We were all set to add our comments to the Sha’Carri Richardson affair and the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, but they are difficult issues and require more time and space allocated here. Even so, something has to be said and done about the rules and regulations that have denied Richardson a place on the Olympic team and we certainly express our condolences to the family of President Moise. Whatever the problems there, the murder of a leader is not a civilized answer.
As things develop and more information is obtained we will return to these stories, meanwhile here at home the problem of gun violence remains a troubling issue, and it’s good to learn that Gov. Cuomo is finally meeting it head on with a state of emergency announcement on Tuesday.
We have been calling it a public health crisis for years and have said that if they put the same amount of energy and money behind stopping violence in our communities as they did other public health issues then maybe we would actually move the needle.
His edict falls under the rubric of a “disaster emergency” and indicates an expansion of the law enforcement presence in places where there has been a noticeable increase in violence, and where crime-ridden areas can receive additional resources to remedy the situation.
Also, the governor said the state will establish a new gun violence prevention office. He stated that he “wanted to do with gun violence what we just did with COVID…We want the same level of attention, the same level of energy.”
And so do we governor, and it should come without any delay in the wake of Independence Day weekend in the city where 35 people were shot.
Whether dealing with a virus or gun violence, both require the cooperation of the citizenry, though the latter has been a problem for years.
One of the measures he plans to impose is to prevent the flow of illegal guns into the city, which would mean stifling the so-called “iron pipeline.”
“We know where they are coming from. They are coming from the South and we are going to declare a border war to stop it,” he said.
Stopping the influx is one thing and intervention on the current stock of illegal weapons calls for another tactic as well as the need to include police reform. To this end, his plans develop a better mental health and substance use dispute that precipitates lethal encounters of gun violence.
“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. You only have one tool. Well, when all you have are cuffs and a gun then the only thing that amounts to is an arrest. That is all you have and all you can do. That does not work anymore,” he said.
Nearly $140 million in state aid is earmarked for the emergency, but it’s hard to believe that will be sufficient. And it cannot be a onetime fix. It must be sustained and maintained to rid our communities of the the ills that are plaguing them. Still, all of this is a considerable step in the right direction, much in the way we feel justice is needed for Ms. Richardson and President Moise.