Complete list of Briefings
By Attilio A. Contini
I just finished reading the December issue of IMPRIMIS. I am sure many members of SCOPE also get the Hillsdale College publication. This month it had a piece entitled “Three Lessons of Statesmanship”, written by President Larry P. Arnn. He talks about Winston Churchhill, the stage leading up to and after WWII, of course Statesmanship, and the situation we face today here in the United States. His point that draws me to refer to the article is: That the majority of people here in the US today say that they are afraid of our Government. Truer words have never been said! Why does SCOPE exist? Because we fear what our State Government has been doing for the past fifty years. The problem has grown sublimely and reached a point on 1/19/2013 (The SAFE ACT) that some of us believe is a crisis. We tried to stop and reverse the situation. For practical purposes we have failed miserably. Cuomo and his henchmen secretly and quickly passed The SAFE ACT in a couple of days. It will have far reaching consequences very soon. Even most of our so called friends in the State Legislature have been ignoring us for almost four years now. Some of our worst fears will be falling into place in the coming months.
Like Churchill in 1940, will we have to take an “absolute stand for our homeland” (our Constitutional Rights) “knowing that utter defeat is possible”. Churchill and Great Britain, had a savior; the United States of America. Who do we have? We have the numbers: Four million strong. But, we don't seem to have the will, motivation, sense of urgency, or leadership. I thought SCOPE was that leadership but we seem to have fizzled out. After almost five years most of our numbers don't seem to know what is going on. Only last week I was talking to a very astute 78 year old friend, a gun owner, who didn't have a clue about the SAFE ACT and his need to re-certify. On top of that he never votes. What are we waiting for? Some people seem to think we are going to magically defeat Cuomo in November 2018 and elect a pro Constitutional Rights, pro gun Legislature. I don't think so! The Republican Party doesn't even have a candidate to challenge Cuomo. I doubt they will have candidates to primary all the RINO's in the Senate and Assembly. To add insult to injury even if they did, it will be very hard to reverse the impact of the results of the SAFE ACT being implemented between now and January 2019.
We cannot and should not accept defeat to a minority. Like Churchill warned, Our Government has grown totally unaccountable. We need a “Strategy For Commitment and Freedom”. Like it or not we have a war on our hands in this State. We need the “protection of the rights of We the People to control our Government”. We need it now and fast otherwise we will lose it forever. We desperately need someone to step forward and be a leader like Winston Churchill was. We need to unite, sit down, redefine our plan of action, mobilize, and make that plan work!
By Brad Fitzpatrick
Reprinted with permission from the NRA Family Magazine
When I brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital, my wife and I received a lot of advice, both solicited and unsolicited, on topics ranging from sleep cycles to feeding to treating diaper rash and colic. Most of the advice was thoughtful, and it helped me wade through those first few exhausting weeks of fatherhood. But one particular directive struck me: A woman that came by the house to give my daughter’s cheeks a squeeze, stuck a bent finger in my face, and said, “You need to do something about all those guns. Keep them locked up, at least.”
Admittedly, I know precious little about diaper rash or colic, but I know guns. And I could read between the lines when she said “keep them locked up, at least.” Translation: You really should get rid of your guns because you have a kid. I grew up in a house with guns. Maybe you did too. If guns were innately dangerous we wouldn’t have made it this far in life. But there are those that feel that all guns are dangerous, in large part because the only exposure they have to firearms comes via news outlets that paint all guns and gun owners with a broad, bloody brush.
There will come a day when my daughter will climb onto the school bus for the first time and step out into the big world. And I know too that she will make friends with kids whose parents don’t want their child hanging out with that gun writer. So, how do we handle those parents? How do we help them to understand that just because I own guns does not make me irresponsible?
Here are a few key points that you need to keep in mind when talking to parents who don’t want their child playing in a house with guns.
1. Find Common Ground: The parent who refuses to allow their child to come to a house with firearms doesn’t want their child to be hurt or killed. Guess what? I am a parent, I have guns, and I don’t want to see my child or anyone else’s hurt or killed, either. Guns are like automobiles, votes or gasoline and matches in that their use—good or bad—depends on the merit of the individual who controls them. Frankly, there are people with whom my daughter doesn’t ride in a car, not because cars are inherently bad, but because I don’t trust the driver.
2. Educate: The first key to dealing with a parent who is anti-gun is not to engage in a war of words but rather to explain to them that the myths perpetuated by anti-gun outlets are not true. Tell them that, as a gun owner and a parent, you are acutely aware of the fact that irresponsible gun handling can lead to injury, but help them understand that groups like the NSSF and NRA are working to help educate people about safe gun handling. There’s a widespread notion among anti-gun forces that groups like the NRA are somehow against gun safety, which could not be further from the truth. Tell these parents that gun groups are at the forefront of gun safety, leading the charge toward better security for firearms and gun education for all. Ask them if they’ve ever shot a gun and invite them to the range, or invite them to review NRA safety programs designed for kids, like Eddie Eagle.
3. Shoulder the Responsibility: I don’t know your kid. I don’t know if they’ve had any exposure to guns save the endless theatrical violence they witness in television and movies, but I’m certainly not going to allow my guns to reach your child’s hands. The responsibility of safe gun handling lies on the shoulders of gun owners, and we need to accept that responsibility. That’s a powerful message to advocates of strict gun control; I don’t believe that this responsibility lies with the government but rather with the individual, and to preserve that right I intend to take care to see that my guns are safe and secure. Parents ultimately have the right to allow their child to go or not go into anyone’s home. But it needs to be understood that if you don’t allow your child to come to my home for fear that there are guns then that is an attitude of ignorance, and it perpetuates the belief that all guns (and all gun owners) are bad.
By Harold Moskowitz
As I sit writing this, I am transfixed by the image of split logs being consumed by the flames in my stove. The radiating warmth sheds a feeling of protective safety from the sub-freezing world outside. Yet, if this moment of tranquility were to be suddenly shattered by a home invasion, my life would change forever. In New York State, you have a “duty to retreat” from impending violence. You must attempt retreat even into the sub-freezing temperature outside. You may use deadly force only if you are confronted by imminent lethal force and have no option for retreat. In any case, your use of lethal force can change your life forever. The responding law enforcement officer will likely place you under arrest. Your firearms will probably be confiscated. A District Attorney will ask the arresting officer if any provisions of the S.A.F.E. Act had been violated. A grand jury of total strangers would get to decide whether or not you will be indicted for murder in some degree.
One would like to think that the grand jury panelists would be unbiased but considering the divisive, polarized state of society today, that assumption might be unrealistic. True, it has been said that it is better to be “tried by twelve rather than to be carried by six.” However, your legal bills could cripple your economic well-being. The invader might have had a “rap sheet” as long as your arm, but the prosecution will portray him as a “family person” popular in his neighborhood. If he had been a young adult, it will be said that he would have become an outstanding college student athlete, scientist, pastor, … fill in the blank. It will likely be claimed that your actions cut short a young life filled with promise. This nightmare could happen at any time to any firearm owner exercising the right to home defense in our state. Were “defense” cartridges used? The prosecutor might suggest that you were just “itching” to see what type of damage to human flesh could be done by such rounds. Perhaps you only wounded the invader. Your problems are not prevented. Unlike some states, New York does not prohibit civil law suits arising from legitimate acts of self defense. The invader or, if deceased, his family will likely sue you. Was his spinal cord severed, leaving him an immobile paraplegic? You could be expected to pay, to some degree, for his huge medical bills and lifelong special needs requirements. Was an alleged promising career with high earning potential “destroyed” by your bullet? The jury might decide on a large monetary judgment against you with payments extending years into the future. Yes, one’s life can change in seconds.
How much time do we have for determining whether or not the use of lethal force is required for home or self-defense? Can one accurately assess in the dim light of night whether an intruder has a long knife or firearm? Is it a real gun or a replica? What if there were two invaders? Add to that tunnel vision which comes with the adrenaline rush. An anti-gun district attorney will probably not heavily weigh such mitigating factors when urging the grand jury for an indictment or a guilty verdict at trial. Clearly, the “rules of engagement” in our state are out of step with the needs of self-preservation in our unraveling civil society. Is there a solution to district attorneys who use their anti-gun bias to destroy your life or at least your Second Amendment right to own a firearm in the future?
Many residents are seriously contemplating resettling in other states to avoid the increasingly anti-gun bias of state officials. Unlike New York, forty-six states allow some use of the common law doctrine called the “Castle Doctrine.” It is a set of principles placed into laws allowing people to use “reasonable” force, including lethal force while inside the structure in which they regularly live. It allows for deadly force to be used as justifiable homicide when the home defender “reasonably” fears potentially lethal force or serious harm to himself or to another person. It may seem impossible at the moment. However, if the millions of state gun owners: Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians want to change the home-defense scenario described in this article, then things don’t have to remain this way forever. Pay attention to elections, especially those for district attorneys. Volunteer time to help pro-Second Amendment candidates. Donate to them and to SCOPE -PAC. Over time, politicians respond to large, active, dedicated interest groups. Miracles do happen!
By Don Hey, Chairman of the Board
With the New Year upon us, there is no time like the present to start engaging the challenges ahead. First and foremost are the coming elections. At the time of this writing, there is only one candidate that has indicated his intent to challenge Governor Cuomo and that would be Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb. As always there will be hurdles for any challenger to overcome. Name recognition, money and a strong backing by Ed Cox, State Republican Chairman will be critical to mounting a successful campaign. With that said, it should be pointed out that in the last Governor’s race we the gun owners succumbed as a voting block to the Fake News and did not show at the polls.
No matter whom the Republican challenger is we must get behind that individual, support them financially and show up at the polls. Period! The election of Donald Trump needs to drive home the media’s intent to keep us home on Election Day. As you may recall right up to Election Day Clinton was leading in the “Fake Polls” and you were being subliminally told to stay home because your vote didn’t matter. Fortunately, enough voters were hell bent on change and did show up and we know the results. So this year it will be our job to educate, network and convince like-minded individuals that everyone’s vote matters.
The 2014 election had historically low voter turnout on both sides indicating that voters from all walks of life are frustrated. We can use this to our advantage. If you are a registered voter, please plan to vote. If not registered, do so as soon as possible!
Congressional Bill HR-38, National Reciprocity looks like it will meet minimal resistance and should pass sometime this year. Although many are opposed to the addition of HR 4477, which amends the Brady Bill, this amendment only looks to enact more responsible reporting to the Instant Background Check System. Although I would have liked to see HR 38 pass on its own merits, it is possible the addition of HR 4477 may help speed the passage of the combined bill. To touch on a thought that I am sure is going through your mind, yes, I am aware of the potential for abuse with any reporting to NICS, and yes we are all aware of the abuse here in NY by Cuomo. Like the Tax bill that Trump passed, you need to ask yourself if a handful of corrupt states should hold back the progress of a nation. If this joint bill is passed, name me another victory of this magnitude that has happened for gun owners in your lifetime.
Congressional Bill HR 3576, The Second Amendment Guarantee Act introduced by Congressman Chris Collins is still in committee awaiting additional co-sponsors. This bill, if passed, will eliminate a state’s ability to enact regulations on rifles and shotguns that exceeds federal regulations. States like New York, California, Maryland and New Jersey will no longer be able to further infringe on the Constitutional rights of lawful gun owners. Pistol grips, forward grips, standard capacity 30 round magazines, telescopic stocks and many other cosmetic features will again be available in New York! How can you help pass this bill? Simple, contact your family, friends and coworkers across the nation. Ask them to contact their Congressional Representative and tell them to co-sponsor bill HR 3576. Like HR 38, National Reciprocity, this is a national bill that needs national support. How many of you are on firearms forums? Post this on all of them asking the readers to do the same. Ask your family, friends and co-workers nationwide to do the same. Networking works. I have been in constant contact with Rep. Collins office in D.C. and they are very excited over this bill and feel the political climate is ripe for this kind of change, but they need our help. As a grass roots organization we are always reaching out to our members for assistance.
The simple fact is that we are volunteers, which means that many of us must be gainfully employed to pay bills. Please consider reaching out to your chapter chairman and offer to help. There are times when simple but important tasks need to be performed. A phone call contacting members that have let their membership lapse, picking up a printing order. Helping to set up and take down a meeting place can help streamline chapter operation. Please help where you can.
On January 20th the Delaware County Committee applied for chapter status at the first quarterly directors meeting in Syracuse, NY. Although I am writing this on January 17th, I am confident that Chairperson Andrea Elliot along with the officers and members of Delaware County will be recognized for their organization, activities and support of The 2nd Amendment. Welcome Aboard!
As you read this many of you have seen the new SCOPE website. If not please visit the site and share it through social media and email www.ScopeNY.org This new website will streamline information sharing, online membership signup and renewal. It incorporates the latest in technology and presents a professional image of our membership while attracting new members and educating members of the political arena. I would like to thank Barry Alt of A2Z Enhanced Digital Solutions for his dedication and professionalism throughout this project. Barry is also a SCOPE member and worked tirelessly with SCOPE Administrative Assistant Sue Maressa to bring this project to fruition. I wish everyone happiness and well being in the coming year. If there is anything I can do please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tim Andrews SCOPE President
With the new year comes the 2018 Albany legislative session. Thus far the early focus in Albany seems to be on passing legislation prohibiting those convicted of domestic violence crimes from possessing firearms, and banning the sale of bump stocks. A state law pertaining to domestic violence would be redundant, since federal law already addresses that issue. Consideration is also being given to a state ban on bump-stocks.
Thus far the governor’s legislative agenda seems more about his political aspirations than benefiting New Yorkers or fighting crime. Regarding bump-stocks, until the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, most people had no idea what a bump-stock was, and they were never used in crime. I recognize that most shooters I know have no interest in a bump-stock for various reasons. I for one am not interested in owning a bump-stock, but is that a reason to support a ban? I would argue no, because doing so would fall into the trap of blaming and banning hardware. When you start blaming and banning hardware where does it stop?
A good example is the issue of magazine size. How do you argue against magazine bans and support banning bumpstocks? We need to maintain consistency in our arguments. Whether we are talking about semi-automatic rifles, large capacity magazines or bump-stocks, they are not the problem, any more than a corvette is the cause of speeding.
Furthermore, with practice one could pretty much duplicate what a bumpstock does with just your finger. On the issue of bans, how many times have you heard a hunter, a sporting clay shooter or others say about military style semi-autos, “who needs one of them, they should be banned.” What everyone needs to understand, and the unSAFE Act clearly proves, the anti-gunners want them all. They want your Remington 1100 as well as your AR-15. The unSAFE Act’s mental health provisions and the recertification provisos provide for the confiscation of all your firearms, shotguns, rifles and handguns. You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose all your firearms. Under the unSAFE Act due process is gone. You are guilty and it’s up to you to prove your innocence to get your firearms back.
This November we face one of the most important elections of our lifetime. You will here me pound away at that throughout the year. You may get tired of hearing me talk and write about it, but please understand, it is not overstated to say that the 2018 election is the most important election of our lifetime. The best way to turn things around in Albany is to change the name on the front door of the governor’s mansion. I’ve heard some say it can’t be done; we can’t over come the vote coming out of New York City. Well, that is simply not true. 57% of the state’s adult population comes from outside New York City. In the 2014, gubernatorial election there were 3.8 million votes cast. There are about 14 million people in New York who are eligible to vote. That means there were 10 million people in New York State who did not vote in 2014. It’s estimated that 6 million people outside of New York City did not vote in 2014. Cuomo won that election by 500,000 votes. It’s easy to see that the 6 million who did not vote could have easily swung the election to Rob Astorino had they voted.
There are an estimated 4 to 6 million gun owners in New York. Undoubtedly many of those gun owners did not vote in 2014. That means there is fertile ground for us to plow, the numbers tell us we can defeat Cuomo in 2018. Voting and the right to keep and bear arms have a common purpose, each to protect the other. Second Amendment supporters need to treat the vote with the same reverence we treat the Second Amendment.
Most gun owners in New York are not members of SCOPE, the NRA, or any other Second Amendment organization. Those are the folks we need to reach. Many of those are people you know. Help us get the message out. The only thing we need to defeat Cuomo in 2018 is a lot of hard work and commitment from each one of us. We’ll be calling on all of you to help us educate gun owners on the importance of the 2018 election. Help us get gun owners registered to vote, and then make sure they vote on November 6, 2018. We need an unprecedented voter turn out; with your help we can turn the tide in 2018. Visit S.C.O.P.E.’s newwebsite , www.scopeny.org for information on voting and links to the board of elections where you’ll find the information necessary to register to vote.
By Harold Moskowitz
The American Revolution began when British troops marched to Concord to confiscate colonial arms and powder. Colonists viewed confiscation of arms as a violation of the relationship between citizenship, gun ownership, and liberty. Our Declaration of Independence spoke of God given “Inalienable Rights” which could not be denied by a ruler. However, lofty ideals about the People governing themselves and rights granted by God instead of a king were pointless unless the colonists could win independence. Without firearms, there would have been no chance.
The Second Amendment addressed the fear that a powerful central government could oppress the People. It was a guarantee that our national government would neither disarm the People nor replace state militias with a standing army. Jefferson believed that an armed population would be a deterrence to oppression. He saw the importance of preserving “the spirit of resistance.” Today, there are those among us who are involved in efforts to lead this nation toward socialism under a one-world government. Some work to further that goal while in positions of importance in government. Others use their considerable personal wealth to fund radical group efforts. Still others work toward the goal by indoctrinating young minds in university lecture halls.
They have been weakening us from within by undermining patriotism, authority, the family, expression of religion in public, morality, and our national sovereignty. Their efforts aim to weaken us through division by race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, age, culture, and “economic class.” “Political correctness” was devised to stifle any criticism of their agenda actions. To resist them in any way brands one a “racist,” “xenophobe,” “homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” etc. In our schools, the young are taught that “guns are bad.” For reinforcement, tee-shirts or trinkets portraying a firearm are prohibited. One elementary school child was even suspended for chewing a pop-tart into the shape of a gun.
The “globalists” would end U.S. sovereignty by having the government sign agreements such as the U.N. Small Arms Treaty. That treaty was solidly supported by then Secretary of State Clinton. International treaties of this type shift decision making on important issues from our elected government to international bodies where unelected, unaccountable administrators would decide how you would live. International law would supersede our Constitution and laws. There is no right of self defense under international law. In addition, firearm ownership is not considered an individual right.
It is the Second Amendment with the potential for armed resistance which is slowing the globalist agenda. The 300-plus million firearms in our urban/suburban communities could be problematic for government leaders if the public were pushed too far, too quickly. Calls for universal background checks are really aimed at national gun registration. Australian-style confiscations would then follow each subsequent mass shooting. AR15’s would be first, followed by semi-automatic pistols and shotguns etc. For now, they settle for incrementally chipping away at firearm ownership after each mass shooting. Each “gun-free zone” school shooting provides the emotional momentum for rapid, new infringements on Second Amendment rights.
Increasingly, the Bill of Rights is ignored in the name of security. The Constitution itself is often dismissed by many young people as an outdated document written by “old white slave owners.” The window of opportunity for altering this transformational agenda is in the process of closing. The Second Amendment keeps it open.
If the Second Amendment can be continuously eroded, the other amendments are not secure. This is the civil rights cause of our era. We were placed here, in this time, for a purpose. We must forget our differences, political or otherwise, to unite for defending and protecting our Second Amendment rights and, by extension, the preservation of the rest of the Bill of Rights, for those who come after us.
The November election is crucial for preserving individual liberty at the national and state levels. No excuses! If you are not registered to vote, get registered and encourage others to get registered. Speak to every gun owner about the importance of voting in this election. Governor Cuomo must be replaced to prevent new S.A.F.E. Act restrictions. At the national level, Democrat control of Congress would guarantee new firearm restrictions.
There is a tough row to hoe ahead of us. S.C.O.P.E. and other firearm organizations must coordinate and mobilize their members through county chapters and affiliated sporting groups. Voting registration forms and absentee ballots should be available at all gun shops, ranges, sporting competitions and chapter meetings. Chapters need to make provisions for members to call absent members as reminders to vote on November 6th. “Summer Soldiers” and “Sunshine Patriots” will not win the day for the preservation of individual liberty! Only your inaction can guarantee Governor Cuomo another chance to restrict your Second Amendment rights!
By Budd Schroeder
When it comes to politics, perception reigns. The old saying “you can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” is probably true, but it doesn’t seem to deter the liberal media. At least they give fooling most of the people a good try. The disagreements between the liberal left and conservative right seem to favor the left because they are the ones who control most of the media and the educational facilities. A former dictator had the saying: “If you tell a big lie often enough, people will believe it.” If one side of an argument gets most of the exposure, that one has the best chance of being believed. This is well defined in the issue of gun control. The anti-gun crowd consists mainly of people who control electronic media, newspapers, entertainment and a significant segment of government. The people in charge are the ones who set the tone for the liberal agenda of one world government, socialistic programs, and the insistence that big government is the best government. They keep pushing for more government control over the lives and the rights of the citizens. Some have accused them of trying to turn citizens into subjects. It has been a battle for centuries. When America fought and won the battle for independence from the King of England, it really shook up the normal structure of that time. Most of the civilized world was run by dictators or royalty. It was so ingrained, that kingdoms were formed by “divine right.” To pose that argument was to go against the Will of God. People believed it and it took several revolutions in kingdoms to dispel that slogan. Some royal families were smart enough to modify the monarchies and they became symbols as the people then had the power to make laws. In countries run by dictators, those who didn’t have the power of the military to stay in power and keep ruling as a family business, were changed by revolutions and uprisings. The Founding Fathers in America were well aware of the potential for reverting to those unacceptable provisions and as a safeguard, wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. When writing the Declaration and Constitution, they created a government of laws, not men. The leaders were elected and replaced by the will of the people who voted. In the days following the emergence of a new country and new government the whole focus was on government of the people, by the people and for the people. Those in power were replaceable. If the people were no longer satisfied by the way the government was being run. The politicians of that era “did their duty” and served short terms in government. When they were satisfied that they served to make the country better, they stepped down to go back to their farms or businesses. Others were simply removed by elections and new people replaced them. As one would expect, from the beginning of any government, there were people involved in power plays and ambition would lead to battles in the government proceedings as well as elections. Some of the disagreements led to duels and deaths. From the beginning of governments, from any perspective, there were people who wished to get more power. History is filled with the stories about the motives causing change, but it seems to have a common source. Someone wanted more power and money. A few wanted better government. Those ambitions are still prevalent in government today. Corruption is still a major factor in most government agencies and could be eliminated by intelligent voters. The fact that most politicians look at government as a career path, rather than “doing their duty,” as been, and still is, a major problem in America. Some elected officials have served in office longer than many monarchs and dictators. The elected officials have passed laws that are extremely beneficial to the incumbents. New York is a perfect example of that equation. It has better than a 90 percent reelection rate. The districts have been wonderfully gerrymandered by the people in power to keep the people in power, remaining in power. The political parties are focused, not on the best government, but the best method to stay in power. Power first. People second. People are the necessity to win elections because they are the voters. It has been said that some people are so dedicated to their party affiliation, they even vote after they have died. Some districts have been reported to have more voters in an election than people who are registered. So, how does this affect the issue of gun control? The Second Amendment was put in the Constitution to prevent the government from becoming too powerful. The amendment has been likened to a keystone on an arch and, if it is destroyed or removed, the whole arch crumbles. That is why it plainly says, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” A definition of infringed is “violated.” Keeping and bearing arms is not only for personal defense against individual harm, but as a defense against permanent marshal law or a takeover by individuals who seek to change our Republic into a different form of government, like socialism. Those who wish to disarm the populace, gun by gun, should be looked at with skepticism. They will look at any tragedy as a means to infringe on the rights of the honest citizen. The semi-automatic rifle with a threaded barre that they ban today can easily pave the way for banning a pump or lever action gun the next time there is a shooting. The liberal politicians refuse to address the real problem because it is difficult to solve. Their slogan “Gun Violence” should be replaced by a more accurate description like, “Criminal misuse of firearms.” However, this is a really difficult problem for them to solve because CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY LAWS. It is much easier to keep repeating a lie than it is to solve the real problem. Don’t forget to vote this year.
Rob McNally, Cattaraugus County
This is a major election year in New York and we need to have a unified approach to getting voters out in order to have a positive effect on the results. Coordinate with your SCOPE chapter members and use the plan described here. This can and will have the highest form of success if you implement it immediately. Evidence of this is presented below based upon statistics achieved in 2014. In 2014, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties were effective in raising the voter turnout from what is typically 35% turnout in a mid-term election to an average of 48%, and that was with a very late start in the election year. We have the whole summer to get this out. We can be very effective with this. As you may recall, Astorino won all but 8 counties in 2014. Of the total vote, he only lost by half a million votes. If EVERY county but those 8 were to be addressed with this program, we would increase the number of voter turnout far beyond that half million votes! This CAN be done.
First, make contact with your county Board of Elections. Their records are subject to open records laws and are available to anyone who requests them, free of charge. Utilize the available roster of Board of Elections from the state website.... (https://www.elections.ny.gov/countyboards.html ). This roster is in an Adobe.pdf file format and rather easy to print. File a written request with the board of elections within your county via email or in person. Request a print out of ALL registered voters in the county WHO HAVE NOT VOTED IN THE LAST THREE GENERAL ELECTIONS, at minimum. You may want to go back one more general election, that is your choice. The time periodof three general elections occupies roughly six years. Divide those districts up into neighborhoods from which your membership derives. Get your membership to then reach out to the names on those lists.
Many will find neighbors and/or friends whom they know on that list. This is their ‘in’ to start a conversation with them. Discuss with them what would be necessary to get those voters back out to the polls. This should not be a confrontational discussion. Simply inquire as to what motivation can get them back to the polls. Some of that motivation could simply be giving them the numbers that support the claims here. For instance, many make the oft repeated excuse that voters in New York City out number those of us in upstate. This is not true, but very handy for those who do not wish to get out to the polls. The actual numbers are very much in favor of upstate voters if we could simply convince those who choose not to vote to change their minds. If you look at the statistics from 2016 and do a little math, you’ll find that total voters (active and inactive) in New York City amount to 4,475,157. However, by subtracting those voters from the total voters in the entire state we come up with 7,251,685.(https://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/enrollment/county/county_ apr16.pdf ) Could we come up with an additional half a million votes from that pool of voters? I certainly think we can!
The next step is to continue the voter registration drives.(https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registrationapplication) However, the bulk of our lost votes are typically in registered non-voters rather than unregistered new voters. But maintaining this voter registration effort will simply supplement our drive of getting non-voting registered voters back to the polls.
I hope this encourages those who might be eager to see some changes in this state. If you were wondering what you could do to make this fall’s election resemble the 2016 federal election, this article suggests a path. Please be an encouragement to all our voters out there. Make this the year we make our stand count and make a difference!
Richard Rossi, Delaware County SCOPE Member
I was going to write about another topic this month; however, in light of the recent mass-shooting in Parkland, Fla. I felt this was more appropriate and timely. Unfortunately, in these times, "POSITIVE ACTION" must be taken to stop these mass-shootings. The 'Feel-Good' measures that have been enacted, by our Congress and the many state and local governments will not and do not make anyone safe - they never did. Time has proven that 'Gun-Free Zones', are an invitation to mass-shootings and terrorist attacks. Just look back at Newtown, Columbine, Aurora (theater) etc. and now Parkland, Florida. The issue goes far beyond 'Gun-Free Zones' in schools - it applies to Gun-Free Zones anywhere.
More Gun Laws, Restrictions and Regulations and the so called - 'Assault Weapon Bans' are just words on 'paper'. Murder, assault etc. are already crimes. These remedies have had no impact nor will more of the same make any difference nor have an effect on criminals and the severely mentally ill from acts of violence. If our elected officials in our government want to truly make a difference, then they need to attack the 'Root Causes' (seriously mentally ill individuals, gang violence, both illegal and legal drug trade, illegal's, domestic and foreign terrorists) for all violence.
Law-abiding gun owners are NOT the problem and never were. CCW Holders are by far more responsible than the average citizens in America - this also includes LEO's which have a higher crime rate than CCW Citizens. These so-call common sense gun control measures are NOT addressing the issues. They are as I said, 'feel good' initiatives, that make it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones. These measures constantly restrict an object - the gun; rather than the individual. Our school are 'soft targets'. Every school administrator, needs to be 'pro-active' and use all means available to keep our children safe. This includes, 'Lock-Down' procedures to prevent unauthorized access to schools, containment measures should a 'breach' occur, and, YES, armed, concealed carry personal on the premises during school hours. However, this should be the last defense to protect our children. I say concealed carry individuals, which are the element of surprise, must be the major tactic in any mass shooting confrontation.
Uniformed LEO's are fine; however, are we going to have one, two, three or more at each school? Small community schools can't afford the cost associated to enlist this assistance. In New York State, our rural schools are declining in enrollment with higher and higher school taxes; unfortunately, the residents can't absorb this type of security measure. For the individuals who are afraid of armed response measures, what choice do we have? In a mass murder scenario, seconds count and LEO's are minutes away. Is it not better to have assistance right there NOW?
Some say they are afraid of guns in school, they don't want to have fear instilled in the students. Schools in NYS are required to have 'lock-down' drills and drills to simulate mass-shooting scenarios - the same could be said for these drills - right?
Just think about this for a minute, when SWAT is summoned in an attack - they are at a disadvantage when they arrive. They are arriving well into the mass shooting and associated hysteria event. Unfortunately, several individuals will have been killed or wounded by this time. They will be searching for the shooter or shooters. Would it be more advantageous IF the attack was already stopped or the individual contained in a specific location? The presence of an armed individual(s) might be the difference that all our children will survive. Why 'wait and pray' that LEO's will arrive in time. Let’s face it - the first seconds or minutes are critical. Our local Sheriff offered to have a Deputy Sheriff stationed at every school in our county (Delaware). I believe it is 11 schools; however, this would be only one individual and it would be up to the community to pay for this. A Deputy Sheriff or School Resource Officer, and, yes, even some administrators and teachers who are trained in confrontation scenarios involving firearm assaults are appropriate. The time for action is NOW. The past 'FEEL GOOD MEASURES' are not effective and most are just infringing on the rights/freedoms of law-abiding gun owners and doing nothing to stop crimes. We are in fact making our citizens less and less safe and becoming prey for criminals. Law-abiding citizens are entitled to self-defense.
The NRA back in 2012, developed a program to assist schools in safety protocols. I ask every school administrator to take advantage of this program . (WWW.NationalSchoolSHIELD.org) I would like to add two additional points. We have an untapped resource of highly trained combat individuals who have proven under high stress to react quickly, our veterans. These individuals have been 'field tested' and can fill these needed security measure. Let’s REALLY keep our children safe. As we learn more and more about Parkland Fla., it proves that our system has failed all of our citizens and our children. This individual SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO LEGALLY PURCHASE A FIREARM - PERIOD. His criminal past should have put him in the NICS System to be blocked from any gun purchase - HE WAS NOT. On top of this - the actions of the school deputy that was assigned to protect these children - failed them miserably. I don't know his past experience with these kinds of issues; however, clearly it was not his finest hour. Hopefully all the 'true' facts will come to light, so we can learn from this what NOT to do - next time.
In my opinion, these two issues clearly make a case for multiple armed individuals on school premises. Hopefully, our elected officials will 'see the light', and truly resolve this issue with not the same 'feel good measures' of our past. However , our rights/freedoms as citizens must never be compromised in the process. Our Constitution/Bill of Rights must always be the true test of any approach. Abandon these guiding principles and we have nothing - 'We the People' will become slaves of our government. Freedom is in the balance.
In closing, I would just like to add one additional personal view point; which is, unfortunately, very unsettling to me as a law-abiding American citizen/gun owner. Can our elected government officials be that 'ignorant' concerning these, 'so-called' common sense gun control measures and actually believe they will stop violence? I believe it is far more complicated, and this maybe the true objective, which has nothing to do with violence, but has everything to do with our basic Rights/Freedoms of our Democracy. Our Second Amendment Right protects 'We the People' from our own government. It is the 'citizens 'Checks and Balances' to prevent the government from becoming the rulers. It is not about hunting etc. We, today’s gun owners are the militia our Founding Fathers were speaking about and stated in the 2nd Amendment. It is about the elite few becoming the ultimate power and the citizens becoming the subjects. Destroy the 2nd Amendment and the rest will surely follow. Some food for thought - hope I am paranoid and they (politicians) are just 'mentally challenged'. Time will tell. God Bless our children and grandchildren, may they live in a country that is Free.
By Stephen L. Blakeslee, Hornell, NY
The recent shooting at the Parkland, Florida school shocked and saddened our nation. No parent should have to bury their child, especially under such circumstances. We all suffer from such a tragedy. The FBI failed on at least two occasions to follow up on leads about the shooter. Social Services, mental health workers and law enforcement were at the shooter’s home multiple times and did nothing. An armed Sheriff’s Deputy was on site while the shooting was occurring but did not even attempt to engage the shooter or save lives.
Now we are being asked by smug politicians to trust this broken system even further by giving up more of our Constitutional Rights, all the while they strut about with armed security by their sides. Enough! In a 2005 Supreme Court decision, it was ruled that local police departments have NO DUTY OR OBLIGATION to protect ordinary citizens during the commission of a crime. Do not count on the police, or anyone in government to come and save you in your home, or your children at school. You are the only one that can protect yourself and your family in the immediate situation. Do not let the politicians tell you that you cannot defend yourself. Call your Senators and Congressmen and women to demand passage of Concealed Carry Reciprocity for all 50 States. DEMAND that honest citizens be allowed to have the same type of semi-automatic rifles and large capacity magazines as the shooters. Make schools safer by providing on site armed security personnel.
Train and arm teachers and school personnel that are willing and able to take on the task of protecting students. Go to the polls and VOTE this November. Take back your GOD GIVEN RIGHT to self defense and your Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
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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