by Leon Archer
I have written very little in regard to NY SAFE, Andrew Cuomo’s gun control legislation. I say Andrew Cuomo’s, because the rank and file of New Yorkers had no say nor input into its creation or passage. It was ill-advised and ill-conceived, and in spite of Cuomo’s claim that the majority of New York Residents are in favor of it, the law has been ill-received. At least 52 of the 62 counties of New York State have passed resolutions stating their opposition to the act, most asking for the law to be repealed. Sheriffs claim they will not enforce NY SAFE, and some County DA’s say they will not prosecute NY SAFE cases. That hardly indicates the rousing support the governor claimed his law has.
I went to Albany a couple weeks ago with other sportsmen on a bus chartered by the Onondaga Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. A thousand or more people gathered outside the Capitol Building to protest the law after speaking to legislators, voicing their complaint personally. Cuomo refuses to recognize that his NY SAFE Act is very unpopular across the state. His only comment is that the law might need a little tweaking. No Governor Cuomo, this law needs to be repealed. You are not our king, you are our servant.
I don’t believe that there are very many people who were not horrified, touched and saddened by the shootings at Newtown, CT. I can’t imagine what it was like for the families affected, and I would love to find a reasonable way to prevent such a thing from ever happening again, but nothing that has been put into law or proposed for legislation would have prevented what took place or will stop a similar event from happening again. Bad people do bad things, and bad people will always find a way to get a gun or build a bomb. Laws mean nothing to them. The threat of mortal punishment is irrelevant to them.
The first and second amendments were not put into the U.S. Constitution by our founding fathers without good reason. Bad reasoning today should not be allowed to infringe on them, but grieving people, toadying politicians, and foolish do-gooders are all too ready to give away our precious, hard won rights. The Constitution is greater and more important than all the tragedies that some people would use as an excuse to emasculate it. The day that is no longer true will be the day that all that is America will die.
Hysteria, such as followed on the heels of Newtown, has never produced anything good in our history, but it has brought about incredibly evil things, and it has stripped people of their civil rights. Remember the Japanese people on the west coast who were taken out of their homes and put into concentration camps after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? They had done nothing wrong, they were intensely patriotic Americans, their men and their boys volunteered in record numbers for the armed forces, and they suffered horrible casualties. AND yet, to complete the shameless travesty, they were never properly compensated for the loss of property that had been seized by “loyal” Americans when they were incarcerated, all because of hysteria and all for nothing gained. It is not the only time the Constitution has been contravened, but I will let it rest at that. You get the picture.
The present demands by the hysterical for Infringing on rights guaranteed by the first and second amendments, singularly or in combination, is not being well-received by a significant segment of the nation’s population, and the perpetrators are incapable of conceiving why this is so. The great outpouring of sympathy and support the grieving people in Newtown received is now rapidly dissipating, and an undercurrent of anger and disgust is growing among citizens who can be fiercely protective of their own civil rights.
Hysteria is like a disease. It spreads and becomes an epidemic, infecting the unprotected. Strong medicine is often the only way to combat a serious, life threatening disease, and waiting too long may lead to death. The present hysteria over guns and “gun control” is producing outrageous laws, many of which will eventually end up in front of the Supreme Court unless they are repealed by cooler heads, which is likely to happen as legislators and governors who voted for them get voted out of office. That would be pretty effective medicine. Unfortunately, as so often happens, this epidemic is having its greatest effect on children and their minds, and worst of all, it’s taking place in schools where they should be safe and secure. Unfortunately the disease is being encouraged and spread by teachers and administrators.
I just want to establish that I have always had a great deal of respect for public school teachers, and the role they have played in our nation. I have always believed that overall they were a force for good in our society. But due to recent national events, my confidence in educators and our educational system has been badly eroded.
Teachers aren’t gods, and schools are not courts; they should not have the power to strip away a person’s civil rights, be he child or adult. They should not be in the business of harassing innocent children, trying to make them out to be terrorists or potential mass murderers for the most ridiculous of reasons. It is time the rest of us say enough is enough already.
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