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New York Takes Exactly The Wrong Approach On Subway Crime


New York City Subway
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A few days ago, Governor Kathy Hochul sent the state’s National Guard in to address subway crime. TTAG touched on one aspect of this flawed approach yesterday, but let’s take another angle on why this is plain wrong. So, first, here let’s take a quick look at mainstream media reporting on this, explore the truth of what they’re actually doing, and then I’ll explain why it’s never going to work.

Before explaining to us what they actually are doing, they talk about violent crime and then give the governor some airtime to scare us with the idea of being “slashed in the throat”. They then show the victim of that crime, talk about a conductor who got hit with a bottle, and other scary things.

You’d think that they’d send MPs, SFs, and the state cops they brought in to do proactive patrols, ride the trains, etc. But, you’d be wrong. What they don’t show us and only briefly explain is that they’re mostly doing bag searches. Here’s some citizen footage of the reality on the ground:

While many people are bamboozled by media reports, people who actually ride the subways weren’t as easy to fool. After getting a lot of citizen complains, media did eventually bring up the obvious civil rights violation this bag search presents. But, the governor wasn’t willing to acknowledge that people don’t want their rights being violated.

When asked what happens if people refuse a search, she said, “You can go home. We’re not going to search you. You can say ‘No.’, but you’re not taking the subway.”

That might fly at, say, Disneyland, where it’s private property and your livelihood doesn’t depend on getting past the gate. But, in a place like New York, where they’re actively discouraging driving with punitive congestion fees and refused to even let people ride electric bikes for years, you’re basically forced to use transit. While that may make sense from an urbanist perspective, the essential nature of public transit means that the Fourth Amendment is being violated, regardless of what she says.

In other words, if you don’t like it, it’s the old “let them eat cake” we’ve come to expect from elitists like Hochul.

Constitutional rights aside, it should also be clear that searching random bags isn’t going to work in the long run. There’s no way for New York to keep this up, both due to resources and due to the fact that this will eventually end up in court. Eventually, the Guard will have to go home, and the city will be right back where it was before. And, attacks with things like bottles and knives aren’t going to stop when there’s a random bag check that you can refuse and then walk to another station hoping for better odds.

Instead of trying to trade the Fourth Amendment in for security, Hochul should instead recognize the right to self defense. Like him or not, Bernhard Goetz knew what to do when somebody threatens you on the subway. Most of the rest of the country has learned to respect the right to keep and bear arms since that incident, while places like New York have doubled down on failed public policy in the decades since.

While mainstream media and sheepish, effete New Yorkers might put up with this nonsense, we need to treat random bag searches on public property like the cancer that it is and prevent it from spreading to other states.

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