Governor Cuomo’s Assault On The 2nd Amendment. A Sad Day For All Law-Abiding New Yorkers.

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When it is time to look back on the accomplishments of Andrew Cuomo’s tenure as Governor  quite possibly during a presidential run three years from now – we will be able to give him credit for throwing his full weight behind a new law that criminals will never follow, will create more criminals out of formerly law-abiding people, and brings disrespect for Constitutional freedoms to a new low. This week, the New York State Legislature passed, with strong political pressure from the now-crusading Governor, a victim disarmament bill – referred to commonly, but wrongly, as a “gun control” bill.

The Governor’s newfound interest in disarming New Yorkers is undoubtedly connected to the horrific events in Connecticut last month, and politicians are now tripping over themselves to appear to be “doing something” in response. Talk of “gun control” is everywhere, including in Washington, D.C.; we are now hearing of an impending unilateral action by the President based on the findings of a “study” led by the Vice President. Ironically, it was the Obama Administration that demonstrated a complete lack of “gun control” when it allowed, through the ill-advised “Fast and Furious” operation, firearms to be transported to Mexico, ostensibly so that they could be tracked and assist with anti-drug cartel efforts. One of the “Fast and Furious” weapons was used in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent; and yet the cabinet officer responsible for overseeing the operation, Attorney General Eric Holder, is still serving during Obama’s second term, despite being held in contempt of Congress for his refusal to assist in its investigation. The President should look to “control” his own guns before forcing new restrictions on people who have never used a weapon illegally.

Governor Cuomo spent the first two years of his term implementing change in Albany and championing “transparency”. Even though he left plenty of loopholes for big-government growth and runaway taxation and spending to continue, he was the first leader in Albany in many years to at least talk about real change. As the 2013 political season began, though, he started to sound like he was appealing to the most far-left wing of his party, as if trying to capture delegates in Iowa and New Hampshire. The recent  State of the State speech ignored real issues – most notably the issue of gas drilling, which has the promise of bringing jobs and real opportunities to some of the poorest parts of New YorkState – and instead trotted out the old Democrat mainstays of abortion and guns, among several other non-issues. When the legislative session began, the Governor used an emergency measure to force an immediate vote on his “gun control” bill, not allowing a reasonable amount of time for it to even be read by the legislators – about as un-transparent an act of government as could be imagined. Cuomo boasted of ending “dysfunction” in Albany – but two days into this legislative session, one begins to wonder what the real benefit of a “functional” legislature is.

Sadly, many senators of our own party decided to side with Andrew Cuomo’s popularity over their principles and supported this bill. Senator Lee Zeldin of SuffolkCounty, an Army reserve officer, was absent from the vote due to military service. Zeldin stated that he would have voted against the bill had he been present during the vote. Sen. Zeldin’s military service is fortunate for America but unfortunate for Long Island; the other eight Republican senators representing Nassau and Suffolk caved in to Cuomo’s presidential ambitions and supported the bill. Considering the razor-thin margins by which several senators were re-elected, it is highly likely that Republicans will either go to the polls on primary day to support candidates who will actually stand up for their beliefs, or simply stay home on election day because their party has abandoned them.

As New York Post reporter Fred Dicker noted, this bill will not only restrict Constitutional freedoms in an unreasonable way; it will add one more reason to the long list of reasons why living in New York (and Upstate New York in particular) has simply become too difficult and undesirable, further encouraging people to join the millions who have already left New York for more hospitable states. In the vast rural areas of Upstate New York, the use of firearms as a tool for hunting, sporting and self-defense is a fact of life. Hard as it may be for us Downstaters to imagine – when hunting for food is a strange and foreign-sounding concept, and when the NYPD can respond to a call in five minutes or less – people Upstate live a very different lifestyle, and Governor Cuomo has shown that lifestyle tremendous disrespect. 

While in reality a firearm is nothing more than an instrument that can be used for good or evil like any other, the Governor – who has no shortage of guns, carried by State Troopers, to protect him – considers “gun control” a tool to raise his national profile and further his ambitions. If there was ever a time for Republicans to stop hitting the snooze button and start acting like a party that respects personal freedom and is willing to stand up for it in government at all levels, it is now.

By Paul Hanson.

Board of Directors Member

Brooklyn Young Republican Club.

Going Strong Since 1880.




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