While I realize these stories may be getting repetitive, it’s not just Chicago that’s seeing a prolonged increase in shootings and gun crimes. After decades of success in tamping down gun violence, New York City is again registering alarming numbers of killings and serious injuries. Granted, it wasn’t quite as bad as the Windy City (which is rather impressive considering how much bigger New York is) but Gotham still managed to rack up at least nine murders among more than 40 shootings just on Saturday night. And all of this was taking place only days after the Mayor and the City Council passed a measure slashing a billion dollars from the NYPD.
New York City turned into the Wild West as a series of shootings claiming at least 9 lives and wounding 41 others — including a Bronx teenager — erupted amid Fourth of July celebrations.
The shocking wave of violence came as the city was reeling from ongoing anti-police brutality protests, weeks of lockdown orders prompted by the coronavirus outbreak and soaring summer temperatures. Adding to the chaotic atmosphere, illegal fireworks exploded throughout the five boroughs all night long.
In the first fatal shooting of the night, Jose Cepeda, a young father, was blasted in the chest a little after midnight Sunday in East New York, Brooklyn.
The police unions blamed the Mayor and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, saying that they owed an explanation to the city’s residents for what’s been going on. Johnson clearly didn’t see it the same way, saying “We all want a safe city, and we believe it can be done while bringing real transformational change. Let’s get at the root causes of violence and move away from a model that sees policing as the only answer to every problem we face.”
So the City Council Speaker wants to “move away from a model that sees policing as the only answer” to the problem. Pardon my asking for more details, but what exactly do you see as the “root cause” of all these shootings? We’re talking about endemic gang violence which has traditionally only been kept in check by strong policing. Now the gangs can see the divisiveness between City Hall and the police. Combined with the mayhem surrounding the protests and riots, it’s open season for gang warfare.
This isn’t some minor glitch in the numbers. Murders in June were up by more than 23% compared to last year. There were 250 people shot in June compared to 97 people during the same period in 2019. If you can’t see this as a serious signal of something going dreadfully astray, you shouldn’t be in charge of public safety.
Much like Chicago, New York City has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. And also just like Chicago, New York’s gangbangers don’t tend to worry about things like gun control laws. But the citizens are living under the regime of a Mayor and a City Council that see “less policing” as the answer to their problems. They’ve caved in to the demands of the mob and are now reaping the rewards of those decisions.
New York has a gang problem and it’s had one virtually since its founding. In the old days it was the mob. They’re not entirely gone by any means, but they’ve been wildly augmented by the street gangs that began taking over in the 70s and 80s. We have enough experience with their methods of operation to know how they will react to “less policing.” And you’re seeing it play out in the streets right before your eyes. But hey, New Yorkers… you just keep on electing people like Bill de Blasio and Corey Johnson. You can always cross your fingers and hope that the gangs will eventually run out of ammunition. Then you can send out some Social Justice Intervention Specialists (or whatever they’re called) to make everyone do some trust falls and just get along.