“When the order came, Mr. Salvia, 50, got in his car and drove to the street,” nytimes.com reports. “He headed past a pair of tow truck yards and a scrap metal yard to a ramshackle home by an overgrown chain-link fence marking the avenue’s end. There, before he could make his delivery, an armed robber emerged and fired a single shot that struck Mr. Salvia in the head. Police officers found Mr. Salvia’s body slumped on the ground by the back of the car about 8:45 p.m., the contents of his food bags strewn across the Impala’s trunk and on the pavement around him.” Normally, we’d put this under “It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use.” But this case is so egregious that . . .
We have to take a page out of the antis’ playbook. After all, if you can blame “easy access to guns” for “gun violence,” why not blame New York City’s de facto concealed carry gun ban for the death of an innocent food delivery man? In this case, in particular, it’s easy to connect the dots. In fact, the Old Gray Lady does just that in the story’s lead:
For Richard Salvia, it was a new job: carting Chinese food around northern Staten Island in his Chevrolet Impala. For the restaurant he worked for, it was a relatively new spot for deliveries — a dead-end street of scattered homes that had, in the past, been deemed too dangerous for regular visits.
The area had a reputation among police officers, too, who had made drug arrests on the street, Grandview Avenue, and in the surrounding area. It was, in short, not a pleasant part of the borough’s north shore to be taking $60 worth of piping-hot food to on a Tuesday night.
I’m not sure if the food was “piping hot” when Mr. Salvia entered the ‘hood. But it’s absolutely clear that he knew he faced a clear and present danger. I’m equally sure that he knew about New York City’s prohibition against armed self-defense. A subject that doesn’t appear anywhere in the Times’ article. In fact, the paper downplays the danger to the delivery drivers even as they highlight it.
The killing was the first in the Mariners Harbor neighborhood and surrounding precincts this year. And though deliverymen are regular targets of violent robberies across New York City for the cash they carry, it appeared to be the first in at least a decade in which a food deliveryman had been killed in the city.
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said at a news conference on Wednesday that the killing did not fit any patterns of food-delivery robbery in the area. But he added, “It is an occurrence that is oftentimes reported.”
In other words, there are a lot of food delivery robberies in the area (including one where thugs beat the victim, sending him to the hospital) but this is the first one where the driver was shot. So . . . that’s OK? Meanwhile, the disarmed working class populace of New York City – the people in the firing line – cope, balancing risk with reward – without being able to reduce their risk by exercising their gun rights.
A Crown Palace worker who declined to give her full name said she took the order Mr. Salvia was delivering when he was killed. Shortly before 8 p.m., a man called and placed a big order that cost between $50 and $60, she said. He ordered sesame chicken, soups, egg rolls and more.
The worker said she had spoken with Mr. Salvia a few times. The restaurant’s current owners have run the Crown Palace for about two years, she said, and had made a key delivery change. She said that the previous owners had refused to make deliveries to Grandview Avenue, believing it was too dangerous, but that the current owners’ policy was to leave each delivery up to the discretion of the driver.
The woman who identified herself as the manager said she taught her employees to flee any situation in which they did not feel safe.
Memo to New Yorkers: one day you will get back your gun rights. One day you will be able to stand your ground.