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Gunning for a Handgun

What is the purpose of owning a handgun? Does owning a handgun protect you? Does owning handgun have a greater chance of hurting you, or someone you know, more than a stranger seeking to do you harm?

When we first moved to New York, we decided to get a handgun in order to feel “safe” in our new hometown. The act of getting a handgun was not a simple move to put into action. New York City started requiring handgun licensing in order to purchase a gun.

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Lucky in Harlem

When we moved to New York twenty years ago from Nebraska — after first deferring through Washington, D.C. for a year — we rented a giant, three axle, Ryder truck for the price of a van — they were out of vans when we arrived with our prepaid reservation — and we motored into the muggy urban core of the Big Apple by driving down the wrong way of a one way sliver of Riverside Drive near Columbia University in the repressive heat of a mid-August afternoon.

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The Shared Legacy of a Solitary King

No blog that tries to address issues in the urban core can let Martin Luther King, Jr. Day pass without a deliberate salute to a man who dedicated his life to improving keystone images in an Urban Semiotic.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Miracle Miscommunication

The deaths of 12 miners in Sago, West Virginia is no less a communication tragedy than the deaths of two Jersey City Police Officers who were killed in the line of duty after plunging off the edge of an open bridge last week.

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A Year Under the Gun

Yesterday, the Jersey Journal reported this in one article:

There were 50 homicides in Hudson County in 2005, the most since 1989. Thirty-nine of those homicides happened in Jersey City — the highest city total since 1982.

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Plunging into Death

Two Jersey City police officers, Shawn Carson and Robert Nguyen, were killed on Christmas night when they were called to the Lincoln Highway Bridge over the Hackensack River to help set up road flares to protect drivers from motoring off the middle of a unique “vertical-lift” bridge that had its safety features disabled by a truck crash two days earlier.

Repairs would take two weeks of intensive construction so during that time police officers were called in to shield the public from the dangers of the bridge as it was raised for boat traffic. Some call this kind of bridge an “elevator bridge” because the center of the bridge rises straight up into the sky to allow boat traffic to flow below. Maritime law requires preference be given to commerce boats over motorists. The bridge is raised only at the radio request of boats and not on a predictable schedule. There are no angled ramps to indicate the bridge deck is no longer fit for cars and trucks — the middle of the bridge just disappears up into thin air.

Lincoln Highway Bridge

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