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Friday, January 27, 2023
NEW YORK, Apr 14 2022 (IPS) - New York City, which was on a virtual lockdown for nearly two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, has now been hit a crime wave.
The rise in crimes has been described as “gun violence”, mostly illegal guns that have flooded the city.
Speaking at a press conference following the April 12 mass shooting at a Brooklyn subway station that left 23 people injured, NYC Mayor Eric Adams was emphatic when he said: “This is not only a New York City problem. This rage, this violence, these guns, these relentless shooters, are an American problem.”
According to Cable News Network (CNN), there has been a surge in gun violence in the US, with more than 140 mass shootings taking place this year alone.
At the same time, there has also been an increase in hate crimes in New York city, an increase of about 76 percent this year compared to the same period last year, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).
CNN also reported that crime targeting Jewish people increased from 28 crimes last year to 86 so far in 2022, according to the data.
Crimes against Black people also doubled, with the number of targeted incidents this year standing at 26 compared to 13 in the same time period last year. Hate crimes against Asians , however, were down — with 47 last year and 32 in the same period this year, the data show.
Adams sought federal assistance to combat gun violence when he hosted a summit with President Joe Biden on public safety last February. Responding to demands for cut funding to the Police, and speaking at police headquarters, Biden said “The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to give you the tools, the training and the funding to be partners and to be protectors.”
A former police captain, Adams said: “We are not going to return to the era of heavy-handed policing. But we also can’t return to the era of the2,000 homicides a year.’
The rising crime rates are attributed mostly to gang violence and the use of illegal guns while US legislators and the National Rifle Association (NRA) advocate the legal possession of guns as a constitutional right to be exercised by Americans.
Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, who is chairman of the US House Oversight and Reform Committee investigating gun violence, said “a small number of gun dealers are disproportionately responsible for flooding our streets with guns that are used in crimes.”
A report by the committee said a small percentage of gun stores accounted for 57 percent of firearms that ended up in the hands of criminals through illegal resale or direct purchases by “straw” buyers who turned them over to people barred from owning guns.
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