Bullet Point

It seems like a no-brainer: Why not use modern technology to virtually stamp bullet casings, which often are the sole pieces of evidence left behind at a shooting scene? If those casings can be traced to the gun’s owner, wouldn’t it be easier to catch and jail assailants and murderers?

Dozens of police departments around the state think so, as do many prosecutors and elected officials. A majority of the State Assembly thinks so.

But in the leaderless, rudderless, scandal-scarred State Senate, not enough members recognized common sense when they saw it. While this may not come as a surprise to close observers, it is tragic all the same.

A bill that would require the personal armament industry to “stamp” individual bullet casings with information that would link bullet casings to the guns from which they were fired has fallen by the wayside in the State Senate. The Assembly passed the bill easily, but apparently leaders in the State Senate didn’t wish to offend stout-hearted gun lovers who seem to think that keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys somehow is a violation of the Second Amendment.

This scandalous bit of pandering to the pro-gun crowd is bipartisan in nature. While Democratic supporters of the bill were quick to point fingers at upstate Republicans, the fact is that not enough Democrats in the Senate were brave enough to support the bill. If the Senate had effective leaders, Democrats could pass the bill on a party-line vote. But the words “leadership” and “State Senate” do not belong in the same sentence.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to rally the forces of common sense to embarrass state senators into doing the right thing. This is a monumental task, even for Mr. Bloomberg, but we wish him well. The pro-gun nuts will resist any attempt to regulate weaponry in the name of public safety, and they clearly have bullied the Senate into opposing this simple but important measure.

What could be wrong with helping police identify bad guys with guns? That’s a question for the pro-gun crowd and its puppets in the Senate.