“#Times Square shooting grips NYC to finally tackle crime: Goodwin”
Unless New York has completely lost its mind, the shooting in Times Square that wounded three innocent bystanders, including a 4-year-old girl, will galvanize the mayoral race.
The candidates, realizing the terrifying incident is going global because of the location, already are sharpening their language and promising more public safety. Even Mayor Putz, after denying the Saturday gunplay would hurt tourism, ordered a beefed-up police presence.
Those are encouraging signs, but they will not be enough to make the incident a lasting turning point. For that to happen, all New Yorkers must make their voices heard and turn up the heat on City Hall.
If voters say “Enough!” and show they’re mad as hell over the rising tide of crime and violence, then and only then will tough action follow the tough words. Otherwise, de Blasio and the candidates will soon give their attention to another shiny object.
After all, remnants of the “defund the police” movement are still pressuring the mayor, city council and prosecutors to further handcuff cops and coddle criminals. If they succeed, the city would be doomed to further crime and decline. We can’t let that happen. Everyone who cares about New York needs to grasp the significance of how far the city has fallen so far and how close it is coming to a tipping point of reverting to the worst days of the early 1990s. Saturday’s shooting, which grew out of a dispute among several men on Broadway, was an aberration only in its location. The rapid increase in violence and gunfire over the last two years has left no safe hiding place in the five boroughs.
For a snapshot of the cancerous mayhem, consider the opening of an official NYPD summary of April crime.
“Overall index crime in New York City rose 30.4% compared with April 2020, driven by a 66% increase in grand larceny (2,659 v. 1,601) and a 35.6% increase in felony assault (1,630 v. 1,202),” the report says. “Robbery saw a 28.6% increase compared to April 2020 (885 v. 688), and shooting incidents increased to 149 v. 56 in April 2020 (+166.1%).”
The report noted that only burglary had declined. Meanwhile, murder is up 17 percent this year, and 32 percent over 2019. There’s nothing normal about those gigantic leaps — shooting incidents up 166 percent! If this isn’t an emergency, what would be?
New York is starting to resemble a war zone and, at this pace, we are turning back the clock 30 years. All the gains in public safety and the confidence tens of millions of people showed by visiting and moving here in recent decades are being replaced with fear and a rush to the exits.
Coming on top of the pandemic, the crime wave is adding to the belief the city is ungovernable and unlivable. It doesn’t have to be that way. Not if enough people seize the moment to demand common sense policy changes. This must be the time when public safety once again becomes the top priority of city and state government.
In many ways, the Times Square shooting echoes an infamous 1990 stabbing in the subways that has been called the murder that changed New York. In early September of that year, Brian Watkins, a 22-year-old tourist from Utah, was with his family in midtown when they were attacked by a gang of teenagers on a subway platform. Trying to protect his parents, Watkins was stabbed in the chest and died.
Even though 1990 would see nearly 2,300 murders, the Watkins’ homicide was shocking in its senseless brutality. Within days, a Post headline captured the feeling that Mayor David Dinkins had been too passive in his first year in office.
“Dave, Do Something,” the Post demanded, and soon Dinkins and the city council passed the “Safe Streets, Safe City” program that, among other things, added 6,000 men and women to the thin blue line.
Although having more cops made a modest dent, it wasn’t until after the election of Rudy Giuliani in 1993 that the NYPD adopted the “broken windows” theory of active response. Over the next four years, double-digit drops in the murder rate were common and by the end of 1997, annual homicides had declined to about 750, a 30 year-low.
Of course, the numbers would keep falling until they were under 300 — but now they are rising quickly, reaching 468 murders last year. The trend is clear and history teaches that it won’t stop climbing on its own.
Among the Democrats running for mayor, Eric Adams, whom the Post endorsed Monday, has the best credentials to fight crime. He reached the rank of captain during his 12 years in the NYPD and personally saw how quickly a neighborhood can decline or rebound, depending on safety.
He went to Times Square hours after the shooting and delivered an impassioned speech. “The enemy is winning and we are waving a big white flag,” he said. “These shootings have to stop and they have to stop now.” He called for re-creating the key undercover anti-crime unit de Blasio disbanded. Adams promised better training and said he had confidence the unit could get illegal guns off the streets.
He also called for spot checks at bus and subway stations as well as bridges and tunnels leading to the city.
Most of his rivals offered similar ideas. “Nothing works in this city without public safety,” said Andrew Yang. Ray McGuire, without mentioning de Blasio, said city leadership had failed, and added: “The simple fact is: no safety, no city.”
In their bones, New Yorkers know that is true. Now it’s time once again to demand that City Hall “Do Something.”
The Biden we already knew
Reader John Gilday disagrees with me that “This is not the Biden we expected.” He adds: “This is the Biden we expected. We expected him to be incompetent and unable to run this country. We expected he would be a puppet of the left. We expected him to give nonsensical speeches.”
Israel faces war on two fronts
With Hamas rockets from Gaza raining down on Israeli citizens, the Jewish state is defending itself with superior weaponry. But it’s also fighting a rear guard diplomatic action against the Biden White House.
Anticipating the new president would unfairly urge Israeli restraint, officials effectively told the U.S. to buzz off. “International intervention is a reward to the Palestinian rioters and those who back them” and Israeli official told Axios.
Sad but true, and everybody knows it. Besides, Biden already restored the funding to Palestinians the Trump administration ended and resumed the Obama-era habit of talking down to Israel, as if it’s an undeserving supplicant instead of a friend and strategic ally. It’s also no secret that Biden is begging Iran to rejoin the nuclear deal, even as Iran supplies many of the rockets targeting Israel. With friends like that . . .
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