Austin Simon, the thirty-five-year-old convicted felon who assaulted a bodega worker in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan earlier this month, might still be alive today — if it weren’t all but impossible for law-abiding New Yorkers to obtain a firearm.

Simon — dressed in diamond jewelry and a $300 T-shirt — stepped behind the counter to assault sixty-one-year-old Jose Alba, after Simon’s girlfriend’s EBT card was declined when she attempted to purchase a bag of potato chips.

A single shot to the leg would have neutralized Simon long enough for law enforcement and paramedics to arrive.

Instead,...

Austin Simon, the thirty-five-year-old convicted felon who assaulted a bodega worker in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan earlier this month, might still be alive today — if it weren’t all but impossible for law-abiding New Yorkers to obtain a firearm.

Simon — dressed in diamond jewelry and a $300 T-shirt — stepped behind the counter to assault sixty-one-year-old Jose Alba, after Simon’s girlfriend’s EBT card was declined when she attempted to purchase a bag of potato chips.

A single shot to the leg would have neutralized Simon long enough for law enforcement and paramedics to arrive.

Instead, a gory, now-viral, confrontation ensued. Alba reached for a knife as Simon — at the time on parole for assaulting a police officer, and whose rap sheet included assault, robbery and domestic violence — lunged at him. Alba stabbed Simon repeatedly. Surveillance footage then appears to show Simon’s girlfriend stabbing Alba, as he fought off his assailant.

Simon later was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital and — shockingly, grotesquely — Alba was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. The ultra-woke, overweight, Soros-backed district attorney for Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, set Alba’s bail at $250,000, only to be reduced to $60,000 after widespread public outcry. It was only on Tuesday that Bragg bowed to public pressure and recommended that the charges be dropped.

Many in the Sorosphere were surprised to learn that bail still exists — but only if you’re a hardworking, immigrant business owner with no priors who acted in self-defense. In March, after a career criminal beat a sixty-seven-year-old man to death, Bragg released him with no bail. Twice in the past two months, Bragg has released criminals with no bail set who then went on to commit murder. Yet his office originally sought $500,000 for Alba’s bail, which a judge deemed “excessive.” Simon’s girlfriend, who seemingly stabbed Alba, has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

The case has enraged both New Yorkers and the nation, conservatives and liberals alike. New York’s Democratic mayor, Eric Adams, came out in support of Alba, something difficult to imagine his predecessor doing.

“I saw a worker here inside the store following the law — and he should not have been approached in the manner he was approached,” Adams told reporters. “It’s time for New Yorkers and Americans to start standing up for people following the law. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

While Republicans ought to have a decent shot at taking the New York governorship in November — nearly the entire state went redder in 2020 compared to 2016, New Jersey nearly flipped in 2021, crime remains a key issue and the current, unelected governor, Kathy Hochul, is scary and weird — it appears the New York GOP is, once again, flubbing their chance, intentionally or otherwise.

It took Republican gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin five days to come out in defense of Alba. Why, from day one, he didn’t make himself the face of this issue, taking a victory lap each time developments moved in Alba’s favor, is anyone’s guess.

Even then, Zeldin gathered reporters outside Bragg’s office — in clean, comfortable lower Manhattan — to condemn the prosecution. It was a missed opportunity to roll up his sleeves and speak directly to New York’s Hispanic working class, a group that owes no special allegiance to the current Democratic Party.

At that press conference, Zeldin was flanked by white people, a stark contrast to the real face of Alba supporters, who amassed outside City Hall two days later to rally against the prosecution. There, a fiery crowd of mostly immigrants and small business owners declared full support for the right to self-defense. Former New York City councilman Ruben Diaz, a Democrat, said in a statement, “Unfortunately, the visual evidence did not suffice for Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, whose policies have shown that he is an advocate, and defender of the criminal element, and not the victims.”

Now, justice has prevailed for Alba — and no thanks to the Republicans, who tiptoed around this gift-wrapped moment.

Bragg’s initial grotesque treatment of Alba was meant to send a message: no matter how badly the state continues to fail at protecting its citizens, it’s still in charge of your body and your property. Your rights end when bumped up next to the bought-and-paid-for plan, a radical experiment in destabilization that, for all we know, could be for the personal amusement of one, ailing, billionaire currency trader. Alba learned that lesson the hard way.

The greatest sin against the new liberal world order is autonomy. If you knock off one of their peons of chaos, they’re going to make your life a living hell.