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Big Apple bloodbath: Calls for return of ‘stop-and-frisk’ a good idea?

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has a problem with an uptick in violence.
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Six months into the term of New York’s ultra-liberal anti-gun Mayor Bill de Blasio has some folks wishing for the “good old days” under Michael Bloomberg, who supported the so-called “stop-and-frisk” policy to check people for illegal guns, according to a Monday report on WPIX 11, and this morning’s New York Daily News.

This past weekend saw 23 people shot in the Big Apple, including four who died. That rivaled Slaughterhouse Chicago for violence, where one person was killed over the weekend and “at least 35 others were wounded,” according to the local CBS affiliate.

Both cities have extremely tough gun laws, both are led by far-left mayors, and the body counts suggest that current policies are not working. Yet citizens in those cities elect the officials who adhere to tough gun laws.

Homicides had declined in New York under Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and some believe that the aggressive approach to thug disarmament had something to do with that. Last weekend’s statistics suggest that the touchy-feely de Blasio approach isn’t working. Homicides may still be down, but shootings are up, and under the city’s gun laws, it is a safe bet that the perpetrators are not legally licensed to carry guns.

Stop-and-frisk only works in such environments. In a jurisdiction where one might expect to find a high percentage of legally-armed citizens, stop-and-frisk could result in some embarrassing moments, not to mention Fourth Amendment civil rights complaints. Try it in a jurisdiction where open carry is also legal and you’ve got the makings of a political and legal train wreck.

But is stop-and-frisk a good idea; another tool to use in an effort to disarm thugs and crazy people who are typically known to local cops? In Tombstone, Ariz., on Oct. 26, 1881, the disarmament of one man and attempts to disarm several others who were visibly armed led to the most famous gunfight in the history of the American West.

Can there be a balance between privacy rights and the public benefit of shaking down known bad guys for illegally-carried guns? What threats and risks do such policies have for the legally-armed private citizen, who certainly has privacy rights as well?

Is there another way to discourage people who illegally carry and use guns? One might suggest the OK Corral approach had immediate and permanent results. Yesterday’s fatal shooting of an armed man at Seattle’s Sodo light rail station over a transit fare, and Sunday’s fatal shooting of an armed man in Centralia over an allegedly stolen burrito are examples of terminally bad behavior involving firearms.

Perhaps that’s the only sure way to deal with bad behavior. Stop it in its tracks. In the process, one leaves the law-abiding citizens alone to go about their business, legally armed and posing a threat to nobody.

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