Alligators in the Subways

Alligators in the subways has been a folk tale, legend, irrational fear for almost a century in New York city. As scary as confronting a prehistoric animal that is mostly teeth and claws in an enclosed space is, there is something even scarier and more likely to occur to the average commuter. It occurred again recently.

On March 14, 2024 a man entered the New York subway armed with a knife and a shotgun. This is probably not a unique case, but one that had unique consequences. In a verbal disagreement with another passenger, the perpetrator pulled his weapon and attempted to threaten/harass/kill another passenger. The potential victim relieved the aggressor of his weapon and shot him four times. The assailant became the victim and is expected to survive. The victim/shooter is not being charged.

From the ABC story, “Terrified commuters who were on the train and the station platform ducked for cover during the shooting. No one else was injured, police said.” “There were multiple police officers in this station just feet away from when the train pulled in, who heard the shots and moved in right way,” NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper said.”

A man that had multiple run-ins with the law, who clearly has a mental health issue and by the accounts of his social media was primed to act out, was allowed to enter a public area. What compelling interest did he have that he needed a gun to resolve? Were the voices in his head yelling too loud?

Fighting tooth and nail against a Republican controlled congress that will broker no attempts to curb the avarice of American arms manufacturers, President Biden has attempted to do what he can to stem the proliferation of weapons in our society. Signing the ghost gun bill into law is one example. Hoping to do something to stem the tide of violence in our country, the President gathered enough support for putting an end to the industry that’s business model is to put untraceable weapons in the hands of those who would want to have an untraceable weapon. Let that marinate for a second.

The Universal background check hopes to put an end to all of the loopholes that gun purchasers are happily skipping through now. The House passed the bill last year and it is currently languishing in the Senate. A Gallup poll in 2018 proved that 92% of us want stronger gun laws. I will ask the question somewhat rhetorically because we all know why. “Why won’t the Senate Republicans vote for stronger control laws when their constituency clearly wants them to?”

If only every American parent had the ability to buy a Senator instead of a bulletproof backpack. Unfortunately buying a Senator takes big money and that factor alone allows the carnage to continue year after year after year. Guns are the leading cause of death for children under 19 in America. Every year 2100 children are killed and 1300 commit suicide by gun. How can these numbers be acceptable? How can our elected leaders continue to ignore the facts of our loose gun laws and not at least vote to keep guns out of the hands of the crazies?

Sadly, we all know that finding a Republican that would vote in favor of gun control legislation would be like finding an alligator in the subway. Possible, but…..

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