Virginia Is for Liars

Lewis Black needs to do a New York vs. Virginia video. Virginia — don’t bleep with New York.

This week Mayor Bloomberg blasted Virginia for being the biggest supplier of guns used in crimes in New York.

Bloomberg railed that 90% of all guns used in city crimes in 2011 came from other states — and that more of them came from Virginia than anywhere else, including the weapon that killed NYPD officer Peter Figoski in December of that year.

“We’re getting killed, and we’re getting killed with guns … from elsewhere,” Bloomberg charged.

This has been a problem for years in New York. It’s just way too easy for gun runners to buy a trunk full of firearms in the South and drive them up to New York. But then …

The office of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell tried to turn the tables, arguing that Virginia’s “homicide and robbery (rates) are significantly lower than New York City’s.”

McDonnell spokeswoman Taylor Keeney then took a patronizing swipe at the Big Apple.

“We wish the mayor well as he attempts to address these issues within his home state and we hope he won’t hesitate to call on us if our law enforcement agencies can be of assistance in ensuring public safety in New York City,” she sniffed.

I doubt the NYPD needs any assistance from any candy-ass Virginia law enforcement agencies. However …

But the Daily News checked the numbers — and McDonnell isn’t facing facts.

New York State, with 3.5 murders per 100,000 people, had a lower murder rate than Virginia, which had 3.9 killings for every 100,000 people.

And, McDonnell, who is busy with a scandal over accepting loans and gifts from a businessman, overlooked the mayhem in his own backyard. Virginia’s capital, Richmond, where McDonnell lives, had 20.2 murders per 100,000 residents last year — four times the murder rate of New York City.

Maybe Richmond could use some help from the NYPD.

A spokesperson for the lying, weaseling state of Virginia tried to slither out of this little oopsie by arguing that Virginia has about the same population as New York City, and if you compare New York City to all of Virginia, NYC has higher crime rates.

Criminologists trashed Virginia’s argument.

“You don’t compare cities with states. They are different entities,” said criminologist James Fox of Northeastern University.

“Urban areas have higher crimes rates. States have lots of rural areas and small towns that have lower crime rates. It’s like comparing apples to fruit salad,” he said.

This may be a stretch:

And Bloomberg spokesman Kamran Mumtaz noted that strong gun laws in the city have helped to make New York “the safest big city in the country.”

It’s certainly true that New York City is among the safest big cities in the country, but if you call it “the safest” you have to qualify what you mean by “big” and what you mean by “safe.” Manhattan has Wall Street, after all. But if you just look at homicide rates of cities with at least 2 million people, yeah, New York wins, beating Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. If you look at overall violent crime in cities of at least 250,000, New York City still looks pretty good, with below average violent crime rates.

And it would be even safer if Virginia weren’t supplying criminals with guns.

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