Tulsa's top cop search -- Taylor looking for a gun grabber?

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Veteran Oklahoma political analyst Mike McCarville has been keeping a close eye on one aspect in particular of Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor's administration: Her involvement as a charter member of the Mayors' Coalition against Illegal Guns, a group of pro-gun-control mayors led by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

The coalition has claimed that its focus is on enforcement of gun laws, but its real agenda has been exposed by mayors who were involved at the outset but later withdrew. In February, Mark Begich, the Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, announced his withdrawal from the coalition:

"I do support the efforts to strengthen laws and prosecute individuals who dispense or use illegal guns, and getting them out of the hands of criminals. However, upon further review of the coalition, it appears they may have a different agenda than I anticipated.

"I am concerned the coalition is working on issues that conflict with the beliefs we share in Alaska about legal gun ownership, and I'm also concerned gun ownership advocates are not part of the full discussion within the coalition. We cannot afford to risk protecting our Bill of Rights and the rights of legal gun owners.

Earlier, Idaho Falls mayor Jared Fuhriman withdrew for similar reasons:

He told a local newspaper that he was originally told that Bloomberg's coalition was only going after "illegal guns." But after doing his own research he said, "I could see there was a conflict with the NRA and with some of the beliefs we have here in Idaho." ...

Bloomberg won't be sending out any press releases, of course, but it's important to point out when mayors dump Bloomberg's anti-gun group because they've been told the same lie Bloomberg's telling the public.

This isn't about going after criminals with guns. This is about criminalizing gun ownership. Mayor Fuhriman, a former police officer, did the right thing after his constituents helped him see the truth about Bloomberg's group.

Taylor is the only Oklahoma mayor to join the coalition. Her nearest fellow members are the mayors of Fayetteville, Arkansas, North Little Rock, Arkansas, Dallas, and Irving, Texas. There are very few dots on the map in the plains and mountain states.

Most recently, McCarville is noting speculation about Taylor's involvement in this group and her decision to reject three qualified internal candidates to replace Dave Been as Tulsa's Chief of Police. The three internal candidates are working with the local FOP chapter to file a grievance under the city's civil service regulations.

I'm sympathetic to the idea that the city's chief exec should have the authority to hire the best candidate for the position (with the advice and consent of the Council), and the maneuvering in the upper echelons of the TPD when Been was placed on leave suggests that an outside candidate might have a better shot at unifying the force under new leadership. Still, I'm concerned that Taylor might hire someone who doesn't respect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I think it would be appropriate for city councilors to ask the Mayor to appear before them and answer questions about this group, about her involvement, and about how this issue is shaping her search for a police chief.

This entry from December features a photo showing Taylor at the organizing meeting of the coalition at New York's Gracie Mansion and includes a quote from the New York Daily News describing Bloomberg's gun record: "He mounted a national gun control crusade, and he scored unprecedented court victories against firearms dealers...."

The initial meeting of the group included a briefing on New York City's lawsuits against gun manufacturers, an effort that makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain weapons for their own protection, and a Jersey City gun-buyback program, which encourages the handover of legal weapons but does nothing to slow the use of weapons by criminals.

Bloomberg even used private investigators posing as gun buyers to try to entrap gun dealers in other parts of the country, endangering several federal investigations in the process.

The coalition's main purpose appears to be repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, a rider on the appropriations bill for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). The Tiahrt Amendment exists to protect the privacy of lawful purchasers of guns. When a person buys a gun and passes the required instant check, the law forbids the government from retaining a record of that purchase. (Dave Kopel wrote an article explaining the Tiahrt Amendment for National Review Online in 2004. The NRA fact sheet on the law explains why it should be retained and strengthened, not eliminated.)

You can read all of McCarville's entries about Kathy Taylor at this link.

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XonOFF said:

Now, Federal Appeals Court overturns gun ban.
Right to bear arms upheld.

Seems a bit odd that I've not seen this in the MSM news. March 9, 2007.


IAC, while Taylor may be passionate to some degree, her real interest would seem to be brushing shoulders with Bloomberg and his crowd, trips to NY and campaigning.

If we're paying for any of this, and she's using our Mayor-time, shouldn't she be providing a summary report of the Coalition meetings/trips/events to our Council?

Second Amendment said:

"her real interest would seem to be brushing shoulders with Bloomberg and his crowd, trips to NY and campaigning."

I would have to agree with that comment 100% - all the way to the top. Maybe she thinks she can blindside new yorkers like Hilly did and "brush" her way up to the "presidentess".

They both turn my stomach.

S. Lee said:

I know this is coming in very late, but I've had some comments building up.

Recently, my wife was surprised in our house by a man with a knife who did a poor job of tying her up before leaving with a playstation, a gameboy and some video games. At first, the police were skeptical of her story and pretty much blew the whole thing off. When I discovered what has been taken, noting that it was something that stood a good chance of showing up at a pawn shop, I called to have that bit of information added to the report. The police could not have cared less and told me to file it online. The intruder also left a glove behind. The police were not interested.

In the mean time, I've been seeing a lot of shaking down of the public with trivial traffic stops. I work downtown where motorcycle police have -- as far as I can determine -- done their best to terrorize downtown drivers. For what it's worth, I have thus far escaped their attention.

I recall when there was an effort by the local police to connect with the public. Recall the stuffed animals in the back of squad cars? Not that I particularly care about what sits in the back of a squad car, but one can appreciate the effort. Now, less than a week ago, I saw a cop getting out of his car wearing jack boots. Note: "car" not motorcyle. What purpose do jack boots serve in driving a car?

With Tulsa's declining population, the number of police per capita is actually increasing, but this doesn't seem to be helping much for improving the crime rate.

My inclination is to say the internal leadership of the Tulsa police is somewhat badge happy. I want the best police leadership that can be brought in. To limit the choice to three internal people and no others because "that's the way things are done around here" is certainly not the way to get the best.

I value my right to keep and bear arms, but I also value my property and safety of my family. I would like to be reasonably free of worrying that the occupant of the squad car near me is just itching to write somebody a ticket for any little technicality. My observation of the current Tulsa police makes me doubtful the current leadership is right.

I understand protecting 2nd Amendments rights requires constant vigilance, but this is one post of yours I think was irresponsibly presumptuous and narrow minded. I hope we don't get stuck with a badge happy, jack booted police force because there are those who feel compelled to assume that everything the mayor does has a political dark side.

S. Lee, how frightening for your wife! We went through a burglary seven years ago and like you were amazed at the apathy of the police department about collecting evidence to catch and prosecute the criminals.

Not only did the burglar leave behind a girl's bike that had evidently been stolen from a previous job, he later used one of our stolen checks to pay for a Pizza Hut delivery. The delivery guy wrote the phone number on the check, and Pizza Hut was able to tell us the address.

We provided the info to the detective assigned to the case, but he wouldn't even commit to questioning the resident at that address. We even had serial numbers for the electronic equipment that had been swiped. I doubt that anything was done with them. The assumption seemed to be that it's impossible to catch a burglar, so they were just providing a report to allow the homeowner to collect on his insurance.

Needless to say, no one tried to collect prints or other physical evidence.

If the TPD and the DA's office actually set out to investigate and prosecute burglaries, who knows what other kinds of crimes would be uncovered and solved or prevented?

As to the main point of your comment: I didn't dwell on this, but I did say that I can see some good reasons why Taylor would want to look outside the TPD, and I think she should be able to hire outside the TPD, with the Council's advice and consent. I just want to make sure that whoever she brings in isn't hostile to 2nd Amendment rights, and I think our council can hold her accountable on that matter.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 10, 2007 11:58 PM.

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