Tonawanda News

Columns

January 22, 2013

CONFER: New York's anti-gun culture

Tonawanda News — Governor Andrew Cuomo is no doubt a student of the Rahm Emanuel School of Better Government where the motto is “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” His gusto for over-preparedness and over-reaction — which really isn’t a very endearing leadership trait – seen throughout his term (perhaps as a means to market himself as presidential material) was realized yet again as he and his team, in an effort to beat Washington to the punch, forced legislation through the Albany Machine that, in response to the Newtown shootings, allegedly makes New York a much safer place by preventing criminals from possessing firearms and ammunition.

The poorly-devised law (the New York SAFE Act) will have no effect on criminals. Its greatest impact – maybe it’s only impact – will be on law-abiding souls. Coming into 2013, New York already had the toughest gun laws in the nation. But, Cuomo’s overzealousness made them even worse. Now, pistol permit holders have to recertify every 5 years; background checks are needed to buy ammunition; individuals are flagged for buying “large amounts” of ammo; and hundreds of thousands of previously fully-legal weapons need to be registered with the state.

But, for all the bad of Cuomo’s legislation, realize that demonization of gun owners and mutation of the Second Amendment is the culture within our state. Cuomo is only guilty of making matters worse (albeit far worse).

Even so-called conservatives conspire against gun owners in the Empire State. Under Governor George Pataki’s watch the legislature succeeded in making certain methods of possession illegal. Pistol permit fees grew and the handgun ownership age was pushed to 21. He introduced intrusive background checks that more or less defined gun shows as criminal enterprises. He signed legislation that strengthened the penalization for possessing loaded firearms. Pataki even proposed legislation that would have taken away the lifetime pistol license and required renewal every five years … something that became a “win” for Cuomo.

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