Yesterday, we spent the day at our state capitol in Albany NY, protesting Gov. Cuomo's NY SAFE law, which is gun control legislation that was unconstitutionally crammed down the throats of law abiding citizens in the dead of night, without time for public comment or even for the legislators who voted for this garbage to *read* the bill they passed. (Most of the provisions of the new law do not go into effect for months or, in some cases, a year. Where then was the exigency necessitating the Governor's use of a Message of Necessity to bypass the normal legislative process? Obviously, there was none.) NY SAFE is rife with errors, including their failure to exempt law enforcement from the strictures they placed on ordinary citizens. We want it repealed, because it seriously hampers self defense and amounts to a ban on the sale of almost every modern firearm in NY State. The 7 round magazine limit basically makes 90 percent of the handguns manufactured after 1911 unavailable for purchase after April 15th. Manufacturers have stated they are not going to produce 7 round magazines for NYers, because that might encourage the rest of the country to jump on Cuomo's idiot bandwagon.
Since I'm going there, you're gonna get my opinion...
First, whichever side of the gun control debate you fall on, please read the very informative analysis of gun control from a legal perspective recently published in the National Law Journal.
I am a retired lawyer and the Constitution means a lot to me. I swore an oath to support and defend it, and I take that seriously. I believe the NY SAFE act violates it and will be overturned by the courts. Whichever side you are on, the article I linked to is worth reading and considering. There is an old saying in legal circles: "Hard cases make bad law." That is what I see happening today. Emotion and outrage are running roughshod over what should be a logical and reasoned process that aims to do the most good while restricting individual rights as little as possible. Instead, we have hysteria and paranoia from both sides. That will not solve the problem.
NY and CT had some of the strictest gun laws in America, even before the tragedy in Newtown. If the laws already on the books were actually enforced, it would make more difference to safety than passing a slew of new laws that will only affect law abiding citizens who voluntarily comply. Very little was done by the new NY law to address mental health issues or actual criminals. Instead, most measures only affect law abiding gun owners who have already successfully gone through the gauntlet of hoops New York makes us jump in order to own guns.
If we did away with parole for violent offenders and actually required them to serve their entire sentences, and increased the minimum sentences for crimes committed with guns, we might actually make the world a safer place. If we made sure persons adjudged to be dangerous to themselves and others were promptly reported to the NICS database so that they would fail background checks, that would be highly useful. Too many states do not adequately update this information. I do not know how NY's record stands on that score.
Telling a homeowner that they can only defend against potentially multiple assailants in a home invasion context with 7 rounds does not make anyone safer, except criminals. The Georgia mom who put 5 bullets into the guy that chased her and her kids down in an attic crawlspace would have been SOL if he had an accomplice. I do not want to have to potentially fight off someone who is a threat to me and my kid with less than all the bullets my gun will hold.
That said, here are some photos from yesterday's rally. I am trying to teach my kid the value of standing up for what he believes in, and I think it was a homeschool day well spent.
Finally, this is our State Senator, Greg Ball, speaking at the event:
Although I generally try to keep politics off the blog, I am tired of being demonized and having words put in my mouth. So now you have my position straight from the horse's mouth. I am a legal gun owner. I have had guns for over 20 years, and they have never hurt anything but paper. Gun owners: we look just like everybody else; we are your neighbors; and we care about kids just as much as you do. We differ on the issue of what makes them safer.