48 NYC shootings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?
"This is a national problem requiring national leadership," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
September 6th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

48 NYC shootings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?

It was a very bloody Labor Day weekend in New York. Forty-eight people were shot, including two law enforcement officers and a woman who was sitting with her daughter on a Brooklyn building stoop. The officers survived; three people have died.

The high number of shootings has captured headlines and led some to wonder whether there's some specific explanation for the violence.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is, and he said Tuesday that lawmakers in the nation's capital ought to do something to better control gun violence. New York state reportedly had some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but Bloomberg wants Washington's help. He spoke outside a hospital where the officers were being treated.

"This is a national problem requiring national leadership," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "But at the moment, neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has the courage to take basic steps that would save lives."

Jon M. Shane, an assistant professor at one of America's most highly regarded policing think tanks, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, cautioned against drawing any conclusions from the numbers alone. Shane spent 20 years with the police department in Newark, New Jersey, which has consistently ranked as one of the most violent cities in the United States.

"I would caution against chalking this up to violence that is going to happen over any holiday weekend," Shane said, adding that thorough analysis of each Labor Day weekend shooting should be done to extrapolate concrete explanations that go beyond the particulars of each incident. One would need to research possible motives in each case and investigate suspects' backgrounds and their possible criminal affiliations. Previous crimes at the locations should be weighed from every angle.

In short, 48 shootings sounds like a lot, but drawing any large conclusions, or linking them to a larger trend, will take time.

The woman and the officers were shot Monday hours after the West Indian American Day Parade ended in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. According to the New York Post, two men were "slap boxing" before a shootout in which police became involved. In all, nine people in the area of the parade were shot.

Several people were shot in the Bronx on Sunday. Some of the wounded were children. Four people were shot Monday in Flatbush, Brooklyn, one teenager fatally.

The weekend's bloodshed put a fine point on figures the FBI released in May showing that violent crime was down throughout the country in the past year but up in New York. The New York Police Department released its own report in January, available in full here (PDF), which visually lays out all of the city's 536 homicides in 2010.

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Filed under: Crime • New York
soundoff (540 Responses)
  1. John K

    "violent crime was down throughout the country in the past year but up in New York"

    So, easy availability of guns is why gun violence is up in New York, but in parts of the country where these guns are more easily available, crime is going down. There might be a lesson to be learned here.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      In England, with strict gun control laws, only 5 people lost their lives in week-long widespread rioting.

      Imagine if a riot that size broke out in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles today.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      London is the model we should be following to reduce violent crime? Look at the statistics. You're currently 6 times more likely to be the victim of violent crime in London than in New York.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DD

    There it is, idiots with illegal guns. Law abiding citizens go get your permits before they change the law to protect you and yours. When criminals have to second guess if your carrying they will not approach you to do harm. Stay out of the hood and trailer parks and if they come into your home OPEN SEASON.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I find it interesting that a mayor of a CITY calls on the federal government, rather than the STATE government first.
      So, instead of enforcing their own laws, they wish to take away my const i tutional rights!
      What next? If someone is making hate speech, I'll not be permitted to speak?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matt

    Ever notice that these urban violence epidemics all have one thing in common – urban settings?

    Maybe the problem is that you can't pack humans together like termites without widespread violence.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rightnyer

      And cities like Des Moines and Manchester, NH don't have a huge problem with violent crime. Now what makes Des Moines and Manchester different from Chicago, NYC, and Washington? Hmm.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      Meth instead of crack?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Des Moines and Manchester hardly qualify as big cities. That is what makes them different. They don't have millions and millions of people living there. I think you are a troll though.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fat Bobby Joe

    Where do all of these guns come from?

    If you guessed, "gun manufacturers", you are correct.

    What do gun manufacturers do when they want to sell more guns?

    You figure it out.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Ahh, it's the GUN MANUFACTURERS doing it, huh? They're drop shipping them to the criminals, perhaps?
      Now, go look up straw purchasing. Rather than blaming a manufacturer. Or is it the drug companies fault for oxcontin abuse on the street too?
      It's the knife manufacturers fault when someone is stabbed too, right?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      That is the most Asinine implication ever

      September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger, NYC

      Noooo, heaven forbid you give NRA idiots limits on what they can own. Only when they are killed themselves will they realize that their stupid permits are worthless...

      September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • dtrpmyk

      Nobody is looking to ban Ford,Chevy or Dodge when a drunk driver kills a family. Why do people think doing away with manufacturing will make a differance. our society has gotten away from respecting our fellow man. Parents who have kids but not the time to be a parent are a bigger issue. try sitting down with your kids & grandkids and teach them to respect others, and they might be able to live outside a jail cell because they didn't kill someone who had nicer shoes or cell phone.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lou

    It is time to end the gun show loophole that enables criminals to easily buy guns. These guns find their way to big cities (all of them). There should be a federal record of every gun transaction.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The "gun show loophole" is a strawman argument, there is ZERO evidence to support it and plenty of FEDERAL AGENT TESTIMONY against it.
      That said, firearms transfers SHOULD be recorded. If I, in Philadelphia, purchase a shotgun, a few pistols and a rifle and suddenly all of them are ending up in NYC, it's quite obvious that I am a person of interest in possible trafficing.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      because there are Soooo many gun shows in New York and New Jersy ?

      :roll eyes:

      September 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Guns can VERY easily cross state lines. They are very portable like that.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger, NYC

      why not only allow hunting rifles...when did everyone have the need for hand gun that has to be concealed ? And semi automatic weapons were made to defend ourselves too right ? Why not sell granades, rocket launchers, etc. Atleast ppl with a permit won't ever fire them !!

      September 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tony

    More gun restrictions leads to violent crimes against those citizens left with no means to protect themselves. Does the fact that drugs are illegal in New York lead to less drug use?

    September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chrisnyc

    People should stop cherry picking their data... Almost all the guns in NYC come from Virginia where their complete lack of control over fire arms allows criminal organizations and individuals alike to buy and then destribute weapons because no one in the federal gov is taking action to control it. Do people really watch enough movies to think that an average citizen that isn't a navy seal can pull out their concealed gun, and use it on a random attacker before that attacker gets them first or hits a bunch of innocent bystanders? I unfortunately have seen enough in my life to know better... Also before I hear that illegality argument... guns are not weed... You can't grow glock-9's in your basement... The sale and production could be controlled with a little political will.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • AGBeer

      But while you cant grow glock 9s in your basement, this evil 'weed' you speak of has YET to cause 1 death.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • CP

      Really? You think most of the guns come from VA? You do know Colts are manufactured in CT and Smith & Wesson is in MA right? Plus there are plenty of shops in New Jersey, PA, MD, DE all way before VA which I doubt anyone wants to drive when they can get it from the Port of New York just as easy.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrisnyc

      Dude...most of the guns in NYC were originally sold in Virginia. It's fact...look it up on line...there were a bunch of articles that came out a few months ago.. I am aware that guns are manufactured all over the place.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • dtrpmyk

      "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
      -Albert Einstein

      September 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Doug B

    Perhaps NY City need to issue more concealed carry permits. An armed society is a polite society. Currently only the criminals and police are armed and the police are way out numbered.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      "An armed society is a polite society", so the wild west was REALLY the meek and mild west, huh?
      Boot hill was loaded with graves of grannies, not armed men gunned down in the street, right?
      Dodge city actually had dozens die at a shot of politeness, right?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. brako101

    as long as its blaq on blaq violence its all good, give em more guns for fks sake!

    September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BlackDynamite

    Bloomberg can't wait to pass the buck! He cannot tell a lie......it's Obama's fault!
    Way to man up!

    September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CP

    We have plenty of gun laws on the books. In DC, until recently, it was almost impossible to even own a handgun yet it was and is one of the deadliest cities in America for gun violence. One of the safest neighborhoods I lived in was one where everyone had about ten guns per household (strong hunting area). The problem is and always will be enforcement of current laws. Gun shows need to comply with the existing wait period and background investigations. The ATF needs to stop letting guns ship outside the US to criminals. People need to take responsibility for their actions and the welfare of others. If it is wrong, say something to the authorities!!! And before it starts, I am an independent, 2nd amendment fan that also believes in personal responsibility for themselves and the community.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Erm, WHAT waiting period? The Brady law eliminated the waiting period with instant background checks.
      Gun shows were exempt because many of the folks at gun shows are NOT firearms dealers. Now, for a small bit of money, the BATF could make a registration kiosk and have an idle agent available to assist patrons of said show, rather than being silly and telling me that I need to perform a background check, without the ability to do so, when I sell my grandfather's shotgun!

      September 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob, North Carolina

    Really a pretty small percentage when you figure how many people live and or are in the NYC area. And Bloomberg really thinks the answer to this is in Washington. Really thought he was brighter than that, but then again he is a politician.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Phil

    yes john k, the lesson is guns are killing innocent people. A stupid permit isnt' going to bring anyone back.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Roger, NYC

    You're right Bob from North Carolina, it's a small percentage, and as long as it's not you, all is well. If it is you, then it becomes a great big problem eh ? Moron

    September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. flarnkingsgargle

    It's quite easy to use a semi-auto to go on a killing spree, so I don't think banning some guns while allowing others to be sold will affect the gun-violence rates significantly. Guns, like drugs, should all be legal, just more heavily regulated with higher risk. For instance, fully-auto weapons and drugs like cocaine should be somewhat legal, but only for certain people that have obtained some sort of government permit and will follow strict guidelines. Keeping certain types of drugs and weapons illegal just puts money in the hands of criminal organizations. Government-enforced prohibition has clearly never really worked in human history.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      Full-Autos are already 'Somewhat legal'...just pay your $200 "Tax Stamp" and wait 6 months while the Feds checks for stains in your underwear

      Full-Auto is pointless though...Semi is just fine

      September 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • dtrpmyk

      I am a law abiding citizen and a gun owner. I do not hunt but do sport shoot. Look at the facts. All the countries that banded firearms still have crime. In fact, home invasions with edged weapons went up 300 percent. Maybe we should also ban idiots who spread propaganda because they as individuals have no purpose in life other than to be a thorn in the side of those that have fought, spilled blood and died for your freedom of speech.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
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