BELLEVUE, WA – While citizens in New York search for answers in the horrendous shooting death of an unarmed man hours before he would have married his high school sweetheart, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says a factor nobody wants to discuss could be the anti-gun mentality fostered in that city for generations.

“The mere thought that a citizen may have had a firearm seems to have contributed to the terrible shooting death of Sean Bell,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “Nobody would suggest for a moment that police officers can’t protect themselves from genuine threats from armed criminals, but the Nov. 25 incident leaves too many unanswered questions, not the least of which should be an examination of why officers involved in the shooting fired at least 50 shots when nobody actually saw a gun. As it turns out, neither Bell nor his two companions, both of whom were wounded, was armed.

“For years,” Gottlieb said, “New Yorkers, including police officers, have been subliminally taught to perceive any armed person as a threat. That’s what happens in an environment where only the police, and a few elitist cronies of city hall, can legally carry guns. You create what amounts to a police state, where cops are a little too hasty to pull a trigger when somebody yells ‘gun’.”

Noting that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg would like to see the entire nation subjected to the kinds of Draconian gun laws now enforced against New York City residents, Gottlieb said it could lead to adoption of a “police state mentality” among rank and file cops.

“Bloomberg’s contempt for the average citizen’s right to bear arms is pretty well-established,” Gottlieb said. “Millions of law-abiding citizens legally carry firearms every day in places outside New York City; places where police know better than to automatically reach for their guns, and use them, just because they think they see someone with a gun. Bloomberg’s vision for America could wind up being a place where the people fear, rather than support, their local police. Well, this is still the United States, not a police state.”