New York Gun Crime

by Anton Wills-Eve

New Yorkers are today getting very hot under the collar about an appeal court’s decision to take a judge off a case because she seemed biased against a proposed change in the law to stop police frisking people without reason as it appeared to be against their civil rights and also nearly everyone so searched was either black or Hispanic. It was a politically motivated decision because Mayoral elections are imminent and the opposing candidates take opposing views on the role of the police. But what I found most interesting was the fact that since the police have been more rigorous in their searching of youngsters in high crime areas of the city the gun related crimes and deaths had plummeted. Surely all they have to do is stop and frisk, as they so delightfully call it, every other white person in the same areas. There could be no claims of racial inequality and even more New Yorkers would live to a ripe old age.

However, the real issue here is the United States Constitution. It’s main function, of course, is to exist so that it can be amended whenever something arises which reflects social change since the days of Jefferson and Washington back in 1786. This, of course, is fairly frequent. But surely all amendments should be prioritised so that when the issue at stake is of more importance than another amendment which might have been necessary, eg in this case one must ask is it more important to stop people shooting each other than making sure their civil rights are protected? Obviously fighting gun crime is far more important than telling policemen not to be insultingly rude and rough when searching people just because they don’t like the look of them. Of course no policeman should do that, but if the fact that they do means more people live longer then the amendment which gives them the right to stop and frisk should take precedence over the searchee’s right not to be racially sought out for inspection.  I have always thought the US constitution was hastily conceived and drawn up and the number of important amendments that have had to be made to it reflect this. I think someone should re-write it now as it stands with the amendments  placed in order of priority and all future changes placed in  the document where their importance warrants. But that would be far too simple and put an awful lot of lawyers out of work. Still they could become bankers, I suppose.