Good morning. It’s Thursday. We’ll look at orders Gov. Kathy Hochul issued to crack down on extremist violence. We’ll also look at why a computer from the 1980s is expected to sell for as much as $300,000 at an auction today.
Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times
“The truth is the most serious threat we face as a nation is from within,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said as she issued orders to crack down on extremist violence in New York. “It’s not from the Russians. It’s not from people elsewhere. It’s white supremacism. It’s white nationalism.”
Hochul’s orders widened the effort to control gun violence by trying to keep guns away from people who should not have access to them and by setting up a new state police unit to track violent extremism online. Hochul said that her actions were intended to bolster state laws that were already among the strictest in the nation.
As with other mass shootings, the Buffalo massacre has stirred a national debate on access to guns, mental health and white supremacy. One of the orders Hochul issued would strengthen the state’s “red flag” law, which the 18-year-old suspect in the Buffalo supermarket managed to sidestep.
He succeeded in buying an assault-style weapon even though he had been held for a mental health evaluation last year after he threatened to commit a murder-suicide. Hochul also ordered the state police to seek emergency orders barring those who are believed to be a threat to themselves or others from possessing weapons.
That could add to the workload for the state police, since hundreds of school threats are called in annually.
But the red-flag law was not invoked against the suspect in Buffalo, who told authorities that the “murder-suicide” comment had been a joke. He later posted on Discord that he had lied about that.
Christian Heyne, the vice president of policy at the gun control group Brady, said red-flag provisions could prevent not only mass shootings but suicides. He called Hochul’s approach “an attempt to ensure that statewide law enforcement is really bought in.”
Hochul, a first-term Democrat seeking re-election in November, also urged the Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, to pass additional gun safety measures. She specifically called for legislation to require the so-called microstamping of semiautomatic pistols to help law enforcement officers tie cartridge cases found at crime scenes to the gun that discharged them. Such legislation has long been discussed in Albany, with bills introduced since at least 2009.
From Opinion: The Buffalo Shooting
Commentary from Times Opinion on the massacre at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo.
- The Times Editorial Board: The mass shooting in Buffalo was an extreme expression of a political worldview that has become increasingly central to the G.O.P.’s identity.
- Jamelle Bouie: G.O.P. politicians and conservative media personalities did not create the idea of the “great replacement,” but they have adopted it.
- Paul Krugman: There is a direct line from Republicans’ embrace of crank economics, to Jan. 6, to Buffalo.
- Sway: In the latest episode of her podcast, Kara Swisher hosts a discussion on the role of internet platforms like 4chan, Facebook and Twitch in the attack.
“This has the ability to revolutionize ballistic forensics the way DNA testing was able to revolutionize forensics at large,” Heyne said. “We’re talking about erasing bias and leading with science to identify where guns were sourced from.”
Prepare for rain and temps near the mid-60s. The evening is partly cloudy, with temps in the high 50s.
In effect until May 26 (Solemnity of the Ascension).
The mayor, a close ally and a new police tool
As policing tools go, it is unconventional. It fires a Kevlar tether that is supposed to wrap itself around someone trying to flee. Its manufacturer says it can subdue “noncompliant individuals” without risking serious injury.
The New York Police Department tested and rejected it. But it had a champion in Eric Adams. When he was the Brooklyn borough president and, later, a candidate for mayor, he arranged demonstrations of the hand-held device, called BolaWrap — unaware, a spokesman says, that one of his closest advisers had invested nearly $1 million in the company that makes it.
The adviser, Frank Carone, is now Adams’s chief of staff. Adams’s spokesman and Carone say Adams’s endorsement of BolaWrap was coincidental. “I’ve never once had a conversation with Eric about it, ever,” Carone said.
[As Adams Praised a New Police Tool, a Close Ally Had a Stake in the Maker]
Adams may have violated city rules when he was the Brooklyn borough president by using his government office to advance private interests. Under city rules, officials can only promote commercial products that have a “demonstrable nexus” to their agencies, such as when a police commissioner wrote the introduction to a book that benefited the nonprofit N.Y.P.D. Museum.
The latest Metro news
Judge faults medical care: A state judge ruled that New York City’s Correction Department had failed to provide detainees with timely medical care.
Gun control and covering mass shootings
Gun safety: Senator Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut spent a decade in the Senate trying and failing to enact gun safety bills. He spoke to The New York Times about legislative action on guns.
Reporting on mass shootings: The Times takes great care in covering mass shootings. Here’s how we handle the reporting.
Arts & Culture
A birder is back: Christian Cooper’s encounter in Central Park with a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse him of threatening her spurred a national outcry. Now he is hosting a birding series for National Geographic.
Zero Bond: Meet the man behind Zero Bond, the exclusive social club in Downtown Manhattan.
A floppy disk from Andy Warhol. (Remember floppy disks?)
Today a 37-year-old computer is expected to sell for $200,000 to $300,000. It comes with a floppy disk.
It’s the floppy disk that makes it valuable.
The disk contains nine Andy Warhols that can only be viewed on that machine, a Commodore Amiga A1000. Among the images are familiar Warhols — a Marilyn Monroe, a Campbell’s soup can and a self-portrait — that he modified with an early graphics program.
The machine was consigned to the auction house Bonhams by Donald Greenbaum, who was the treasurer of Commodore International when the Amiga A1000 was unveiled at Lincoln Center. Peter H. Lewis, a personal tech columnist for The New York Times, marveled at the computer — and at the “rented tuxedos and rented celebrities” who were on hand, “including Andy Warhol, who was there to bestow the first 15 minutes of fame on the machine.”
Greenbaum had spent more than 15 minutes in Warhol’s studio several days before the event. He said this week that he delivered software that had just arrived from California and spent “a good part of the afternoon” watching Warhol try it out.
“As I was leaving, he said, ‘Here, take the disk,’” Greenbaum recalled. He put it in his desk and took it home when he left Commodore in 1986.
The next time he saw it was 22 years later, when he was hunting for something else.
He wondered what Warhol had saved on the disk.
But the world had moved on. Extracting — exhuming — the files on the disk was not possible with Windows and Apple operating systems. “I basically had to build a Commodore Amiga with the operating software that would have existed when Andy Warhol would have used it,” he said.
He found an Amiga A1000 and eventually located the right software. “Seeing the computer running this software on a CRT” — a monitor with a picture tube, as in an old-fashioned television — “it was, like, eye-popping. It was a trip back in time because everything is so sterilized now on flat screens.”
Several years later, he noticed that the file names on his disk were slightly different from those released by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Andy Warhol Museum, which had undertaken a similar but separate Amiga restoration. Last year Christie’s sold five NFTs made from Amiga files for $3.38 million. Bonhams says its sale is the first time an Amiga with art by Warhol has gone on the market.
Greenbaum realized that the file names on his disk meant that Warhol had animated eight of the images (Bonhams says the NFTs sold last year were not animated). After a few more clicks, he said, the little gold seal on the Campbell’s soup can was spinning.
“He said, ‘I always wanted to be Walt Disney, and now I can be an animator,’” Greenbaum said. “But nobody knew what he meant.”
Honoring her wishes
“When I die,” my mother always told us, “I want my ashes sprinkled down Fifth Avenue, from Bergdorf’s to Bonwit Teller.”
We always laughed at the idea. But after she died, my father and I decided we should try to honor her wishes and somehow get her ashes onto Fifth Avenue.
I remembered that there were potted plants in front of Saks Fifth Avenue and suggested we try to leave her ashes in one of those.
Figuring that what we had in mind might be illegal, we waited until about 11 o’clock one night. My father drove down Fifth Avenue and we pulled up in front of Saks.
I got out of the back seat with a little trowel, dug into one of the planters and put in the ashes. I got back into the car, and we tore off without being noticed, pleased with our little caper.
When we passed Saks at Christmastime in the years after that, we would pause and say, “Hi, Mom.”
— Tony Fradkin
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.
Glad we could get together here. Anne Barnard will be writing tomorrow. — J.B.
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can find all our puzzles here.
Melissa Guerrero, David Moll and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.