Thursday, May 06, 2010

Bloomberg Brings Guns to a Bomb Fight?

As the NY Post is reporting, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is using the Times Square bomber incident to-we kid you not-make the case for stricter gun laws. It seems as if the Pakistani-American militant (is that ok to say?) had bought a gun recently; but passed a background check: "Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad bought a gun in Connecticut two months ago, about the time he put his attack plan in motion, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday...In Connecticut, Shelton Police Chief Joel Hurliman said Shahzad had passed a criminal background check and legally bought a gun from a dealer in his former hometown."

Now Frank Lautenberg-a reason why sometimes mandatory retirement ages are a good thing-has proposed a stricter gun control for "suspected terrorists." As the Post tells us: "Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., have introduced legislation that would give the attorney general authority to deny guns and explosives to known and suspected terrorists. A gun owner who objected to an attorney general’s finding could challenge the ruling. Kelly and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg testified Wednesday in favor of the legislation."

Wait a sec. Maybe we got to carried away by the Post's headline-this all seems like such a non sequitor to us. We're not really sure that there is any linkage between the gun control proposal and the mad bomber-except that he happened to have bought a gun a few months previously. But he had no record and, unless you are going to track people whose houses are in foreclosure, there's no good reason to tar baby Bloomberg with this unrelated linkage.

We're in favor of stricter oversight of potential terror suspects-in whatever form it takes. But gun legislation is unlikely to be a sharp tool in the arsenal to protect us from deranged homeowners; or from people who leave their houses suddenly to travel to Pakistan and train with terror advocates. But as far as the Post story is concerned, they didn't treat Bloomberg fairly. He has said some pretty dumb things about the bomber, the paper shouldn't have used this false linkage to tar him. He does a better job of that all by himself.