Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein was a “fixer”. He facilitated obtaining goods and services from within systems rigged against free, peaceful, consensual, trade, by the interference of government. Like smugglers, prostitution, and so many other industries, the “fixer” provides (often for outrageous fees, and from dubious sources) what would be readily available in a free society.
Mr. Lichtenstein was a leader in the “Shomrim” (private, neighborhood security) in the Borough Park area Brooklyn, New York. Why, given the size of the NYPD, would there even be a market for such a thing in a decidedly poor, urban, predominantly Orthodox Jewish, Borough Park?
Well, like in so many other neighborhoods in large cities, these folks live right next door to some of the most violent criminals in the U.S. So bad is it, that even if the NYPD focused their efforts on these neighborhoods, they are overwhelmed.
Additionally, as in most similar cases, the citizens of this neighborhood are left without effective means of self-defense. Knives, guns, and other modern tools are legally prohibited, or severely restricted. The common man walking the streets, taking the subway or bus, is a juicy and low-risk target for any predator. And there are thousands.
Oh, you _can_ get a gun permit in Brooklyn, if you jump through the right hoops, know enough powerful and connected people, pay enough money, and wait long enough. Maybe. Meanwhile carry a sock full of nickels and try not to look anyone directly in the eye, an hurry get home before dark. And try to be in sight of the “Shomrim” patrol, or the odd NYPD cruiser (those are the guys so gleefully ticketing the double-parked cars).
So, just like in any ghetto, there was a ready-made market for folks like “Shaya”, to grease the skids a bit. He knew everyone at the precinct. Especially in the gun permit department. Buddies. The going rate to “expedite” the system was about Ten Thousand Dollars. Yes. FIFTEEN TO TWENTY TIMES the cost of the gun, itself. And people paid. Lots of people paid.
Mind you, I’m no fan of Mr. Lichtenstein, or any other fixer. They are skunks. Then, again, consider the risks he takes. No, I reserve my fury, my anger, my disgust, for the system that creates these things. That is the institution that really has blood on their hands. The blood of our friends, our families, our countrymen. They are the truly guilty ones.