Guliani & Paul repeat stance on guns
In the debate last night:
GOLER: Mayor Giuliani, Senator Fred Thompson -- and we do wish he was here -- says the Virginia Tech tragedy might have been lessened if some of the students had been allowed to carry guns. He also says that...
He also says he never felt safe in your city because of its gun control laws. What do you have to say to him about either of these assertions?
GIULIANI: Well, I would say to him the FBI would disagree with that. New York City was, during the years that I was mayor, the safest large city in the United States. In fact, in 2000, which was one of the last years that I was mayor, it was 191 for crime in the country.
For example, in Boston, there was a 59 percent greater chance you'd be the victim of a crime than in New York City. In many other cities, there was 100 to 300 percent greater chance that you'd be a victim of a crime than in New York City.
One of the things I accomplished as mayor of New York City was the impossible.
GIULIANI: I took a city that was the crime capital of America, and I made it not only the safest large city in America, I made it safer than 189 small cities. So, I mean, people have their right to their own feelings. The reality is, you were safer in New York than just about any other city in the United States after I was mayor for about three or four years.
GOLER: And the idea of letting college students carry weapons?
GIULIANI: I think states have a right to decide that. I mean, states have a right to decide their gun laws. The second amendment grants you the right to bear arms.
We have a federal system. A lot of these issues work in America where we have people of different views and different conscience because we are a federal system. We allow states to make different decisions.
The focus of our laws should be on criminals. That's what I did in New York City. I reduced shootings in New York City by 75 percent. And I did it by focusing not on guns but on criminals. Putting them in jail, putting them in jail for long periods of time when they committed crimes with guns, and it worked.
GOLER: Congressman Paul, another gun issue for you, if you will. You have said that the 9/11 attackers might have had second thoughts if they'd felt that some of the passengers aboard the airplanes might have been armed.
We have seen airplanes -- airflights diverted because people heard Arabic on planes, because they heard Muslims praying. What do you think it would do to the travel industry of this country if passengers felt others were carrying guns aboard, sir?
PAUL: Well, first off, you're quoting me incorrectly.
GOLER: I'm sorry.
PAUL: I said the responsibility for protecting passengers falls with the airline, not the government -- not the passengers. The airline's responsible for the aircraft and the passengers.
If we wouldn't have been dependent on the federal government to set all the rules, which meant no guns and no resistance, then the terrorists may well have had second thoughts, because the airlines would have had the responsibility.
PAUL: But we assumed the government was going to take care of us. After 9/11, instead of moving toward the direction of personal responsibility and private property and second amendment, we moved in the opposite direction. We turned it over to the federal government. And look at the mess we have now at airports.
I mean, the airlines -- private industry protects their property all the time. People who haul around money in armored trucks protect their money all the time. But here is one example when the federal government was involved and they messed it up, and if we put the responsibility on the right people, respected the second amendment, I sincerely believe there would have been a lot less chance of 9/11 ever happening.
Hmm... Guliani's pitch could be interpreted as (1) "I believe in the Second Amendment, but don't believe the 14th Amendment incorporates that as against the States, so States are free to experiment but the Feds are not," or (2) "I believe in the Second Amendment, but in a version of that that leaves government free to pass whatever laws it wants anyway." I tend to suspect version (2) is the one intended here.
At a policy, rather than constitutional, level, one would have to ask: if states should be free to experiment, would you favor repeal of a fair portion of GCA 68 -- e.g., the prohibited person categories -- in favor of a provision that simply says no person shall sell a firearm to someone prohibited by state law to have it.