“Nearly 6,000 police officers — hundreds of them with long guns, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs — will be guarding New York’s Times Square as a year punctuated by terrorist attacks draws to a close,” nbcnews.com reports. “The NYPD and the FBI unveiled plans to protect the more than 1 million people who will throng to the Crossroads of the World on New Year’s Eve — including multilayered checkpoints and a new 500-member Critical Response Command of elite counterterrorism cops launched two months ago. ” Show us your papers! Like this . . .

Crowds enter a frozen zone at 14 points, uniformed officers will inspect bodies and bags with magnetometers and hand wands. Counterterrorism officers with chemical and radiation detectors will be standing by, and a long gun team will be stationed 50 yards away “In case anyone tries to breach the entry point.”

After getting through that screening, people will be re-screened when they get to one of 65 massive spectator pens, Waters said. Around them, they will see K-9 cops, heavy weapons teams and emergency service officers “capable of responding within seconds.”

TTAG reader OneIfByLand1776 – who sent the link – is not impressed. Or is, in the wrong kind of way:

Sounds like loads of fun…doesn’t it? Also sounds extremely familiar. The only thing that’s missing is a uniform-clad officer calling out “Papers please. Show us your papers.” This speaks to more than just firearms and our Second Amendment right. Each time I see an article like this I think the terrorists are incrementally winning this fight, as our freedoms are whittled away under the excuse (guise?) of security.

And yet millions of Americans will willing and freely submit to beIng searched, poked, prodded and herded like cattle (or prisoners) simply to watch a crystal ball welcome in a New Year.

OK sure. But will it work? Will the assembled throngs be protected from terrorist attack? Confidence is high!

“We are very very confident that New Year’s Eve in New York City will be the safest place in the world to be,” said Chief James Waters, who is in charge of counterterrorism operations for the police department . . .

Asked whether all the attention on Times Square would leave lower-profile targets vulnerable, Bratton said police working overtime would be covering the rest of the city but added that “the ability to protect everything all the time is not possible anywhere.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York is better prepared to handle an attack than any city in the country.

“The eyes of the world will be on us,” he said. “We’re ready.”

Pride goeth before a fall. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Well that and this is what happens to a disarmed populace. And maybe an armed one, too.

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94 Responses to This is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace: Times Square As A Militarized Zone Edition

  1. This is how we solve such a problem (copied from Rex but I think he wants this to be seen):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2EaryC6dWY

    REX’S PROPOSED FIREARMS REGULATORY UPDATES for 2016

    1 – It shall be incumbent upon every free and able citizen of these United States more than 17yrs of age to keep and maintain no less than 1 current issue military small-arm with no less than 600 rounds of hard ball ammunition.
    2 – Those citizens whom are not financially capable of purchasing such weapons and ammunition for themselves shall be issued the proper equipment from their state of residence.
    3 – Citizens shall be required to qualify with their weapon annually, the proficiency test being witnessed by a commissioned range instructor or designate of the county of their residence.
    4 – The local counties shall be delegated funds to provide adequate training, instruction, and ammunition as necessary to ensure the successful qualification of all able and free citizens.
    5 – Failure of a county to keep and maintain these requirements for at least 70 percemt of its free and able citizens shall result in a fine of $500 per person per week until these requirements are met.

    Definitions:

    Free and able citizen: Any such person who is deemed to be under their own legal guardianship who is not currently incarcerated or committed to a mental institution, possessing at least 2 hands to operate the weapon and who is not legally blind.

    Current issue military small arm: Such small arms that are in current logistical and mechanical compatibility with weapons presently issued to our active military personnel and National Guard.

    The list of applicable small arms for 2016 include:
    – Berretta M9 9mm
    – Colt 1911 .45ACP and all mechanically compatible variants
    – M16/M4 or AR-15 variant rifle chambered in 5.56mm NATO
    – M249 S.A.W. 5.56mm NATO
    – M240 7.62mm NATO

    • This is the opposite of freedom, freedom = choice. I choose not to carry, lock me up and throw away the key? What if I want to own a different type of fire arm. What if I’m a Quaker? What if I just don’t care about personal security. Such a law would be like requiring everyone to become Catholic.

      That is just it’s own kind of police state.

      People need to think before suggesting a law. Are you really ok with using force to make others do X? Under threat of death you MUST own / qualify / carry a mandated firearm. If you don’t I will fine you, if you don’t pay the fine I’ll put you in a metal cage, if you won’t go to the cage I’ll kill you.

      This is just the opposite extreme of the anti-guns and it makes me sick. “Shall not be infringed”, not “Shall be required”

      • Sure, this is a valid viewpoint.

        When the constitution was written it was expected that all men would fight to defend the republic.

        A draft is compulsory.

        All that is proposed is that such men have these firearms, and if they cannot afford them, the state will supply them.

        It’s common sense that we need our citizenry armed and able to defend against terrorists. As opposed to the insanity we have now with a fully materialized, actual police state, here in our “land of the free”. Which of these do you prefer?

        Good discussion!

        • From a strict reading of the Constitution the draft is, and by rights MUST be, unconstitutional.

          Amendment 13 to The Constitution of the United States of America, ratified 1865:

          Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

          “The lobster in the pot may be experiencing his finest hour, but the choice was NOT his.” – Robert A. Heinlein

        • “I understand your point but to play devils advocate here, what exactly is wrong with required ownership?”
          Required is what is wrong with it. As others have noted, your suggestion is as repugnant to me as the requirement that I can’t have a firearm.
          Your are taking EXACTLY the same “I know what is best for others” as the elites and gun grabbers.
          Can you not see that?

        • “Grumpy says:
          December 31, 2015 at 17:13

          Required is what is wrong with it. …Your are taking EXACTLY the same “I know what is best for others” as the elites and gun grabbers.
          Can you not see that?”

          No I can’t. I think you’re missing the point here. I think things would be best left the way they are, where the citizen has the right to keep and bear arms, and can purchase firearms to support that.

          But the statist doesn’t like this idea and in the name of common sense wants to disarm everyone but the state, by means of force.

          This is the opposite of common sense.

          Look, what do you think most closely matches the constitutionally protected rights that we have; being disarmed by the state, or being required to arm oneself in support of the civil society?

          This is true common sense gun control, that is the point.

          If it was a choice of these two, I know where I would land, and the statist seems to be insistent that the status quo will not work for them.

      • Strongly agree, Dan. We don’t like it when people propose laws that require annual fees, safety courses, background checks and paperwork in order to continue ownership of firearms. I’m just as much opposed to required ownership and training.

        • “I’m just as much opposed to required ownership and training.”

          I understand your point but to play devils advocate here, what exactly is wrong with required ownership? And given that you are required to own a firearm, it doesn’t really do much good if you don’t have ammo and are not adequately trained.

          Note that the training is not required, just the qualification. Training would be available.

          What is so wrong with this? We already pay mandatory property taxes (and so many others) to support the civil society, why not expect the participants to kick in a little bit in it’s defense?

          Remember the point here it to counter the gun controllers rabid call for insane confiscation and calling it common sense. Common sense to me means that myself and my neighbors are ready and able to address the most basic of terrorist threats.

          So if that means I must own an M9, I can live with that.

          Boom, San Bernardino terrorist body count goes from 14 down to maybe 2 or 0, and no police state necessary.

        • Actually, the part I like the best is the thought of the screaming at just the *suggestion* of such a law seeping out of Congress, everybody hunker down with earplugs and wait for the insanity to ease a bit. Pretty quick, the chicken droppings would think to claim their freedom to not be armed, causing mass hysteria on our side. It would be just too funny.

    • That’s a rather small list of firearms, and not one 7.62 rifle on it. Irony, thy name is AR-10. I’ll be keeping my RFB close, thank ye very much

        • M240: great machine-gun, we can split hairs as to whether it counts as a rifle, but you lug that heavy unwieldy sucker around all day and pretend it’s an M14, or a FAL, or an AR-10 if you want

        • Chris – it’s no less than one item from the list. Plus nothing says you can’t have something from off of the list either.

          And yes there are arguments to be made for adding/deleting to/from the list… all fair points.

    • Let’s keep things in perspective here. Your chance of being in a terrorist attack are similar to a shark attack. Should everyone be required to carry shark repellant?
      Terrorism is a problem no doubt but it’s greatest effect is to make people react out of proportion to the actual risk.
      Before acting, let’s be a little more realistic.

      • The point here really isn’t about the terrorist threat but the threat of Democrat “common sense” being forced down our throats.

        I encourage you to have a look at the Rex video, he makes the case far better than I….

        • “Katy says:
          December 31, 2015 at 16:42

          The right to bear arms. That which is an obligation is no longer a right.”

          Alright. I don’t see this as too different from a draft, that is mandatory service, and in terms of commitment the costs here are far lower than the level of taxation we all have to endure.

          That said, these are presented for discussion, and adjustment is always an option, such as providing an option for either having one of the firearms or alternatively some sort of field medic capability and equipment.

          This stuff is a whole lot more common sense to me than the Democrats plan to confiscate everyones guns, is what I think.

      • It’s actually a great example of the Second Amendment’s militia clause in action. The right to keep and bear arms isn’t being infringed (rather enhanced), and the state actually has a well-regulated militia.

    • More or less that is just a loosely modernized paraphrase of the Militia Act of 1792.

      So, kinda OK from a Constitutional standpoint. Conscription, not so much.

      The legal machinations necessary to get around the limitations on conscription involved in deploying the militia for foreign wars required the circumlocutions and dual status invention of the Dick Act that created the National Guard , its very name drawn from the French revolution in an attempt to confound the militia principle in both word and deed.

      But mandatory training is not objectionable. Lots of miltia cases with civil fines for dodging drill. Conditioning possession of arms on that training is absolutely forbidden, however.

    • You are wrong, though. To them this was the plan all along, carefully executed every step of the way. The “problem”, as you put it, was just something to distract you while they moved all of their pieces into position.

  2. I will be at church services tonite. Armed. At the pastor’s request no less.

    BTW – if someone wanted to do something, wouldnt they either have things in place AHEAD of time or how about detonating a bomb right at the entrance while waiting to get searched? Maybe it is me, but when I see lines, I think killing field.

    • Good point about planting items before hand. What’s to stop someone from doing that? I’ve also thought of the risks of someone detonating something or being fired upon while waiting in long airport security lines. Of course, I’m unarmed because my firearm is in my checked bag nowhere near me. A terrorist doesn’t need to be on an airplane to kill 150 people. I’m surprised that hasn’t happened here yet and hope it never does.

  3. The terrorists have already won. Soon you won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything without hearing “your papers please”. We will be just like most other countries where the sight of armed police and guards at every entrance to most every place where people gather doesn’t even cause a raised eyebrow. I’m with OneIfByLand1776, they are just turning up the heat a little at a time, until we are truly cooked, all the while using the excuse “it’s for your own good”. I’d love to know (well probably not) what all of this “protection” costs. Times Square may be safe, but you can’t guard everyplace where people will gather to celebrate. Whoo hoo, Happy fucking New Year.

  4. “Counterterrorism officers with chemical and radiation detectors will be standing by”

    If someone were to have a dirty-bomb they would not need to be inside the event to use it. (Rolls eye’s)

  5. “…Bratton said police working overtime would be covering the rest of the city but added that “the ability to protect everything all the time is not possible anywhere.””

    So give up your guns because look at this baby!

  6. Even an idiot terrorist would be able to inflict major damage in a situation like this. They wouldn’t even have to get in, just go to the security checkpoint and detonate. Dozens of law enforcement and citizens would be immediate victims. Why don’t they do that?
    High-profile political leaders are always glad-handing the public for photo-ops, yet the only time in recent memory someone tried that was that nutty Loughner guy at the supermarket and that was no terrorist, nor was Giffords a high-powered individual. Why don’t they do that? Guns are legally obtainable in all 50 states, yet “home-grown terrorists” aren’t using them. Almost never do legally purchased firearms show up in a ‘mass shooting’ incident. Why is that? Either the ‘terrorists’ aren’t who they are portrayed to be or the average suicide bomber would not have enough intelligence to put on a bomb belt much less detonate it. We’re being misled.

    Oh, for the Times Square lemmings I forgot: “MOOOOOOOO”

    • Oh indeed, and mind this, the real, capable and equipped terrorist would quickly realize exactly what to do.

      Go find another group of people who are not so visible and protected by the elits para-military government forces; and slaughter them all.

      Great idea.

  7. Here is the most brutally accurate statement in the article, and the one that sucks all the life out of any “gun control” laws, statements or ideas:

    “Bratton said …. that ‘the ability to protect everything all the time is not possible anywhere.'” (At least not utilizing any government agents be they law enforcement or military. However, by utilizing a militia force of armed citizens, we can do a lot more towards protecting ourselves.)

    See Mr. AR-10’s comments
    Let’s copy write that statement and use it against the anti-freedom folks as often as we can.

  8. Have they got the sewers guarded as well? Talk about a $hit detail……Subway lines under this location? I’m of the thought that anything would already be in place. Of course it gives the Police an excuse to use all the taxpayer provided toys so there is a bright side.

  9. So… New years eve in NYC…

    Would it be reasonable for one to consider it a high risk because you might consider it to be part of:

    Stupid People
    Stupid Things
    Stupid Places
    Stupid Times

    Not saying the people that go there are stupid per say… but a high profile event like that is not something I would consider going to, but one to avoid. I’m free to go or not go, just like anyone else can, my but choice is not to go. It has extraordinary media coverage of lots of people in a small place at a precise known time.. its is very much the ideal target for activities of terrorism, given they’d additionally want maximum psychological damage afterward.

    Would I go to a NFL/college game? maybe… would I go to a Nascar event… maybe. Going to The New Years Eve event in NYC in mind mind is a markedly higher risk. You may or may not agree.

  10. It will be safe until it’s not…..wtf?
    Yea…i agree….spectator pens?
    Good luck with all that….but they dont want good people to be able to fight back?
    Makes zero sense.
    New World Disorder.
    Lets keep the doors open for terrorist to come into the country though…cause that makes sense.

  11. New Yorkers will take this in their stride; they’re used to being told what to do and acquiescing without a thought. Tourists will think that they’re being protected. Despite the adverse impression generated by all this security theater, NYC generally and Times Square in particular are protected by the equivalent of two or three divisions of infantry and thousands of spies.

    Times Square is unlikely to have a major incident on NYE. While the NYPD is protecting against terrorist explosions, the pickpockets near Times Square are the ones who will be having a blast. With all the attention being paid to TSQ, it’s the rest of the city that is at risk.

    • Exactly. Those who have spent their lives in densely packed urban centers are accustomed to having everything provided by the government – their transportation, their housing, the water they drink. They get treated like livestock and they accept it. They’re perfectly happy with the notion that it’s the government’s job to keep them safe, and the solution to every problem is more regulation, less freedom, and higher taxes.

  12. Times Square for New Years is a zoo, it sounds very unpleasant to me.

    They have always had a large police presence, they need it. Massive crowed filled with drunk idiots, can’t let them run wild.

  13. All measures to protect against high tech weapons will be present. The latest weapons and most expensive body armor will be worn by police.

    But one moonbat with a kitchen knife will cause panic and terror, stab the sheep present, and scare the pants off of all.

  14. Vote with your dollars, folks. If the “security theater” is offensive to you don’t travel to NYC and spend your money there.

    I’m sure if all the regular commentors on ttag refrain from visiting nyc the place will go tits up financially in a week.

  15. What’s sad is that what NY is setting up for security could easily be used by terrorists to create a really high body count.

    This isn’t security, this is a kill zone waiting to happen.

  16. NYC might as well be Mars to the rest of the Country. While they may think ” it’s all about them”… I’m happy to give them the label.

    All this hype and self importance is going to go the way of a good orgasm strained thu the sheets….

  17. So… seeing that the terrorist types seem to be able to take a longer term view than most people in government, what’s the chances that a threat is already inside the “frozen zone”? It’s not as if New Years Eve and the location are unknown. Only an idiot would wait until last minute to do something. For that matter, only an idiot would pick Times Square as a target.

    I have no doubt that they will stop any bad guys from getting in tonight. The idea that they failed 4 months ago to stop a bad guy from getting in would keep me out of the area.

  18. NYC is a giant suck hole police state where NYPD will throw you in the clink just for carrying a pocket knife you can open with one hand. Spending money there or visiting this place is just supporting a totalitarian state within the US. Boycott NYC.

  19. Actually, that’s life in Israel.

    And so, being detered from using guns by people with guns, whether the police or armed citizens, the bad guys will show up with bombs.

    Of course without the presence of uniformed guys with chemical detectors and bomb sniffing dogs the suicide bombers would have a much easier time blowing themselves up and taking lots of New Yorkers with them. Sounds like a win all the way around to me. /sarc.

    And if the City does nothing and something bad happens then you will say they were asleep at the switch.

  20. Turn on CNN Dubi is burning…… Say bye,bye to the worlds tallest building. Terror attack?? Explosions were heard. for some reason they have a fireworks display sechudled tonight???? WTF????

  21. I can’t help but think that improvised mortars or even a trebuchet and some kind of area effect weapon, like an incendiary or such launched from a rooftop a couple of blocks away would pretty well negate all the checkpoints and goons with guns if someone wanted to inflict some damage.

    • There you go thinking outside the box again. We can’t allow that. Our betters have thought this through and come up with the appropriate security measures to keep the sheep sedated, I mean people safe.

  22. “Guns don’t make us safer” is in direct conflict with “We’ll be the safest place in the world on New Years Eve. We’ve got heavy weapons teams, snipers, K9’s, officers with rifles.”

    I guess what they mean is, guns only make us safer when they are controlled by the gov’t. You little peons are stupid and can’t be trusted.

  23. Oh yeah, one million people. Hundreds of snipers (or maybe less if “long guns” includes shotguns). Shooting into a crowd. I can see it now.

  24. Hmmm looking at hell holes like ny and my state (ca) make you wonder. Texas will be allowing OC but cali will be allowing guns to be seized without due process on the 1st. So my question of the day is do you think we will be waking up in a more free America tomorrow??????? A lot of good and bad has gone down this year so I’m not sure what I would say…

  25. And if they didn’t take extra precautions and an attack occurs, people would be bitching about that. This is not everyday New York, it’s preparation for a celebration that would be a soft target otherwise. Get over it.

    • +1

      There is that ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense thing in the Constitution but we have seen on an earlier thread today that many of the talkers are all too willing to leave it to someone else and badmouth them at that.

      You have got to be there to protect armed citizen or guy in uniform.

      • “ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense” is the preamble, and is not meant to override the remaining parts of the constitution.

        If it was, they would have just written the preamble and stopped there.

        They did not.

        The document must be read in whole and taken in whole. Picking and choosing parts of it that suit your agenda and ignoring other parts is not how this works.

        “shall not be infringed” does not take a back seat to “tranquility”.

        • Who said anything about infringing anything. Your appreciation of the Constitution begins and ends with the Second Amendment

        • As I noted above this is how the Israelis live. This is all necessary because if they don’t do it and the bad guys show up keyboard commandos like I see here will be all over the City for negligence. My guess is if you lived in an environment where they called forcitizen help to provide security you wouldn’t be showing up and would be making fun of those who did.

      • “Your appreciation of the Constitution begins and ends with the Second Amendment”

        No it doesn’t. Perhaps you didn’t read my post, which I shall repeat;

        “The document must be read in whole and taken in whole. Picking and choosing parts of it that suit your agenda and ignoring other parts is not how this works.”

        it’s funny how your direct response to that very statement is effectively ‘you are picking and choosing’.

        Are there are more retorts on your talking points memo?

  26. 6000 men armed to the teeth and trained that they are above the law, itching for one hugemongous gunfight, where could you possibly be safer? What a moron.

  27. The only thing that’s missing is a uniform-clad officer calling out “Papers please. Show us your papers.” >/I> move that way to the showers. Hive dwellers.

  28. Even if the police have Times Square guarded so well that a terrorist attack could never occur(impossible), then the terrorists will just be motivated to strike elsewhere.

    http://www.wcvb.com/news/ny-man-charged-with-planning-new-years-eve-terror-attack/37211938?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=FBPAGE&utm_campaign=WCVB%20Channel%205%20Boston&Content%20Type=Story#comments
    “Federal authorities say a New York man has been arrested on charges he was planning a New Year’s Eve attack at a bar to prove to the Islamic State he was worthy to join it in Syria.

    Prosecutors announced Thursday that 25-year-old Emanuel Lutchman, of Rochester, has been charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists. They say he was snared in an FBI sting.

    A federal complaint says Lutchman is a self-professed convert to Islam who claimed to receive direction from an overseas Islamic State member and planned to carry out an attack at a bar in the Rochester area on Thursday.

    The FBI says Lutchman had an accomplice who was actually working for the agency. It says they bought knives and a machete for the attack.”

    Didn’t need a gun, didn’t need anything but a blade. The cops can’t protect everyone from this, but an armed citizenry can.

  29. I saw some of this myself, in person because I did some emergency helpdesk coverage on West 44th street today. Took a six AM train to Grand Central. Got breakfast at the Shake Shack (underrated
    as a place to eat in the morning), and noticed far fewer commuters, cops and
    National Guard than usual for such a “sensitive” sight.

    Walked due west at about 7:20 or so, passing through Times Square, noticing already
    the massive staging for the evening’s events. Didn’t take too good a look at how “tooled up”
    the cops were, but there were a LOT of flak jacketed men and women with “counter terrorist”
    stenciled on their backs. And clearly, more barriers and personnel were on their way.

    I’m glad I left at noon (when the office closed), because more barriers were up and the
    “frozen zones” were about to be implemented.

    My walk to Grand Central was pretty quick though – 44th was already closed to vehicular traffic,
    so the road became a giant sidewalk. Again, I guess the festivities were far more important
    than a piece of transport infrastructure that hundreds of thousands of people use everyday,
    because there were hardly any “guardians” there by midday (although there were normal
    throngs of transit customers)

    I don’t like these mini-armies any more than the average TTAG reader. Is some sort of large-scale
    presence needed? Clearly, crowd control is important, as is something of a “show of force” to deter
    drunken behavior and other sorts of misconduct.

    But past a reasonable need to keep civil order, there probably isn’t a need to put this many
    battalions in the field. The bad guys have the initiative, and a lone wolf who doesn’t
    show up on an intel reports can start doing their damage, and whether there are 0, 24 or 6000
    cops there all they can do is react, try to control the panic and then begin picking up the pieces.
    Security theater indeed.

    BTW, I live in a small city about 20 miles north of Manhattan, with our own (kinda lame) mini-“ball drop” Instead of legions of cops, they have a several hundred dollar per operating hour County police hovering over our mini version of the “ball drop.” In some ways, I find that more egregious than 6000+ NYPD.

  30. Sorry I’m late to the party-got many 502 messages. What do the safest and happiest places on earth have in common??? Give up? You can’t protect yourself…staying in tonite. Happy New Year TTAG’ers!

  31. If anyone can protect Times Square on New Year’s Eve, it’s the NYPD. They are the best city police force in the country at thwarting terrorist attacks. Despite that, I think I am safer in my middle class house in a medium sized midwestern city. It helps not to attract the bad guys’ attention.

    What worries me is a string of attacks similar in type and size to San Bernardino. There are uncountable small soft targets in the country and it’s impossible to do indefinitely for all of them what the NYPD is doing for a few hours in Times Square. Security will be up to each individual location and very few will have the will and resources to protect themselves. Legally armed private citizens can help but there aren’t enough of them and too many vulnerable locations don’t want them anyway.

  32. The new position of freedom is legs wide with arms over head while a high school graduate probes your junk for your entry in a spectator pen. Adjacent to the 1st Amendment zones I suppose.

    I can’t think of anything that I would want to do less than be in Times Square for that nonsense. As for safety, ridiculous. The predators are out on force taking advantage of the drunk and stupid as it always is in NYC. I will be 250 miles from that hellhole. Thank goodness.

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