Monday, March 27, 2023
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Albany’s recipe for ever more gun-toting teens

Each day brings more proof that New York’s Raise the Age law has been a disaster not just for the city and state, but for the young people the law supposedly protects.

A 17-year-old boy was shot four times Tuesday near an Upper West Side high school.

The alleged perp, 19-year-old Cheick Coulibaly, was out on bail for a 2021 armed robbery case.

Later that day — in what police say may have been retaliation — an East Harlem shooting saw another kid hit by bullets near another school, Harlem Renaissance HS. 

These blood-stained tragedies are simply the latest fruit of poisonous progressive policies. Gangs seduce ever more teens into lives of violence, knowing full well that their age serves a shield for real consequences. 

That’s why the number of teen shooters and victims has tripled since 2017 when Raise the Age took effect. Gunfire claimed 36 teen victims over the first eight months of 2017; the same period in 2022 saw 111.

Meanwhile, the age at which kids pick up a gun for the first time has plummeted from 16-17 to 12-13. 

Let that sink in.

Because lefty Dems codified their moral posturing on policing into state law, kids are arming themselves as they hit puberty. 

Under Raise the Age, teen shooters routinely get handed cookies and juice by our chronically hapless Family Court (where juvenile cases are almost certain to be tried), then sent on their merry way.

Of course teen violence is soaring: It’s not even a surprise that alleged perp Coulilbaly was walking free when he should’ve been behind bars.

Raise the Age had a noble enough aim: Don’t condemn kids who make stupid mistakes to overly harsh prison terms.

But in practice it’s been an unmitigated disaster, creating deadly situations for the very groups it was supposed to protect. 

Yes, there are other factors. New York’s COVID policies disrupted social life for two years.

The city’s traditional public schools typically fail to deliver for the neediest kids. And family structures and mores have been breaking down for decades. 

But Raise the Age is supercharging all these trends — and fixing it isn’t even on the table in Albany

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