In a recent editorial, The New York Times called the National Rifle Association’s refusal to meet with President Barack Obama on gun control shameful, and said the decision “shows disdain for the well-being and safety of the public.”
The Times has never been shy about its contempt for gun owners and Second Amendment freedom; however, the Times owes an apology to New Yorkers for refusing to promote a common-sense program that has been very successful in preventing violent crime.
Project Exile, a federal program supported by NRA members, encourages local law enforcement to work alongside federal officers to prosecute violent felons (who use guns in the commission of their crimes) and locks them away for a stiff, mandatory minimum sentence of five years.
In just three years (1997-2000), Project Exile cut Richmond, Va.’s gun crime in half, and since then, other cities have had similar success with the program, including Buffalo, N.Y.
Unfortunately, New York City has never adopted a Project Exile program, and The New York Times hasn’t acknowledged Project Exile in nearly a decade. Why has the Times refused to push for the immediate implementation of this program in New York City?
Maybe it’s because the Times only likes to highlight successful crime prevention policies when there’s an anti-gun president in the White House. Or maybe it’s because the Times couldn’t be less interested in an issue that doesn’t provide a platform for bashing NRA members and law-abiding gun owners.
The Times would much rather waste ink praising the anti-gun efforts of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spends most of his energy trying to restrict the rights of gun owners in other states while ignoring the failure of his own city’s efforts to reduce crime.
If the Times' editorial staff is truly interested in uniting its readers and NRA members toward the common goal of greater safety and reduced crime, then it should consider promoting successful crime prevention policies on which most Americans can agree — even when those policies don’t appear on Bloomberg’s or Obama’s talking points memos. New Yorkers would be better informed and substantially safer too.
Chris W. Cox is the executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and serves as the organization’s chief lobbyist.
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