National Rifle Association board member John Cushman alleged that the number of shooting victims in New York City is up over the past month because New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio "wanted them up."
Cushman appeared on NRA News program Cam & Company on June 10 to discuss a recent New York Post article that reported the number of shooting victims in New York City is up 43 percent compared to the same time period last year.
Overall the Post reports that shootings are up in New York City 13 percent this year. A Reuters article further noted that in New York City, "the murder rate is on track to hit a 50-year low, a statistical paradox that experts said reflects quick medical response." While any increase in shootings is a serious issue that should be addressed, the uptick will not threaten New York City's status as "the safest big city in America." In 2013 PolitiFact found New York City to be the safest among the 25 most populous cities in the United States.
New York City has some of the most rigorous gun laws nationwide, which were championed by former mayor and prominent gun safety advocate Michael Bloomberg and continue to receive support from de Blasio. In 2013 the number of shootings and gun homicides in New York City reached "historic lows."
During Cam & Company host Cam Edwards and John Cushman both blamed the increase in shootings on what Edwards termed "New York City's gun laws that make it prohibitive in a lot of cases, and outright impossible in some cases, for law abiding folks to own a firearm for self-defense." (Actually Supreme Court decisions in 2008 and 2010 held law-abiding people have a right to keep a gun in the home for the purpose of self-defense.)
Cushman charged that the number of reported shooting victims went up because de Blasio "wanted them up." Referencing de Blasio and Bloomberg, he added, "They are all out for some reason to disarm everybody with this screwboy notion that if we take guns away from everybody, we will cut crime."
CUSHMAN: But in the case we are talking about, this article, the idea that so many so-called crimes have been committed demonstrates we have made it next to impossible for anybody legitimately lawfully with a firearm to be able to defend themselves because they can't get the firearm. And yet here you are, by your own admission, showing that the gun crimes are up. If they are up, it's because you guys wanted them up, meaning not necessarily [NYPD Commissioner Bill] Bratton, but his superior the mayor [Bill de Blasio], and the one before him [Michael Bloomberg] was just as bad. They are all out for some reason to disarm everybody with this screwboy notion that if we take guns away from everybody, we will cut crime.
During his appearance Cushman also attacked President Obama and other supporters of stronger gun laws, stating, "the only thing this country allows, it allows people like the president and like the anti-gun people in New York State Legislature to create an unlimited supply of victims all over the state and all over the country."
In addition to serving on the NRA board, Cushman is the president of gun group Sportsmen's Association for Firearms Education, Inc.