Commentary on Political Economy

Monday, 10 May 2021

 Times Square as ‘the O.K. Corral’ 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently denounced the Supreme Court for taking up a New York gun-rights case because “the streets of New York are not the O.K. Corral.” He may want to retire that analogy because the city’s streets are looking more like Tombstone all the time despite having one of the nation’s strictest gun laws.

The mayhem made it to Times Square on Saturday as a gunman shot three innocent bystanders at about 5 p.m., including a four-year old girl. All three survived. Wendy Magrinat, 23, who was visiting from Rhode Island with her two-year-old and husband, was shot in the thigh.

She told the New York Post that she and her family were waiting in line to enter a store when she became aware of men arguing and the shooting began. Here’s a way to attract tourists to the city as the pandemic eases: Come to Times Square on Mother’s Day weekend, and maybe you too can get shot.

Similar incidents are multiplying across the city as politicians have vilified police and made it hard for cops to stop and frisk potential suspects for illegal firearms. The New York Police Department reported that shootings tripled in the week before last to 42 incidents. Police figures show shootings are up 83.3% so far this year, and 93.5% over 2019. The evidence is undeniable

Cuomo’s analogy turns out to be apt, albeit for the wrong reason. 

that New York is trending back to the high-crime days before Rudy Giuliani became mayor in 1994. That was the era when a police precinct in the Bronx was known as Fort Apache. Mr. Giuliani and successor Mike Bloomberg cleaned up the city’s streets, including Times Square. Now the area is beset again by the homeless, panhandlers, and too often criminals.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been a catastrophe for New York, and his only redeeming grace is that he can’t run again. Two of the candidates to succeed him in this year’s election, former police captain Eric Adams and successful businessman Ray McGuire, understand the danger to the city if crime again gets out of control. But most of the other candidates talk like they think police are the enemy.

Mr. Cuomo could help, but he won’t buck the progressives he needs to survive the sexual harassment charges against him. New York City urgently needs help, and let’s hope it arrives with the next mayor.

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