From The Editor: What is a Good Citizen to Do?

by
posted on March 23, 2022
Frank Miniter

A man—no, not a man, a thug—approached my wife on a sidewalk in New York City. She was walking beside Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, just north of Grand Central Station. She saw him turn and begin to follow her along the usually busy sidewalks that were quiet on a Saturday morning in winter. It was so cold she could see the breath coming from this thug’s mouth as he muttered from right behind her: “You should be beaten. I should just punch you.”

He said worse things, but backed off a step when a few people passed by; these people saw what was happening but offered no assistance. They just didn’t want to be targeted by this predator.

My wife then saw a taxi with its ready-for-hire light on, went out into the street to flag it down and was whisked away as that monster stood watching.

This little scene in a city going to the thugs changed her. She has been going to New York City for decades and has read the recent stories of people being pushed in front of subway cars and more; still, it is hard to internalize how quickly a city can fall. I used to work in that neighborhood and have been asking her lately not to go. Sure, it has multi-million-dollar penthouses, pricey hotels and high-priced law firms in stately tall buildings filled with people in dark suits and receptionists in Fifth Avenue fashion, but policy changes from the radical Left have recently put even New York’s finest in greater danger.

This, of course, isn’t just happening in New York City. Nationwide, there was “an unprecedented 14% drop in incarceration in the first half of 2020—from 2.1 million people to 1.8 million,” according to figures compiled by the Brooklyn, N.Y., based Vera Institute of Justice. This amounted to over 340,000 fewer inmates in 2021 than in 2019. Many cities also cut police budgets during this time and some even ordered officers to “stand down.” New York City actually cut its police budget by $1 billion in 2020, all while city and state officials argued that citizens should not have the right to carry concealed.

I wish my wife had a handgun when that thug approached her. But he likely knew she didn’t have such an equalizer. New York City’s laws make it all but impossible to get a carry permit. I have a permit in New York state, but even so, I can’t lawfully carry concealed in New York City. Nevertheless, Biden tells us guns are to blame.

The hypocrisy is sickening. Even though Biden’s son, Hunter, seems to have easily avoided prosecution for what appeared to be crimes he committed in order to purchase a handgun, Biden has the audacity to say law-abiding Americans—including those most vulnerable to the predations of violent criminals and all but the very connected—shouldn’t be able to use their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Biden says this even though any analysis of crime statistics shows that America’s legally armed citizens rarely commit crimes and that anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of citizens use guns to defend themselves—typically without firing a shot—each year.

So yes, I am hoping the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down New York’s may-issue regime in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen and thereby gives good people the freedom to defend themselves until our heroes in blue arrive.

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