Thursday, May 25, 2006

Trouble in the Night

The latest furor over a bad apple bouncer at a New York City night club has predictably triggered the call for new legislation. As the NY Sun reports this morning Speaker Quinn and Council Public Safety Chair Peter Vallone Jr. are proposing a law that would "use the city's Nuisance Abatement Law to punish bars that hire criminal bouncers-a role that the State Liquor Authority has had from its inception."

Without being too flippant we've often found that it is the new law that is often more of a nuisance than the malady it seeks to address. And by the way, even though we've never been great friends of the tort lawyers we do think that the civil liability penalties for clubs that hire drug addicts or homicidal maniacs is a strong enough deterrent, along with a more vigilant police enforcement policy.

The complaints about the Authority amount to little more than a non sequitur when it comes to the issue of a trigger happy bouncer. To rag on the SLA only misconstrues its function in the course of a feel good breast beating about the evils of indiscriminate shooting of innocent clubbers. Our friend Rob Bookman gets it right: "I think there are enough laws on the books to deal with the bad apples."