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NY Gun Law Rally

Gun rights activists hold signs during a Second Amendment rally in June 2013 outside the Capitol in Albany.

The U.S. Constitution is our nation's fundamental law, providing rights and protection to the citizen's of this country along with codifying the core values of its people. Over 200 years ago, John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton penned a series of essays that are now know as the Federalist Papers, one of the most important documents of our history. In the Bill of Rights, the First and Second Amendments are in that order because our forefathers have the foresight and wisdom to foresee the importance of those rights for our country; that line of thinking is sadly lacking by many politicians today. Too many times politics are based on "who" is right, not "what" is right for our state or our country. Here in New York state that approach is very evident by a bill recently sent to the Senate Rules Committee. This a direct result of Democrats feeling emboldened after the election results to push another anti-gun, anti-rights agenda that Cuomo and Co. in Albany are so fond of.

Senate Bill 9191, currently in the Rules Committee, is in essence a bill that would require current pistol permit owners or initial applicants to submit one year of internet searches and three years of social media searches/postings prior to approval of a handgun permit. This bill as written should make ALL New Yorker's stand up and take notice as it is not just an infringement/violation of gun rights but basic rights under the Constitution as well. Any politician or public officer that takes the oath of office swears to uphold the Constitution of the United States and yet the author of this bill, state Sen. Kevin Parker, is not living up to that oath. Parker "feels it may prevent mass shootings," but he offers no proof to substantiate that statement. At present there is documented data that there are 14.5 million pistol permit owners nationwide. Homicides committed by those permit holders is at a rate of .02 per 100,000 people; by contrast the homicide rate (a criminal act) is at a rate of 4.62 per 100,000 people. Coincidentally, prior to the SAFE Act, in New York state and the United States, gun violence rates have been declining since 2005; the three decades prior had much higher homicide rates from guns nationally.

Other supporters of this bill have voiced their support saying "it may keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers." Once again these supporters offer no proof, just what they think or feel. Currently there is federal legislation (commonly referred to as The Lautenberg Amendment passed in 1997) that prohibits a convicted domestic abuser from possessing a firearm. When a gun is purchased in New York state, a background check is performed, and if approved, the buyer must fill out a 4473 form that asks questions about your fitness to buy a gun. New York state already has the toughest gun laws nationally; why do we need a redundancy of laws on the books?

In this situation we have a senator drafting a bill that will impact the rights of millions of people and supposedly keep guns out of the hands of violent people and yet Senator Parker has been arrested for crimes of violence! Based on that fact alone Senator Parker would not qualify for a pistol permit license. With that line of reasoning couldn't we come to the conclusion that the fox wants to guard the henhouse?

In 2005 Parker was arrested for punching an officer that issued a parking citation. In 2008, a female aide of Parker's disagreed with him, he smashed her glasses, and she filed charges. In 2009 Parker was charged with felony and misdemeanor criminal mischief and assault after destroying a photographer's camera and breaking the finger of the photographer. In 2010 he was in chambers with other Senators and launched into a profane tirade and was nearly forcibly removed. How in good conscience can anyone can anyone conduct themselves in the is manner and then introduce legislation that potentially will investigate the conduct of millions of people? Taxpaying people (not arrested) would have to subject themselves to scrutiny and yet this politician is still in office?

A recent article in the Syracuse Post Standard, by Roy S. Gutterman, referenced the fear of "the slippery slope" in regards to the recent fracas at the White House with Jim Acosta and the denial of First Amendment rights. This legislation is at best chilling as it could be a violation of the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendments. Who sets the parameters for the internet searches and disseminates the information when collected? Are the persons reviewing the searches professionally trained and who foots the bill? Let me guess, more surcharges or taxes from Albany to pay for this? Currently there are some instances of guns being removed (SAFE Act) when the person recommending the removal has neither the educational, professional or clinical training to do so.

The Second Amendment is probably the most heavily regulated Amendment we have and exercising it carries a great deal of responsibility. Why does the Democratic political monster in Albany continuously come up with ways to take guns away from law abiding, taxpaying citizens who want to exercise and enjoy their rights? Cities such as Chicago and Detroit, traditionally under rule from the Democrats, have very tough gun laws and yet experience a great deal of homicides due to guns; Syracuse in some ways is strikingly similar. This law, like the SAFE Act, is nothing more than a thinly veiled act of attrition to wear down gun owners and try to make them give up their sport. Of course if you disagree, you are labeled an "extremist Conservative" by Cuomo and there is no room for you in New York state. If law-abiding gun owners are required to provide internet searches and social media activity then ALL politicians in Albany from Cuomo on down should also. After all, what could a politician in Albany possibly have to hide?

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Auburn resident Tom Adessa has written numerous articles for the New York Outdoor News and the Conservationist Magazine.

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