By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who pushed for higher cigarette taxes and the banning of smoking in bars, restaurants and other places of public accommodation, now wants to make it illegal to smoke in city parks and on municipal beaches.
While I count myself amongst the non-smokers who appreciate no longer being assaulted by second hand smoke when, for example, going out for a bite to eat, I really wonder who the mayor thinks will enforce this new law should it take effect.
Imagine a call like this to the 9/11 emergency center:
Operator: 9/11 where is the problem?
Caller: There's someone smoking in Central Park. Quick! Send the police!
One would think the cops here could be put to better use. Like catching criminals.
There's not a day that goes by in some neighborhoods where, for instance, you can find guys selling dope in public view, hardly concerned that the police will arrest them for that.
And there's been new attention in the media of late about out-of-control bicyclists who careen down the narrow corridors of Manhattan oblivious to the traffic laws. They run red lights, they ride in the wrong direction, and, yes, they sometimes mow down pedestrians. (One woman leading the movement to enforce bicycling laws was made a widow by a wrong-way bicycle deliveryman who knocked her husband to the curb where he hit his head. He later died from his injuries.)
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani started the assault on quality of life issues when he told the cops to stop subway turnstile jumpers and corner windshield cleaning squeegee men. Bloomberg took it a step further with the ban on inside smoking. But this may be going too far.
My prediction: If the law passes, smokers will ignore it and cops won't enforce it. Bloomberg should move onto far more important matters than this.