Remember the “Soup Nazi” from the Seinfeld show? He was the character that imperiously decided who could and who could not have soup. Well, in the wake of devastation from Hurricane Sandy, we have in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent behavior an unfunny reprise of that role.
The Brooklyn Paper reported on Nov. 1 that his honor told Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz that New York State National Guardsmen could not be deployed to help prevent looting in several hard-hit Brooklyn neighborhoods because “The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns.”
With no slight intended toward the NYPD, Markowitz said he believed that New York’s Finest were “brave, but overwhelmed” and that the city’s resources had been “stretched to the limit” in responding to the aftermath of the hurricane. The borough president was looking for additional personnel to help on a temporary basis in the disaster response, for which the Guard is suitably trained. Interestingly, National Guard troops already were deployed on southern Manhattan, a city borough which apparently does deserve Guard support.
Are Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun feelings so visceral that he would not make an exception for anti-looting duty by the National Guard? Does he know that many NYPD officers are also Guardsmen and that they would act with NYPD in a coordinated manner? Does he remember that armed Guardsmen stood post after the 9-11 terrorist attack?
The situation would be puzzling if not for Bloomberg’s long record of reactionary anti-gun activism. Now, we have another example. If law-abiding New York City residents weren’t denied their Second Amendment rights by the Mayor and his cohorts on the City Council, perhaps there wouldn’t be much looting to worry about. As it is, New York newspapers are carrying accounts of residents in Queens and elsewhere arming themselves with baseball bats and other improvised weapons to defend themselves against criminals.
We have seen a situation in Brooklyn that brings to mind the words of an unforgettable Seinfeld character, “No soup for you!” But this time, it’s not funny.