Tim Andrews S.C.O.P.E. At-Large Director
The 2018 elections were a disaster for New York gun owners, and the subsequent 2019 legislative session was gun control in overdrive. How can we turn this gun control freight train around? One of the remedies is the courts. Several cases which may bring relief are currently making their way through the judicial process.
In addition to the courts, we also need to grow support and establish greater influence within the political process. The issue is how this could be accomplished. The answer is we need to get involved in the process. How and where we do this is critical, the gun vote was very divided in 2018. There were many gun owners that were mislead into thinking the Libertarian Party and their candidate for governor was a valid alternative. True, the Libertarian Party platform does describe the party as pro-Second Amendment. However, you would be hard pressed to find anywhere where the Libertarian Party has had any success defeating gun control. For any political party or candidate, it’s not good enough just to say they’re pro-gun. Sure, it’s great to hear a candidate stand up and say all the things we want to hear, but if that candidate has no legitimate chance of winning in the end, they can do nothing for you. Despite Libertarian claims their candidate could win, we repeatedly warned voters that the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate for governor would at best get maybe 1.5% of the vote, in the end he got 1.5% of the vote.
Like it or not, the Democrat and Republican parties hold all the power in New York. The Libertarian Party is nowhere near being anything more than a fringe party. Beware, the Libertarian Party is very deceptive in how they present themselves. Their website does state they hold three elected offices in New York State. They have a city council position in Binghamton, where that candidate ran as a Democrat and as a Libertarian, 80% of his votes coming on the Democrat line. The second office is an obscure school board office in New York City where candidates run as non-partisan. The third is a councilor’s office in the town of Cicero. That candidate was never elected as a Libertarian. He was elected as a Republican and later left the GOP and became a Libertarian. He is no longer in elective office. The Libertarian website claim that they hold three elected offices in New York is erroneous and an embellishment, they hold two obscure local political offices in New York and none in Albany. They are light years from having any influence in New York State.
You should also be aware where the Libertarian Party is on other key issues of our day. Taken directly from their platform, section 3.4, they support open borders, section 3.1 they oppose the military draft, section 1.8 states they oppose the death penalty and they support abortion rights. From the New York Libertarian website, they specifically state they support a “Less strict immigration policy” and a “easier pathway to citizenship.” SCOPE has no position on any of these non-Second Amendment related issues, however, most gun rights supporters align themselves with conservative voters and given the Libertarian positions on these issues many conservative voting gun owners could never support a Libertarian candidate.
If we are ever going to win the fight in New York, the pathway to victory is not the Libertarian Party. The pathway to political success is through the parties who hold all the power, the Democrat and Republican parties. I know you’re screaming they’re the ones that created this mess, they’re never going to change it. As the parties stand today that may be true, however, change needs to come from within the parties. We need good people to get involved in the parties at the local level. Doing that is not a difficult thing to do, most parties are begging for volunteers, call your local party tell them you want to serve on your town or county committee. Truly this is where change can begin, if you really want to create change this is what we must do. Investing your time in fringe parties is fools gold and if anything will only help elect more gun grabbers to office.
You have the power to change the direction of New York State, but it is going to take hard work and commitment. Especially with the Republican Party We have a chance to make change but it’s going to take you getting involved. If you’re a Democrat or a Republican get involved in your party and serve on your county and town committee, you will be amazed at the influence you can have. If you’re an independent and not registered to any party, register as a Democrat or a Republican and get involved in that party.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons to be critical of the two major political parties. However, if we as individuals refuse to get involved, we need to recognize that we are part of the problem.
I know Libertarians will likely be infuriated by this column. But keep in mind who was correct when we spoke about the anticipated results of the 2018 election.