How Rudy Giuliani Went From Gun Scourge to Gun Nut

He went from fighting to keep guns out of New York and comforting the widows of murdered cops to addressing the NRA and raving about ‘Democratic brain washing’ in Chicago.

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

After a weekend in which 66 people were shot—12 fatally—in Chicago, Rudy Giuliani went on Twitter to answer bloody mayhem with sheer nonsense.

Chicago murders are direct result of one party Democratic rule for decades. Policing genius Jerry McCarthy can do for Chicago what I did for NYC. He was one of the architects of CompStat. Slashed homicides over 70%. Tens of thousands of lives saved.”

Giuliani then tweeted again: “Let’s get on board for Jerry McCarthy.”

The given name of the one-time NYPD deputy commissioner, former Chicago police superintendent and now Chicago mayoral hopeful McCarthy is in fact Garry. And McCarthy was not one of the architects of CompStat, which was in fact wholly conceived by the late, great Jack Maple.

Giuliani is right that the historic drop in crime in New York saved thousands of lives, though even now he does not seem to understand how it was accomplished and what made the computer-driven crime fighting strategy so effective.  CompStat held precinct commanders accountable for individual crimes in the city’s most blighted neighborhoods as those in its richest realms. The result was that black-on-black crime was treated as seriously as black-on-white crime, the underlying idea being that all lives matter equally.

And Giuliani fails even to mention that the New York crime fighting miracle began with a document that identified the biggest policing challenge the city then faced, the very same one that the Chicago cops presently identify as their biggest challenge. The title page of the March 1994 NYPD document read:

“Police Strategy No. 1: Getting Guns off the Streets of New York”

And just below that was a name:

“The Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani

The introduction declared:

“With 90% of the illegal guns in New York flowing into the city from other states, this is clearly a problem that transcends any one city’s boundaries. Federal legislation and federal enforcement action are imperative.”

Guns remained a primary problem as CompStat began to work its magic. Giuliani was prompted to file a civil lawsuit in June of 2000 charging two dozen gun manufacturers with what he then called “profiting from the suffering of innocent people” while engaging in “a number of illegal and immoral practices."

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Giuliani alleged that the companies were “deliberately manufacturing many more firearms than can be bought for legitimate purposes,” thereby “deliberately undermining New York City's gun control laws by flooding markets with looser gun laws with firearms that the manufacturers know are destined to be illegally resold in New York City.”

Those guns,  Giuliani said, would mean more death.

“The single biggest connection between violent crime and an increase in violent crime is the presence of guns in your society,” he declared. “The more guns you take out of society, the more you are going to reduce murder. The less guns you take out of society, the more it is going to go up.”

The lawsuit was all but forgotten in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Giuliani became known as “America's mayor” and was harboring hopes of becoming America’s president when he addressed the NRA convention in Washington, D.C. in 2007.

“You should know I understand that the right to bear arms is just as important a right in that Constitution as the right of free speech and the other rights,” he told the gathering.

At one point in his speech, he took a cell phone call from his now estranged wife, Judith.

“Hello, dear, I’m talking to the members of the NRA right now, would you like to say hello?” Giuliani said. “Talk to you later, dear… I love you.”

That from a man who as mayor just a few years before had termed NRA members “extremists” and had on eight occasions stood in an emergency room with the shattered wife of a cop who had just been pronounced dead as the result of wounds inflicted with an illegal handgun.

Out in Chicago, the police were reporting that virtually all the thousands of illegal guns recovered there each year originated outside the city, where  firearms laws are more lax thanks in part to the continuing efforts of the NRA. Some 40 percent were originally purchased in other parts of Illinois, 10 percent of them at one of two stores just outside Chicago. Twenty percent came from Indiana.

The City of Chicago 2017 Gun Trace Report (PDF) voiced a hope that the flow of guns might be slowed by the Gun Dealer Licensing Act that the Illinois state legislature passed despite the NRA’s energetic lobbying against it.   

“The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would provide a critical tool to help deter straw purchasing, implement anti-theft measures, and aid local law enforcement in firearm trafficking investigations,” the report said. “A substantial body of research indicates that state level licensure requirements for firearms dealers lower the number of illegally trafficked firearms within state.”

The NRA prevailed after all when Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner did its bidding and vetoed the bill. The illegal weapons continued to pour in from Illinois gun shops outside the city, and from states where the gun laws were even more lenient.

Under the able leadership of Garry McCarthy from 2011 to 2015 and that of his successor, Eddie Johnson, the Chicago police sought to counter the gun violence with CompStat style deployments and predictive analytics, along with surveillance cameras and a ShotSpotter system that automatically detects gunfire and pinpoint its origin. The result this year was a 20 percent reduction in homicides and a 17 percent drop in shootings.

The came this weekend. The Chicago police attribute the carnage in part to the uninterrupted flow of illegal weapons and the continuing failure of the courts at both the state and federal level to crack down on illegal gun possession.

“Violent criminals use illegal guns in some of our communities without fear of consequences,” Chief Fred Waller of the Bureau of Patrol said halfway through the weekend. “People do not fear any repercussions of using guns to commit violence and thus these weapons flow freely into our streets.”

Waller noted that the spike in shootings came despite all the technology they employed.

“I have ShotSpotter on my phone,” he said.

Waller’s boss, Superintendent Johnson, said that the cops can only do so much without the assistance of the community.

“You all know who these individuals are; they come home to you every day, sleep with you every night,” Johnson said.

Some in the community suggest that the police themselves have to accept some responsibility for a depressingly low clearance rate. Less than 20 percent of homicides and less than 10 percent of non-fatal shootings lead to a timely arrest. The result is that despite ShotSpotter and surveillance cameras and cell phone videos, the gunmen sometimes do not even bother to run after blasting away at somebody.

“They walk,” Father Michael Pfleger, perhaps the city’s preeminent anti-violence activist, told The Daily Beast. “They know they’re not going to get caught.”

Pfleger holds an annual anti-violence march starting at St. Sabina Church, where he is pastor. Those in attendance this year included survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, who had then connected with Chicago young people who have been literally under the gun their entire lives. Also present were Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, herself a victim of gun violence, and entertainers Will.i.am, Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson, who sang Amazing Grace as the sun set. The marchers joined her in one voice.

Pfleger has urged people in the community to come forward with information despite their distrust of the police. A number of people did provide him with information regarding the murder of a young woman last month. There has still been no arrest. There have also been no arrests immediately reported in connection with the weekend’s many shootings.

In the meantime, Chicago continues to face the same challenge that New York faced back when the old Giuliani put this name on the title page of Police Strategy No. 1. And medical facilities such as Stroger Hospital continue to treat gunshot victims.  

“As one of the nation’s busiest Level I trauma centers, Stroger Hospital is on the front lines of Chicago’s epidemic of violence every day,” Dr. Faran Bokhari, the chairman of its trauma and burn department said in a statement following this past weekend’s shootings. “In addition to providing high quality care, we continue to advocate for stronger laws to curtail the violence that is plaguing our communities.”

Bokhair went on, “As a trauma surgeon, there is nothing more painful than seeing the life of a young person – or any person – disrupted or destroyed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We have an amazing team here at Stroger – one of the best in the world and we love what we do. But we are tired of telling our patients and their families that they need one more surgery or that they won’t walk again because someone had access to a weapon…. This is senseless and it is our job to do anything and everything we can to protect our communities.”

He concluded, “We are surrounded by some of the NRA’s favorite states like Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin. Without action at a federal level, we won’t move the needle.”

On Monday, Giuliani followed his tweet boosting “Jerry McCarthy” as Chicago’s next mayor with two more. Both got Garry’s given name right but in one of them he multiplied the death count more than fivefold from the actual 12, which was shocking enough.

“63 murders this weekend in Rahm Emmanuel’s Chicago,” Giuliani Tweeted, trying to pin the carnage on the city’s mayor while misspelling his last name.

Giuliani compounded that falsehood with another, continuing:

“His legacy more murders in his city that ever before. It’s only because of Democrat brain washing that he has even a chance of remaining.”

The highest annual toll in Emanuel’s tenure was 762 in 2016, which was 208 less than the all-time record set in 1974.

The recent record for a weekend was one more than this past weekend, when 13 were killed and 58 others shot on July 4 in 2014.

The police superintendent at the time was Garry McCarthy. But that, like the spelling of his name and actual murder counts and actual murder records are just facts such as come with Democrat brain washing.

The one-time New York mayor who went from comforting the widows of newly murdered cops to joking with his wife over his cellphone on stage at an NRA event made no mention in his Tweets of illegal guns or the gun companies he once sued for “illegal and immoral practices.”

Giuliani did Tweet this, lest you wonder where his brain gets washed: