Interesting Tidbit: The Staten Island Connection To The Defense Distributed Case

I stumbled across an interesting connection to Staten Island, NY – the forgotten borough – in the case pitting the the anti-gun attorneys general of Washington and a few other states against SAF and Defense Distributed. Both Judge Robert Lasnik who approved the temporary restraining order and attorney Josh Blackman who is representing Defense Distributed grew up in Staten Island.

Blackman is a graduate of the Staten Island Technical High School which was established in 1988. Judge Lasnik graduated from Port Richmond High and is a member of their Hall of Fall.  This 2011 profile of Lasnik in the LA Times discusses his love of Bob Dylan and how it impacted “his soul” with regard to civil rights while growing up on Staten Island.

I find this Staten Island connection interesting because my mother grew up there, my grandfather was the Tax Assessor for the Borough and County of Richmond, and my cousin Tom still lives in my grandparents’ house. Moreover, a good part of summer and every Christmas from the time I was born in 1957 through about 1980 was spent on Staten Island.

I also find it intriguing that the person who had his soul impacted by the music of Bob Dylan with regard to civil rights is the one who curtails free speech. Conversely, the attorney who grew up there as it became a conservative enclave in a sea of blue is the one fighting for free speech.

Staten Island Screwed By FEMA Again

Staten Island isn’t like the rest of New York City. It is smaller, greener, more family oriented, and less of a concrete jungle. My Mom used to tell me stories of growing up on Staten Island when there were celery farms. Perhaps its differences is what has made it the forgotten borough.

Now it looks like FEMA which was late bringing assistance to Staten Island after Sandy is abandoning them again.

From Keith

This really pisses me off.

My ties to Staten Island run deep and it hurts me to see islanders treated like this. My mother grew up there, went to high school there, and went to college there as did her sister and brother. My grandfather was the Tax Assessor for the County of Richmond in the 1930s and 40s. My cousin Tom and his family still live in what was my grandparent’s last house.

You can read the full story in here.

Scary Picture Of The Day

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) toured Staten Island yesterday to see the destruction wrought by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy and brought with them promises of aid. The south shore of the  “forgotten borough” was one of the hardest areas in New York.

Gillibrand had the good sense to wear a normal fleece jacket. Schumer, on the other hand, was wearing an official navy windbreaker from FEMA. Now if that isn’t a scary sight, I don’t know what is. The most anti-gun senator in the Senate wearing a jacket from one of the most inept agencies of the Federal government. I won’t even mention that FEMA is the topic of more than one conspiracy theory.

Picture from the Staten Island Advance

(Do keep the people of Staten Island in your prayers and thoughts. My cousin Tom and his wife Meryl still live in my grandparent’s old house on Staten Island and came through OK. Unfortunately, there are plenty of others who’s lives and homes were devastated.)