Man Arrested For Allegedly Shooting Realistic Toy Gun With Kids In Queens Park

A Queens man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly firing a lifelike weapon and handing it over to his toddler-age son.

The man’s family, however, called it all an overreaction to toy guns.

As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, Jack Pawlowski was led out of his Queens home in handcuffs Wednesday, with his stunned wife and three young kids looking on. He said nothing as detectives put him into a squad car.

But earlier, he allowed CBS 2 up to the family’s apartment to get a video of what he calls the harmless “kids’ toys” that started it all.

Pawlowski told CBS 2 he took a toy gun, and two of his kids, around the corner to Ditmars Park. It was around noon and packed with kids and their parents.

It appears some in the park thought the guns were real at first.

“At first I thought I was hallucinating,” said Maria Smilios of Astoria. “He pulled out this gun.”

Smilios saw the toy up close, and at first thought it was the real thing. She gave CBS 2 a cellphone photo she said shows Pawlowski firing pellets at a tree.

“The next thing, he took his son, who is 3, and showed him how to use it, and then the family took turns shooting the gun. He gave it to his daughter, who took off on the bicycle and started racing around the park with the gun pointing this way and just started pointing it at the kids,” Smilios said.

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Not So Shocking News Alert: Crime Rate Among Anti-Gun Politicians Extremely High and Rising

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Hollywood Actor Goes Full Libertarian On Mayor Bloomberg, Slams ‘Terrible’ Nanny Statism

Good Grief… The Man in Bloomberg’s Gun Ad Has His Finger on the Trigger – Never Shot a Gun in His Life

‘Sodomy: We All Have to Pay’

Over the weekend, conservative commentator Ann Coulter appeared on Fox News’ “Geraldo at Large,” where she debated anti-obesity activist MeMe Roth. While the conversation was initially centered upon New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his proposed (and enacted) policies on sugary drinks, smoking and other related subjects, it ended up taking an unsuspected turn.

In making the point that cigarette smoke isn’t the only activity that impacts overall health care costs, Coulter noted that sodomy, gay bathhouses and AIDS are all issues that also raise the cost of medical care.

Her point? If the government is going to go after smokers with the rationale that their activities impact the greater society, why not go after those who use gay bathhouses and, as a result, are at increased risk for health-related expenses?

Coulter noted that she wasn’t advocating for the latter point and that she was simply comparing Bloomberg’s policies on smoking and cigarettes to other issues that she said have a similar health impact. The conservative pundit posited the sodomy comparison as Roth was doubling-down on defending the mayor’s bans.

“There’s lots of behavior that’s worse,” Coulter said, later decrying the fact that smokers are regularly singled-out for their actions. ”People know smoking is bad for you and…all of the stigma of the world comes down on this one behavior.”

But Roth wasn’t budging, as she noted that smoking is a costly personal choice.

“If you make a personal decision that ends up costing others money, somebody has to pick up that tab,” she said. ”If we’re picking up the tab, somebody’s got to help pay for that.”

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Mayor Group To Push For Destruction of the Constitution

A new $12 million television ad campaign from Mayors Against Illegal Guns will push senators in key states to back gun control efforts, including comprehensive background checks.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the ad buy Saturday — just days after Senate Democrats touted stronger background checks while acknowledging insufficient support to restore a ban on assault-style weapons to federal gun control legislation.

“These ads bring the voices of Americans — who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks — into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence,” Bloomberg said in a statement issued by the group he co-founded in 2006.

The two ads posted on the group’s website, called “Responsible” and “Family,” show a gun owner holding a rifle while sitting on the back of a pickup truck.

In one ad, the man says he’ll defend the Second Amendment but adds “with rights come responsibilities.” The ad then urges viewers to tell Congress to support background checks.

In the other ad, the man, a hunter, says “background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone.” The man then says closing loopholes will stop criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining weapons.

The Senate is scheduled to debate federal gun control legislation next month. On March 28, the group plans for more than 100 events nationwide in support of passing gun control legislation that includes background checks.

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Bloomberg wants to ban tobacco on display

A new proposal would require New York City retailers to keep tobacco products out of sight under a first-in-the-nation proposal aimed at reducing the youth smoking rate, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

The legislation would require stores to keep tobacco products in cabinets, drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in other concealed spots. They could only be visible when an adult is making a purchase or during restocking.

While New York City would be the first in the nation to do this, Bloomberg says prohibitions began to be implemented in Iceland in 2001 and Canada in 2005, and these countries have already seen substantial declines in youth smoking.

“Such displays suggest that smoking is a normal activity,” Bloomberg said. “And they invite young people to experiment with tobacco.”

Stores devoted primarily to the sale of tobacco products would be exempt from the display ban.

The mayor’s office said retail stores could still advertise tobacco products under the legislation.

“We have made tremendous strides in combating smoking in New York City but this leading killer still threatens the health of our children,” said Dr. Thomas A. Farley, the health commissioner, “and youth smoking rates have remained flat at 8.5 percent since 2007.”

Farley said the city’s comprehensive anti-smoking program cut adult smoking rates by nearly a third — from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.8 percent in 2011 — but the youth rate has remained flat, at 8.5 percent, since 2007.

Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death among New Yorkers, Farley said.

The legislation, to be introduced in the City Council on Wednesday, is comprised of two separate bills that Farley called “logical, important next steps to further protect our teens from tobacco.”

The second bill, called the “Sensible Tobacco Enforcement” bill, strengthens enforcement of discounted and smuggled cigarettes.

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Judge Smacks Down Bloomberg’s ‘Capricious’ Soda Cup Ban

A New York state judge on Monday permanently restrained Mayor Michael Bloomberg from banning the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. from various restaurants, mobile food carts, and other establishments, ruling the law was “arbitrary and capricious.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling ruled the city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations” because they are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.”

“The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole,” Tingling wrote. “The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

As the Journal notes, Bloomberg’s rules were to take effect on March 12. After a three-month grace period, the city was set to fine establishments $200 per sale. Though the rules did not apply to some convenient stores, like 7-Elevens and supermarkets, they would have impacted places like local pizza stores that would not have been able to sell two-liter bottles of soda.

Tingling felt New York did not demonstrate the city faced an imminent health danger due to the consumption of large sodas and also suggested “Bloomberg overstepped his powers by bringing the sugary drink rules before the Board of Health, which is solely appointed by him,” instead of going to the city council.

NYC Super-Sized Sugary Drink Ban Goes Into Effect Tuesday

Monday is the last day New Yorkers will be able to buy super-sized sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts in New York City.

The cola crackdown goes into effect on Tuesday. The new regulation puts a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks and applies to both bottled and fountain drinks.

The ban but does not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food. It also does not apply to diet soda, other calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.

Restaurants, street carts, coffee joints and other venues spent the weekend getting ready for the upcoming clampdown.

“I definitely believe it’s going to hurt my business,” said Mary Cira of Pronto Pizza, who said she had to toss nearly a $1,000 worth of 20 ounce and 2 liter bottles of soda. She’ll also have to reprint her menus.

“I have a combo special with a 2 liter soda,” she said.

“Personally, I think it’s ridiculous,” a coffee cart operator named said Peter told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck ”It’s going to slow things down because I’m going to have to put the sugar on the side.”

At Movie World in Queens, Russell Evanson said the small size cup he sells is now too big and said he’ll have to find cups that are 16-ounces.

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80% of NYC High School Graduates Can’t Read

In his last State of the City address, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bragged about his huge taxpayer investments in education. “Now, let me ask you: is there anyone who still believes that New York City can’t get big things done? Since we’re here in Brooklyn, I’ll say it again: Fuhgeddaboudit.”

Bloomberg was right about one thing only: forgetting about it. Because not only are big things not getting done in New York City on education, even small things aren’t getting done. According to officials from City University of New York, a full 80 percent of high school graduates in New York City can’t read when they graduate. As CBS Local reports, “They had to re-learn basic skills – reading, writing, and math – first before they could begin college courses.”

And that’s for the students who graduate. New York City has the lowest graduation rate for black and Hispanic male students in the nation, with only 37 percent graduating. But teachers start off making $45,530 with benefits, and max out at over $100,000.

It’s not just Bloomberg and New York. In the city of Los Angeles, according to The Education Trust-West, just one in every 20 black kindergarteners will graduate from a four-year California college. Overall, a whopping 40 percent of high school students entering public colleges across the country require at least one remedial class in reading, writing or math.

This is the legacy of a teachers union-driven system in our major cities. And it is minorities who pay the highest price.