Gun Violence is a Morals and Family Values Issue by Bohdan Rabarsky, Oneida/Herkimer SCOPE Chapter Chairman
Recently, there have been numerous shootings in Utica, including one fatality. In bigger cities such as New York City, Atlanta, Seattle or Chicago, that wouldn’t even make headlines, but it's big news locally. Local law enforcement has a difficult job of solving these crimes, especially when witnesses refuse to come forward, for various reasons.
What is being done about this violence?
In the past, social and religious groups have formed marches through the inner-city streets and called the event "Take Back Our Streets". They would get religious, city & county leaders involved along with the local police department officials. They would chant that the streets belong to them and they won't put up with the violence anymore.
Then there is SNUG, (guns spelled backwards), a New York statewide gun violence prevention program. The group has received state funding to implement its program and combat gun violence, but the shootings continue.
To fight the so-called gun violence, Former Governor Cuomo passed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE) Act of 2013. In 2021, Governor Hochul signed Executive Order 211 to establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) and in 2022 the NYS Legislature passed the Conceal Carry Improvement Act (CCIA).
The city and state have their gun buyback programs, which will take guns off the street, but we all know that these aren't the guns being used in the shootings in question.
During election time, candidates will tell you they passed laws to make the streets safer for us, but the evidence just isn't there. They usually rely on data from anti-gun groups such as ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’, ‘Moms Demand Action’ and ‘Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’. Their data is misleading since it is more anti 2nd Amendment than trying to eliminate gun violence. Why? Because if gun violence disappeared from our streets, they would lose their power and control and they wouldn't exist.
These are noble gestures on the surface, but serve no real purpose, except to make bumper sticker slogans or sound bites during an interview.
Over the years there's always been outrage at the so called "gun" violence, but few ever want to talk about the elephant in the room. The violence on the streets is an issue of morals & family values, which seems to be lacking in those involved in the shootings. A lack of family structure and single parent households with the absence of a father figure all contribute to this violence.
I don't claim to have the answer, but taking away the 2nd Amendment Rights of law-abiding gun owners isn't the answer. However, reemphasizing traditional American moral and family values is worth trying.
Another approach is following the rules and enjoying our 2nd Amendment freedoms rather than condemning them.
Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Lewis & Madison Counties have a total of over 60 Fish & Game Clubs, Gun Ranges and Rod & Gun Clubs, with a total membership in the tens of thousands. Members are required to pay dues to belong to these clubs, follow the club rules and abide by all New York State laws regarding firearms, firearm storage, transporting, handling & shooting. Failure to follow the state laws and club rules will get you expelled from the club and possibly arrested for not following the NYS Gun Laws.
The nicest and most respectful people you'll ever meet are on the firing line at a gun range. You'll see men, women, minorities, handicapped individuals, parents with their children, all with one goal in mind, practicing firearm safety first, then enjoying the day practicing their shooting skills. You don’t hear about a shooting injury associated with a gun range, not even accidental, because safety and respect for the firearm comes first.
Get out there, exercise your God given 2nd Amendment Rights and enjoy yourself.