The news yesterday that NYC sold 28,000 pounds of spent shell casings to a Georgia ammunition store was like a bucket of cold water. Not only because it highlighted -as The New York Times reported- the complexity of regulating the interstate buying and selling of arms and ammunition, but because it also revealed glaring inconsistencies in Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign against illegal guns.
These inconsistencies were also reflected in the disappointing response that John Feinblatt, one of Bloomberg’s chief advisors, offered.
Feinblatt-a lead architect of Bloomberg’s coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns-defiantly defended the City’s sale to a Georgia company with an inadequate and confusing answer: the Mayor’s campaign is “ about crime control. We’re not about gun control.”
Really? Isn’t gun control critical for controlling crime?
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office explained that the casings were sold to the Georgia company because it offered more money, and the City must sell to the highest bidder.
On the heels of a series of deadly shootings, Feinblatt’s words and the administration’s actions give cause for concern.
The Mayor is undoubtedly an important voice in the public debate on the regulation of guns and ammunition, as he recently showed after the Aurora, Colo. massacre. This isn’t the time for Bloomberg to get involved in exceptions that undermine his message and a life and death agenda for public safety.
If the Mayor wants to be on firm ground, then his administration, including Feinblatt, must be on the same page. Bloomberg should immediately commit to selling the spent shell casings to scrap metal companies and embed that as a policy. New York City can’t be in the business of what amounts to recycling bullets.