National Guard Won't Have Long Guns on New York Subway Platforms

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has been vehement in her assault on the Second Amendment rights of ordinary Americans, yet she also didn't hesitate to put armed National Guardsmen on the platform of New York City subway stations, either, amid a massive problem with violent crime in the gun-free zones.

Yet those guardsmen won't be carrying long guns going forward, and the reason presents something of a double standard that Hochul should be pressed to answer for.

See, weapons like the AR-15 are often demonized. We're told we don't need such weapons in our day-to-day life, that they're useless for home defense and they're terrible for self-defense in general.

Yet guardsmen were carrying them previously while they tried to keep order on subway platforms.

Now, they won't be in the future, but the reasoning is a big problem for me.

The National Guard soldiers checking the bags of subway straphangers are no longer carrying long guns on duty, a spokesperson for Gov. Kathy Hochul has confirmed.

The spokesperson told amNewYork Metro that “immediately” following the deployment of military soldiers to the subway system last week, the governor opted to direct the New York National Guard to stop carrying assault rifles while checking bags.

Soldiers in the subway under the long-running Joint Task Force Empire Shield are only authorized to patrol the bag check stations, so no National Guard will be carrying long guns in the subway going forward — though they’ll still carry them at transit hubs like Grand Central and Penn Station as they did before.

The spokesperson did not immediately divulge a reason for the decision, which was first reported by the Daily News. But widely disseminated images of soldiers carrying assault rifles in the system seemed to do little to quell straphangers’ safety fears within the system, eliciting a tepid reaction from riders and political blowback from both sides of the aisle and even top NYPD brass.

In other words, optics. 

It didn't look good for members of the New York National Guard to protect the platform with M4s rifles.

Hochul might not be owning up to this fact, but the truth of the matter is that either she failed to ask any questions prior to the deployment of guardsmen on the platforms or she tacitly approved of the use of long guns by troops.

These are true assault rifles, capable of firing in three-round bursts--a capability that puts them into the category of "machine gun" according to the National Firearms Act--and not cosmetically similar so-called assault weapons that are just semi-autos.

Hochul didn't initially take issue with these guns being deployed, suggesting there's no moral issue with the M4 being on subway platforms, at least not until it was politically unpalatable for troops to have them.

But she will bend over backward to make sure you and I don't have a weapon that looks similar but lacks at least some of that functionality because we peons don't deserve to defend ourselves.

Had Hochul balked at troops having long guns prior to deployment, I might be able to accept that it was simply about the fact that they weren't needed. After all, these troops are fulfilling a law enforcement function, so a side arm would probably be sufficient for most things they'd encounter. After all, that's what most cops are carrying.

She didn't, which means she actually sees the benefit of those troops having those guns, at least to some degree.

If that's true, then why does she have such an issue with ordinary, law-abiding New Yorkers having cosmetically similar weapons? Even if they were as terrible as opponents claim, they're still not quite up to the military standards of some variety of full-auto fire?

The reason is, of course, both simple and fairly obvious.

Hochul has never had an issue with these guns. She has an issue with you.

AR-15s may look like M4s, but they also represent our ability to resist tyranny. It means that we don't have to rel statey on the state to save our bacon. It means we can be self-sufficient in far more ways and won't need the almighty power of the government to swoop in and make the bad things go away.

She knows long guns like this are beneficial, and that's why she doesn't want you to have them. If you have them, you won't adhere to the anti-gun agenda and trust in the police to save you.

Because they did such a great job on New York's subways that the National Guard has had to step in.