A maniac tried to commit a massacre on the N train Tuesday. Thankfully no one was killed, though dozens of victims will now bear the physical and psychic scars of his wicked actions forever.
As so often happens, New Yorkers rose to the challenge of the crisis. A striking image taken just minutes after the attack depicts wounded people writhing on the subway platform as fellow passengers tend to their injuries. Like a scene out of Mariupol, citizen medics fashion impromptu tourniquets out of hoodies to stop femoral arteries from bleeding out. A woman offers comfort to a suffering victim who clutches his hip in pain.
It’s also striking that everyone in the picture is wearing a mask, as is still required in the transit system. On one hand, the masks show how New Yorkers, despite their noted cantankerousness, are willing to put up with certain inconveniences for the sake of civic harmony. Living in tight corners, we practice forbearance and tolerance. And if it makes some neurotics or hypochondriacs happy for everyone to wear a mask or rag on his or her face on the subway, fine, we’ll play along.
But what sounded like a good idea for everybody in March 2020, when we didn’t know what COVID was, was embraced by the Progressive left as a multifarious tool of social control and a statement of political orthodoxy. Officials and other officious types busied themselves with promoting mask regulations that no longer make sense from an epidemiological perspective. Not to minimize the seriousness of COVID to the elderly or vulnerable, but if you are under 65 and vaccinated and boosted, your likelihood of getting very sick and dying of COVID is, at this point, Infinitesimal.
But your chances of being attacked in the subway system are, sadly, much higher.
Our leaders continue to deny this fact. Even in the wake of a mass subway shooting, our local Prog elite snapped self-righteous masked selfies for social media purposes, seemingly unaware that our city is falling apart.
During the pandemic, the subways became a rolling annex of the homeless shelter/mental illness complex. Violent crime has risen at a staggering, unprecedented rate. Citywide, the homicide rate spiked a staggering 47% in 2020. But the rise of violent crime on the subways, compared to ridership, was shocking, increasing by 168% in 2021.
Historically, the city saw one or two subway murders every year. There have now been 16 subway murders since March 2020, when aspiring fashionista Rudolph Dunning made the mistake of letting Ramziddin Trowell through an emergency exit. For his efforts, Trowell allegedly stabbed Dunning to death.
The savage nature of the violence underground has stunned New Yorkers. In January, New Yorker Michelle Go was pushed in front of a moving train and allegedly killed by a seriously mentally-ill man who had been in and out of jails and hospitals for decades. One February weekend saw eight separate subway attacks, followed by a savage assault in which a woman was shoved down the stairs at Queens Plaza and then beaten with a hammer to her skull.
Also in February, a violent criminal with a history of dozens of arrests smeared his own feces in the face of a woman who rebuffed his crude advances. As he was arrested, he sneered that he’d soon be free. He was right.
Meanwhile, our feckless representatives in Albany have “reformed” pretrial detention laws, preventing many criminals from being assigned bail or otherwise held in jail. As a result, habitual miscreants are permitted to run wild. Recent efforts to tighten the no-bail laws were cosmetic, and ensure that these predators will continue to harass and terrify New Yorkers.
The Progs who run New York like to insist that their failures in crime, poverty, education, and housing policy were foisted on them. So instead of confronting real problems, they embrace absurd, pointless measures like mask mandates.
While New Yorkers have done everything we can to protect ourselves from harm, our leaders have done nothing to protect us from the scourge of mentally ill homeless people on the subways. They have allowed us to become sitting ducks.
It’s time for New Yorkers to force our leadership class to end their charade of caring and “safety,” and start dealing with the actual harms that are destroying our city.
Seth Barron is managing editor of The American Mind. His book on the Left’s war against local control is forthcoming.