Maybe the Boston-born former Democrat-turned-faux Republican ought to bone up on a little New York City history. The modern NYPD originated in the struggle between two rivals, the Municipals and the Metropolitans. Controlled by the Civil War-era Democrat mayor Fernando Wood — who floated the idea of NYC’s seceding from the Union in order to continue its support of the Confederacy — the Municipals relied on the corrupt Tammany Hall Democrats and their gangster allies. The Metropolitans, created by the upstate Republicans, fought to rein in this criminal organization masquerading as a political party. From Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898:
Chaos ensued. Criminals had a high old time. Arrested by one force, they were rescued by the other. Rival cops tussled over possession of station houses. The opera buffa climax came in mid-June when [a] Metropolitan police captain … attempted to deliver a warrant for the mayor’s arrest, only to be tossed out by a group of Municipals. Armed with a second warrant, a much larger force of Metropolitans marched against City Hall. Awaiting them were a massed body of Municipals, supplemented by a large crowd. … Together, the mayor’s supporters began clubbing and punching the outnumber Metropolitans away from the seat of government. … The Metropolitans gained the day after the [State-controlled] Seventh Regiment came to its rescue, and the warrant was served on Wood. This setback for the mayor was followed by another: on July2 the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state law. Wood knuckled under and disbanded the Municipals late in the afternoon of July 3, leaving the Metropolitans in possession of the field.
The NYPD is a fully professionalized force today, and a damn good one, but its primary job is maintaining civic order and solving crimes after they occur, not protecting individual citizens from crime — that’s what bodyguards are for — except as a by-product of patrol and investigative work.
Here’s Bloomberg again:
“Police officers want to go home to their families. And we’re doing everything we can to make their job more difficult, but more importantly, more dangerous, by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and letting people who have those guns buy things like armor-piercing bullets,” he detailed. “The only reason to have an armor-piercing bullet is to go through a bullet-resistant vest. The only people that wear bullet-resistant vests are our police officers.”
By “guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Bloomberg means just about everybody in New York City. And is the mayor really implying that the fundamental dynamic on his city’s streets is citizen v. cop instead of bad guys v. good guys? It’s typical that a statist with armed guards and a secure weekend home in a British overseas territory would see it that way, but a couple of armor-piercing rounds through the
body armor ”urban assault vest” of the Aurora shooter would have stopped the monster. As I wrote here over the weekend, the federally financed killer “clearly expected no meaningful opposition as he executed his juvenile dark nightmare.”
Privately, street cops and detectives will tell you that their favorite kind of fatal crime scene is one at which they show up to find the late perp lying there, ventilated by the citizen he just tried to mug, or whose home he just tried to burgle. A little muss, no fuss, no courtroom time, and one fewer dirtbag on the streets.
Richard Heller, the plaintiff in the seminal Supreme Court gun-rights case District of Columbia v. Heller, has recounted a conversation he had after Aurora with a friend who’s a licensed armorer: “Gun ownership isn’t about duck hunting,” the friend said, “it’s about saving your life and defending all the civil liberties we enjoy in this country.”
But for the Left, hypnotized by its cultish fascination with the legal process, as opposed to real justice, frightened of inanimate objects, and unwilling to trust itself with lethal weapons — how often have you heard a lefty say, “I wouldn’t trust myself to have a gun in the house”? — doesn’t see it like that. The way of the lion is not for them, but that of the lamb, going meekly and unresistingly to the slaughter, secure in their higher moral principles and posthumously certain that Mayor Bloomberg would approve.
UPDATE: Be sure to read my PJ colleague Richard Fernandez’s related thoughts on the legalistic suicide cult that America has become. And the WSJ’s James Taranto provides his take on Mike Bloomberg’s call for civil insurrection here.