Scattered bicycles and bodies littered the streets of New York City this Halloween, as a true scene of terror unfolded. The attack left 8 dead and several more injured, as a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” drove a rented Home Depot truck through pedestrians and bikers. This tragedy highlights the fears that many Americans feel every day. As a New Yorker, I understand that the threat of attack is always present. Any metropolitan area is an obvious target for international terrorism but that is not what worries me the most. My fears lie in a different place.

By the numbers

The attack on Halloween was an atrocity. That being said let’s compare it to other recent tragedies. A month ago Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel into a crowd of concertgoers. This mass shooting left over 50 people dead and more than 500 people injured. While this is the most devastating mass shooting in recent history, it is not the only similar incident.

9 people were killed in early September by a deranged ex-husband during a football watching party. In 2015 Dylan roof killed 9 people during a church service in Charleston. And in 2012 Adam Lanza killed 20 children at Sandy Hook. By comparison, the terrorist attack this Halloween in NYC killed 8, and a handful more were injured.

The terror attack in NYC mirrored recent attacks in Nice and London and might have been far deadlier under different circumstances. A nightclub shooting in Florida left 49 dead in 2016. This attack was a story of domestic terrorism interwoven into a mass shooting and remained Americas deadliest modern shooting until Las Vegas.

Similarities and differences

Each of these tragedies is similar in a few regards. They are all despicable acts carried out by despicable people. They all trigger deep sorrow, and often fear or anger as well. They also all demand a call to action. Unfortunately, not all Americans agree on what actions are appropriate. After the Halloween terror attack, President Trump tweeted “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program.

Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

While this tweet met mixed reviews it represents an immediate reaction that follows a logical path. Since Sayfullo Saipov, the man responsible for the attack, is an immigrant from Uzbekistan, should we visit the idea of immigration reform? I would be more receptive to this tweet if President Trump had shown similar disdain for guns after the Las Vegas shooting.


America blossomed from the young country it once was, to the modern day economic and military hegemon it is today, all from immigration.

Roughly a million people legally immigrate to this country every year. Another 70,000 seek refuge and asylum. We permit another 150 million people in on nonimmigrant admissions.

When you watch a bad movie on Netflix you don’t unsubscribe and start only watching Hulu and cable. Sure cable has been there longer, and Hulu might have more consistently safe programming but that doesn’t mean you give up on Netflix entirely. This is what Trump’s “Muslim Ban” aims to do. It summarizes the whole by the few.

I understand the feeling that something must change. As I walk the streets of NYC I am often reminded that any moment tragedy could strike. But considering recent trends in these attacks is immigration really the problem?

Should we prevent hundreds of thousands of people from making better lives for themselves over a few bad eggs? If so shouldn’t we also take similar actions over some of the deadlier attacks listed above?

Gun control

I spent my college years in Bozeman Montana. It’s a town of student, snowboarders, and hunters. One of my closest personal friends eats year round off the animals he hunts. I myself have shot my fair share of clays and beer cans. I am not against guns. I will never be against guns. They serve a purpose beyond sport. In the case of my Montana buddy, he saves hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a year on food because he hunts his own meat. With livestock contributing to global warming at the rate it does, we should be supporting more hunting.

That being said, we need common sense Gun Control in this country.

Depending on the state, a driver’s license might require over 50 hours of supervised driving. Depending on the state, a gun permit might not even be required. Depending on the state, the size and type of vehicle require different licenses. Depending on the state, there might be no limit to the size of a magazine a person can purchase. Do you see where I’m going with this? It should not be more difficult to drive and operate a car than it is to get a gun. Most people need cars multiple times per day. Even the most avid hunter only needs a gun a few times a year.

Having respect

Lately, a lot of politicians have been accused of politicizing tragedy.

But truthfully that’s what we elect our politicians to do. We might not always agree with their opinions, but it is their job to recommend action in the wake of a tragedy. Unfortunately, not all politicians do this with class. On October 19th, in an attempt to rally pro-gun nuts around his cause, Senator Michael Williams announced over Facebook, sweepstakes to give away a bump stock.

It was a response to growing pressure on lawmakers to ban bump stocks after the Las Vegas attack. To me, this is the equivalent of the Home Depot offered a discount on their rental trucks in the wake of the NYC attack. Politicizing might be a politician’s job, but celebrating is not. Have some class.