Mayor Bloomberg has called for a little perspective in evaluating the latest horrific death from being shoved in front of an oncoming train. Unlike his hysterical reaction to gun deaths, seeing no reason on earth why the benefits of gun ownership (self-defense, recreation, and a guard against tyranny) should be balanced against the downside in the form of homicide, the mayor sees important tradeoffs when it comes to the presence of as many as 11,000 psychotic people living on the streets on New York City - including perhaps the latest accused subway murderess Erika Menendez, whose purported act is now also described as a hate crime - somehow making murder even worse.
Tom Hays of the AP reports:
Bloomberg, asked earlier Friday about the episode at a station on Queens Boulevard in the Sunnyside neighborhood, pointed to legal and policy changes that led to the release of many mentally ill people from psychiatric institutions from the 1960s through 1990s.
"The courts or the law have changed and said, no, you can't do that unless they're a danger to society; our laws protect you. That's fair enough," Bloomberg said on "The John Gambling Show with Mayor Mike" on WOR-AM.
Of course, when Adam Lanza, another mentally ill individual, carried out the Newtown massacre of children, there were no calls for perspective on the issue. If mentally unstable people are allowed access to subway platforms where they can easily murder others, how is the public to be protected? Newer subway lines the world over have barriers installed on the platforms, with doors in the barriers opening when the train pulls into the station, aligned with the doors on the trains. Of course, this requires precision in stopping the trains at the right place (easily accomplished with the right automatic train control systems), and the installation and maintenance of the barriers themselves.
We hear no cries for train control among the usual gun grabbers, of course.
Bloomberg is free to call for gun control measures (it is already all but impossible for New Yorkers to obtain hand guns), but I doubt very much he ever goes outside without the benefit of armed guards. His gun control calls would be less hypocritical if he walked the streets as disarmed as he expects the rests of us to do.