Times Square "machete attack" and NY's carry laws

Times Square "machete attack" and NY's carry laws
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Honestly, it was only a matter of time before someone tried something on New Year’s Eve at Times Square. You can’t put that many people in that tight of a space with that many cameras present and expect that no one was ever going to plan some kind of attack.

And, unfortunately, this time someone tried it.

They didn’t succeed.

An American radical jihadist decided to bring what authorities described as a machete to Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebration.

A young Maine man who recently became fixated with radical Islamic jihadism wounded two NYPD cops with a massive curved knife just outside the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, fracturing a rookie officer’s skull before being shot by police, law enforcement sources said Sunday.

Cops and federal investigators are now taking a hard look at the internet history of the 19-year-old suspect, identified by sources as Trevor Bickford of Wells, Maine, to determine if terrorism motivated the bloody holiday attack, law enforcement sources said.

“It’s being investigated as a terror attack, 100%,” one high-ranking NYPD official told the Daily News. “He radicalized about a month ago. He’s not affiliated with any group. It’s more like a lone-wolf situation.”

Bickford expressed extremist beliefs on social media, the official said, adding, “He made threats that he was going to attack a public official.”

First, let me commend the NYPD for preventing this attack. They saw something suspicious, acted accordingly, and while several officers were injured, this is a prime example of how things could have been so much worse.

Yet I can’t help but think about what would have happened if the suspected terrorist in question hadn’t tripped their alarm bells. What would have happened then?

And I know good and well that it wouldn’t have been pretty.

Thanks to New York’s carry laws and the fact that the city declared Times Square as a “sensitive area,” no law-abiding citizen would have had a gun on hand to deal with the threat.

Someone might have had a pocket knife or something, but when you’re up against what looks to me like a large kukri, that’s not exactly an even match.

No one was allowed to lawfully carry a firearm, all because average citizens cannot be trusted with them.

“But if guns were allowed, the bad guy would have had a gun!” someone might argue. If they did, they need to book an appointment with their physician to see if they’re brain dead.

Seriously.

If this guy had a gun he could have brought, do you really think the fact that Times Square was a gun-free zone would have dissuaded him? A giant bladed weapon wasn’t allowed either, but he tried to bring that to the celebration. How could anyone think for a moment that the rules against guns there kept him from bringing a gun in the first place?

But were it not for the good work by the NYPD, what the alleged terrorist might have had was a massive crowd where he could have murdered dozens without anyone having any real ability to stop him. That’s because lawmakers didn’t trust law-abiding citizens to carry a gun in certain places.

Yet now an attempted attack happened at one of those places. It’s likely only a matter of time before someone tries it again, only not when there’s that level of security, and again, the law-abiding citizens will face that threat disarmed.

They shouldn’t have to.