"There are still way too many guns in NYS." SAYS WHO?
I have to laugh at idiot politicians who pass laws about things they know NOTHING about. Several firearms manufacturers are making and selling semi-automatic rifles that are fully compliant with the ridiculous NY SAFE act. They operate exactly as the banned weapons. So the features that politicians deem as dangerous really don't mean anything do they? The politicians simply make everything more difficult and expensive for lawful and law-biding gun owners, and create more paperwork and bureaucracy for the sake of their anti-gun agenda. What a waste of time.
Mike Bruton, semi-automatic so-called "assault weapons" as defined by the SAFE Act (there is no definition of "assault rifles") were banned for sale or transfer in New York State the second Cuomo signed his detestable law on January 15, 2013. From that moment on such firearms, which if you knew anything about firearms have no fundamental difference from other semi-automatic firearms except military-looking cosmetics, were permitted only for existing owners who registered them with the state. Any owners who did would never be allowed to leave them to family members or any New York State resident. Upon their death the guns, which can cost $1000 up, would need to be turned into the police for destruction or sold by the estate to a gun dealer for half its value for sale in the majority of states where they are legal. Almost no owners of so-called "assault weapons" have registered them. They have converted them to magically non-assault weapons by changing the stocks to ones manufactured in response to the law. By eliminating cosmetic features that define them as "assault weapons" under the SAFE Act yet leave them mechanically and functionally the same owners can own and shoot them legally and leave them to their families or sell them for their full value if they can find a gun dealer who will do the now required background check for private sales for the $10 the state says is the maximum they can charge. Some have sent their unaltered guns to friends and families in other states in hopes that they will be legal again in New York. Others have chosen to take the risk and keep their unaltered guns here.
You are typical of anti-gun people in your belief that "There are still way too many guns in NYS". Like others who think like you the problem is not just what kind of guns there are or who has them but that the number of them in general is too many. People like you who hate guns want the United States to adopt the gun laws of Europe and the rest of the world that has banned or severely restricted the private ownership and carry of firearms, the "to keep and bear arms" part of the Second Amendment you wish didn't exist.
History lesson. Americans fought a violent revolutionary war against England that began when British troops tried to confiscate Americans' guns at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. They fought that war not to be like England but to declare our independence from it, to be something new and different, a country that, still stained by slavery, would become the freest in the world, its citizens exercising liberties never seen before. One of those liberties was the right of citizens to own and carry (keep and bear) firearms.
Most Americans still believe in that right. Americans like you clearly don't. The Second Amendment stands in the way of your goal of European-style gun laws. Please be honest and admit it and please, no "well regulated militia" argument that the Second Amendment applies only to organized military units. The Supreme Court has ruled on that and determined that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right not dependent on belonging to any military organization.
I welcome people like you trying to repeal the Second Amendment because it will expose how you really think and feel. I welcome it because I don't think you will ever convince 2/3 of the states to repeal one of the original amendments of the Bill of Rights.
Of course I could be wrong. America passed the 18th Amendment prohibiting alcohol for 13 years before ending it with the 21st Amendment, the only amendment repealing another. If America could do something that stupid it could possibly repeal the Second Amendment. I doubt it but for you and other anti-gun Americans there's always the chance. Go for it.
There are still way too many guns in NYS. And, semi-automatic assault rifles have yet to be banned. So, in my opinion, the NY SAFE Act is flawed in that it is too permissive. After Sandy Hook, it would have been irresponsible for Governor Cuomo to have done nothing. O'Brien did the right thing when he voted in favor of the NY SAFE Act.
Putting a tv celebrity on the ballot is a ploy. Rich Funke will act in Republican lockstep. It's an illusion to think we know him.
The City News article mistakenly states that "[e]lected officials would be unable to serve on the panel...;" while in reality only state level elected officials and some others may not serve. The amendment allows local elected officials, including county executives and legislators who may be considering a run at the state legislature, to participate in drawing the lines for themselves and their potential fellow legislators, with whom they will be soon negotiating for power. Other states with such commissions include an ethics provision that prevents commission members from running for such offices for a period of time. NY Prop 1 does not.
This is one of the many overlooked serious flaws with the proposed amendment. While it may be a baby step forward, it is a small step into cement, entrenching a still too flawed system into the constitution where it will be even more difficult to improve. New Yorkers should reject this illusion and insist on real reform before the next redistricting.
As a NY judge stated in his ruling that the word "independent" did not fairly describe this proposed commission, “Legislative semantics do not change the reality that the commission’s plan is little more than a recommendation to the Legislature, which can reject it for unstated reasons and draw its own lines.”
Tom, people leave cars and kitchen knives around where children can get them. Michelle Wright, a 13 year-old black girl, brought a kitchen knife in her backpack to Jefferson Middle School in 1995 and fatally stabbed 12 year-old Stephanie Givens, another black girl, in the neck over a boy. I had just moved from a street four blocks away that had five murders in the 18 months I lived there. How's this for a plan, license kitchen knives, enact mandatory storage and training laws and prohibit access to minors. While we're at it we can enact the same restrictions on hammers, screwdrivers, bleach, wasp spray, antifreeze, gasoline, baseball bats and anything else that could possibly be used as a weapon. We could enact legislation holding the owners of cars personally responsible for any crimes, deaths or injuries committed with their cars by unauthorized users like car thieves. According to that law my neighbor would be in prison for allowing pot to be smoked in her car by the thieves who stole it from their driveway and left it reeking on Avenue D.
Or we could work to change the mindset of people who commit murder including 13 year-old girls who commit premeditated murder over the attention of a boy.
Or we could lock up murderers for life to protect the public so they can never kill again, at least out of prison.
Or we could keep gun laws we already have that might possibly do some good and get rid of ones like the SAFE Act that do nothing than make anti-gun people feel good that they're "doing something".
I grew up in New Jersey, the worst state in America for gun owners, where the equivalent of a New York State Pistol Permit is required for a Daisy Red Ryder bb gun, the same as Ralphie longed for in the film "A Christmas Story", because NJ classifies air guns as firearms. NJ is the last state in the nation that doesn't allow citizens to carry concealed handguns for self defense. Permits are automatically denied to average citizens and only issued to retired cops and probably the judges and politicians who enact the policy. In NJ hunters and target shooters must travel directly to and from the range or the hunting area with no "deviations of travel" like their hunting partner's house, a restaurant or anywhere.
I lived 14 years in Manhattan where bb guns are illegal, it is tremendously expensive and difficult for average citizens to own rifles or shotguns and concealed carry pistol permits are only issued to wealthy people like Donald Trump and Robert De Niro. In NYC all guns including rifles and shotguns are registered with the New York Police Department. Because of that when NYC passed a new law banning rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 5 rounds the NYPD was able to notify the owners, who legally bought and registered the guns for a fee of around $160 each, that their previously legal gun was now illegal and needed to be turned into the police for destruction, removed from NYC permanently or mutilated by a gunsmith to hold no more than 5 rounds. These were not cosmetic military style so-called "assault weapons", which were already illegal in NYC, but common hunting guns. That's why gun owners say confiscation follows registration.
People say why don't we register guns like cars. No one is trying to ban cars or certain kinds of cars. When the government mandated safety belts it didn't mandate installing them in Model T Fords or any car manufactured before the law. It didn't make car owners turn in cars that didn't meet the new law's requirements. Government, as evidenced by NYC, does do that with guns.
I have lived my entire life in states with the most draconian restrictive gun laws in the country. NY and NJ do not need more gun laws yet they keep piling them on. If not for the Second Amendment states like NY and NJ and municipalities like Chicago, NYC and Washington DC would (and have but are being slowly repealed by courts) Australian style confiscation and severe registration laws designed to keep normal citizens from owning and using guns.
Nancy Lanza probably used bad judgment teaching her son to shoot. Despite that, my reading of the case is that she had her guns locked up in a safe which he defeated while she was out of town on a three day trip. That could happen to anyone the same as having their car broken into and stolen by their teenager or a thief. Some things can't be absolutely prevented. If given enough time a determined person can steal anything you own.
To absolutely eliminate future mass shootings would require eliminating all the guns in America. That can't happen without repealing the Second Amendment. If that happened we'd probably have mass resistance to confiscation that would inevitably turn violent.
Will you volunteer to be the first one through the door on the confiscation squad?
Sandy Hook was committed with a legally purchased gun left lying around by the mother of a mentally ill child.
Paralyzed for fear of the NRA is not a good reason to do nothing.
Law abiding citizens have been known to leave their guns out where children have access to them.
Safe Act has been around long enough for the haters to have developed their own better plan....but where is it?
Tom, why do you think doing something, even if it doesn't make sense, is better than doing nothing?
As far as children killed by gun violence, I am sick of I and other legal gun owners being blamed for the negligent or criminal use of firearms by others. I have three kids. I care about children as much as you do.
I live in a suburb bordering a poor high crime city with almost daily shootings. All of those shootings are committed by young black males. When I moved here 23 years ago there were 5 murders in the city neighborhood I moved to in 18 months, again committed by young black males. In the suburb I live in and every other suburb in the county and beyond there have been no shootings, none. In 23 years there hasn't been a criminal shooting committed by a white person anywhere near here.
Before you call me racist know that FBI statistics confirm that what is happening here is happening across the country. Blacks make up about 12% of the U.S. population yet commit over half the murders. Not all blacks commit those murders. Most are committed by young black males who make up about a quarter of the black population and about 3% of the U.S. population. 3% of the population commits over 50% of the murders. That's fact. If it isn't, show me statistics that refute the FBI.
None of those murders are committed with legal guns. None of the shooters could ever legally buy a gun because they have criminal records before they turn 18, the minimum age to legally buy a gun. They are already criminals when they commit murder with criminally purchased or stolen illegal guns.
I and my gun and the guns of other legal gun owners have nothing to do with that. If you want to "do something" about gun violence try to convince young black males that this is the 21st Century when civilized people don't settle grievances and real or perceived insults with violence. Young urban black males have a perverted sense of what they call honor that to them must be defended with violence. That's crazy and a horrible tragedy for young black males and their families.
You want to "do something". Do what you can to change that mindset. Failing that, lock up every murderer for life. I'm against the death penalty but strongly believe that murderers should die in prison. Other capital punishment opponents should accept that as the minimum justice survivors of murder victims will accept.
The vast majority of gun violence is not committed by legal gun owners. It is committed by criminals with illegal guns. Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents are on record in interviews as saying they are not concerned about legal gun owners but catching illegal ones. Criminals are on record in interviews saying they don't care about gun control. It's not a concern to them because they are criminals and don't follow the law.
Yet you and other gun control advocates keep focusing on legal gun owners. The only way it makes sense is that you hate guns and gun ownership and want to see them limited as much as possible to everyone. If you injected most gun control advocates with truth serum they would admit what Bill Maher is honest enough to say without it, that the Second Amendment is the problem that stands in the way of their goals, that the Second Amendment is, in their minds, b.s., an anachronism left over from the 1700s that should be gotten rid of.
To which I say, go for it. If you don't like average law-abiding Americans owning and carrying guns try to repeal the Second Amendment. The Constitution spells out how.
Until then, leave legal gun owners alone. We're not the problem.
As far as school shootings, fortunately they are rare. Without infringing on citizens' constitutional right there are probably steps that can be taken to keep guns out of the hands of the seriously mentally ill as long as it doesn't include every gun owner who is not dangerous seeking routine mental health treatment. The fact is that there is nothing that can be done to absolutely prevent all mass shootings other than to get rid of the Second Amendment and the constitutional right to own and carry firearms and collect and destroy most of them the way Australia did. Even then criminals would have guns but they generally only shoot at each other or individual robbery victims. If you want to "do what has worked in other countries" like Australia you need to get rid of the Second Amendment. Of course, I and every other gun owner will resist you every step of the way.
Is it too much to ask for you people to try something new? Like, say for example, giving an independent candidate a chance instead of someone who will quite obviously toe the party line? Neither party is what's best for our country. You MAY be able to argue that one is a lesser of two evils, but you would then be ignoring the third option: an independent that is actually GOOD rather than the lesser of two evils (democrat and republican are both evil, in different ways).
Slaughter is just another example of what is wrong with partisan politics (anyone who supported the ACA blindly, ignoring the wishes of the majority that never wanted the ACA to be forced upon us in the first place falls into this category) and should NOT be re-elected. Write in a candidate if you don't like the other guy, just stop with the lesser of two evils already!!!
The SAFE act is a bad law, passed in an unsavory fashion, and demonstrably unenforceable. A legislator who could vote for this act and show no remorse is unworthy of further public service. Best wishes in your next job, Ted. You're fired.
City endorsements are useful. They show who not to vote for.
Hawkins is such a cheapskate! Only a $15 minimum wage? Why not $40? After all, it's not his money or the taxpayers. He'll make those evil money-grubbing businesses pay a nice fat wage for their workers. The fiscally irresponsible state is in a better position to know what business can afford, right? But like they say about socialism; sooner or later you run out of other peoples' money!
I'll vote for anyone who will repeal the NY SAFE act. It does NOTHING to make NY safer and it rammed through for Cuomo's political aspirations. Liberals are afraid of open and honest discussion and debate to find common ground as the basis for common sense legislation (see also the way Obamacare was passed).
Jim, if Funke does not have a better plan than the Safe Act, then he has nothing at all. Heaven knows the Safe Act is far from good legislation, however I give credit to those who decided to do something instead of doing nothing at all.
Jim, everything you said was centered on what gun owners want. What about the future children yet to be killed by gun violence in the next school massacre. Do they matter less than gun owners?
Bart: Hawkins has always explained how he would found his plans for NY. It is the same this time around as it was the last time he ran for Gov.
Tom, Rich Funke has attended several gun owners' events. Gun owners are frustrated that he hasn't officially declared a position on what he would do on the SAFE Act but it makes no sense for a gun owner to vote for a candidate who attacked their constitutional Second Amendment right. Unfortunately Ted O'Brien, every other state Democrat and some downstate Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos did that. Because of that gun owners will vote against them regardless of the imperfections of their opponents. Perhaps Rich Funke's imprecise stance on the SAFE Act is a smart political move. Most residents of the rural southern half of the 55th District hate the SAFE Act. Most City of Rochester and some suburban residents support it. He won't get many city votes because it is so solidly Democratic but he needs Democratic and independent votes from the suburbs and it's probably a smart move not to make too much of the SAFE Act to avoid driving away those who support Cuomo's stupid law. Gun owners know that any candidate is better than one who voted for the SAFE Act or has an established anti-gun record or attitude. Rich Funke hasn't said or done anything to indicate he will attack our constitutional right and he is running against one who has so he will get the vote of every gun owner in the district.
Your article stresses the importance of being informed and having the option to view politics as more than voting for the lesser of two ev... The need for the Platform Hawkins supports seeks to change the direction of politics from control of the established powerful to the value of real people who face more and more struggles. Having a vision providing solutions can become reality if we work for it!! Bonnie Cannn
Such wonderful ideas from Hawkins: $15 minimum wage, publicly funded health care (don't we already have the wondrous Obamacare?), free tuition to SUNY and CUNY, 12 weeks of paid family leave, funding for abortions, more DEC funding, public campaign funding...what a fantastic wish list!
So in the HIGHEST TAXED and most BUSINESS UNFRIENDLY state in America, how does Mr. Hawkins intend to pay for all of this? I don't see a single word about how the taxpayers will be affected by this tax-and-spend agenda. He must be completely out of touch with reality. The exodus from NY by business and people who actually work for a living (already at alarming levels) will accelerate as a result of all this fiscal irresponsibility.
thanks for this well thought out piece - it is appreciatede
Louise Slaughter is the most qualified candidate, her vast experience is needed, her knowledge and Congressional experience are priceless. Let's see, Gates Town Supervisor for 4 years against Louise Slaughter's knowledge. No contest, Louise Slaughter wins! I am also tired of the Republican's many failed attempt to limit health care, deny voter's their rights, making up false claims against the president and their questionable ethics in accepting money from corporations and special interest groups who benefit from their connections with politicians to get what they want. Vote for Louise who truly works for the people.
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