I have followed with interest some of the letters referencing our local New York State elected officials(Young and Goodell)' support for repealing the "SAFE Act." I would like to commend them for supporting what I believe is a clear majority opinion in the county. Typical of most gun control advocates who have taken exception, they have no specific rationale for supporting gun control beyond the assumption that it is obvious and that if we all were not such dumb rednecks we would support it too.
It does make sense to support gun control if you ignore the Constitution; disregard the history of previous gun control; agree to give up the ability to protect yourself, your family and your property; support elitist hypocrites and, live in a liberal's dream world where criminals actually follow these laws.
Constitution: If you look at the writing of the Founding Fathers and their concerted fear of losing control over the federal government as well as recent interpretation of the Supreme Court's referencing of the Second Amendment, I believe it is very clear that the average citizen was meant to be given the right to possess firearms for their own protection and as the final constraint on government. Given the importance of all of the Bill of Rights, it would seem to me advocating any action to limit any one of these rights is a very bad precedent to establish. The next right weakened may be more important to you than the Second Amendment. It is established law, leave it the heck alone.
Previous Gun Control Success: Earlier this year, Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal prosecution data, found Chicago, Los Angeles and New York ranked last in federal gun law enforcement in 2012. The districts of Eastern New York, Central California and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes. Can anyone really justify more gun laws when the current laws are not being enforced? We had a 10-year ban on assault weapons that was found to be so ineffective that it was rescinded. The only consistent correlation between gun control and gun violence is driven by the likes of New York and Chicago with some of the strictest laws and the most extreme gun violence. If super anti-gun Attorney General Eric Holder, is not going to prosecute the existing gun laws why would we want to impose more? Only when the existing gun laws are being fully enforced should we even begin any conversation on new laws.
Protection for Yourself/Family/Property: In the 1981 ruling, Warren v. District of Columbia, the Supreme Court ruled that police are not legally obligated to protect citizens from violent crime. The police are well -intentioned but the fact of the matter is there is almost zero chance that the police are going to be there if you are attacked in public or at home. Your protection is in your own hands and even if you do not want to protect yourself - which is your right) - I believe it is unconscionable that you would take that right away from others. I cannot fathom how someone would not do all they could to protect themselves and their family.
Elitist Hypocrites: The real advocates for gun control, the likes of Obama, Cuomo, Pelosi and Bloomberg, are never going to give up being protected by armed guards. Bloomberg, in New York City where gun regulations are as severe as anywhere, is reported to travel with up to eight armed guards. These individuals are the elite and they need armed protection but they would not give the average citizen the same right. This is just the worst kind of hypocrisy and double standard these ultra-liberals represent. Since they are the liberal elite they know what is best for all of us but that doesn't necessarily mean it is best for them.
Common Sense: It seems to me that to be an anti-gun liberal you either need to check your common sense at the door or see the world in an almost childlike fantasy. Gun violence includes things like armed robbery, rape, assault, murder and is committed by individuals that by definition do not respect or obey the law. The concept that a person with mental illness, an armed robber or murderer is going to load his magazine with only seven rounds because of the SAFE Act is absolutely absurd. Can anyone really convince themselves that these gun laws make a darn difference to the criminal? How about the total gun-banning crowd? Yes, let's ban all guns like we have illegal drugs in New York. We all know there are zero illegal drugs available anywhere and drug supply by organized crime is non-existent. Does anyone really believe that a total ban on guns would be effective and that organized crime or anyone with a concerted desire could not get any gun they wanted? Common sense dictates that criminals will ignore the guns laws and like alcohol in the past and drugs today when there is a demand, supply is plentiful.
Summary: I have to chuckle when I think of the unintended consequence of our current anti-gun liberals, Obama and Cuomo. They have done more for the gun industry and gun proliferation than any conservative administration could ever imagine. The gun and ammo industry is absolutely booming.More guns and ammo are flying off the shelves than the industry can anywhere near keep up. No doubt there is widespread hoarding of ammo and particularly assault-type weapons.I am amazed at the new products being advertised that provide for safely burying in the ground guns and ammo for extended periods. There are so many guns out there that it doesn't matter what laws are enacted, just like alcohol during Prohibition and illegal drugs today, guns aren't going away folks.
Maybe we should spend the resources wasted on useless gun laws and put the money into mental health, targeting and intervention of disturbed persons, prosecution of existing gun laws and targeting career criminals. I have no doubt that it would be much more effective use of the money and might actually make a significant difference. Wouldn't take much to be a vastly better investment for taxpayers than the SAFE Act.
Given the likes of Obama and Cuomo, one final thought: The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. - Thomas Jefferson
Rex Tolman is a Jamestown resident.