Governor Cuomo’s state disaster declaration describes gun violence as a public health crisis, and made several comparisons to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting public health response.
“If you look at the recent numbers, more people are now dying from gun violence and crime than Covid,” the Democratic governor said.
“Just like we did with Covid, New York is going to lead the nation once again with a comprehensive approach to combating and preventing gun violence.”
Beyond the fact that Cuomo killed more people in New York than any other single person in history, think through the policy implications.
In reaction to COVID, Cuomo (and other governors) closed businesses, forced people to remain in their homes, forbade public assemblies, forced people to wear masks, prohibited people from worshiping, changed the rules of elections, and so much more. He used the violent police power of the state to enforce those rules with fines and arrests. All of this was in response to a “public health crisis.”
Now governors and other tyrants are using the government response to COVID as a template for responding to other “crises.” They see it as within their power – even their duty – to use government police power to force compliance with the arbitrary suspension of civil rights to respond to a public health crisis (as they define it).
Could you see Cuomo order the suspension of gun sales; random searches for guns; gun registrations; gun confiscations; etc.? I could. Why not? It will save lives, right?
What is the next “public health crisis” that will require government to suspend civil rights for our own good? Obesity? Climate change? Impaired driving? Racism?
When we allowed our government to take so much power during COVID, we set a new standard for government intrusion. The people who run the government will not easily give that power back.