New York state’s new gun law sacrifices liberty for security
I am pleased with the continuing public New York State Safe Act (gun) debate, as it is a great example of citizen discourse on an important public matter. Too bad our state leaders blew us off, refusing New York citizens the opportunity to provide input as is customary prior to an actual vote. Prior public input would have refocused our politicians on real violence prevention and away from the unnecessary offenses to our Bill of Rights in the name of perceived safety.
Benjamin Franklin believed that people who give up liberty to achieve safety deserve neither liberty nor safety, and yet, we have often shortchanged liberty in our history in the name of safety; sometimes egregiously offending the rights of fellow law-abiding citizens only to apologize for it years later after the damage is done. Look no further than the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.
Semiautomatic rifles have been around for a century. It was common for New York state baby boomers growing up in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s to hunt in the morning and arrive on school grounds with their rifles, of all types, in their cars or on their truck gun racks. Some schools even had shooting clubs. It was the norm, and no one felt threatened. But then again, parents took their children to “G-rated” movies, played family board games, and the adult/violent entertainment items were always out of sight in a segregated adult’s only sections. Liberal-progressives declare legal gun owners and defenders of the Bill of Rights as extreme radicals but refuse to accept their ownership of or to do anything about the growing violence in our culture.
How about a return of the resource officers to our school districts? A proactive state trooper with their finger on the pulse of the student community was a great safety investment that was pulled away a couple of years ago, sacrificing school safety in the name of budget. But instead of a cure we got a placebo with complications.
A perception exists, real or otherwise, that the New York State Safe Act has made criminals out of law-abiding citizens and when you try to read the legislation and the information on the governor’s website it is not surprising. Semiautomatic rifle registration, magazine restrictions, and conflicting information on the governor’s website make it confusing, appear impractical, and even reveals irony as 10-round magazines are dangerous to New Yorkers, but it is OK to dump them on our neighboring states.
This law touches people like Prohibition touched people. Even the Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle, arguably the most common small-caliber rifle in New York state, is affected because of its small 10-round rotary clip. They are a large voting constituency who could have provided valuable input if allowed to.
All too often, Second Amendment opponents claim it no longer applies in the 21st century, or that it is strictly a national government-protected right to have a militia to draw on to form an army in time of war. First, the propensity for tyranny is a human trait that transcends time. Tyranny can be found throughout today’s 21st century civilized world, and we are even witnessing its development in Russia as [President Vladimir] Putin consolidates his executive powers.
Secondly, it is clear that the Bill of Rights was written to protect people against potential threats to their liberty by the national government. The rights are individual rights.
Rand Paul’s attack on Hillary way out of line
In a civilized society, freedom of speech should haves its restrictions. Military personnel, for example, are restricted in their speech about military matters.
At the Benghazi hearing of Secretary Clinton on the terrorist killing of our ambassador, tea party Rep. [Rand] Paul said that if he were president he would have fired her for not reading an email.
This incensed me as being a total abuse of the freedom of speech. It seems that there should be some restriction on such ignorant and arrogant speech by elected officials in a setting like that. Secretary of State Clinton has done an outstanding job for our nation in a position that was too big for the personal management of every detail.
Perhaps someone was negligent in not responding to the email in question or by not passing the email on to a higher authority, and an investigation was in order. But for a junior legislator to express his opinion as [if he were] the elected president of the nation in such a derogative manner is ridiculous, and just as egregious an offense as when another legislator called the president a liar in the Senate chambers.
There should be some standard of speech for elected officials in the official performance of their duties that is a bit above the common level of political campaigning.
Ridiculous to compare Benghazi with Iraq
This is in response to Don Steiner’s attempt to compare the Obama administration’s cover up with the Benghazi attack to George Bush and the Iraq war [Jan. 26 letter].
Saying Republicans have no right to question this because there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq is a typical liberal obfuscation attempting to change the issue. Iraq has absolutely no connection to what happened in Benghazi, so why bring it up? To distract from their own blame, certainly.
To anybody with half a brain, it is obvious the Obama administration blamed an online video for a “spontaneous attack” on our people in Benghazi and pushed this lie for months as Obama claimed “al-Qaida was finished” as he “took out Osama bin Laden.” He must have said that hundreds of times to further his re-election campaign, the press faithfully ignoring the story for the most part.
Well, Mr. Steiner, al-Qaida seems very much alive — not only today but when our ambassador and three others were killed in a well-planned sacking of our embassy.
Now here is the difference.
Mr. Steiner failed to mention that the Iraq war was approved overwhelming at the time by most members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican, including Hillary Clinton. Years of hindsight on Iraq does not help his argument that the Obama team didn’t purposely mislead the public.
Also, Mr. Steiner, Mrs. Clinton failed to refute anything on Benghazi in her testimony, instead shrieking: “What does it really matter now?” At least the Republicans didn’t ever say anything like that. That statement is beyond reprehensible!
On a final note, I wish I had a dollar for every time these liberals still blame Bush for everything. They should give it a rest, but it is all they have.
Marc A. Smalkin
Dream Act an insult to hard-working legals
Well, leave it to [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver to try and ride in and secure more Democratic votes with the Dream Act.
Is it possible that an addle-brained downstate liberal can really believe it is right to take the money of hard-working legal persons to pay for the education of illegal persons? This is an insult to everyone, and especially those who put in the effort to become legal citizens of this country.
Here’s a suggestion, Shelly: Why not pay for this by taxing rich and middle-class white men? That way it doesn’t hurt anyone important. Of course, you will want to exempt legislators and government officials of the Democratic Party.
If proposals like this are not a wake-up call to everyone with any common sense, this country is in very serious trouble.
Amedore: How lucky can one guy get?
Wow. Interesting article, “Amedore: Looking forward” (Jan. 25).
Some guys have all the luck. I’m sure he was hand-chosen by Gentleman [Assemblyman] Jim Tedisco to run for Assembly because of his good looks and “star” quality.
Then he gets a new Senate district drawn up by Republicans who thought he’d be a shoe-in. Now, George Amedore gets a Page One, above-the-fold “man crush” story (color picture and all) by Gazette reporter David Lombardo.
I’m sure George Amedore is a swell guy, but really? Does one person deserve this good fortune?
Still, in spite of the fact that both candidates had strong outside backing and support, it was heartening to see that the will of the people and votes still count for something.
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