In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Mr. Bloomberg, who has come under fire for the N.Y.P.D.’s monitoring of Muslim communities and other aggressive tactics, said the rest of the country needs to learn from the attacks.
“Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11,” he said.
“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to,” he said.
The mayor pointed to the gun debate and noted the courts have allowed for increasingly stringent regulations in response to ever-more powerful weapons.
“Clearly the Supreme Court has recognized that you have to have different interpretations of the Second Amendment and what it applies to and reasonable gun laws … Here we’re going to to have to live with reasonable levels of security,” he said, pointing to the use of magnetometers to catch weapons in city schools.
“It really says something bad about us that we have to do it. But our obligation first and foremost is to keep our kids safe in the schools; first and foremost, to keep you safe if you go to a sporting event; first and foremost is to keep you safe if you walk down the streets or go into our parks,” he said. “We cannot let the terrorists put us in a situation where we can’t do those things. And the ways to do that is to provide what we think is an appropriate level of protection.”
Still, Mr. Bloomberg argued the attacks shouldn’t be used as an excuse to persecute certain religions or groups.
“What we cant do is let the protection get in the way of us enjoying our freedoms,” he said. “You still want to let people practice their religion, no matter what that religion is. And I think one of the great dangers here is going and categorizing anybody from one religion as a terrorist. That’s not true … That would let the terrorists win. That’s what they want us to do.”