I love New York. Not the state but the City. The museums, the food, the Mets (yes, the Mets). It really is a one of a kind place in the world. Having lived there for years I know the city well and have always enjoyed myself there.
Of course, I'll never go back.
When I lived in New York everyone had a gun. Criminals, cops, lawyers, my grandmother, and the priest in the next building. Was it illegal? I was too young to remember (and too lazy to look it up) but I'm sure it was. But nobody cared.
There was no Mayor or Governor on a mission to root out personal gun ownership and to demonize gun owners. Hell, my mother's gun was given to her by a friend who was a cop who told her to make sure and drag the body inside if she shot someone on the doorstep. A feeling of self-reliance was just part of the City. There was crime (we're talking the peak of the national crime epidemic) but you never felt defenseless because good people were armed.
Fast forward to New York, present day. Let's say this past Saturday and Sunday (August 2 and 3, 2014). There were two incidents of brazen gun violence caught on tape. What? Gun violence in New York City? Impossible, guns are essentially banned there. I thought the same thing until I realized that criminals ignore laws and really, really like to have guns - especially when their targets can't have them.
The first video happened Saturday when two aspiring wannabe rappers were shooting a music video. The two apparently got into an argument over who was better and, well, this happened (warning: the video is quite graphic):
Yup, you saw one of the men draw a gun and shoot his friend multiple times, pistol whip him twice, and then walk away all without even spilling his drink. If you paid attention you also saw a total of five people walk over the wounded man to leave the store. That's how common violence is becoming in New York.
Luckily, the shooter really... really sucks at shooting. He fired five times at point blank range. The victim was grazed in the head, took one bullet to the chest and was hit in each leg, according to police on the scene.
Was this an isolated incident? Unlikely given that Sunday, the very next day, security cameras caught this footage (too blurry to be graphic):
Do you think people in the Bronx feel better knowing they are unable to protect themselves from criminals? Or that they face felony charges and prison time for choosing to do the morally correct path to protect themselves and their family. How would you feel knowing both of these events happened in your neighborhood yet you weren't allowed to defend your family?
Like I said, I love the City but I won't be going back. Unless the Mets make the World Series (but I'm pretty sure I don't have to worry about that anytime soon).