New York City is an experiment in European-style socialism which always
bears watching ... even if doings there are frequently amazing, and rarely
anything those west of the Hudson would wish to emulate.
The Washington Post, for instance, published last week another update on
the state of New York City's "infrastructure" -- the tax-funded bridges,
highways and public buildings which are collapsing around them, even as New
Yorkers brag about their current "cultural renaissance." Entire expressways
are about to be junked as beyond repair, the Post reported, while hundreds
of homes are now routinely flooded by failing sewer systems, and "In
Borough Park, bricks falling off a decrepit public school [recently] killed
a teen-age girl."
Do New Yorkers plan to entertain bids from private firms to finally take
over and operate for profit some of the structures and services which have
been driven into such embarrassing bankruptcy by a century of government
mal-administration? Of course not. They're merely looking to increase taxes
and fees adequate to summon up, oh, another $91 billion dollars, the Post
Meantime, New York's "culture" in recent years has given the world such
euphemisms as "wilding." The innocent might presume this to be a word
coined by young men in James Fenimore Cooper's home state to refer to the
habit of taking a brisk hike into the Catskill wilderness to enjoy nature's
splendor. Instead, it turned out the term was used among a group of healthy
young New York men to refer to their activity of ambushing a young
professional woman while she jogged in one of the city's parks in broad
daylight a few years back, beating her nearly to death, and then taking
turns in the repeated rape of their bleeding, comatose victim. The young
men did not seem particularly ashamed when tracked down; it had all seemed
good clean fun to them.
Did New Yorkers respond by rising up en masse to eliminate all the
unconstitutional firearms laws which have been foisted upon them over the
previous 75 years, laws which effectively ban such victims from carrying
concealed handguns for their own defense? Why, no. Quite to the contrary,
this is the city where Bernard Goetz -- though acquitted on grounds of
self-defense for the actual shooting of the muggers who used a sharpened
screwdriver in place of a beggar's bowl in an attempt to solicit his cash
on a city subway -- was nonetheless punished by authorities for "carrying a
concealed weapon without a permit," on the fantastical premise that the
average law-abiding New Yorker could actually receive
such a permit, simply by applying.
("New York City gun laws are so strict that applicants must show a 'need
or special danger'," reports Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment
Foundation in his 1996 book "Politically Correct Guns." When the Wall
Street Journal won a court suit in 1981 requiring New York Police to
release the names of the chosen few who had been
granted pistol permits, the city revealed more than 9,000
non-police city employees had been granted this privilege
which is withheld from the average New Yorker. It was subsequently revealed
permits had also been issued to such "celebrities" as Laurance Rockefeller,
Uri Geller, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Howard Stern, Joan Rivers, and
anti-gun New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger.)
But now we reach an astounding new depth of slackjawed dementia, as word
arrives that a New York federal trial jury on Thursday awarded $500,000 in
damages to a 19-year-old man who survived a gunshot wound, ordering that
those damages be paid not by the "friend" who "accidentally" shot
19-year-old Steven Fox in the head after purchasing his firearm
illegally (need we even ask whether New York City public
schools take advantage of the free firearm safety classes offered by the
NRA?), but rather against a group of 15 American handgun manufacturers,
including Colt and Beretta USA, on the fantastic legal theory that those
manufacturers knowingly sell "too many" handguns in Southern states, aware
that some of those firearms are later re-sold in areas where local
authorities have enacted unenforceable gun laws which drive up the black
market price of such goods.
Leave aside the obvious fact that only one of the 15 defendants could
possibly have manufactured the firearm in question. The legal repercussions
should such a verdict withstand appeal -- the likelihood of lawsuits
against auto manufacturers for selling cars of which they "know full well"
some will be driven by drunks, the liability of liquor distributors who
sell six-packs some of which they "know full well" are later re-sold out of
car trunks to fraternity boys in dry counties -- are mind-boggling.
Surely we now approach the last stop on a dizzying downhill trolley-ride
to that particular circle of hell where everyone will be responsible for
evil acts except the criminals who actually
In fact, the real agenda here was revealed by plaintiff attorney Elisa
Barnes, who in her closing argument declared "This huge pool [of handguns]
is like toxic waste."
The notion that it is only "handguns" to which these folks object is a
bitter joke. Would New York authorities agree to hand a semi-auto
military-style rifle of at least 26 inches in length to each youth turning
in an "illegal" handgun, in a one-for-one exchange? Of course not. In fact,
defying promises to never use the data for such a purpose, New York
authorities have already started using gun registration records to begin
seizing "previously legal" semi-automatic rifles far too large to ever be
considered "concealable weapons."
What these twisted souls hate is the notion that individual American
victims of crime or oppression should retain any
power to defend themselves, rather than mewling piteously into the
telephone and then patiently waiting for our government masters to dispense
aid at their leisure.
In vain do patriots attempt to remind such hand-picked federal juries
that Thomas Paine spoke for all Americans when he wrote in 1775: "Arms like
laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve
order in the world as well as property"; that Patrick Henry said during the
Virginia debates on ratification of the Constitution, "The great object is,
that every man be armed. ... Everyone who is able may have a gun"; that
Washington's friend George Mason agreed with Mr. Henry, reminding the
Virginia convention that the British authorities had found "to disarm the
people ... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them"; that
Samuel Adams vowed Massachusetts would never ratify the Constitution unless
a Bill of Rights were added to make clear "that the said Constitution be
never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the
press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United
States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their arms."
Make no mistake, a battle has been joined. As the Armenian minority
learned in Turkey in 1915 -- as the Ukrainian minority learned to their
dismay in Stalin's Russia in the 1930s, and the Jewish and Gypsy minorities
in Germany shortly thereafter -- once a people stand disarmed, their other
rights hang by a precarious thread.
It was not merely 15 firearms manufacturers that suffered a body blow in
that Brooklyn courtroom last week. It was what remains of our American
At the very least, if New Yorkers consider their products "toxic waste,"
those 15 manufacturers should promptly refuse to sell any further firearms
to New York City residents ... starting with the city police.