Column: Bring back stop-and-frisk

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How about a commonsense approach on crime? Let’s see, crime is up across the country; people are afraid to leave their homes; tourism is down in our city; our young people are dying in the streets; police moral is as low as it’s ever been; people are fleeing New York and politicians make excuses and point fingers. They play politics with people’s lives.
So, what can be done? Gun violence is up across the country, so how do we curb that? I’m not the sharpest knife in the draw but if you want to curb gun violence, you have to get illegal guns off the streets, right? In New York, possession of an unloaded handgun is a felony; possession of a loaded handgun in New York has a minimum sentence of 3.5 years in prison — that’s a minimum. Why then is someone who has been arrested numerous times for possession of a loaded handgun still walking the streets?
The police blame the DA’s office, the DA’s office blames the judges and we suffer. How about our elected officials get to the bottom of this and put a stop to it? But then again, I’m asking the fox to guard the hen house. These are the same elected officials who thought bail reform would be a benefit to society, how’s that working for us. They passed the bill without discussing it with the people it affects most. When they did discuss it, after the fact, they promised to make changes and again they did it without consulting the people affected. Don’t they get it, they’re supposed to represent us not their political philosophy.
Next, in their infinite wisdom, many lawmakers advocated for the defunding of the police while some went as far as wanting to do away with police altogether. Now, because of the outrage over the spike in crime they are walking back some of their more radical positions. Why are they in office? That’s on us.
Next, any policeman worth his or her salt, who has been in a precinct for more than 3 years, know who the bad guys are. They can tell you which teenagers will eventually be in the system. Why don’t we use that intel to get the young people some help before it’s too late?
They need to take the bad guys off the streets. Stop-and-frisk is not a bad thing if properly administered. What is the deterrent for caring a loaded handgun? Police cannot stop and frisk you. Before criminals thought twice before leaving the house with a loaded handgun for fear of being stopped and frisked, but that is now off the table. Since crime is on the rise should law abiding citizens carry loaded handguns to protect themselves. The only time they can get into trouble is if they use it and then it would be a matter of self-defense. I am not advocating carrying a weapon, but if the police cannot protect us who will? Stop-and-frisk needs to be reinstated. It is a deterrent to carrying a concealed weapon.
As I said earlier, police know who the local criminals are and they should be the target of stop-and-frisk — not just random individuals. Confidential informants, anti-crime and undercover officers could provide the intel needed to point out persons of interest.
Finally, elected officials made the laws so why do they have a right choose which laws to ignore? We are a country of laws and to have a successful democracy those laws must be obeyed. Ignoring laws for political reasons or making excuses for people breaking our laws is treasonous. Allowing people to loot and burn private property by telling police to stand down is not solving crime. Making excuses — as one congresswoman said, “maybe they looted because they were hungry” — does not solve the crime problem. Not backing up law enforcement does not solve crime. Not addressing the causes of crime, lack of jobs, failure of the family unit, drugs and poverty does not solve the crime problem. The longer we play politics rather than address these issues, crime will continue to plague our cities.

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