I’m scared of guns. I’ve never held one and I don’t want to. With the dual murderous massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde still sickeningly fresh in what’s left of our nation’s conscience, I’m foursquare behind calls for more gun control. Governor Hochul and others are right, in my opinion, looking to prohibit the sale of automatic weapons to anyone under the age of 21. I’m nutty enough to go further and, personally, support banning the sale of Kevlar and prohibiting entry to gun shows for anyone under the age of 21. The last thing some adolescent male jacked up on testosterone needs is to take a walk around a gun show to look at all the pretty things he could buy to amp up the killing spree he’s got on his mind. If he can’t go into a nudie bar or buy a drink legally, then he can’t go shopping for the latest rifle bling.
I’m also a realist, though, and I fear every one of what I consider well-intentioned gun law proposals will get tossed out by a court somewhere along the long trail of American jurisprudence. Every time a court rejects a state, local, or — if they had the guts to do it, federal — gun control law, it’s one more chapter of case law that the next National Rifle Association lawyer will wave around to prove they have the United States Constitution on their side.
Take a look at what the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled just days before Buffalo and a couple of weeks before Uvalde — they threw out a California law banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons to “adults” under the age of 21. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” wrote a judge. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”
I was delighted to see the attorney general take direct action against the leadership of the NRA. They have profited millions of dollars at the expense of NRA members and vendors, and this is not the mission and purpose of the organization. However, I find it difficult to agree with the conclusion that the NRA no longer has a place in our society. I am writing this letter to express my view that dissolving the NRA would not be fair to its members.
ALBANY – State Attorney General Letitia James today filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA, the National Rifle Association.
“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” James declared at a press conference in New York City.
“The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law.”
The proposal to create a Second Amendment “sanctuary county” is an awful idea for a variety of reasons.
The first and simplest reason is that the Second Amendment is NOT under attack. There is no likelihood it will ever be abolished. The U.S. Supreme Court and a vast majority of Americans support the right of citizens to own firearms to hunt and to protect themselves, their families and property.
(The wording in the Constitution that says, ”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State“ has been irrelevant for decades but the belief that citizens have a right to own their own firearms has long been embraced.)
The sanctuary proposal is clearly intended to preclude the implementation of reasonable gun restrictions that a majority of citizens presumably support. (For example, public opinion polls indicate that a majority of Americans oppose the future sale of military assault weapons.)
I write as a gun owner and former hunter who has voted for moderate Republicans in previous elections. (I have also long enjoyed and admired Rick Brockway’s many newspaper columns on outdoor life and hunting. But on this issue I strongly disagree with him.)
Along with many other Americans, for many years I have been alienated by the NRA’s uncompromising opposition to common sense gun control initiatives.
Ironically perhaps, the NRA began after Union generals discovered that their troops fired as many as 1,000 rounds for every bullet that hit a Confederate soldier. They wanted an NRA that would promote better marksmanship in their troops.
During my lifetime the NRA has gone from an organization that mainly promoted marksmanship, hunting and related activities, to a highly political, usually partisan lobby group. Along with a right wing, libertarian ideology, it now represents the gun industry, which is motivated by profits gained from the unregulated sale of firearms, even military assault weapons.
The movement to promote the proposal is represented as a “grass roots” effort. I have strong doubts. Bottom line is this: It is clearly supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
One need only go to the NRA’s homepage and internet messages to see that it endorses the idea, as it did previously in Virginia and elsewhere. Given that organization’s ability to mobilize its membership by propaganda and fear tactics, there may soon be a large number of petition signatures demanding that the county Board of Representatives implement the idea.
A flood of petitions is not a sufficient reason to support the proposal. After reading a May 20, USA Today essay entitled, “NRA Helps Sheriffs Fight Gun Laws in Second Amendment ‘Sanctuaries’,” my doubts were reinforced.
The newly constituted county Board of Representatives should not allow itself to be politicized by this proposal. Inevitably it will be a highly partisan issue. This is bad timing to introduce it.
I can’t imagine an initiative more likely to divide and polarize our newly constituted Otsego County Board than this one.