Complete list of Briefings
By Harold Moskowitz
What would happen if every device upon which you have become dependent in your daily life stopped working? Impossible you say because even with the built in obsolescence of our “throw away rather than fix” society, not everything could break at the same time. However, almost every device and machine touching your daily life operates with electricity either directly or by rechargeable b a t t e r y . E l e c t r i c i t y , t h a t “pressurized” flow of electrons through wires and circuits, has become the “life blood” of our 21st century society.
This was not yet true in the mid-19th century. On September 1, 1859, telegraph wires began to catch fire, telegraph keys showered sparks and their operators received electric shocks. The Carrington Event, as this situation was labeled, was an example of damage which can be caused naturally by the sun. It was a solar flare which caused a geomagnetic “storm” of electrons on Earth. During a solar flare, protons and other sub-atomic particles are shot into space from the sun’s surface. If the Earth is in the path of these particles, the protons smash into nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere causing the release of electrons. These rush toward the Earth creating a type of radio wave called an electromagnetic pulse, or “EMP.” As with an induction surge of electric current through a wire resulting from a nearby lightning strike, it will overload and destroy transformers and delicate electrical components. This is especially true for closely-spaced microchips in circuit boards. Solar flare damage can happen at any time.
In 1989, one of these plunged all of Quebec into darkness. In 2005, a solar flare disrupted satellite-to-ground communication and the GPS system for about ten minutes, threatening satellite guided air, land, and sea travel. In 1859’s Carrington Event, few people except for telegraph users were affected. In today’s electrically dependent society, a severe geomagnetic storm would be catastrophic. It has been estimated that a modern day Carrington Event would cost society between one and two trillion dollars for just the first year of lost power with full recovery predicted to take four to ten years.
In 2007, NASA estimated the potential damage to its satellite fleet to be between thirty and seventy billion dollars to repair. In addition, it revealed that any humans in space not inside the shelter of a spacecraft while involved in a “space walk” would be endangered. Satellite damage would prevent GPS from being used in addition to all phone use. In all cases, a solar flare induced EMP would potentially cause much damage to power grids in the areas affected by the resulting geomagnetic storm. The ability to produce a man -made EMP was discovered by accident during the U.S. and Russian above-ground nuclear tests. Nuclear blasts produce short bursts of electromagnetic energy which cause the same effects as a solar flare.
In 1962, an atmospheric nuclear test over a Pacific atoll blew out street lights and knocked out telephone service in Hawaii, almost one thousand miles from the detonation. The Russians also noticed electrical disruptions caused by their tests. Both Cold War adversaries then developed special nuclear devices for a potential first strike EMP against the other as a means of preventing a retaliatory nuclear attack. The nuclear explosion causes rapidly changing electric and magnetic fields.
These may merge with power grid distribution systems and electrical systems such as microchip controllers on equipment to produce damaging current and voltage surges. As an example, pylon mounted high tension lines spanning the nation become a super antenna along which these damaging surges travel and intensify. When they reach the down-stepping current transformers, the transformers become overloaded causing them to explode and to catch fire. In individual electrical devices controlled by silicon microchips, the delicate components burn out, disabling the device or system.
The altitude at which the nuclear detonation takes place determines the extent of territory which would be subject to the damaging effect of the EMP. As in the case of solar flares, a specially constructed low yield nuclear device releases gamma rays which cause the release of electrons from collisions with nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere. The electrons rush toward the ground following the Earth’s magnetic field lines. They travel from the altitude of the detonation in a direct line to where they reach the curvature of the Earth.
The Task Force on National and Homeland Security has determined that a nuclear device detonated at an altitude of between 186 and 249 miles over the center of our nation would electronically cripple all of the Continental United States, plus half of both Canada and Mexico. Part II will deal with how an EMP attack would affect gun owners and others.
By Tim Andrews, SCOPE President
Unless our Governor calls them in for a special session, the 2017 legislative session, has adjourned for the year. The good news is we’ve suffered no additional damage to our Second Amendment rights. The bad news is we’ve made no gains either, the SAFE Act remains intact. It’s time to assess where we are now and what we need to do in the future.
First my assessment of where we are now. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it’s not good. There was a lot of wheeling and dealing going on at the end of legislative session. A lot of people were getting their pet projects passed, but law-abiding gun owners were left out in the cold. Legislators showed more interest in naming bridges and parks after themselves than protecting the constitutional rights of their citizens.
The New York State Senate potentially provides us our greatest chance to initiate positive changes to our gun laws, however, not the way it is currently structured. One example, this past session there was a bill in the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee to lift the ban on the sale and possession of firearm suppressors. The Environmental Conservation Committee is chaired by Republican Senator Thomas O’Mara and has an 8-5 Republican majority. So, you say, slam dunk, right? Hold on, not quite. Senator O’Mara pulled back the bill from consideration, telling us he did not have the votes to pass it out of committee. You heard that right, an 8-5 Republican majority and he can’t get the bill through his committee. The ugly dog in the room is, if we cannot pass pro-gun legislation with an 8-5 Republican majority how can the Republicans call themselves a pro-Second Amendment party?
A close examination of the committee’s members shows that two, if not three of the Republican members are clearly anti-gun. Using the NRA’s most recent ratings two of the Republicans have “D” ratings and the third has a “?” rating. My question for the Senate Republican leadership is, how do three anti-gun Senators end up on any committee that deals with gun issues?
In a June 25, 2017 story in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, regarding the appointment of Judge Paul Feinman to the state court of appeals, Governor Cuomo was full of praise for Senate Republicans. The Governor said, “I appreciate the Senate going through the confirmation process as quickly as they did.” That wasn’t enough, Republicans were also instrumental in helping Cuomo get the Tappan Zee bridge named after his father, former governor Mario Cuomo.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if the Republicans had used one or both of these senate actions as leverage to get some concessions on the (un)SAFE Act? I’m a little tired and frustrated with politicians and a party that routinely says they’re pro-gun but never delivers. You’ve heard the saying, “talk is cheap.”
We’re not ready to divorce the GOP but this is an issue we feel Republicans need to consider in the coming months. One of the most egregious victims of the (un)SAFE Act is Simeon Mokhiber of Niagara Falls, New York. Simeon is a nine year combat veteran of the U.S. Army who served his country in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Simeon was involved in a traffic stop in 2016 and was charged with DUI, he was not drinking and was ultimately acquitted of that charge. However, the charge resulted in a search of his vehicle where the officers found a locked box. Inside that box were three seventeen round Glock magazines, a violation of the ten-round magazine size limit of the SAFE Act. Simeon was a concealed carry license holder, but had no firearm with him on the night of his arrest.
On April 21, 2017, Simeon Mokhiber was found guilty of possessing three “ammunition feeding devices” capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition, a violation of the SAFE Act. Simeon’s sentencing date is August 1, 2017, and is facing up to 21 years in prison, 7 years on each count and is now a convicted felon. At a recent Chapter meeting, I addressed the members about Simeon’s case and the many other victims of the mental health provisions of the (un)SAFE Act. My comments did include criticism of the senate GOP, and present at this event was a GOP senate member who took great issue with my criticisms.
The Senator made it very clear she was angry and disagreed with my critique of her senate colleagues. However, what struck me was she wasn’t angry about the harm the SAFE act was inflicting on law-abiding New Yorkers like Simeon Mokhiber. Although most of my remarks focused on (un) SAFE Act victims, all this senator heard or cared about was how she and her senate colleagues were regarded by my remarks.
A question for our state representatives to consider — is this the intended consequence the governor and the legislature wanted? Were Simeon and his empty locked magazines a danger to anyone? Did they warrant a felony conviction and possibly twenty-one years in prison? Is this the thanks Simeon gets from the State of New York for his honorable service to his country? Simeon was, until this conviction, a law-abiding citizen, the father of a disabled child who may soon be without a father. These are the fruits of Governor Cuomo’s and the state legislature’s (un)SAFE Act. The (un)SAFE Act is a travesty and it needs to be repealed.
The greatest threat to a nation’s existence is a man-made EMP attack. It would transport us instantly back to the pre-industrial era. Currently, there are two announced enemies of our nation who continue to advance in both ICBM technology and the ability to miniaturize a nuclear device to the size necessary for insertion into a missile nose cone.
One of these nations is Iran, the other is North Korea. They have been collaborating for almost twenty years on developing the technology necessary to bring our nation to its knees through an EMP attack. They have participated in fruitless negotiations to buy time for continuing their progress. North Korea currently has two satellites in orbit. Each passes directly over the center of our nation in a south to north orbit.
The U.S. has no missile defense system or early warning system pointed in a southerly direction. All such systems were built facing north to detect and intercept missiles from the former U.S.S.R. coming over the North Pole. EMP-causing devices can be camouflaged as communication satellites. Missiles and even weather balloons could lift nuclear devices to appropriate altitudes from a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico.
China and Russia have hardened their electrical grids to prevent mass disruption and destruction from an EMP attack. Our national government has protected crucial military equipment. In addition, one of six electrically hardened planes is always aloft for military communication in case of an EMP attack. Presidential jets are similarly protected.
However, nothing meaningful has been done to protect the civilian population. At its start, EMP power disruption would appear to be another temporary local outage. There is no radioactive fallout. Although initially no one is hurt except for those in airplanes crashing to the ground, it is estimated that up to ninety percent of the U.S. population could die within the first year following the attack.
Most of the enormous generators are not made in the nation and replacing them could take years. Without power, moving replacement equipment might not be possible. Estimated recovery time could take as long as a decade. Death over the next weeks and months would come from many causes. The average city has about three days of food in stores. Much of that and food in home refrigerators will immediately begin to spoil. Hungry, desperate people will attack each other for food as anarchy replaces the civil society. Medicines will begin to spoil. Life-preserving medical equipment will stop working. Without power there is no: water for drinking, toilet flushing, or personal hygiene; fuel for vehicles; heating oil or natural gas; medicine refills for chronic medical conditions; surgery or medical help beyond “first aid;” air conditioning; removal of human waste or garbage; ability to deal with inevitable epidemics caused by drinking untreated water; banking; or effective government communication to a panicked population.
On top of these, add the release of radiation from one hundred or more nuclear reactors which have meltdowns due to inability to circulate cooling water. City dwellers will head for the surrounding suburbs. Anyone within a five day walk of a city should expect the roads to be clogged with desperate people who will try to take whatever they need for survival. Only old vehicles without computer circuits and fuel injectors might still operate. Rural people would have the best chance of survival, urban residents almost none.
Firearm owners should expect attempts at confiscation of registered weapons. Those individuals who have only practiced pistol competition target skills may find themselves at a disadvantage when confronting foragers. Proficiency in tactical pistol and carbine skills would be beneficial. In addition, no individual can protect all sides of a structure 24/7. Only those who have formed dependable community protection groups will successfully defend their resources.
The government has known for decades what an EMP could do to our nation and to its population. Why then has nothing been done to harden our three electric grids? The answer is that electricity in the U.S. is mostly generated by utility corporations which make dividend payments to shareholders. Any time an appropriate bill such as Representative Trent Franks’ “SHIELD Act” is introduced into the House, it passes but gets stalled in the Senate. Senators, perhaps are listening to the paid lobbyists who represent the electric-generating utility corporations. The industry members would become responsible for hardening the electric grids and would not want to collectively spend the estimated seventy-two billion dollars necessary to protect the nation’s electrical power, an amount about equal to one year’s military aid to Pakistan.
by Gary L. Perry, Tioga County
Larry Sharpe cannot win the NY State Governor’s election this November.
Unfortunately, the only viable pathway to a Larry Sharpe victory in the NY State Governor’s race was not taken by the campaign. Although originally interested and excited about using the “Opportunity To Ballot” (OTB) option as a possible pathway to victory the Larry Sharpe campaign has chosen not to follow that path.
The OTB is a legal way for a 3rd Party candidate to force a primary election in a major political Party. Collecting the OTB designating petition signatures would have been very doable. However, winning a primary election is challenging and would have required some resources and commitment from Larry Sharpe and his campaign which they originally assured me that we would have.
For reasons unclear to me the Larry Sharpe campaign made the decision to pass designating petitions for Larry Sharpe for Governor on Republican Party Petitions. (see attached) This is in direct conflict of NY State Election law.
See Section 6-120.3 Designation and nominations; restrictions
" 1. A petition, except as otherwise herein provided, for the purpose of designating any person as a candidate for party nomination at a primary election shall be valid only if the person so designated is an enrolled member of the party referred to in said designating petition at the time of the filing of the petition."
Our mission is to replace Andrew Cuomo as the NY State Governor. Following through with the campaign slogan begun over five years ago “Cuomo’s Gotta Go”. Andrew Cuomo has brought the citizens of New York State increased and never ending tax increases, increased state spending, increased corporate give-aways (billions in corporate welfare) and the never ending corruption trials taking place in Manhattan and Buffalo that these failed economic stimulus programs breeds, failed common core education, “free” college tuition and never ending anti-2ndAmendment legislation.
Under Andrew Cuomo’s policies NY State is bleeding manufacturing and small business and the jobs that they create. Working class families and college educated young adults are leaving the state in droves seeking good high paying jobs available in other state. Working people and retired state employees of all ages across the entire state are leaving NY State for lower taxes found in many other state.
For those of us who are left who want to fix NY State’s failed fiscal and economic policies we know we must defeat Andrew Cuomo in November.
History and election statistics prove to us that Larry Sharpe appearing on only the 3rd Party Libertarian ballot line simply cannot defeat Cuomo. Going back five elections (20 years) we see failed attempt after failed attempt by 3rd Party candidates to defeat the Democrat and Republican Party candidates.
Please visit the NY State Board Of Elections website and look at the previous election stats to see for yourself. http://www.elections.ny.gov/2018ElectionResults.html
Wealthy former New Yorker Tom Golisano ran in three successive elections as a 3rd Party candidate and had far more resources available to him than the Larry Sharpe campaign and he never came close to winning. The past two gubernatorial elections the Libertarian Party has failed to gain 50,000 votes establishing their Party on a ballot line.
As the recent events have unfolded it has proven to me that the Libertarian Party knows that Larry Sharpe has literally no chance of winning the Governor’s election. What the Libertarians hope to accomplish is getting 50,000 votes on the Libertarian line making it easier in future elections for Libertarian candidates to get on the ballot for many different elective office positions. (Ballot Access)
Larry Sharpe in his own words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXkd15Xe1e4
This year there is a very real chance to defeat Andrew Cuomo (Cuomo’s Gotta Go) with a combined Republican Party / Conservative Party / Reform Party candidate. While I will always support giving the voters a choice in a primary election the Larry Sharpe campaign has decided not to pursue the legal process to do this. Any signatures collected for Larry Sharpe on a Republican Party ballot will be null and void at the Board Of Elections office in Albany when they are submitted and filed.
After spending time with Republican Party candidate Marc Molinaro last week I have learned that with Marc Molinaro as the candidate we support we have a very real opportunity to defeat Cuomo (Cuomo’s Gotta Go). For these reasons the only real choice, at this time, to replace Andrew Cuomo and end four more years of Cuomo’s destructive tax and spend policies is to support Marc Molinaro.
For those of us who continue to insist on supporting Larry Sharpe for Governor, I highly recommend getting behind the “Larry Sharpe For Governor 2022 movement”. This could be, and should be, the long game or the 10 to 20-year plan several of you have spoken about.
To throw away a chance to defeat Andrew Cuomo (Cuomo’s Gotta Go) this year hoping to gain ballot access for the Libertarian Party is a terrible sell-out to your principled fellow Conservative family members, friends and neighbors. I cannot in good conscience even consider enslaving my children, family members and friends with four more years of Andrew Cuomo just to gain easier Ballot Access for the Libertarian Party.
What will be left of NY State and it’s citizens and for any 3rd Party designs after 2 - 4 more years of Andrew Cuomo doubling down on his Progressive tax and spend policies and “give-aways” as he works to position himself even further to the left as the most Progressive Governor in the country for a Presidential bid in 2020?
This November a vote for Larry Sharpe is the same as a vote for Andrew Cuomo. I am asking everyone to please consider the reality of this situation here in NY State and join me in voting for Marc Molinaro in November and defeating Andrew Cuomo (Cuomo’s Gotta Go) and then get behind the “Larry Sharpe For Governor 2022 movement” starting this December.
By Tom Reynolds
When I was SCOPE President, members would occasionally ask me if SCOPE was working on or endorsing a particular anti-SAFE Act proposal. I usually responded something like, “What is the plan to get the bill passed by the NYS Assembly which is overwhelmingly Democratic and then signed by Cuomo”? (The NYS Assembly has about 108 of 150 members who are Democrats and about 75 of the 108 are from the NY City area. Cuomo is the father of the Safe Act. That’s not very fertile ground for building an anti-Safe Act coalition, since Democrats have made gun control a major pillar of their party’s platform). I asked, why should SCOPE waste time and money on something that has no chance of becoming law?
To repeal the Safe Act – or to get any anti-progressive bill passed – the bill must be coupled with something that the NY City Democrats must have. Two years ago it was NY City Rent Control and last year it was renewal of the 421-A program as Affordable New York. In both instances the Senate Republicans, who sometimes claim to be pro-gun, waffled and refused to force any coupling of proposed bills. They got nothing done for us and nothing substantial for anywhere outside of NY City.
Since NY City always has its hand out, in this coming year (2018) it will be seeking the $1 billion that Cuomo promised it for the city’s subway system. It is especially important for Cuomo to fulfill this promise as he will be running for reelection in 2018 and needs to secure his base, which is overwhelmingly in NY City. Opportunity for 2A success abounds! But will the Senate Republicans fail us again? Probably - unless we do something different.
Putting effective pressure on politicians requires either MONEY or VOTES. Let’s look at some voter statistics as to why 2A defenders have not been successful in our anti-SAFE Act efforts. The answer is in the numbers.
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) is a major political force in NYS. It has 600,000members and many are not teachers. The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) is another major political force in NYS. It has about 300,000 members. Combined, they have 900,000 members and it is not too extreme to say that they among the major political forces in NY State. It is estimated there are between 4 and 6 MILLION gun owners in NYS. Half of that lowest estimate would be 1 MILLION MORE VOTES THAT THESE OTHER TWO POLITICAL GIANTS! But gun owners won’t vote.
New York City has 4.997 million registered voters but only 1.035 million voted in 2014. Again, compare that to the estimates of 4 to 6 million gun owners in NYS. If half of the lowest number of estimated gun owners would vote that would be 1 MILLION MORE VOTES THAN NY CITY cast! The higher estimate of gun owners is more than the total registered voters in NY City. But gun owners won’t vote.
In the last election, Cuomo won with about 2.1 million votes out of less than 4 million that were cast. You do the comparison this time.
We hear gun owners say that their vote won’t make any difference. Actually, it’s their non-vote that makes the difference.
I recently spoke with the aide to a state legislator and I said something about gun owners not voting. He replied with frustration, “We know”! What he did not add was the obvious follow up that gun owners are not a force to be reckoned with in New York since they don’t vote.
I realize that all of the above groups, including gun owners, won’t vote the same. But people do vote their personal interests. The potential voting numbers of gun owners is too great to ignore.
While we would like to see gun owners join SCOPE or other 2A organizations. In reality, most people who join 2A organizations are not active in them. But if they only voted, that would dramatically change the political environment in NY State.
The other major factor in politics is money. As individuals, very few if any of us have enough money to make a difference. But, again, the numbers are easy to calculate. If only 1 million gun owners joined a 2A organization, that would make $25 to $30 million in dues available to defend the 2A. Those are numbers that spur politicians to action.
It’s a two-step process: first register and then vote. We need to couple with other 2A organizations and make voter registrations the number one priority. Then, on Election Day, we need to ensure that they vote. Those that say their vote will not make a difference simply are wrong.
I said in an earlier article that it is important to register in a political party before this November’s election in order to be able to participate in party primaries. I don’t enjoy voting for the lesser of two evils and primaries give us the chance to really make our voices heard.
The opportunity is there. The numbers are there. We have the time if we get started.
By Richard Rossi, Delaware County SCOPE
This is an overview of the process in the NYS Senate; a similar process is also followed in the NYS Assembly.
Getting your legislator to either draft or co-sponsor a bill is the first critical step in the process. However, once a bill is referred to the committee - the hard part begins. Committees have tremendous power in this process and a few individuals on the committee can mean the 'death' of a bill - by NOT moving it to the floor for discussion/vote. Based on the committee make-up (Dem or Rep.), could mean its 'death'. It can be 'stalled' in the committee and never see the 'light of day' on the floor.
This is where you must make your wishes known - loud and clear. You need to flood the appropriate committee chairman and members with your phone calls, letters and e-mails demanding that this is put on the docket and passed along to the 'floor' for debate and a vote. What gives these 'few' individuals the 'right and power' to prevent our democratic process? Please carefully read step 3.
Unfortunately, the Committee's and especially their Chairman have 'the power'. This is why it is critical to have Term Limits or at least some limit on the chairmanship of these various committees' and their membership.
Career politicians, with their personal and political biased agendas, in these important roles CAN BE the down-fall of our democratic process and we have seen this happen time and time again with the REPEAL of the NYS SAFE Act - as one example. I hope this overview sheds some insight into how Albany works.
How a bill becomes a law
The job of the Senate is to work with the Assembly and the Governor to enact, amend or repeal statutes which make up the body of laws by which we are governed. This involves drafting, discussing and approving bills and resolutions. The text shows the process in a simplified progression from "Idea" to "Law." At any step in the process, citizens can make their views known to NY State Senators through this platform.
Step 1: Someone has a new policy idea The legislative process begins with a new policy idea.
Senators often come up with those ideas. However they come from many other places such as a senator's constituents, an organization calling for a new law, or a State official. Regard-less of the source, this idea serves as the starting point for any new bill or law.
Step 2: Idea is drafted into a Bill
Once an idea for a new law has been settled on, it must be drafted as a bill before it can be considered by the Senate. A bill is a set of instructions for changing the language of the laws of New York. Bill drafting requires a specialized legal training, and it is usually carried out by the staff of New York State's Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. Sometimes, an interest group may have its own attorneys draft a bill, and lawyers working in state agencies and the executive branch often submit their ideas for legislation in bill form.
Step 3: Bill undergoes committee process
The first step in the committee process is to introduce a bill into a committee. Bills are generally only introduced only by legislators or by standing committees of the Senate and Assembly. The only exception is the Executive Budget, which is submitted directly by the Governor. On introduction in the Senate, a bill goes to the Introduction and Revision Office, given a number, and sent to the appropriate standing committee. Committee Action.
Members of Standing Committees evaluate bills and decide whether to "report" them (send them) to the Senate floor for a final decision by the full membership. A committee agenda is issued each week listing the bills and issues each Senate committee will handle the following week.
Committees often hold public hearings on bills to gather the widest possible range of opinion. Citizens can share their opinion on a proposed bill with their Senate representative for relay to the committee members.
The committee system acts as a funnel through which the large number of bills introduced each session must pass before they can be considered. The system also acts as a sieve to sift out undesirable or unworkable ideas.
After consideration, the committee may report the bill to the full Senate for consideration, it may amend the bill, or it may reject it.
Step 4: Senate and Assembly Pass Bill
After explanation, discussion or debate, a vote is taken. If a majority of the Senators approves, the bill is sent to the Assembly. It is referred to a committee for discussion, and if approved there, it goes to the full membership for a vote.
If the bill is approved in the Assembly without amendment, it goes on to the Governor. However, if it is changed, it is returned to the Senate for concurrence in the amendments.
(The reverse procedure is followed if the Assembly first passes a bill identical to a Senate measure or if the Senate amends an Assembly bill.)
Step 5: Bill is signed by Governor
While the Legislature is in session, the Governor has 10 days (not counting Sundays) to sign or veto bills passed by both houses. Signed bills become law; vetoed bills do not. However, the Governor's failure to sign or veto a bill within the 10 -day period means that it becomes law automatically. Vetoed bills are returned to the house that first passed them, together with a statement of the reason for their disapproval. A vetoed bill can become law if two-thirds of the members of each house vote to override the Governor's veto.
If a bill is sent to the Governor when the Legislature is out of session, the rules are a bit different. At such times, the Governor has 30 days in which to make a decision, and failure to act ("pocket veto") has the same effect as a veto.
By Budd Schroeder
The SAFE Act is still a topic of discussion, especially now that Chris Collins is sponsoring the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA, HR 3576) which, if passed, would negate several of the most objectionable provisions of the law.
People may want to discuss the SAFE Act, and it is up to members like us to educate them on the uselessness of the law when it comes to diminishing “gun violence.” The discussion starts at the beginning of how it was passed, literally in the middle of the night with no three day waiting period for adequate debate or input.
Governor Cuomo and corrupt politicians (Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos) pushed it through the Assembly and Senate. The two legislative leaders were convicted and sentenced for corruption on other matters, Silver’s conviction was overturned and he may face another trial, but neither is serving their sentences. The point is that the origin of the law was passed in a dishonorable way by dishonorable people.
It was called a “message of necessity” although some of the provisions didn't go into effect for a year, and others are not in effect now. What it did was focus on ways for the state to deny honest gun owners four constitutional and civil rights without due process. Governor Cuomo and his toadies thought, and still think, that is necessary.
It banned many semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. It started out banning any rifle or shotgun that had a magazine that could hold more than seven rounds. It was so badly written that it didn't exempt law enforcement officers from that provision. Needless to say, that was quickly corrected and also because of the uproar that many handguns came with ten round magazines, ten round magazines became the limit for civilians.
Then some of the idiots in the legislature decided that it would be legal to have ten round magazines, but the owner could load only seven rounds in it. A couple of people were arrested for that, but a federal judge negated that provision. However, it is only in that judge’s district that it is positively legal. It could be illegal to have more than seven rounds in a magazine in the other parts of the state. Whatever happened to “equal protection under the law?”
Nothing has been litigated on that aspect so far. Perhaps there are prosecutors smart enough to realize that bringing stupid cases to a trial can make them look stupid. Ridicule is not something politicians and bureaucrats like.
The law also says any semiautomatic firearm with a detachable magazine would be illegal if it had a “military” look, having such features as a collapsible or folding stock or one with a thumb hole in it. It also banned guns with a bayonet lug or a threaded barrel. All of the banned features are cosmetic. When debating a politician or anti-gun dimwit it is a good idea to ask them how those features makes the gun “more deadly.”
Their answers could usually be met with laughter from the audience which again, can cause the anti-gunners to be ridiculed. However, the politicians told people who owned these types of guns that they could be made legal if the gun was registered. Obviously, if the bureaucrats know you have the gun that makes it “less deadly.”
Add some more ridiculous provisions of the SAFE Act. It still has the provision that the state can make people have a background check when they buy ammunition. This has not been put into effect yet because the State Police don't have the equipment to run the state equivalent of the NICS check. "Stupid is as stupid does," said Forrest Gump. This whole law serves as a good example of that saying.
Then, the law requires a background check for any private sale or transfer of all guns. So, if Joe up in the North country wants to legally sell his Winchester 94 to his close friend and the nearest FFL dealer is forty miles away, they have to drive the eighty miles, pay ten bucks for the NICS check (if the dealer will do it) before the sale is legal. There are rumors that in some places guns are exchanged with cash and a handshake without going through the legal process.
The question hasn't come up and been publicized about how do you prove a bill of sale dated before 2013 wasn't involved in a gun purchase? That could be problematic in some jurisdictions.
The other problem with that law is it prevents the Amish from legally buying a gun. In order to perform a NICS check, the FFL dealer needs a photo ID. The Amish, by their religion, don't have photo IDs so they cannot get the background check. That is also a good question to use in the debate or discussion. “Why do you think the Amish are such a dangerous society that they shouldn't be able to legally purchase a firearm?
Getting a stupid look from the person who has to think of a logical reason for that is worth the time and effort to ask. As you keep asking and interjecting these questions for which there is no logical answer, you are making the opponent crumble. How does he defend the indefensible?
Now, you are getting warmed up and finding the chinks in the SAFE Act defender’s armor. You have shown the stupidity of the law on the cosmetic restrictions of the guns. You always have the undeniable truth that THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES ANY WEAPON DANGEROUS IS THE PERSON HOLDING IT.
A hammer can be used to build a house. What do you call that? The obvious answer is that it is a tool. What do you call the same hammer if it is used to smash a person’s skull? The obvious answer to that is “a weapon.” Again undeniable logic!
This is the “weapon” you should use in the debate or discussion. Truthful statements that can't be refuted or rebuffed are winners. So, in desperation, your opponent may counter with, “The background check will make it more difficult to buy a gun.” And the answer to that is the degree of difficulty is not a factor.
Many drugs are totally illegal and there is no place to buy them legally. The addicts don't seem to have a big problem getting their supply. The same thing is true for firearms. If there is a buyer for a product, you will soon find a seller. That is a law of commerce.
The anti-gun debater might come up with “most guns involved in crimes come from out of state.” The answer could be. “Most illegal drugs come from out of the country.” State or federal borders don't stop criminal commerce.
Another argument comes up on the subject of limited capacity magazines. The opponent might say “If it wasn't for the high capacity magazines you wouldn't have mass murders.” Then you discuss the ease and speed of changing magazines to reload.
Let them think a moment about this thought. The atrocity caused at Sandy Hook by Adam Lanza is a good example of that fallacy. He could have committed all those murders with an old fashioned double barrel shotgun. He was murdering little children. Who could stop him from reloading? Again the danger comes from the criminal not the weapon.
Another point comes from a mass murderer in Virginia. He murdered many carrying a bunch of seven round magazines. The mass murderers are cowards. They select places to commit their murders where they don't have much, if any, opposition. How many mass murders have been committed at gun clubs? The vast majority of the mass murders were committed in “gun free zones.”
You can bring up a response by relating to drunk driving deaths and that more than half of the homicides involve drugs or alcohol. Drugs are illegal, but if we use the “logic” of the SAFE Act in this vein, we can argue that they also are inert until a person uses them.
So, if we make the purchase of alcohol more difficult, that will cut down on drunk drivers. Prohibition was one of the greatest failures in our history. Difficult to get alcohol? The people who wanted to drink were not significantly inconvenienced. Criminals made fortunes during the Roaring Twenties. Finally, the stupid law was repealed , as the SAFE Act should be.
Using this analogy, maybe we could reduce drunk driving and alcohol abuse if the bottles were smaller. How about a law that would forbid any alcoholic beverage to be in anything larger than a pint bottle? How about limiting alcoholic beverages to no more than 20 percent alcohol content? Limiting magazine capacity makes as much sense.
Speaking about the analogy using cars, try this one. There is no place in NY where a person can legally go faster than 65 MPH. Therefore to make our roadways safer, wouldn't it make sense to pass a law to make all cars sold in this state have a governor on it that would not allow the car to go faster than the legal limit?
Speed kills and how many lives could this save? The only reason a person could want to have an automobile that can exceed the speed limit, is because he WANTS to exceed the speed limit.
Andrew Cuomo grinned as he declared that “Nobody needs 20 rounds to kill a deer.” Well, nobody needs a car that will go faster than 65 MPH. Of course police and emergency vehicles (and probably the governor’s car would be exempt).
Of course, being New York and the fact that fines for speeding is a good source of revenue for governments makes it acceptable in Albany to have these dangerous cars on the road. (A bit of sarcasm here) .
The biggest problem for honest gun owners is that they can lose four constitutional and civil rights without due process. No lawabiding gun owner wants criminals or mentally impaired people to possess firearms. Felons are forbidden to have guns. However, the issue of mental impairment is causing a big problem.
People who have been falsely reported by a hospital or certain people in the medical or social services for “being a danger to themselves or others” can cause the loss of the right to keep and bear arms. There is the case of Montgomery v. Cuomo still sitting on a judges desk because he won't bring it to trial. Whatever happened to “justice delayed is justice denied?”
The case involves a retired law enforcement officer who was having a problem with insomnia and went to a hospital for treatment. He was released and a couple of days later the police came to his door and confiscated his guns and pistol permit.
Others are part of this action. One is a woman who voluntarily went to a hospital because of a medication problem. She was falsely reported as an involuntary admission. Same thing happened to her. Some people (not a part of this case) lost the four constitutional and civil rights because of the medication they were taking.
All got notices of the confiscation and the removal of gun ownership and their guns. There was no hearing and we found out that the government is exempt from HIPAA laws. They can do what they choose to do.
So far, the woman involved in the Montgomery Case had her permit reinstated because of the involvement of a good lawyer and investment of money. But, there is a big glitch for the possession of her guns. Being charged is enough for the state to notify the FBI and she, and the others now can't pass a NICS check. There is no easy way to get the stain of the report off the list.
So why cannot those who are falsely accused possess firearms? The state has no interest in rectifying their mistake. They refuse to rectify their mistake. They refuse to contact the FBI to get the names of the wrongly accused persons removed from the list. Where is the justice here?
The other abomination is when a pistol permit is suspended and the handguns are confiscated the owner’s long guns are confiscated too. When the pistol permit is reinstated the police have to return the handguns, but not the long guns.
In order to get the rifles and shotguns returned, a Supreme Court Judge has to be served with an Article 78 to return the confiscated property. The filing fee is close to $400 and the average lawyer’s fee is more than a thousand dollars. The legal costs may be more than the gun is worth and not be in the budget of many people who are affected. Perhaps this is another ploy to deny gun ownership. The power to tax is the power to destroy. So are expensive processes to regain constitutional rights.
So, if you are debating, arguing or writing letters about the SAFE Act, this article may give you some good talking points to prove that New York has corrupt politicians running Albany and the laws are strictly to limit the Second Amendment rights for honest citizens. It is up to us to convince the corrupt politicians that the law is a dismal failure and does nothing to reduce “gun violence” because CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY LAWS.
Go forth and preach the gospel of logic and reason.
By Don Hey
From time to time when things seem to get blurred and confusing it is important to step back and review why we are here and what are our goals. The latter is very clear. To stop any and all forms of infringement on The Second Amendment. Why we are here is a little more difficult and can be answered a bit differently in one’s mind. It is for this reason SCOPE as an organization has a mission statement. It is constructed in a manner to offer guidelines as to how we operate. There have been those as of late that have chosen to isolate themselves within a small segment of our political arena. To vilify those that do not emulate the perfect conservative and shun support from those that may have different views on issues not related to The 2nd Amendment. SCOPE has always been a bipartisan organization and this philosophy has served us well through the years. I offer below, for your review, the official SCOPE Mission Statement as listed on our website. SCOPE Mission Statement: The Shooter’s Committee on Political Education was founded in 1965 by a group of firearms owners in Western New York. SCOPE is a civil rights organization focused on the protection and preservation of the right of firearms ownership as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The founding of SCOPE and its subsequent growth were in response to the attacks on the Second Amendment as being outmoded in modern times or not being applicable to the rights of individuals. In other words, firearms ownership, much less use, was no longer considered by some to be politically correct.
While SCOPE’s role is focused primarily on the political process, it is an issues oriented organization. It does not align itself with any political party nor does it endorse any candidates for elective office. Our function is to counter assaults on the right of firearms ownership. This entails providing legislators and executives with timely and accurate information to support sound decisions.
In a free society, it is inevitable that the needs of the public will come into conflict with the rights of the individual. The SCOPE legislative team reviews all proposed firearms legislation for its impact on the legitimate firearms owner, its economic cost to the state, and its potential for achieving its stated objective. In developing our position on a specific piece of legislation or regulatory proposal, SCOPE goes through an extensive review process. All proposals are examined in light of their relationship to legitimate state interests and their potential for achieving objectives substantially related to satisfying those interests.
SCOPE’s purpose is to maintain the right of individuals to own and use firearms for lawful purposes. The Supreme Court in its landmark 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller clearly upheld this right. We do recognize that we live in a real world where individual rights may conflict and the state has a legitimate interest in resolving those conflicts. Any regulation by the state, however, must serve an important governmental objective and must be closely related to the achievement of that objective. SCOPE will oppose, with all its resources, any proposal that is not based on sound technical grounds or that infringes on the rights of firearms owners for the purpose of promoting a political philosophy, advancing a social theory, or as an emotional response and is not based on clear Constitutional grounds.
SCOPE’s mission has always been to keep legislators informed and educated on pending and proposed bills affecting gun owners and sportsmen. We have been successful for 40 plus years. And for 40 years SCOPE has been educating the voting public on the importance of their involvement and vote. In 2013 the efforts and successes of 40 years of advocacy for gun owners all changed in the dead of night with a midnight vote. SCOPE will not stop and is now expanding to litigation efforts as well as education of our legislators and voters.
On July 29, 2017, SCOPE joined Congressman Chris Collins at press conferences in Buffalo and Rochester, to announce that he has introduced the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA) H.R. 3576. SAGA would repeal the portion of the unSAFE Act pertaining to semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. The unSAFE Act broadens the definition of what an assault weapon is under New York law, and introduces gun confiscation to New York State.
The unSAFE Act is groundbreaking in the sense that it brings us something that most gun grabbers told us they would never do, confiscate your rifles and shotguns. I guess confiscation is their new idea of a “sensible gun safety” law. If you own one of these firearms you are required under the Act to register it with the state police. You cannot transfer the firearm to any New York resident, with the exception of an FFL dealer. This includes, your spouse and your children. You have a favorite rifle or shotgun, maybe a sentimental piece, you would like to leave to your son or daughter, Andy Cuomo says NO!
SAGA would repeal this egregious section of the unSAFE Act. For SAGA to pass we need all on board, you, me and of course congress. I am very disappointed to report that as of this writing, New York Congressmen John Faso (202) 225-5614, and John Katko (202) 225-3701, both who have claimed to oppose the unSAFE Act, have not signed on as cosponsors of SAGA H.R. 3576. Please call them and urge them to cosponsor SAGA, they need to hear your voice.
There is good news, New York Congresswomen Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney and Congressman Tom Reed have joined Congressman Chris Collins as cosponsors of SAGA. Please let these leaders know you are grateful for their support. SAGA is also picking up support from congressman from California and Pennsylvania. One more thing we need from you, if you have friends and family living in other states, tell them about SAGA, ask them to contact their friends and families in their states and to contact their congressional representatives to support SAGA. We’re creating our own little pyramid scheme, you are our greatest ambassadors keep spreading the word.
Finally, this November’s elections are local, you’ll be electing town boards, mayors, city councils and many other locally elected officials. These local elections, referred to as off year elections, are often viewed erroneously by many, as not important, voter participation is often the lowest of any election cycle. For us who are advocates for the Second Amendment, this presents a great opportunity, during low turnout elections your vote becomes magnified, it carries more weight and can turn an election, so register and vote. Gun owners have a terrible history when it comes to voting, many of us complain a lot, but for whatever reason, many don’t vote, that must change. Let me be blunt, the gun owners who stay home and don’t vote and support pro-gun candidates are as responsible for the passage of the unSAFE Act as anyone.
One more point on local elections, many of those local candidates will one day be running for state assembly, senate and congress, your local elections are the best place to weed out the good from the bad now, so register, vote and ask others to do the same. Someone much wiser than me once said, you get the government you deserve.
By Attilio A. Contini
The Country is in the midst of the most serious National crisis we have faced since the Civil War. I seriously wonder if we are going to be able to recover from it. The Civil War was primarily a single issue problem; State's Rights rooted in the issue of slavery. The problem we have today is a multi faceted dilemma with more ugly heads than I can count. It goes to the core of the Republic and is threatening the very values of our Free Constitutional Government.
We are under attack from many different angles. But there is one common thread thru the conspiracies. A small elitist class that wants to subjugate and completely control the masses. They seem to believe we are unable or not capable of providing for ourselves, know what our best interest is, or govern ourselves. They believe someone must make all decisions for us from the cradle to the grave. For almost a hundred years now they have been brainwashing us to believe that our form of government is bad and that government (the elitists) must run our lives and provide for our every need.
We continually here that Democrats and Republicans must and should work together to fix the problems which they themselves created. It is time we realize Democrats and Republicans working together especially in Washington is no longer a doable, smart, or possible thing. Both Parties have become obsolete. Because of the mass mis-education, brainwashing, and indoctrination of the vast majority of the American people for the last two generations very few people actually know much about our Constitution and the true responsibility of government.
The enemies of our Country have completely infiltrated and control the Democrat Party. Let's face it today the National Democrat Party in principle is somewhere between Communist and Socialist. Many of the inside Washington establishment Republicans also advocate some form of Socialism. They use and abuse our Free Democratic system of government to control and destroy our Freedom.
This is why the Republican Senate is unable to Repeal and Replace Obama care and they will not be able to pass true Tax Reform Legislation either. Let's be honest.
The bottom line is approximately thirty four Republican Senators are RINOs who are playing a sinister game of CYA rather than to help President Trump clean out their Swamp. The bottom line is Washington is infested with all kinds of corrupt, self serving, lying, criminal elements, who advocate various forms of TREASON. Trump didn't say it, but I am not afraid to!
It seems the only thing they ever do is screw the American people, destroy our economy and society, and use our legal system to create hate and discontent between every group they can think of.
Think about it. It was an absolute disgrace that Obama was even allowed to run for President let alone become President. After four years of total disaster he was renominated and elected for a second term? That doesn't say much for the segment of our population who voted! Fifty years ago he would have been lucky to get even ten percent of the vote.
What happened the last fifty years? Actually the Socialist/Communist movement started about a hundred years ago. They started by infiltrating our educational system starting in our colleges and working down to kindergarten. They did their homework and evolved our educational system into institutions of indoctrination, brainwashing, and miss education.
My wife and I saw it coming back in the early seventies when we were forced to pull our oldest daughter out of the local public school when she was in the second grade. Remember in the late sixties when thinking people began to say “Keep a good child from going bad, don't send them to college”? Today it has reached the point where every child in the public school system is at risk of being lost.
The Progressive Liberal Democrat Party has become so radical that is more of a threat to the security, safety, well being, and future of our Country and our way of life than Communist Russia is! To add insult to injury the Republican SWAMP dwellers in Washington and Albany are not that much better.
The bottom line is the Democrat vs. Republican smoke screen is not the problem. The body politic has degenerated to the point where it has become primarily a Good vs. Evil, Pro Constitutional vs. Anti American, Law and order vs. civil disobedience, Those that give vs those who take situation. Political correctness has labeled the so called conservative, law abiding, high moral standards people with all kinds of belittling, degrading, language. The fact is the progressive liberal left advocate, practice, and are the very thing they accuse us of being. Upside down society is the best way to describe the situation!
We are on the verge of a civil war and we better wake up to this reality. We elected Donald Trump President last November. The Left refuses to accept his election and are using the system from within to sabotage, destroy, and stop everything Trump tries to do. They have already shown they are ready and willing to use violence and political mutiny to hound Trump out of office
There is a proposition on the ballot for a Constitutional Convention in New York. Mark my words. It will be controlled so they will be able to diminish our Rights. Unless things change, next year Cuomo will be re-elected paving the way for the eventual confiscation of our guns.
Are we going to sit idly by and let them take our Country away from us? Only time will tell!
A 2nd Amendment Defense
Organization, defending the
rights of New York State gun
owners to keep and bear arms!
PO Box 165East Aurora, NY 14052
SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.
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