I’ve recently encountered a few harbingers of unpleasantness that have reminded me of one of life’s less pleasant rules:
What do I mean by that? Only this: if you’d prefer some condition of existence, and circumstances change to render that condition unavailable, you have no alternative: you must cope. Perhaps you must move, or spend heavily, or abandon a longstanding pastime. You might even need to (ulp) tell your wife that she must give up something she loves. What you prefer must give way under the pressures of things that are beyond your personal ability to control.
Recently I explained why I deem my district of residence relatively safe. And yes: at my age, safety is important. It’s near the top of my priorities. I’d like to be able to go to the supermarket in safety, visit my various doctors and dentists in safety, walk my dogs and mow my lawn in safety, sleep through the night in safety, and so forth. But that preference soon clash with another: my and the C.S.O.’s desire to remain where we are.
Two new developments are calling into question whether any part of New York State will remain at all safe, especially for us old farts. The first is the state’s determination to strip New Yorkers of their right to keep and bear arms, in defiance of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Consider the following brief video, and ask yourself whether the cited bills could possibly be interpreted otherwise:
Bad enough, eh? Especially considering that New York is in many respects a hunter’s paradise. But when combined with this initiative, it grows geometrically worse:
Hochul’s biggest proposal, the Housing Compact, is another misguided attack on local control and single-family zoning. It would compel each town and village in the New York City metro area to increase its housing stock to meet a uniform, state-imposed target and rezone for high-density housing — apartment buildings — within a half-mile of every Metropolitan Transportation Authority train stop.
Say goodbye to quaint downtowns lined with two-story buildings and older houses.
If a town fails to meet state targets, the compact will allow developers to build big in defiance of local zoning boards in almost all cases.
Hochul is seeking legislative approval for her plan by April. Suburban homeowners are battling a powerful alliance of real-estate developers in it for the money and social-justice warriors determined to end single-family zoning.
I would quibble with Maura Dowling on only one point: the Housing Compact is not a “misguided” attempt. It is a deliberate move against the measures New Yorkers outside the Democrats’ strongholds – New York’s cities – have used to protect themselves and their families from the social maladies that have made the cities hostile to life.
New York City’s suburbs, most emphatically including Long Island, are opposed to Hochul and her cronies by a large margin. Therefore, we must be compelled to bend the knee. The Housing Compact and the state’s attempt to destroy the right to keep and bear arms are aimed at precisely that.
With single family zoning abolished, large multi-unit dwellings would swiftly follow. With those would come greatly increased traffic, pressure on local infrastructure, and crime. Predators would inevitably multiply, for Long Island’s residents are far more affluent per capita than those of the City. We would suffer an explosion of crimes against persons and property, for New Yorkers are already deprived by law of most of the means of self-defense. It’s close to absolutely illegal for a private New Yorker to acquire a handgun, and the state is moving against previously legal rifles and shotguns as well.
I’ve written on this subject before. My opinions have not changed since then. Neither have the statistics about the frequency of crime in population-dense regions, where multi-family housing is prevalent. But today they’re “coming home” for me in a most unpleasant fashion. My desire to live out my life untroubled might be cross-cut by New York’s vampiric ruling class.
Preferences cannot be absolutes. My preference for remaining where I am might have to give way to the more imperative need for physical security. But whence to flee? The C.S.O. and I are in our seventies. Is there anywhere in this ever more troubled nation where we could expect a couple of decades of safety and peace?