Imagine a world where all adults are put into a giant playpen, and guarded by adolescent babysitters. Welcome to the world of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It is a world where all adults are treated like children. Where dangerous things are labeled, “keep out of reach of children." It is a world where they are not permitted to exercise responsibility. It is a world where only “experts” can be trusted.
The week of the Virginia Tech (VPI) shooting, Bloomberg assembled a bunch of mayors in Newark N.J. to discuss gun violence and gun control, his new favourite subject. At one point, the normally self-controlled mayor became quietly enraged. Bloomberg said this:
I can’t think of anything dumber than to say, "Let's give all students on campus a gun. The only thing that’s……It’s…..It’s…In….In…In some sense….uh…ah…I hate to even answer the question, because it’s SICK!!”
First of all notice the assumption, "…give all students guns," as if they were toddlers that some fool parent would entrust with a 12-bore shotgun. I know of no one who proposes that the government or the school give them guns. What I have heard is that these adult students – future engineers, architects, and soldiers (VPI has a corpse of cadets and has a military program) – not be forbidden from having their own guns on campus. I just read a biography of Theodore Roosevelt. He kept several hunting rifles in his room at Harvard. A lot of ex-WW2 veterans in college had guns in their closet. Remember, the first shootings took place in a dorm. If he had been taken out there by a hunter or target shooter, the other students would still be alive.
In Bloomberg’s world people should not be allowed to defend themselves with firearms against armed maniacs. Instead they should be locked in their playpens, with the armed bad boy, until the adults get there to deal with the schoolyard fight. Bloomberg thinks guns should be kept out of the reach of children. Children include any adult who is not in law enforcement, licensed private security, or the military; in other words, those who are not “experts." Anyone who disagrees with him by practicing ancient common sense, or who thinks he should exercise his own judgment instead of those of others is sick.
This is the same Bloomberg who thinks that business owners should not be allowed to set smoking policies in their establishments, or that restaurant cooks must not be allowed to determine what ingredients go into their cooking. The reason that Bloomberg ALWAYS gives for his decrees is that they save lives. Bloomie wants to be your father.
Here is how Bloomie saves lives. On the exact same day he told rational people they were sick, we had a murder suicide in Queens. A 20-year-old man, with a history of mental disturbances, shot and killed his mother, his mother's invalid boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s hired nurse. He then wounded a nephew, and turned the gun on himself. Before the incident, the mother three times tried to get the cops to do something, but they said she needed a court order. The victim’s sister said, “He was threatening to kill her, and she told the police everything. The police said we can’t do anything about it."
Had it not been for the VPI story, or the huge N.J. flooding, this story would have made page one, and led the TV and radio news. Bloomberg would have had to make a speech. He would have blamed guns and not the system for three dead people. He might even blame gun dealers in VA. After all, he has set up sting operations to entrap Va. gun dealers. He would have said that we need “to study” the procedures for domestic violence in the courts, and appoint a special deputy mayor to look into this……etc…etc.
Imagine a world where they criminalised owning a fire extinguisher. Now imagine forbidding people to use fire escapes, saying that they are too dangerous, and you can fall; that they are only for “professional use” for firefighters to climb up and save you. Imagine owners of office buildings getting on the P.A. system telling people to stay in their offices during a big fire. This last one I didn't make up. It happened on 9-11 when the first plane hit. All those who blew off the commands are alive. All who did what they were told are dead.
One of the reasons the planes hit the WTC, is because passengers and crewmembers on the flights did what they were told. They were told not to resist — to submit. They banned guns – even from the cockpit and the captain many, of whom are ex-Air force or Navy. They used to be in charge of weapons policy on their planes, as a ship master is on his ship, but that changed in the 1960's. In Bloomberg's world we can trust pilots to fly hundreds of people 30,000 feet over US population centers, but we can’t trust them to safeguard their passengers. I guess they need a background check.
Bloomberg's world, as in most of today’s establishment America, is about spin and taking credit if the policy works. When it doesn’t, as it usually doesn’t, they blame the other party, call for more studies, for more funding, for more of the same laws that force us into the role of the child. They patronise us.
For example. Dr. Christopher Flynn is comfortable in Bloomberg's world. He is the Director of the Counseling Center at VPI. He was on ABC’s Good Morning America. He talked a lot about closure and the grieving process whilst they ran video of students hugging and weeping. He said that the system worked, and that the killer was released from psychiatric treatment because there was no reason to believe he was dangerous. He said it’s impossible to track mental cases in society. He said we need more funding for mental health and blamed Ronald Reagan for cutting it off.
Since Bloomberg's world is all about making a show at saving lives and taking credit, they must make it easier on the paid babysitters guarding the playpen at the expense of the adult toddlers. So we see the lunacy of locking the students in with the killer. This is to make it easier on the cops, who are in business of catching guys for the prosecutor's office or the coroner's office – preferably the latter. They are also not going to commit suicide. So they contain the gunman in a building with unarmed people while they, the cops, prepare by getting into body armour.
Just why is it that these people are called experts and are allowed to have massive firepower, but taxpayers who pay their salary are not? Is it that they are trained in the use of firearms? Well, the NRA and other gun organisations give firearm training. Is it that they undergo extensive “tactical combat” training, that they are trained on which tree to hide behind whilst unarmed people are getting slaughtered by a madman? Is it that the future engineers and physicists of VPI are too stupid to learn how a mechanical device like a pistol or rifle or shotgun operates? And it seems that most of this training is more like military training not the training of a peace officer.
I covered a trial ten years ago in Wilmington N.C. It involved an army Sergeant who went off his nut at Ft. Bragg and shot up a diner in Fayetteville N.C. killing 4 people. One of the patrons ran out the door to his truck to get his rifle. He was met by a cop who had just arrived. He wasn’t arrested. He with his rifle, and the officer crawled to the restaurant door and shot and wounded the killer. No body armour, no histrionics, just two guys who needed to do something RIGHT THEN AND THERE. They knew they had the upper hand and they had the confidence to do it. Bloomberg calls this John Wayne behaviour.
The world is increasingly becoming Bloomberg's world, a world of pathetic whining children. Maybe it's just me, but when I look at the college kids of today, I actually DO see children. Why is it, when I look at old college class pictures I see adult men and women? They look different, even though they are the same age in the pictures. What effect does this patronizing have on kids? Is the Bloombergian world creating perpetual children?
There seem to be more “disaffected” kids who fantasise about murdering people. Why are there more and more kids listening to really violent music, playing fantasy video games about killing people? Why did Mr. Cho make a tape of his infantile ranting and send them to NBC? Why did NBC air them and turn this guy into a hero for other freaks? Is the powerlessness that increasingly forbids people from acting like adults in the Bloombergian world having a disastrous affect on the human psyche? I don't know. Just a thought.
Maybe it's Bloomberg's world that, "…is sick."
A.D Lelong [send him mail] grew up in the NYC area. He started in radio in North Carolina as a reporter. In 1994 he moved back to New York City where he has been working as a producer and newsroom sound editor for a news-talk radio station. He currently lives in Queens and enjoys skeet and sporting clays shooting, bird hunting, and sailing.