Wild West?! NYC Mayor Rails – And FAILS – Attacking SCOTUS Gun Ruling

P. Gardner Goldsmith | June 26, 2022
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It’s safe to say that politicians are prone to inflammatory, baseless, critique-worthy statements – and that their media allies usually act as conduits and amplifiers for the nonsense, even as they avoid engaging in any substantive critiques.

Case in point, New York Mayor Eric Adams, who, soon after the Supreme Court on Thursday published its ruling in “NY State Rifle and Pistol Assoc, Inc, et al v. Bruen” affirming the right of Americans to conceal-carry without first proving "proper cause," appeared compelled to take to the podium and mic and grandstand, while spouting utter nonsense.

In part, Adams said:

This decision has made every single one of us less safe from gun violence.

Coming from the mayor of a city that, in March -- while OPERATING UNDER THE “GUN CONTROL” STATUTES he believes the SCOTUS unjustly overturned – was experiencing a crime wave that even leftist CNN had to acknowledge, that’s a heck of a bold statement.

Let’s stress that a bit more. Mr. Adams appears to have a poor memory, for, on March 5, CNN reported:

Major crimes in New York City spiked nearly 60% in February compared to the same month in 2021…


The New York Police Department tracked increases across every major crime category. The city recorded a 41% increase in overall major crime through the first months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, including a nearly 54% increase in robberies, a 56% increase in grand larceny incidents and a 22% increase in rape reports, the data shows.

And then there’s this:

Murders increased by 10%, while citywide shooting incidents decreased by 1.3%, with 77 incidents in February 2021 and 76 incidents last month, NYPD data shows.

The Supreme Court ruling had nothing to do with that.

Yet, Eric Adams acts as if Thursday’s SCOTUS decision, which merely supports the strict wording of the U.S. Constitution that Adams himself swore to uphold, is putting everyone in the city at risk of some oncoming crime wave.

Someone might want to inform Mr. Adams that the crime wave hit a while ago, and his unconstitutional NY gun restrictions on law-abiding people either did not stop the crimes, or helped contribute to the problem, by discouraging those law-abiding people from owning firearms to defend themselves, which, in turn deters criminals who, if there WERE more guns in the hands of good people, try to avoid that higher risk of confrontation.

That’s what renowned gun-crime statistics expert John Lott found over and over in his years of study looking at how, as his most famous book, "More Guns, Less Crime" lays out, the presence of more guns in the hands of peacefully-minded people is strongly correlated with lower incidences of violent criminal attacks.

But Adams appears disinterested in reality, and much more interested in scaremongering through creation of a fictive world, a land that he would like people to believe will fall apart.

Thus, he avoids the already established record of crime mentioned above, and he proceeds to dig his nonsensical hole even deeper, by implying that without the very statutes that already have proven to have failed, New York will become a form of the cartoonish and ahistorical bogeyman, “The Wild, Wild West.”

Said Adams:

We cannot allow New York to become the Wild, Wild West. That is unacceptable.

Of course, Adams seems to employ the term in order to generate fear, fear that NYC will become a lawless den of violence, when, first, his city already is experiencing a crimewave of monumental proportions, and, second, he, like many anti-gun, anti-freedom leftists, uses the “Wild, Wild West” term without knowing a thing about the subject to which he refers.

As a former television scriptwriter and philosophical “Christian anarchist,” I’ve devoted many long stretches of research into the mythology and reality of the so-called “Wild, Wild West,” and I don’t mean the sci-fi-western from the 1960s.

I mean the mid-western plains and western U.S. territories where, especially with 19th Century wagon-trains, the Gold Rush, and resettlement, people moved in large numbers to live among each other without what were, in the east, statutes or even, in many cases, taxation.

As a scriptwriter, I am aware of the fact that popular film and fiction set in the western territories of that era will, by the very nature of trying to present a compelling narrative, amplify conflict beyond what naturally might have been the case.

Take it as the Jessica Fletcher phenomenon. As the main protagonist of the TV mystery, “Murder, She Wrote,” Fletcher discovered a new murder in her small Maine town every week – which made it seem like that town might not be the best place to live or become a realtor.

But, in fact, a great deal of scholarly research has been conducted on what the western territories really WERE like, specifically because those non-state, virtually tax-less enclaves served as good examples of how free, armed, individuals voluntarily organized their own peace-keeping and adjudication systems.

One of the best books on the subject is the 2004 release: “The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier,” written by Terry L. Anderson and Peter J. Hill, and the book was based on research they originally published in 1978.

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In 2004, the Mises Institute offered an online version of that original research, and, even if he didn’t want to spring for the book, Mayor Adams would serve himself well to read the paper and learn what Anderson and Lee discovered about how well the settlers managed peacefully, without the likes of blowhard politicians, like him.

They note:

The taste for the dramatic in literature and other entertainment forms has led to concentration on the seeming disparity between the Westerners' desire for order and the prevailing disorder…

But this seeming disparity (also latched onto by Adams) is manufactured. It is unrealistic and ahistorical:

In his book, Frontier Violence: Another Look, W. Eugene Hollon stated that he believed ‘that the Western frontier was a far more civilized, more peaceful, and safer place than American society is today.’12 

Anderson and Lee also write:

The legend of the ‘wild, wild West’ lives on despite Robert Dykstra's finding that in five of the major cattle towns (Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell) for the years from 1870 to 1885, only 45 homicides were reported — an average of 1.5 per cattle-trading season.13

In Abilene, supposedly one of the wildest of the cow towns, ‘nobody was killed in 1869 or 1870. In fact, nobody was killed until the advent of officers of the law, employed to prevent killings.’14 Only two towns, Ellsworth in 1873 and Dodge City in 1876, ever had 5 killings in any one year.15 Frank Prassel states in his book subtitled A Legacy of Law and Order, that "if any conclusion can be drawn from recent crime statistics, it must be that this last frontier left no significant heritage of offenses against the person, relative to other sections of the country.’16

The authors explore pioneer land settlers and their self-organized “Land Clubs” that they created to handle property claims because the feds were too slow to do the adjudication. The authors investigate voluntary cattlemen’s associations that managed livestock claims across vast landscapes and with roaming herds, and sans the rules of politicians. The authors explore mining camps, as the gold rush saw men resettle in California, Nevada, Oregon, and other western territories where they had to manage land and water claims by creating their own voluntary rules. The authors investigate wagon trains, and how people with different skills and resources voluntarily worked and sold among each other while traveling long distances.

And the authors' conclusion is distilled into one simple sentence:

Competition rather than coercion insured justice.

There are other texts to suggest to Mayor Adams, one of my favorites being the 2015 book called “Private Governance,” edited by Edward Stringham, but I doubt the NYC mayor has the interest or time to read them.

He’s too busy forgetting the crime spree that’s already happening in the Big Apple, and making up flamboyant, ahistorical claims that if people actually are allowed to exercise their God-given rights, the city will look like a Hollywood Western.

Oh, and he's too busy railing about the overturning of "Roe," and praising the abortion in which his "partner" engaged that he claims has allowed him to rise to his vaunted position.

Sick and sad.

Perhaps, someday, he will realize the error of his ways, and realize how many of us have seen his empty rhetoric for what it is, even as we hoped and prayed that he someday might embrace truth and Natural Law.

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