By Bill McIntosh, staff writer
Bernard Goetz became famous for his Dec. 1984 jaw dropping 5 shot quick fire response to four black assailants in a Manhattan subway car with his unlicensed .38 caliber J frame Smith and Wesson revolver. Goetz hit all four of the “youths” who, when the shooting occurred on that NY City # 2 train, had fourteen criminal bench warrants against them. Goetz served eight months for illegal firearms possession and later returned to his electronics business and became active in Manhattan politics as an alternative candidate with interests in a wide range of issues.
Q: Based on what you’ve been through between Dec.22nd 1984 and today, if you were faced with the same situation now would you shoot them again and how would you have acted differently?
“If I was carrying a gun, in the same situation I would do the same thing, namely shoot as many as I can as quickly as I can. The reason for this is because they were almost on top of me. When Troy Canty was asked how close he came to me, he said “I could have touched his face.”
Q: How did you manage to get out of the train and get to the next station in one piece when you escaped?
“Running on the subway tracks is no big deal. I did that as a teenager and so have many others.”
Q: Recently we’ve seen flash mobs stealing in stores and beating innocent people. Do you believe there are now thousands of Bernard Goetz’s out there who are about to stand up for their rights but on a more massive scale than we’ve ever dreamed?
“25 years ago my main concern was violent crime and 2nd amendment rights, but I’m not concerned with that now. If another mass shooting of criminals happens again it probably won’t be in New York, but in a high crime area like Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angles. My concern now is people’s relationship with the other animals. NYC no longer has a significant violent crime problem.”
Q: How did you react to 9/11 and how did it affect your outlook about our country in general and New York City in particular?
“9/11 didn’t faze me because my butt has been on the line many times before. The US reacted well, but New York reacted with more than average corruption and incompetence on WTC reconstruction. As things stand now NY expects NJ commuters to pay for remaining WTC site construction. It’s immoral.”
Q: How do you like the Freedom Tower that´s being built near Ground Zero?
“I think it looks ok but it’s an impractical building and badly situated. As an engineer it offends me that this important building was handled so badly.”
Q: On another topic, you’ve expressed much concern about kids and nutrition. What’s your outlook regarding diets and how it affects people?
“Diet affects both kids and adults in their value system in addition physical response. Here’s how most creatures on this planet are valued: by how good they taste.”
Q: You seem to have a special touch for squirrels. What’s special about them? Do people take these little guys for granted?
“Squirrels are highly intelligent (often rated among the 10 smartest animals) and they are genetically programmed to be playful and affectionate (once their fear is overcome). What more could you ask for? People generally take animals for granted, or don’t consider them, or fear them.”
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