Right-Wing Scaremongering About New York's Strong Gun Laws: Daily Caller Edition
Blog ››› ››› CHRIS BROWN
Today for the fourth time the Daily Caller has written about the Ryan Jerome, the New York City tourist and former Marine that was arrested last September for illegally carrying a concealed firearm. They currently have the story splashed across their front page:
The right-wing media is engaged in a campaign to falsely suggest New York City tourists are in danger of having "their lives destroyed" because New York has stiff penalties for illegal gun possession. In fact, New York prosecutors have repeatedly used their discretion to reach plea agreements for misdemeanor charges that keep people that made honest mistakes and are arrested for carrying concealed guns illegally out of jail.
Not surprisingly given The Daily Caller's status as a gun lobby propaganda dumping ground, they continued the depiction of New York's strong gun laws as callous, despite yet again a New York prosecutor showing a willingness to consider the mitigating circumstances of the alleged crime.
The Daily Caller's headline suggests New York is pursuing "felony charges" against Jerome despite later noting that prosecutors have offered Jerome a misdemeanor plea agreement that would resolve the case for a fine and community service. While even the Daily Caller acknowledges that Jerome "violat[ed] the state's tough gun laws," he appears unwilling to plead guilty to the lesser charges and is seeking to have the charge dropped.
New York City tourists caught carrying guns illegally have become central talking points in the gun lobby's efforts to push the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act. The Daily Caller plays along, reporting that the legislation would "make what Jerome did perfectly legal." Indeed, that bill would allow people with a permit from any state to carry concealed guns in every state that issues concealed carry permits. Local communities and states would be stripped of their ability to decide the standards for who can carry a concealed gun and much weaker out of state standards would unconditionally be accepted. Law enforcements associations have said the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act would "endanger" police officers and "compromise public safety."