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More than half oppose new gun-control law

Rochester Business Journal
March 8, 2013

More than 60 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll oppose the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, New York's new gun-control law.

Enactment of the NY SAFE Act on Jan. 15 has been hailed by supporters of tougher gun-control measures and decried by opponents. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said immediate action was needed to prevent a run on banned assault weapons while the legislation was pending, used a message of necessity to allow lawmakers to skip the required three-day waiting period for review of legislation before a final vote on it.

The NY SAFE Act broadens the definition of banned assault weapons and reduces the legal size of gun magazines to seven rounds from 10. Among other provisions, the law includes requirements designed to help keep firearms away from mentally ill people and imposes stiffer penalties on those who use guns while committing crimes.

Opponents of the NY SAFE Act have challenged the law in court, targeting its expedited passage. Last Friday, a judge gave the governor and lawmakers until March 11 to make their case for why he should not issue a temporary injunction blocking the new law.

Senate Republicans have pressed for changes to the state's new gun control laws. Cuomo said on Monday that he is open to "technical changes" to fix errors in the legislation but not substantive changes.

Roughly 1,175 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted March 4 and 5.

Do you support or oppose the NY SAFE Act, New York's new gun-control law?
Support: 40%
Oppose: 61%

Do you think Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers were right to expedite the final vote on the gun-control law, eliminating the usual three-day review period?
Yes: 28%
No: 72%

COMMENTS:

This was all about the governor's future in national politics. This legislation wasn’t thought out well, and we need more debate on it.
—Dan Zarpentine

The evidence is clear on so many levels: background checks, limiting the size of magazine clips, restricting certain types of weapons. It all works to reduce violence. Let science rule!
—Brian Kane

This law has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the radical progressive agenda that is being pushed on us by Gov. Cuomo. The ownership of firearms is not a privilege granted by government; it is an individual right that is guaranteed by the Constitution and has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.
—Steve Smiley

It was a rushed law based on recent tragic events. Not enough analysis or feedback from different groups. Doesn't take guns from the hands of criminals.
—John Stapleton, Marathon Engineering

This law is unconstitutional and makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens. This is a slap in the face to all veterans who have fought for our country and our Second Amendment rights. This law will not stop crazy, evil people who intend to commit violent crime because they don't obey laws in the first place. This was a selfish and treasonous act on the part of our "aspiring governor,” and should be repealed.
—David Wagner

The shortened timeline used to pass the "SAFE" act was certainly a smart political move for the supporters of the legislation, but like the act itself, this shortened timeline will do nothing to keep New York residents safer. To criminalize the segment of the population that is perhaps most concerned with the safety of themselves and their neighbors is a knee-jerk reaction at best and a deviant move to disarm the populace at worst. All of our sheriffs and many others in law enforcement oppose the principal tenets of the "SAFE" act, as do those of us who understand our rights as protected by the New York State and United States constitutions. The two redeeming qualities (I use that term very loosely) of the act are the increased penalty for harming any first responder, putting it up to the same level as harming a police officer, as well as stiffer control against having possession of firearms in a home where a convicted criminal or other dangerous individual may gain access to them. Here's hoping that we can shift our culture's preoccupation away from guns and back to the root causes of crime, as well as to gain a clear distinction between the mind of a criminal and the mind of a well-intentioned, reasonable person, who capable of making his or her own decision for how and when to use firearms responsibly.
—Nathan Kauffman, Town Council, Marion

One word: Ridiculous! Cuomo has basically instituted a handgun ban as most semiautomatics have more than a seven-round magazine. New Yorkers are fools for allowing the nanny state to take over. Next will be your First Amendment rights.
—Joe Dattilo

New York already has the toughest gun laws in the country. And the new laws will do nothing to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook. This is nothing more than political grandstanding, which is way easier for them to do than to solve the real problems New York faces!
—George Thomas, Ogden

I don't own any guns, though I am not opposed to them. Gun-control laws are ineffective, so I don't know why we create even more bureaucracy to try to control it. Deaths by shooting will not change no matter what gun-control laws we think will work. I am not sure why Gov. Cuomo thought he could get away with not providing for the three-day waiting period for review of the proposed law. That action will probably invalidate the law he is trying to implement; so it seems he did all that for show and not for any real legitimate purpose for the protection of New York citizens.
—Mike Kaser, Penfield

Before we take the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, we need to take them away from criminals and mentally deranged people. This should include most felons, people taking anti-psychotic drugs, Rosie O'Donnell, Chris Matthews and politicians.
—Bill Lanigan

People are fooling themselves to think more laws will make anyone safer. Criminals are already breaking the law; does Cuomo really believe violent criminals will stop to count the number of cartridges in the clip? Or to fill out paperwork and wait? It is law-abiding citizens who are hurt by such laws, and crippled in their ability to defend themselves and their families. Worse, by tricking the public into thinking a law on paper makes them safer, it distracts from doing what really can make a difference. Put armed guards in half the schools, and then give parents a real choice where to send their children. Common sense will win out, not midnight, closed-door, horse-traded legislation. S.A.F.E.? "Sponsor Andy's Future Election."
—Diane Harris, president, Hypotenuse Enterprises Inc.

You are violating the Second Amendment, which you took an oath to protect. You should be tried for treason.
—Paul Grande

If the Legislature and governor had given any substantive thought to this issue, they might have realized how nonsensical it truly is. Seven bullets in a 10-slot weapon? Even law-abiding, lawful permit-carrying, church-going, ethical people will have more than a little temptation staring at those empty chambers. And, for what earthly reason is this now the law of our state? Do they, our erstwhile lawmakers, have a shred of doubt that those who would use that gun to harm people would fill the magazine to capacity? This doesn't even qualify as "feel-good" legislation in my opinion. It is simply ludicrous!
—Carol G. McManus, Carol G. McManus Consulting LLC

We must reduce the violence in this culture, in the games, movies, TV, etc. We need greater mental health support so people can manage their anger, etc.
—Mike Bleeg, Strategic Results

The law is wrong and a clear violation of our Second Amendment rights, and Cuomo has arrogantly abused the governor's office executive power by pushing this unconstitutional law through in the manner that he did. Either of those illegal actions is reason enough to have Cuomo to resign. He's a disgrace to our state.
—Michael Charland, Webster

I am strongly opposed to the gun-control law expedited through the New York State legislature by Gov. Cuomo and Democratic Party leaders. The gun-control law punishes all gun owners for the actions of a few criminals and persons with mental health problems. Also, in my opinion, the current law is illegal. I support 100 percent background checks on all gun purchases, stronger enforcement of existing gun laws and require that guns be locked up when not in use. The actions of Gov. Cuomo and Democratic Party leaders regarding guns have harmed the state of New York. Their ill-conceived actions have divided residents of the state at a time when they should be working with all the citizens of the state to identify and implement solutions to problems. If the governor is unable to rethink the appropriateness of his actions regarding gun-control, we, the citizens of the state, need to (tell) him that he serves at our discretion.
—Doug Flood

Seven-round magazines are not manufactured for most popular handguns. Even if you say that 10-round magazines are OK, are you going to have police stop citizens and have them remove their magazines so they can count seven rounds? The law cannot not be practically and, more important, safely enforced.
—Michael E. Pollock

While imperfect, this is a step in the right direction. We have been held hostage by the NRA and Co. for far too long. Let's fix this law so it makes sense and works for law enforcement.
—Dave Vanable, Honeoye Falls

I support the law's intention, but neither the process used to pass it nor some of its details.
—David Lamb, Rochester

This law represents all that's wrong with the New York legislation system. Not a word about mental health (or a dollar), not a peep about letting law enforcement use what they need. But let's allow Hollywood to shoot 'em up with so-called assault weapons because we wouldn't want to lose the revenue. What about violent video games and films as a contributor to the current carnage? I guess that doesn't really factor in, does it? Seven bullets instead of 10? Let's obsolete the inventory of gun and sporting good stores, provide zero methods to enforce this, and depend on the "law-abiding" gun owner to just load seven rounds. Worst, this kind of law will not do what it purports to be all about. I have no problem with better background checks as long as the system is quick, with appropriate information—that doesn't turn into another New York "authority" with high salaries and little else to show otherwise. I can live with a 10-round clip, but let ranges and clubs have the larger capacity clips or allow those clips via permitting of some kind. Any new gun control law should be about one thing only—effectiveness. Even if this law survives the constitutional challenges and is implemented, enforced and obeyed by all the gun owners in New York State, this will do nothing to stop the next mass shooting—at a hospital, a mall, a city street or wherever. That's because it likely won't have any effect on the kind of person who turns into a mass shooter. I voted for the governor and like most of what he has done. But this is so insipid as to defy logic. If this is the best that our sausage-making elected officials can come up with, then maybe the time is now to consider a statewide referendum system. Get rid of the legislators and maybe we could get something done that's actually effective.
—Bob Fischl, Honeoye Falls

Many responsible gun owners aren't aware that criminals’ primary source of weapons is from responsible gun owners, attained by break-ins and through casual sales. This was the case with Newtown, Conn., and West Webster. If we eliminate the supply of assault weapons, we make it that much harder for criminals.
—Joanne Greene-Blose

New York State already had some of the most Second Amendment restricting laws in the country on the books. The tragic shootings that occurred would not have been deterred by the new laws on the books. Has anyone held our penal system responsible for letting the (Webster) shooter out of jail after the crime he committed? That's the real crime. I place direct blame for that event squarely on the fools who think jail is for rehabilitation and not punishment. Will the same inattentive response prevail when the guy who raped a comatose woman is let free and rapes again? Our government is overreaching its bounds with restrictions and laws for taxpaying, law-abiding citizens. The path of least resistance for Cuomo with the most noise is to impose his misguided and Communist policy on people too busy paying exorbitant taxes to mount the resistance that this issue deserves. I think a good compromise would be to have dictator Cuomo’s laws valid in New York City where his dimwitted mush-heads live and let the rest of New York State live as free Americans as the Constitution intended. There are and have been many restrictive gun laws on the books. We don't need any of them if you just do this: quadruple the punishment for crimes committed with a gun; any crime, any gun, anybody, automatically! No pleas, no breaks, no parole, just straight-up Attica time. This way, you punish the criminals.
—Lou Romano

I'm opposed, but it doesn't matter what I or anybody thinks, as the law is unconstitutional and unenforceable as a practical matter without starting a bloodbath!
—Corrin Strong, Genesee Graphic

Any law that reduces gun violence saves lives. This is not 1776 or 1783. We have proved for more than 200 years that our democracy works without violence. We do not need armed citizens anymore to guard against our government. We need voters to participate in protecting this great nation.
—David Kluge

Every New Yorker deserves the chance to speak up about the laws before them. The three-day review period was instituted for a reason, not to be pushed aside for a few.
—Ken Wood, City Blue Imaging Services

Best thing out of Albany in years!
—Ralph Zaccario, Penfield

This act is just unbelievable to me. Last time I looked, we had a Constitution and a process by which things are accomplished and voted on AFTER due process. One has to wonder how measures placed in the law were even thought out—if they were at all. Why in this state and country are the law-abiding citizens getting taken to task? Are Cuomo's and senators’ family members more important than mine to keep safe from criminals who don’t give a darn about laws anyway? Do they really think a criminal is going to think about a 10-round magazine vs. a seven- or 30-? What happens when gun manufacturers don't make a seven-round magazine for your concealed carry weapon. Guess your CCW is now illegal, and yes you are now a criminal (with a permit)—mind boggling! Let’s make it more confusing in this state to do anything. In my opinion, he should be removed from office for this act against the Constitution that he swore to uphold. This is nothing more than a political move and had nothing to do with life safety. Mr. Cuomo, be as diligent with New York State economy, jobs creation, respecting our veterans and tax reduction as you are with this NY "Un-SAFE” Law. “It doesn't take 10 bullets to kill a deer.” That's because they don't shoot back!
—D. Topian, president, Westminster Real Estate Advisors

I believe the saying is "haste makes waste,” and it could not be truer here. We will spend more time and money trying to get this bill right than if we had taken the necessary steps to pass, which includes bringing in stakeholders such as gun owners in on the deliberations. But then Gov. Cuomo would not have been able to have one-upped President Obama on this issue and the national media may not have paid as much of attention.
—Peter Short, Pittsford

About time something got done quickly in government. Too many gun victims.
—M. Curtain, Rochester

Like most things in life, this law is neither black nor white. Having said that, I believe it is a beginning and should be worked on to get the best out of it and get the "emotion" out of it. Clearly, something has to be done.
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield

The Founding Fathers felt it was so important that they made the right to bear arms the Second Amendment only after freedom of speech. Some in law enforcement have emptied their weapon without even hitting a criminal; for the state to rush through legislation against legal law-abiding citizens is an abuse of power, in my opinion.
—Nigel Heaton, Marni Spring Corp.

The push on this outrageous gun law was purely political on Cuomo's part. We don't need more laws in New York State that hurt only the law-abiding citizens. Clearly this law does not address the root causes of past mass killings and will do nothing to curb further violence of this type in our state. Additionally, if there are going to be any sensible gun laws put in place that actually get to the heart of the problem, they will need to be a federal mandate that forces all states to comply. There are way too many states in our union that have little or no gun laws in place. Something better has to be done for sure, and a lot of the solution will have to deal with mentally impaired people and gun owners who just leave their weapons and ammunition lying out for anyone to grab. The NRA is way off base trying to sell the people that the solution is that we should all be carrying guns to protect ourselves from bad people. They would have us going back to the old Wild West days where shootouts were commonplace. And there are a lot of people out there who have no business carrying a gun. No, we need more responsible, thinking and good planning using ideas from everyone instead of just a couple of lawmakers playing God providing only what they think!
—Grant Osman

I lost all respect for Gov. Cuomo and will not be supporting his re-election as governor based on this single piece of legislation. I had thoughts of joining the Democrats for his run as a presidential candidate in 2016—even though I am a Republican. All that changed with the NY SAFE Act.
—David Weaver, U.S. Sanitizers Inc.

When will politicians recognize that restricting guns or any other freedom only restricts the law-abiding person? The criminal or law abuser therefore retains the freedom and his or her ability to further abuse the law is enhanced. Polls and feel-good actions have unfortunately taken over how America functions. Intelligence and logic no longer is being applied. And politicians only care about protecting their jobs, and the good of the country be damned.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield 

The law does not restrict the use of standard guns and rifles. It restricts the use of assault guns. The people who are against that are not willing to take responsibility for gun ownership. Every time someone is given a right, someone else loses a right.
—Donald A. Dinero, TWI Learning Partnership

This process and the resulting law is the nearest thing to tyranny our government has imposed on us. The process is beyond arrogant and demeaning to legislators and citizens, and the content poorly researched, framed and written. The statistics are clear. Outlawing guns will not stop gun-caused deaths. If it did, then Chicago would be a paradise as opposed to a killing ground. A year ago, I thought Cuomo was trying to be a responsible governor. Now his true colors are showing, and they are not pretty.
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan

I voted for Cuomo because he sounded like a tough, no-nonsense politician who would take control of out of control spending. I never dreamed he would turn into this kind of liberal trying to position himself to the left of Obama. The gun law was poorly conceived and poorly written, and worst of all it will have no impact on crime or preventing future tragedies like Webster or Newtown. All it does is kill more jobs here like the Remington factory in Ilion—how long do you think they'll stick around now that most of what they make there has been declared illegal for sale in New York? Cuomo should admit it was a mistake and revise the law to go after criminals, not law-abiding citizens.
—Bob Sarbane

All rights are abridged. Advocates of a totally unrestricted right to own any weaponry under the Second Amendment are asking for an exemption that does not exist for free speech, search and seizure, eminent domain, etc. Reading the words of gun advocates is unsettling when they demand to have unrestricted access, as if this is the first and only time that the legislatures and the courts and have identified limits on natural rights. Enlightenment philosophers, such as John Locke and Rousseau—some of the original proponents of natural rights—acknowledged that unrestricted exercise of our natural rights causes chaos, where the strong exercise their rights at the expense of the weak and postulated that citizens developed government to balance and protect individual rights.
—Lola Kelly

There are significant differences between the New York City area and the rest of New York State, in regards to the safe use and control of weapons—as well as many other areas. Is it possible to have different regulations for the New York City area, which is both more liberal politically and in favor of stricter gun controls? Differences in nearby state laws make it difficult or impractical to enforce state wide laws now.
—P. Lambiase 

I believe in the general spirit of the act. However, many details were not considered properly, including costs, as the governor rushed the legislation through the Assembly and Senate. Hopefully a bill to consider corrections will be proposed in the very near future.
—Craig Densmore, Penn Yan

Another case of let's approve it first and read it later. It worked so well with Obamacare.
—Craig Chormann, Quadrant Moulding and Supply

This process demonstrates how bad laws are passed. When a tragic event happens, we should take the time to understand the true cause before we rush through legislation. In the final analysis, criminals don't obey laws. Why would we think they'd obey this one?
—Todd Baker, Pioneer Print & Copy

When are politicians going to learn that when criminals and/or deranged people commit crimes with guns, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is not the answer?
—Frank Gerham Jr.

All around us, shootings occur every day, causing injuries and deaths. It is the free access to guns, etc. that allows this to happen. Constricting the availability of guns would reduce their indiscriminate use, and many injuries and deaths. The costs to us taxpayers, police, court systems and hospital bills are enormous. Maybe those who insist on free availability of guns should pay the necessary taxes, to release those of us who do not own guns from unnecessary tax burdens. It would help to get local, state and national budgets balanced by removing the human sacrifices of the NRA. Those who want to have guns should join the National Guard (the modern name for “militia”) and take courses before being released for hunting in the wilderness, which I am supporting. Uncontrolled hunting for humans must be stopped!
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting

Calling it the SAFE Act just illustrates the contempt of the governing class for the governed. The law certainly does not make me feel any safer. I do not think criminals and crazies will comply with the law. The fact that the Cuomo law does not properly exempt police while Cuomo advocates exceptions for actors makes me feel less safe.
—Jack Weider

Another typical over-reaction on the part of lawmakers! Aren't there enough gun laws on the books already? Law breakers and the mentally unstable don't follow the law, so what good does this law do, except to punish law-abiding citizens?
—Keith B. Robinson, Diamond Packaging

There is no doubt that the events that apparently precipitated the knee-jerk passage of the SAFE Act are truly a horrific tragedy. With that said, the SAFE Act goes well beyond what is reasonable or defensible in its attempts to "legislate" additional safety. Most illogical is the seven-bullet limit. Lawmakers—and Gov. Cuomo—seem to have lost touch with the reality that deranged persons who wish to inflict major harm on innocent people won't be slowed or deterred by bullet limits. In fact, so many other everyday items could be used as lethal weapons instead, things such as cars, gasoline, matches, power tools, chemicals. Will all of these commonplace items be next for legislation that effectively punishes those people who use the products for proper, legitimate purposes? The NY SAFE Act has far overstepped the lines of reason and propriety—it needs to be completely overhauled, and approached from a place of reason and reality, not just fear and reactionism.
—Christopher Burns, Marketing Strategy Consultant

Politics at its pathetic worst—no solutions, just headlines.
—Marty Crosley, Tarjac Inc.

As usual, Gov. Cuomo and the state Legislature are out of control. They and judges like Jonathan Lippman are partially at fault for this senseless violence. The piece of garbage in Webster who murdered those first responders should have been executed when he bashed his grandmother’s skull with a hammer in the 1980s. The death penalty for this type of murder should have been carried out. That’s what Cuomo, the courts and the Legislature should be focusing on. Furthermore, what about curbing violence the entertainment industry spews out? The Quentin Tarantinos of the world who produce this violence and filth should be publically admonished by the politicians. Also, all governmental pension funds should pull out of these pathetic entertainment companies. The entertainment industry violence affects the approximately 3.3 million severely mentally ill in the U.S. Instead, Cuomo and Sheldon Silver are calling for an exemption from the gun law for the entertainment industry. What hypocrites! Also, to criminalize a law-abiding gun owner who accidently puts eight bullets in a 10-round magazine is a travesty. Finally, to pass this gun bill in the dead of night without proper due diligence is arrogant, unconstitutional and dictatorial.
—John Rynne, president, Rynne, Murphy & Associates Inc.

Andrew Cuomo used dictatorial powers to ram through the unread bill with as little as 15 minutes notice to lawmakers. The bill is not compatible with his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He also violated the New York Constitution by not allowing a three-day review period based on the flimsiest rationale.
—George Dounce

It is about time that somebody step up to exert some control over assault rifles and multi-shell cartridges. They have no place in civilian hands, especially in this country!
—Hutch Hutchison, In T'Hutch Ltd.

I think that the issue of guns is so emotionally charged that it is next to impossible to have a rational dialogue about how they are a problem. So, I believe no amount of time would allow for a healthy solution and that strong leadership was required.
—Jim DeLuca

I support hunters and the right to bear reasonable firearms. I gratefully accept the venison that my friends who hunt share with me, but citizens do not need automatic weapons at their disposal. International studies readily demonstrate that in countries where these types of weapons are restricted, the rate of mass shootings is minimal compared with the United States. Lastly, the notion that these laws are being enacted so that the government is able to track who has guns and will someday come to take them away is preposterous and borders on paranoia or some other form of hysteria.
—Greg Reynolds

Another attempt to erode the Constitution and take away freedom from all Americans. I don't like this state or our formerly great country anymore, but will fight to protect myself and family to the bitter end.
—Daniel Mossien

I also believe that this law SHOULD apply to movie and TV sets. If we don't want to continue to push a violent culture, why allow it to bombard us in these parts of our cultural repertoire?
—Jane Kress

It's for criminals and against the honest citizen. If continued, will provide another class of criminals—people who believe in the Second Amendment.
—John L. Sackett Jr.

Any law that's passed in the dark of night and without a mandatory review period is surely both poorly written and ill conceived.
—David Schiffhauer

There are many elements of the NY SAFE Act that are credible and worthy of discussion, review and legislation. However, slamming through legislation that makes legally purchased property (guns and magazines) illegal without any grandfather clause is unconstitutional—and irresponsible. This entire exercise was political grandstanding by the governor. Do you think the people committing these horrible crimes with guns (e.g., Sandyhook, Aurora, etc.) care if their gun has a legal magazine capacity? Its law-abiding citizens (like me) that had to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on new magazines with limited capacities to make my once legal handguns legal again. Most semiautomatic handguns do not have an option to use a seven-round magazine—even if the owner tried to find one! Now it forces law-abiding citizens who have already been subjected to the country's most rigorous handgun permitting process to sell their once-legal guns to remain legal. There are many valid improvements that can be made to existing gun laws. We are trying to address complex issues of violence in our society. The NY SAFE Act is the functional equivalent of trying to precisely remove a cancerous brain tumor with a backhoe.
—Bryan Lubel

NY SAFE Act: political grandstanding by Gov. Cuomo.
—Brian Hegedorn 

Laws that are pushed through without review and input from the constituents are usually bad law to begin with. This law is simply a political move by Cuomo in his quest to be the "first" to pass a gun control bill after the murders in Sandy Hook. Politics trumps any attempt at passing well thought out law. I suspect most of it will eventually be thrown out by either a state or federal court. So many legislators, including Cuomo, who went to law school and don't know the first damn thing about writing laws that will pass constitutional muster. Idiots all!
—Al Kempf

This is a classic example of government overreach perpetrated by politicians that prey on the emotions of an uninformed electorate. There is no evidence that this law that was rammed through without the normal process will reduce senseless shootings. Innocent legal permit holders that are law-abiding citizens utilizing their second amendment rights are penalized while criminal behavior won't be affected.
—Todd Black

I believe we must let the people speak before we enact laws that challenge our constitutional rights.
—Rick DiPasquale

Let’s learn from experience: From the Wall Street Journal: Dec 26, 2012; by Joyce Lee Malcolm: “Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control.” Ms. Malcolm, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School, is the author of several books including "Guns and Violence: The English Experience," (Harvard, 2002). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323777204578195470446855466.html Summary from the article: We aren't alone in facing this problem. Great Britain and Australia, for example, suffered mass shootings in the 1980s and 1990s. Both countries had very stringent gun laws when they occurred. Nevertheless, both decided that even stricter control of guns was the answer. Their experiences can be instructive. In 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9 percent in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of more than 40 percent in assaults and 20 percent in sexual assaults. What to conclude? Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don't provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems. I would like to believe our elected officials would engage experts in the field that would impact so many law-abiding citizens versus acting as the Lone Ranger. One last item, how are we going to stop violence when the entertainment industry has such an influence on our children? Shame on Gov. Cuomo to permit exclusion of this in his bill. I question his principles and values and concern about his other actions or lack of action on other important topics. I hope my comment will encourage others to provide facts so we can all learn and grow to evolve a practical outcome.
—Tony Ilacqua

The "middle-of-the-night" mentality that dictated the speed with which this legislation was pushed through has resulted in a lack of input from all constituencies concerned. NY SAFE is probably one of the most poorly constructed, anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-mental health impingements on the rights of NY's citizens that has ever crossed a governor's desk. You can only assume the hoped-for end result is the elimination of all firearms here in New York State, the disconnect with reality of that position being the icing on the cake.
—Andrea Lehr, Lehrsports

This law is filled with bad ideas. The anti-gun lobby has wanted an excuse to pass a law like this for years. Newtown gave them the excuse they needed. (Never waste a crisis.) So they pulled out their wish list and got everything they wanted. Cuomo should be ashamed of the way this law was passed without a chance for any public comment. Seven bullets per clip? How did they come up with that number? It makes no sense! Even advocates for the law admit it won't prevent another Newtown. This is just one more big step by “Big Brother” to take away our rights. If you like this law, just remember that when they take away your rights on an issue that is important to you. I do not own a gun and never have. But now I'm beginning to think I might need one someday.
—Dennis Ditch, Delta Square Inc.

The arm-twisting and dark of night forcing this through shows very plainly George Washington was right: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
—Jeff Magee, J.M. Consulting Services

Here is the resolution that the Ontario County Conservative Party passed. In a meeting of the executive committee of the Ontario County Conservative Party, it was resolved that: The Ontario County Conservative Party condemns the recently enacted, SAFE Act. Little or no public input was encouraged or considered by either house of the legislature, they being; the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. The law was introduced, voted upon and signed into law in such a manner and in such a period of time that it disallowed the opportunity for the public to read, evaluate, consider and comment upon the bill. We consider that the law infringes greatly upon our right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, to wit: “As passed by the Congress: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” We, the executive committee of the Ontario County Conservative Party, representing the members of the Ontario County Conservative Party of New York consider the SAFE Act an abomination, and an act of dictatorial legislation. This law makes a mockery of the rights of law-abiding citizens and their unalienable rights as protected by the Constitution of the United States of America and does nothing to prevent the illegal use of firearms by criminal segments of our population. We believe that laws regulating the use of firearms which are already on the books should and must be enforced; another new law being unnecessary as it does not address criminal activities but, as stated, tramples upon the rights and activities of law-abiding citizens of the state of New York. We encourage legislators, from all parties, to stand with us and protect the law of the land; that second of 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, which insures the protection of our remaining nine amendments of our nation’s constitution that are known collectively as the “Bill of Rights.” The Bill of Rights were included in the original Constitution of the United States to guarantee the rights of the individual to be free of oppression from a tyrannical government intent upon denying the people life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We encourage protest of, and peaceful non-compliance to what we believe is the State’s violation of our Second Amendment Rights. This resolution adopted by the executive committee Feb. 13, in the year of our Lord 2013.
—Michael F. Kloppel, Chairman; Michael Evangelista, vice-Chairman Laurene Holcomb; Secretary Mark DeRuyter; Treasurer Michael F. Kloppel, Chairman Ontario County,  Conservative Party, Canandaigua

3/8/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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