The anti-de Blasio camp has been eager to herald the citywide uptick in shootings and gun deaths of late, with the usual critics blaming the gunplay on lax policing and the end of stop-and-frisk. But on The Daily Show last night, the mayor addressed the crime stats, attributing them to an influx of gang violence thanks to a dearth of "economic hope."

De Blasio told host Jon Stewart that the end of stop-and-frisk gives cops more time and resources to focus on things like community policing, the effects of which may take some time to be seen but should ultimately prove more successful than a systematic violation of citizens' Constitutional rights. Stewart pointed out that the federal governments should be paying more attention to the out-of-state gun shops and runners supplying weapons to local gangs, an issue de Blasio noted was touchily political.

The real problem, according to the mayor, is that even though the country's overall economic forecast has improved, certain communities are still mired in poverty. Gangs, drug trade and other illegal activities that can eventually lead to violence are seen as a way out of that hole. "If you have a community of people who have rarely seen economic opportunity, you cannot be surprised if that community is in many ways disconnected from the larger society around it," de Blasio said. " If people don't have a sense of economic hope, that's where crime breeds, that's where gangs breed. We have to show kids there's a way forward to a decent economic future."

Here's the first part of the interview:

Still, though overall crime is down, the city has now seen a two year rise in shootings, marking the first time that's happened since the 1990s. The numbers are still lower than they were in 2012, but people living in areas prone to violence have reportedly been begging the mayor to put more cops on the street, particularly after he decided not to include money to hire 1,000 new cops in next year's budget. "It’s scary, all the shootings," one Bedford-Stuyvesant resident told the Post. "You’re on the street late at night, and all of a sudden it’s pow, pow pow! . . . And you don’t know when you will randomly be hit by a stray bullet."

The extended Daily Show interview's not embeddable yet, but you can watch it on Comedy Central's website.