BELLEVUE, WA – The recent violent attack on a gay couple in New York’s Times Square offers more proof that publicly declaring such a place to be a “gun-free zone” is like hanging out a “Welcome” sign for dangerous bigots and criminals, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“By removing the deterrent factor, and making it impossible for people to fight back if attacked in a public place, the City of New York and lawmakers in Albany have essentially given the green light to thugs for this kind of behavior,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “When you make it impossible for people to defend themselves, and then publicize it, you may as well declare an open season, especially against those most vulnerable to attack.”

Gottlieb recalled last year’s scramble by Empire State lawmakers to rewrite the state’s concealed carry law, making it even tougher for law-abiding citizens to be armed against crime. The law has enabled anti-gun administrations, especially New York’s mayor and council, to create widespread “sensitive areas” where firearms are no longer permitted, even in businesses where they had been previously allowed.

“You do not deter violent criminals by making their victims more vulnerable,” Gottlieb observed. “You don’t stop them by failing to prosecute them, a policy Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg can hardly brag about. This logic seems to escape liberal lawmakers and their supporters in the gun prohibition lobby. 

“Times Square is one of the top destination spots in the country,” he continued, “but why should anyone, straight or gay, consider going there if they might risk a beating, or worse, simply because of who they are? The victims faced multiple attackers. It’s this kind of attack that led to the creation of the Pink Pistols, an organization of gay gun owners.

“The New York police have indicated they may investigate the incident as a hate crime,” Gottlieb said. “Social prejudice takes many forms, and certainly includes the type practiced officially by politicians against American gun owners, against whom New York’s extremist gun laws amount to a hate crime disguised as law. The victims in this case had as much right to be in Times Square as anyone who stood by and watched, and did nothing, because they have been made powerless.

“We should all feel safe, no matter who or where we are,” he stated. “Chalk up one more victory for gun control, and a defeat for common decency. Anti-gunners win when the rest of us lose.”