Second Amendment

Hey, New Yorkers--are you feeling SAFEr yet?

Me, neither.

In fact, quite the opposite.

Today, NYS State Senator Mike Nozzolio addressed a crowd of about 200 at the second meeting of the United Gun Owners of New York State at the South Seneca Sportsmen's Club in Ovid, Seneca County. In addition to recounting how the SAFE Act was passed and signed by Emperor Cuomo within 24 hours (while no definitive decisison has been made on hydrofracking in NYS despite having been studied and commented on for five years), he reiterated a couple of the points he made at the big rally against the SAFE Act in Albany on February 28:

  • We don't have a constitutional right to hunt deer; we have a constitutional right to bear arms.
  • We're using our First Amendment rights to stand up for our Second Amendment rights.

I tend to think of his second point in reverse....there's a reason why the Second Amendment is the Second Amendment and not the fourth or the eighth or whatever.  That's because that right to keep and bear arms that shall not be infringed—what's hard to understand about that?—needed to follow immediately on the heels of the First in order to defend those First Amendment rights.  The placement of the right to keep and bear arms was not random.

The senator also spent at least 20 minutes answering good questions from the audience.

Between Nozzolio's remarks and the other information provided at the meeting, some practical steps that us ordinary folks can take emerged:

  • It may not be practical to repeal the SAFE Act, although repeal would be Nozzolio's as well as most people's preference—the problem is, of course, that an awful lot of people who voted for the SAFE Act to begin with would have to change their minds...and Cuomo would veto a repeal in any event.  But it's that magical time of the year—budget season in Albany. Executing (so to speak) the SAFE Act would cost state taxpayers $36M this year.  Nozzolio says one way to stop the SAFE Act is to defund it. Contact your assemblymen and women and state senators—even the barking moonbats like Babs Lifton—and tell them you want the SAFE Act defunded. THIS CONTACT NEEDS TO BE MADE IN THE NEXT 72 HOURS. These budgetary issues are being settled right now.
  • You may or may not have heard of Assemblyman Felix Ortiz's attempt to force gun owners to purchase $1M liability insurance (does this sound like another recent law forcing an insurance purchase?). Since there is now a co-sponsor in the Senate, it's possible that this could actually get legs, but right now it's still in the insurance committee.  It needs to die in committee.  Here you go (click to embiggen):
  • Senator Nozzolio said that the courts may be the best chance we have of overturning the SAFE Act. Make yourself knowledgable about what's going on in the courts.
  • If you haven't yet joined the NRA and/or the NYS Rifle & Pistol Association and S.C.O.P.E. (Shooters Committee on Political Education, a volunteer organization protecting gun ownership and Second Amendment rights of New York citizens), please consider doing so. If you get on the NYSRPA and SCOPE mailing lists, you will be kept up to date on all the latest concerning the SAFE Act.
  • Check the United Gun Owners of NYS website and Facebook page often—things are changing fast. 

By the way, at Assemblywoman Lifton's town hall meeting in Trumansburg in February, she was asked why the Second Amendment was even part of the Bill of Rights. Her answer?  It was there because Americans needed to defend themselves against the British in 1775.


NYS families are invited to support firearms rights Sunday afternoon

New York State Senator Michael Nozzolio will be the featured speaker at United Gun Owners of New York State’s March 10 meeting. 

All New Yorkers concerned about Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented attack on our Second Amendment rights, whether or not they own firearms, should attend. Families are welcome.
United Gun Owners of New York State was founded to oppose New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s hastily adopted NY SAFE ACT. Members share the view that Governor Cuomo’s political grandstanding has made law-abiding New Yorkers into criminals, without any reason, and without making our state any safer.
There is no cost to join United Gun Owners of New York State. Membership is open to all supporters of the Second Amendment.

The meeting will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2:00 pm (daylight savings time), at the South Seneca Sportsmen’s Club, 6894 Yarnell Road, Ovid, New York.
Follow them on Twitter @GunOwnersofNYS.
Questions?  Contact Rob Schoffel at (607) 279-2013

Bitter clingers

Regular readers may recall this post from several months ago wherein the denizens of Redneck Mansion told of a new and improved Redneck Mansion being constructed not far from the domiciles of our kissin' cousins, the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty (a photo of the recently-finished palatial estate, even newer and more improved than anticipated, is up there in the masthead).

Said cousins visited recently—got a real nice family portrait:

You won't see any of these signs near the Robertsons' or near Redneck Mansion, for that matter:

But you might see this (click on the image if it's Greek to you):

Just sayin'.


Thoughts on gun control and the Second Amendment from Tim Woods of Freeville, NY:


Let's begin this discussion by stating that the mass murders of school children are undeniably horrendous, tragic and evil.  We all agree we must come to grips with the root causes of this violence and the ultimate solutions for stopping these tragedies from happening again.  Using proper terminology and real-world facts is vitally important if the debate is to result in actual crime prevention and precious lives being saved.  
These incidents are not just shootings.  They are massacres.  A shooting event is anything from Cub Scouts learning BB gun marksmanship to moms using a handgun to protect their babies from an intruder.  The killing of 6, 13, 21 or 34 innocent students and faculty is a massacre.  Let's call it what it is.  
The plethora of new gun control laws being proposed by Governor Cuomo, Senator Feinstein and many others will be practically worthless for preventing crime in general and for specifically stopping future school or mall massacres.  The legislature passing a new Assault Weapon Ban would be comparable to a New York state senator walking into a raging apartment building inferno and passing gas.  The Senator can claim he is being proactive, but not only would it NOT put the raging blaze out, it would most likely add fuel to the fire.  This ban is not a solution.  Its a huge joke on the American people.  Its a superficial, feel good "hey, look what I did" political strategy to win votes.  It accomplishes nothing but turning normally law abiding citizens into criminals just because they agree with and will make crucial decisions based on historic interpretations of our US Bill of Rights.
There are multiple problems with these gun control proposals.
First, these politicians don't even know what an actual assault weapon is.  It's been ILLEGAL for Americans to personally own an assault weapon without a special BATFE license since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934.  That's right, 1934.  That's because the true definition, the military definition, of an assault weapon is " a magazine, clip, drum or belt fed rifle, carbine or pistol capable of selective or constant automatic fire."  Those type of weapons are commonly known as machine guns.  Those weapons are already highly regulated and are not what these proposed bans are trying to eliminate.
Second, new semi-automatic rifles that just looked like a military-style weapon were prohibited from being sold or imported when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was passed in 1994.  That's right, the weapons that our illustrious Congress and President tried to save us from were our hunting and sporting guns that just looked like a military machine gun. These terrible devices were bad because they might have a different style stock or front grip, or they might be black and ominous looking and have a muzzle flash suppressor or a bayonet lug.  This is laughable.  We think we are safer because hunting rifles that have a way to attach a bayonet are banned.  In the last sixty years of crime reporting, I found NO US citizen that had been attacked or killed in our country by individuals using a rifle mounted bayonet. The FAWB was so ineffective that Congress let it lapse in 2004.  In 2001, a Justice Department study revealed that fewer than 2% of State and Federal inmates used, carried, or possessed a military looking semi-automatic gun when they committed the crime they were incarcerated for.  The weapon of choice of these predators was a stolen pistol, not a rifle or long gun of any kind.   So the New York state government and President Obama want to take away weapons from law abiding citizens, weapons that are rarely used in crimes.  If they succeed in doing this, then criminals, who couldn't care less what laws are passed, will continue to use guns that they either steal or buy on the black market.  The criminals would have access to these weapons, but not the citizens they prey on.  Great logic, eh?
Third, according to a Huffington Post 9 January Politics graphic, a fairly liberal source, the US has the highest per capita ownership of guns in the world at 88.8 guns per 100 people.  No one knows if this is the real total since few criminals or citizens admit to owning illegal firearms.  If we accept this statistic as being true, that means there currently are almost 280 million guns of all sorts in private ownership in the US.  The same graphic claims that approximately 17% of these firearms are semi-automatic weapons or about 47.6 million guns.  Now, here's the rub.  The gun control lobby wants you and me to believe that its necessary to confiscate, limit the ownership of, track or outlaw 47.6 million weapons of a certain type.  These are guns that are used everyday by law abiding citizens for self defense, target shooting, hunting and collecting.  If the ban of "assault weapons" is put into effect, these safely used guns will instantaneously become illegal or severely restricted by simple political dictate.  If we use the 2005 statistics of the National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice, 488,386 total crimes against persons were committed that year using a gun in the crime. So even if every one of these gun crimes involved the use of a semi-automatic weapon, which is ludicrous, the politicians and anti-gun believers tell us we have to get rid of 47.6 million lawfully owned and used guns because criminals used a gun of some kind in less than 1/100 of that number of crimes.  This kind of logic was used during Prohibition. It didn't work then either.
Fourth, folks that claim no hunter or sportsman needs a semi-automatic gun or large capacity magazine either have a severely ignorant grasp of US history, or, they just want to obfuscate the gun control arguments.  Nowhere in the original US Constitution, the BIll of Rights or any of the other constitutional amendments, does it mention hunting or sport shooting.  What is mentioned in these documents and in the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, and the hundreds of personal letters and commentaries of our founding fathers is the militia of citizens and the use of firearms for self preservation and the defense against tyrannical governments.  The founders knew that weapons equal in firepower to the arms used by standing armies was the palladium that protected the common man and his precious freedom.  The Second Amendment was not written to protect hunting.  It was written to guarantee the peoples power to protect themselves from the abuse of their government.  If you are honest with history, you cannot understand the goal of this amendment any other way.  The people have the God given right to protect themselves from criminals, from the psychologically deranged and from their own government's abuse.  In this day and age that means they have the right to possess and use semi-automatic rifles and carbines that use multi-round magazines.  To arbitrarily decide that a magazine with seven round capacity is safer than an eleven round magazine is nonsensical.  With this type of reasoning, why not choose eight round or six round or even four round magazines.  The criminally obsessed villain or psychopathic mass murderer doesn't care how many magazines he has to carry.  They will use whatever means necessary to kill the intended number of victims including rental trucks full of fertilizer or homemade chemical weapons.  
Now is not the time to play games with this critical national security issue.  As a retired Special Operations Forces officer and law enforcement team member, I ask you to keep the argument focused on what will actually keep our children and family members safe when they leave the security of our homes and venture out into the world.  Do not lose focus in this debate.  Do not let your political leaders lose that focus.  Demand they come up with solutions that are supported by reality, verifiable facts and history.
God Bless You and God Help Us to find the truth and then to act on it.

When seconds count...

...the police are only minutes away.

The Lonely Conservative asks, "Why isn’t anyone talking about this? CNN posted a timeline of events at Sandy Hook, and according to the report it took police 20 minutes to respond. That’s an eternity."


But Barack Obama, who I suspect doesn't know his ass from his elbow when it comes to guns, has a plan. What could possibly go wrong?

But despite the lefty loons' fixation on confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens rather than on criminals and crazy people, many Americans want the focus to be more on mental health and police protection.

But even police protection is not a panacea. From a former cop, now a schoolteacher:

...In a free society, nothing can stop the deranged from committing crimes. Everything the Connecticut killer did is already as illegal as human beings can make it, which means little to one planning to take his own life.
Additional laws, particularly those disarming the innocent and law-abiding, accomplish nothing...
Absolutely, postitively read the whole thing, but the money quote (emphasis mine)?
Remember, above all, this foremost truth: No one is responsible for your personal safety and that of those you love but you.
In the wake of the Newtown massacre, some anti-gun people were putting their stupidity on display by snarkily suggesting that perhaps little schoolchildren should be given guns so that they can protect themsleves. Um, no—but other places where schoolchildren are constantly in danger (unlike here) seem to have this figured out:
There are certainly other things to talk about with respect to mental health issues and so on.  But when it comes to personal safety in general and that of children in particular, we need to make the case that disarming the population is very definitely a bug, not a feature.


Vermont is turning into....Switzerland?

UPDATE (12-6-12, 3pm): Near as I can tell, the Vermont story, while it may have been essentially true, is at least a decade old—not anything recent.  I'll leave it here because 1) a couple of other states actually did try this, more as an object lesson about the evils of Obamacare than anything having to do with the Second Amendment, and 2) it does raise the always interesting questions about what states can and can't do under the US Constitution (as distinct from the unconstitutional—unless you twist yourself into a pretzel like John Roberts did—power grab by the federal government that is Obamacare, and 3) you can't believe everything you read.

The rest of the post stands. 


From Dave Henderson's "Outdoors" column in today's Ithaca Journal:

Vermont, which may be the most liberal state in the union, neverthe­less is the only state that allows its residents to carry a con­cealed weapon without a permit. Go figure.
I’m sure this logic wouldn’t fly in the Ithaca area, but Ver­mont State Rep. Fred Maslack is proposing that the state not only register non-gun owners but also charge them for not having a gun. Yup, under Maslack’s proposal Vermont would become the first state to require a per­mit for the luxury of traipsing about un­armed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun.
It seems that Mas­lack reads the “militia” phrase of the Second Amendment as not only the right of the individ­ual citizen to bear arms, but as ‘a clear mandate to do so.’ He believes that universal gun own­ership was advocated by the framers of the Constitution as an anti­dote to a “monopoly of force” by the govern­ment as well as crimi­nals.
He contends that Vermont’s constitution states explicitly that “the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State” and those persons who are “con­scientiously scrupulous of bearing arms” shall be required to “pay such equivalent.”
Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be re­quired to register their name, address, Social Security number, and driver’s license number with the state.
“There is a legitimate govern­ment interest in knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so,” Maslack told the Associated Press.
Vermont has one of the highest gun ownership rates per capita of any state in the country and its crime rate is third lowest in the nation. Think about it. There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people who choose not to protect themselves. Why not let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way. Isn’t that reasonable? Non-gun owners require more police to protect them and this fee should go to paying for their defense. Right?
No, I didn’t think so.
Makes too much sense.
And denial is not just a river in Egypt.  For those who are still deluding themselves that taking the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens somehow makes them safer, there's this:
There were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November - a 49 percent increase from a year earlier - according to police records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
In November of 2011, Chicago recorded 129 shootings compared to the 192 shootings this November.  Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 compared with a year earlier.
Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year.  On November 30, 2012, there were four fatal shootings within the city.  These murders brought the homicide total to 38 for the month, just above the 37 recorded in November of last year...
Some of you might remember Otis McDonald.  Mr. McDonald was the elderly black man, a hunter and shotgun owner, who lived in a crappy neighborhood in Chicago (I know, I just repeated myself) who wanted to purchase a handgun for his own protection but couldn't thanks to the city's stringent gun-control laws.  He sued and the case went to the Supreme Court, which held that the Second Amendment was incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment thus protecting those rights from infringement by local governments.
Nevertheless, four days after that decision was handed down in June, 2010, the Chicago City Council, in its infinite wisdom
...adopted the Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance.  This requires prospective gun owners to take a firearm safety course at a gun range in order to obtain a permit to own a gun in a home.   The city also placed a virtual ban on gun ranges...
making it nearly impossible for law-abiding citizens to responsibly protect themselves against the chaos that is Chicago.  That's turned out well for Chicago, hasn't it?
So what's this about an analogy between the Vermont proposal and Switzerland?  There's a really good reason why the pacifist Swiss are largely left to their own devices:
But it isn't just about homeland security. As Vermont State Rep. Maslack noted (emphasis mine), "universal gun own­ership was advocated by the framers of the Constitution as an anti­dote to a “monopoly of force” by the govern­ment as well as crimi­nals."
h/t Tom

Great NYS news!

Ummm, not so much.

Would you be happy if your student got Ds?  Well, Mario's kid just received a grade of "D" from the Cato Institute in their latest Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governor's: 2012. You should definitely look at the whole thing to see how the various states and their governors are doing, but here's the part relevant to many of us (on page 34):

New York

Andrew Cuomo, Democrat Grade: D

Legislature: Divided
Took Office: January 2011

In his January 2011 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo said that New York must “hold the line on taxes now and reduce taxes in the future.” Unfortunately, the governor has not lived up to that pledge. In December 2011, Cuomo signed an increase in the top personal income tax rate, which is expected to raise $1.9 billion annually. A previous “temporary” hike in the top rate from 6.85 percent to rates of 7.85 percent and 8.97 percent was supposed to expire at the end of 2011. But Cuomo’s legislation will “temporarily” create a new top rate of 8.82 percent through the end of 2014. Cuomo’s tax plan included some tax breaks, but the overall net tax increase was more than $1.5 billion a year. These tax hikes won’t help the New York economy, which already suffers from having the second worst business tax climate in the nation.

There were no new taxes in the governor’s budget this year, and his spending increases have been about average among the governors. Also to his credit, Cuomo approved pension reforms for public sector workers, which could save state and local governments in New York tens of billions of dollars over coming years. In New York City alone, the annual cost of pensions for city workers has exploded from $1.3 billion to $8 billion in just the past decade. So Cuomo’s reforms were desperately needed, but much more needs to be done to reduce government spending in New York.

And the moment you've all been waiting for, the release of the 2013 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index from the Tax Foundation, in which the state whose motto is "Excelsior" ranks 50th among the 57 states because we have

...the worst individual income tax, the sixth- worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes. The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates...

But wait...when it comes to why individuals and espcially businesses don't wish to be in NYS, there's more!  Here's a specific example at FoxNews via Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

Two venerable American gun manufacturers — Remington and Colt — could head for the West their weapons helped win if New York and Connecticut force them to implement microstamping technology.
Microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, is a patented process that uses laser technology to engrave a tiny marking of the make, model and serial number on the tip of a gun’s firing pin to allow an imprint of that information on spent cartridge cases. Supporters of the technology say it will be a “game changer,” allowing authorities to quickly identify the registered guns used in crimes. Opponents claim the process is costly, unreliable and may ultimately impact the local economies that heavily depend on the gun industry, including Ilion, N.Y., where Remington Arms maintains a factory, and Hartford, Conn., where Colt's manufacturing is headquartered.

“Mandatory microstamping would have an immediate impact of a loss of 50 jobs,” New York State Sen. James Seward, a Republican whose district includes Ilion, said, adding that Remington employs 1,100 workers in the town. “You’re talking about a company that has options in other states. Why should they be in a state that’s hostile to legal gun manufacturing? There could be serious negative economic impact with the passage of microstamping and other gun-control laws”...
Of course, there's not only the negative economic impact involved here, but a slight matter of the Second Amendment, whose continued and unwelcome existence is a much bigger deal to gun opponents in this state than law enforcement concerns.
You can always move west like a lot of our central NY forebears to where men and women really know how to work together:

Ladies: a public service announcement

From the Cornell Police today:

Due to the increased level of criminal activity last night, we are strongly urging members of the Cornell community to take prudent and necessary safety precautions, including: locking your doors and windows at all times, using alternative methods of transportation such as Blue Light escorts, Blue Light buses, taxis or contact a friend, travel in groups regardless of the hour, and call 911 or use a blue light phone if you see anything suspicious.

What exactly comprised this "increased level of criminal activity"?  Three reports:

The first incident occurred at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Sept. 2, in the lower Hughes parking lot located at the east end of South Avenue. A female student reported that a male subject grabbed her around the waist from behind and pulled at her shirt very aggressively. She screamed and used a bag she was carrying to hit the subject. Some other students in the area intervened, and the male subject fled towards the Hughes Hall pathway.

followed by

Cornell University Police are investigating a reported rape that occurred on stairs leading to the south side of the suspension bridge from the 800 block of University Ave. at about 3:45 a.m. Sunday, September 2, 2012. 
A female victim reported that she was walking down the stairs when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown male who forced her to have sexual intercourse. The victim states that the suspect is a dark-skinned or Hispanic-white male, 5’09” to 6’ tall. No further description is available at this time. The suspect fled north across the suspension bridge.
The police investigation is continuing. Anyone with information related to this crime should contact Cornell University Police at (607) 255-1111
followed by
The following off campus incident was reported to the Cornell Police on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at approximately 8:05 a.m. by the victim after she saw today’s earlier crime alert.

The Ithaca Police Department is investigating a reported forcible touching incident that occurred on Sunday, September 02, 2012 at approximately 3:15 a.m. at 205 College Avenue.

During this incident, the victim reports that she answered a knock at her door and a male subject asked for an individual that did not reside there. The female resident stated that she was unfamiliar with any person by that name and tried to close the door on the male subject. The male subject forced his way into the residence and a brief struggle ensued. During the struggle, the male subject put his arm around the victim and reached under her dress. The victim was able to push the male subject out of the residence.

The victim describes the perpetrator as a college-aged Hispanic male, average build, 5’09”-5’10” tall, dark hair, wearing a white long sleeve button down shirt and plaid knee-length shorts. The perpetrator reportedly has a noticeable mole on one cheek. The subject was last seen headed in the direction of Collegetown .

Anyone with information should contact the Ithaca Police Department at (607) 272-9973.
Since we hear that it is notoriously difficult to get a handgun permit in Tompkins County—we do so cherish the Second Amendment here—you may want to know what the rules are regarding pepper spray.
In order to purchase pepper spray in New York you must be at least 18 years of age and have no record of felony or assault convictions either in New York, or another state. You may only buy pepper spray in New York from a fully licensed firearms dealer or from a pharmacist who has a permit to sell it. Before finalizing a purchase of pepper spray, you must fill out a form indicating that you are of legal age and are free of felony convictions. The total number of pepper spray canisters that can be sold to one person at one time is two.
Pepper spray canisters sold in New York must include directions for proper use. They must also contain information regarding safety and storage, as well as first-aid information. Each canister must also supply a toll-free telephone number regarding the availability of local self-defense training and safety courses for using the product. Finally, the canister must declare that using the spray for any purpose other than self-defense is a criminal offense.
It is only legal to carry pepper spray in New York if the canister is pocket-sized. Each canister must have a label on it indicating that the spray is for self-defense purposes only. Although it is legal to carry pepper spray in New York, it must be purchased within the state. It is illegal to mail pepper spray from another city, state or country into New York.
The New York Department of Health places regulations on exactly what types of self-defense pepper spray can be sold in the state. The active ingredient in any canister of legal pepper spray must be oleo-resin capsicum. The maximum net weight of any canister is 3/4oz. Furthermore, the canister itself may not appear to be anything but pepper spray. Disguising it to look like something else is a criminal offense.
Got all that? Who do you think NYS is more concerned about, you or the creep who's trying to attack you?  
That's what I thought, too.
As someone who has several female offspring, I think there's a better deterrent than pepper spray....remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away...


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