Never underestimate the power of social media to shine a light on stupidity and – occasionally – make a difference. After the story of the Nassau County District Attorney who barred all of her prosecutors from owning guns hit the news the backlash was immediate and it received national coverage. That was only last week, but already the DA in question, Madeline Singas, has relented on the policy… at least in part. (Yahoo News)
After a suburban district attorney in New York barred her prosecutors from keeping handguns, even at home, her office said the goal was safety. But the now-changed restriction has touched off debate about whether prosecutors should be packing heat.
The Nassau County DA’s office loosened the policy last week but still prohibits prosecutors from carrying guns at work, saying that could be dangerous or discomfiting in a job known for sensitive, unpredictable situations.
Some other DAs say they allow prosecutors to carry guns precisely because their jobs can be dangerous — to them. One has even offered to pay for his prosecutors to apply for gun permits.
It wasn’t just District Attorneys in rural, red state offices who were running counter to the Singas plan. The Syracuse, New York DA is well aware that some of his prosecutors are packing and the one in Rensselaer County (near the state capital in Albany) is now paying the application fees for staffers who put in for a permit. In the central boroughs of New York City the prosecutors are forbidden to bring guns into the courtroom by city statute, but there are no restrictions on their owning weapons and even leaving them locked in their cars or offices during court appearances.
The point here is that Singas is an aberration, not a trendsetter. Denying the rights of any law abiding citizen to own a gun is unconstitutional (and stupid) to begin with, but singling out a district attorney for special restrictions makes about as much sense as banning the police from having guns. (Not that we haven’t seen some liberals suggest that as well.) Unfortunately we’re talking about New York here and everyone who manages to get elected to a DA spot seems to think that they’re on their way to an eventual run for the Governor’s mansion, if not the White House. When they become blinded by ambition and dangling low hanging fruit in front of their liberal audience you wind up with asinine ideas like this exploding into the news cycle.