMMIGRANTS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE COMING.

THEY NEED TO ARM THEMSELVES TO THEIR TEETH TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

IF WE SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND THE COUNTRY WE'RE SEEING THE END RESULT OF PEOPLE ACTING OUT ON THE IDEAS THEY'RE LOSING SOMETHING BECAUSE SO MUCH OF THEIR LIFE IS AFFECTED BY LACK OF OPPORTUNITY FROM POLICIES THAT ARE MADE IN THEIR STATEHOUSES AND WASHINGTON, D.C.

THAT ADVERSELY AFFECT THEM, AND CREATE SCENARIOS WHERE THEY FEEL THEY NEED TO TAKE BACK THEIR LAND.

BEN, BY AND LARGE MASS SHOOTERS SEEM TO BE GETTING YOUNGER.

BOTH THE BUFF SBLOE UVALDE SHOOTERS WERE BARELY 18.

THE PARKLAND SHOOTER WAS 19 AND THE COLUMBINE KILLERS WERE OF COURSE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

THE TIME LINE OF THESE SHOOTINGS SINCE COLUMBINE KIND OF TRACKS WITH THE GROWTH OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

IS IT AN OBVIOUS CORRELATION BETWEEN THOSE TWO THINGS?

YOU KNOW, THIS IS -- FEELS LIKE A PRETTY DIFFICULT TOPIC, HAVING WORKED WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN A PAST LIFE AS A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER.

EN WHY, YOU SEE TRENDS DEVELOP WHERE KIDS ARE SPENDING A LOT MORE TIME ONLINE AND MORE TIME ON THE PLATFORMS, AND ALGORITHMS ARE FEEDING THEM ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT ARE PROBLEMATIC.

YOU KNOW, IT'S HARD TO STAY FOR SURE, BUT CERTAINLY THE -- SOME OF THE ASPECTS OF THE CULTURE AND THE WAYS THAT THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS HAVE PLAYED IN ARE WORTH QUESTIONING, ARE WORTH LOOKING AT.

I BELIEVE THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME ADDITIONAL HEARINGS POTENTIALLY, THAT ARE WORTH HAVING, AND IT'S ABSOLUTELY -- NEW YORK LAWMAKERS ARE LOOKING AT THE ISSUE IN NEW YORK.

THEY'RE POTENTIALLY GOING TO LOOK AT THE ISSUE ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL.

INVOLVED AND SEEM TO BE FEEDING INTO THINGS CERTAINLY SHOULD BE EXAMINED.

BUT IT'S HARD TO PUT A FINGER ON THAT PARTICULAR ONE WHERE, YOU KNOW, IT'S VERY OBVIOUS WHEN YOU SAY THAT YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE SHOOTERS AND WHEN THEY TURN 18 THEY'RE ABLE TO GO AND PURCHASE THE SORT OF WEAPON OF WARFARE THAT THEY'RE ABLE TO GET THEIR HANDS ON SO QUICKLY AND SO EASILY AND DO WHAT THEY DID.

THAT'S A MUCH MORE DIRECT, YOU KNOW, LINE YOU CAN DRAW.

RAPHAEL, YOU HAVE ANY GUESSES AS TO THE CULTURAL REASONS WHY THIS IS INCREASING SINCE COLUMBINE?

YEAH, I MEAN, ONE GUESS IS THAT SOCIAL MEDIA MIGHT BE RELATED IN SO FAR AS WE'VE SEEN A NUMBER OF MASS SHOOTINGS NOW LIVE STREAMED, AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SEEMS TO INDICATE A ONE-UPMANSHIP AMONG PEOPLE WHO DECIDE TO MAKE THIS SICK CHOICE.

BUT AGAIN, I THINK WE HAVE TO VERY CLEARLY DISTINGUISH WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE NUMBERS BETWEEN THE MASS SHOOTINGS LIKE COLUMBINE, WHICH OCCURRED DURING THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN OF 1994, WHILE THAT WAS IN EFFECT, VIRGINIA TECH, WHICH OCCURRED WITH HANDGUNS, SANDY HOOK, AND UVALDE, AND DISTINGUISH THAT FROM LIKE WHAT WE SAW IN PHILADELPHIA OVER THE WEEKEND, WHERE THREE PEOPLE KILLED AND 14 OTHERS WOUNDED BECAUSE OF SOME KIND OF STREET BEEF ON SOUTH STREET THAT SPILLED INTO A GUN BATTLE IN A VERY CROWDED DISTRICT.

AND WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THOSE KINDS OF EVENTS, NONE OF THESE PROPOSALS SEEM LIKELY TO DO MUCH ABOUT THAT.

SOCIAL MEDIA WE KNOW PLAYS A ROLE IN URBAN HOMICIDES, A LOT OF GANG BEEF START THERE AND GET CARRIED OUT INTO STREET VIOLENCE.

BUT AGAIN, THESE ARE VERY, VERY DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVENTS, AND I THINK WE JUST HAVE TO BE BETTER IN TERMS OF OUR NATIONAL CONVERSATION IN BEING CLEAR WHICH ONES WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

BEN, NEW YORK STATE THE FIRST STATE TO RESPOND TO THE BUFFALO AND UVALDE SHOOTINGS WITH NEW GUN LEGISLATION.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THOSE LAWS THAT WERE PASSED AT THE END OF THIS YEAR'S SESSION?

RIGHT, AND AS WE'RE SPEAKING HERE, GOVERNOR HOCHUL JUST SIGNED THESE INTO LAW.

IT INCLUDES RAISING THE AGE FOR SEMIAUTOMATIC GUN PURCHASES FROM 18 TO 21.

SOME TIGHTENING OF THE STATE'S RED FLAG LAW, WHICH CERTAINLY SEEMED TO BE AN ISSUE IN THE BUFFALO SHOOTING, THE QUESTIONS AROUND HOW THAT WAS IMPLEMENTED.

THERE WAS A BAN ON SELLING ARMOR TO MOST PEOPLE, AND THERE'S A NEW MICROSTAND LAW FOR NEW SEMIAUTOMATIC WEAPONS.

I ALSO WANT TO QUICKLY SAY, SINCE WE'RE TALK ABOUT NEW YORK LAW, SOME OF THE QUESTIONS RAPHAEL WAS RAISING EARLIER ABOUT THE STATE'S RAISE THE AGE LAW, TO THE STATE'S BAIL CHANGES, THOSE LAWS RELATED TO PEOPLE WHO ARE PULLING TRIGGERS AND SHOOTING GUN HAVEN'T REALLY CHANGED ANYTHING.

THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE RELATED TO GUN POSSESSION CASES, AND WE'VE CERTAINLY SEEN SOME QUESTIONS AROUND HOW DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ARE DECIDING TO -- WHAT TO PROSECUTE AND WHEN, BUT PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY COMMITTING SHOOTINGS, WE HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING CHANGE IN STATE LAW RELATED TO THAT.

QUICK RESPONSE, RAFA?

THAT'S THE THING.

ARE WE GOING MAKE OUR POLICY IN A WAY IN WHICH WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL SOMEBODY SHOOTS AND KILLS SOMEBODY TO INCAPACITATE THEM?

THERE'S A LOT OF OVERLAP BETWEEN SHOOTERS AND THOSE WHO COMMIT OTHER OFFENSES, THAT WOULD OPPONENT TO AGAIN, THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA.

LARRY TOOK OFFICE IN 2018.

UP UNTIL THEN, THE GUN CONVICTION RATE FOR GUN CRIMES RANGED IF TW 65% AND 70%. THE YEAR AFTER THEY TOOK OFFICE IT DROPPED DOWN TO 40%, AND IN 2021 IT WAS JUST 36%. AT THE SAME TIME DISMISSES ON THE PART OF THE OFFICE WENT UP FROM 42% TO 56%. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE BAIL REFORM IN NEW YORK, IT'S A -- SOME OF THOSE VIOLENT FELONIES ARE SERIOUS VIOLENT FELONIES LIKE HOMICIDES AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS WITH GUNS.

WHEN WE SAY RAISE THE AGE, HUGE RECIDIVISM AMONG THOSE.

I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE A VERY SERIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT GETTING SHOOTERS OFF THE STREET.

DR. GREER, QUICK RESPONSE THAT TO THE THAT?

IF YOU HAVE ONE.

I THINK WE DO NEED A MORE NUANCED CONVERSATION, BUT TO BEN ON THE POINT, THERE'S A REAL CONVERSATION TO HAVE ABOUT BAIL REFORM AND THE REPUBLICAN TALKING POINT OF, BECAUSE WE HAVE CHANGES IN OUR BAIL LAWS NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN WE HAVE ACTIVE SHOOTERS WHO ARE FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS AND BACK ON OUR STREETS.

IT'S JUST NOT AS SUBSTANTIATED AS IT INITIALLY SEEMS.

I THINK IF WE REALLY CARE ABOUT RESTRUCTUING AND MAKING OUR CITIES SAFE, WE NEED TO HAVE A HOLISTIC APPROACH.

THAT STARTS WITH MONEY TO POLICING BUT ALSO PROGRAMS TO MAKE SURE WE CAN START SOME OF THIS -- END SOME OF THIS BEFORE IT BEGINS.

SPEAK ABOUT ENDING VIOLENCE BEFORE IT BEGINS, BEN, QUICKLY, MAYOR ADAMS, AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, ANNOUNCED THE FORMATION OF A GUN VIOLENCE TASK FORCE TO, QUOTE, PREVENT SHOOTINGS BEFORE THEY TAKE PLACE.

THAT WILL BE COCHAIRED BY MAN UP INC., THE MAN WE'RE CALLING THE NEW GUN CZAR, AND COSHARED BY THE DEPUTY MAYOR OR STRATEGIC INITIATIVES, SHEENA WRIGHT.

WHO'S IN THIS GROUP, AND HOW ARE THEY INTENDED TO FULFILL THEIR MISSION?

ONE OF THE HALLMARKS THAT MAYOR ADAMS IS PROMISING IS MUCH BETTER COORDINATION AMONG GOVERNMENT, BETWEEN GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AND BETWEEN AND AMONG THE GOVERNMENT AND NONPROFIT AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS.

SO THAT'S SORT OF AT THE ROOT OF THIS IDEA.

THE QUESTION IS, IS THIS REDUNDANT?

IS IT NECESSARY TO NAME AT TASK FORCE AND PUT MORE COOKS IN THE KITCHEN WHEN YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF OFFICES ALREADY TASKED WITH THIS?

THEY BELIEVE IN IT.

THEY BELIEVE A LOT OF PARTNERS ARE CENTRAL TO THE MISSION, AND SOS OBVIOUSLY WORTH TRYING CONSIDERING THE CHALLENGES THE CITY HAS FACED AND THE PROMISE OF BETTER COORDINATION ACROSS CITY AGENCIES AND WIT COMMUNITY GROUPS TO TRY TO GET AT SOME OF THE ROOTS OF THESE ISSUES IS OBVIOUSLY PART OF WHAT MAYOR ADAMS PROMISED TO EXECUTE BETTER THAN HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST TO STEM THE GUN VIOLENCE IN THE CITY.

WE HAVE LESS THAN A MINUTE.

ONE WORD ANSWER.

DR. GREER, IS THE MOMENTUM BUILDING UP FOR GUN REFORM GOING TO HAPPEN THIS TIME WHEN IT DIDN'T IN THE PREVIOUS GUN VIOLENCE MASS SHOOTINGS?

I DON'T THINK SO.

AFTER SANDY HOOK WHEN WE SAW MIDDLE CLASS WHITE CHILDREN GUNNED DOWN, AND THERE WAS NO SUBSTANTIVE LEGISLATION ACROSS THE NATION OR IN OUR STATEHOUSES, THAT MADE ME THINK THAT THIS COUNTRY WAS WHO WILLY DISINVESTED IN HAVING A SUBSTANTIVE CONVERSATION ABOUT GUNS.

YES OR NO, BEN?

NO ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL, BUT POTENTIALLY SOME MORE ACTION IN CERTAIN STATES LIKE WE'RE SEEING IN NEW YORK.

RAFA?

I THINK WE'LL SEE SOMETHING SMALL ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL, BUT A LOT MORE ACTIVITY AT THE STATE LEVEL.

WE'RE OUT OF TIME.

SORRY, GUYS.

BUT IT WAS WONDERFUL TALKING TO YOU UNFORTUNATELY ABOUT THIS SAD TOPIC.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

THANKS.

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