Tuesday, July 18, 2023

In Spite of Visible 'No Guns' Notices, Three Teens Wounded in Times Square Shooting


(AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

It's not entirely fair to lay all the blame on New York City. The city administration has exerted considerable effort. Admittedly, the city did slash its police budget by 11% amidst the heated defund-the-police sentiment following George Floyd's death, under Warren Wilhelm, Jr.'s administration. Moreover, it's true that the depleted NYPD is now often referred to as "irreparable" in its current condition. Also, it's undeniable that Manhattan's DA seems more engrossed in "reimagining" criminal justice than prosecuting actual criminals.

Nevertheless, the city that's famously known as the city that never sleeps has endeavored to combat the surge in violent crime. They've implemented a stringent Bruen-response gun control law, designating large sections of the island as "sensitive areas" where firearms are completely banned. To ensure public awareness, the city installed "gun-free zone" signs all around Times Square last year. Hence, there should be no misunderstanding about Times Square's status as a gun-free area.

A traffic sign on the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue announces Times Square as a gun free zone, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed two bills designating new boundaries of a Times Square sensitive location and prohibiting concealed carry permit holders from bringing their firearms into the Times Square sensitive location (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Considering these measures, one can't help but be perplexed, much like Robert Barrows must have been, to hear about a shooting in Times Square that injured three people. It's truly bewildering.

Robert Barrows of the New York City Police Department holds up a “gun free zone” sign during a City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit)

As reported by the New York Post...

The victims, aged 15, 16, and 17, were hit by bullets when an unidentified male suspect opened fire on Seventh Avenue between West 41st and 42nd streets at nearly midnight, according to the NYPD.

Both the 15-year-old and 16-year-old boys were injured in the leg.

The reasons behind this incident remain uncertain. Perhaps the individuals involved were not local residents or English might not be the shooter's first language. To make the message crystal clear to everyone, maybe the city should consider putting up signs in Spanish, French, Chinese, and other languages to communicate the gun-free policy more effectively.

Authorities reported that the shooter escaped on foot on West 41st Street.

As of early Tuesday, he remained at large. 

The incident, as well as the baffling question of how the shooter managed to bring a firearm into Times Square, are still under investigation.

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