Mayor Lee and Punks with Guns
|Photo: Lea Suzuki, Associated Press|
C.W. Nevius thinks Mayor Lee is getting tough. No more Mr. Nice Guy!
Ed Lee came into the mayor's office with a reputation for compromise, wonkiness and corny jokes. But lately he's been smack talk and hardball. Since the first of the year, he's suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, proposed a controversial stop-and-frisk policy, and stared down Sutter Health over plans for a new hospital. What happened to Affable Ed? Frankly, I see it as a welcome change...To be mayor you have to make the difficult calls and, sometimes, those decisions will be controversial. This new side of Lee shows us he is no pushover.
Recall that Lee also "came into the mayor's office" based on a lie. Alas, the new Mayor Lee lauded by Nevius is not tough, just dumb. On both the Mirkarimi issue and his stop-and-frisk proposal, he's picked fights he could easily have avoided, by doing nothing on Mirkarimi---the justice system had already done its thing, so why not leave it to city voters to dump an elected official?---and by not proposing the clearly unconsitutional stop-and-frisk idea.
Mayor Lee's stop-and-frisk blooper is his reaction to what I call the Punks with Guns issue: young black men shooting other young black men. Mayor Newsom also struggled---and failed---to find a solution.
The Punks With Guns problem is a national problem created by the easy availability of guns in the US, thanks in large part to the Supreme Court's ignoring the actual text of the Second Amendment in its decisions on regulating guns. The other cause: the vulnerability of young men in the ghettos to a toxic gang, drug, and hip-hop culture that deems it okay to shoot each other for relatively trivial reasons.
Mayor Lee apparently talked to New York's Mayor Bloomberg about stop-and-frisk, but he would have done better to read the NY Times's ongoing coverage of Bloomberg's failed policy that allows city cops to shake down Hispanic and black men hoping that that will curb crime and gun violence. The facts clearly show that it doesn't work; all it does is violate individual rights under the Constitution and inflame racial tension. Otherwise, it's a great idea!
One of the few issues I agreed with Chris Daly on was his proposal to ban handguns in SF.