SCOPE NY

Briefings

  • 05/16/2020 9:45 PM | Anonymous

    Colorado's coronavirus death toll dropped significantly on Friday after the Colorado Department of Health and Environment made a major change in how state officials report COVID-19 deaths.

    State officials are now distinguishing between people who died "with COVID-19" and those who died "due to COVID-19." Previously, officials lumped all the deaths together, meaning people who had COVID-19, yet did not die directly from the virus, were included in the state's official death count.

    The change resulted in nearly 300 fewer COVID-19 deaths in Colorado, KDVR-TV reported.

    On Friday afternoon, the Colorado Department of Health reported 1,150 COVID-19 deaths. But after the change, that count dropped to 878.

    "We have been reporting at the state, deaths among people who had COVID-19 at the time of death and the cause of that death may or may not have been COVID-19," Dr. Eric France, Colorado Health Department's chief medical officer, said Friday, according to KDVR.

    "We started to hear stories about 'are these correct or are these incorrect?'" he explained.

    COVID-19 death counts have received increased scrutiny over the last month as the national death count continues to increase by an average of 1,000-2,000 deaths per day.

    Frustration over COVID-19 death classification boiled over in Colorado this week after state officials included the death of 35-year-old Sebastian Yellow as a COVID-19 death.

    However, Colorado's Montezuma County coroner, George Deavers, determined that Yellow had died from alcohol poisoning, having a blood alcohol content of .55 at the time of his death, which is over the lethal limit.

    "It wasn't COVID, it was alcohol toxicity," Deavers said. "Yes, he did have COVID, but that is not what took his life."


  • 05/15/2020 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    “Hello Don,

    Good to hear from you. Hope your doing well and staying safe. 

    Phase 1 started today in the Finger Lakes. It includes recreational activities and hunting. Several clubs have interpreted this to mean that they can reopen. Just important to follow the social distancing rules and not do meetings or congregate in club house. (Emphasis added)

    https://www.whec.com/news/phase-one-of-reopening-underway-in-rochester/5730419/

    Chris Catt
    Chief of Staff, Senator Pam Helming 
    315-568-9816

  • 05/14/2020 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    Gun control advocates see gun crime as an opportunity to advance their agenda, even in situations where a gun control failure allows the crime to occur. Their attempt to hijack the Parkland high school shooting for their own purposes is a perfect illustration of this.

    The response to the Parkland murders was spontaneous. Florida and several other states rushed to pass unconstitutional legislation called Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) also commonly known as ‘Red Flag’ Laws. These are believed to prevent such future horrific events yet “red flags” already existed in Parkland and were ignored by both the school system and the Sheriff’s department. The young killer was ‘flagged’ many times but suffered no consequences. Both agencies were intent on protecting their reputations. The federal government was not free of responsibility either. 

    A similar law took effect in New York on August 24, 2019. These ‘Red Flag’ Laws are intended as a way to keep “dangerous” people from possessing firearms. Your family members, ex-family members, school personnel and law enforcement are empowered to make an unproven accusation resulting in a court order stripping an individual of both their firearms and their Constitutional rights. 

    New York’s and other state’s ERPO laws fail to safeguard not only the 2nd amendment but also the 5th and 14th amendments. Both guarantee in our nation’s Bill of Rights:  “That no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law”.

    Due process protections are side-stepped, and the standard of evidence required to remove an individual’s personal property is greatly minimized. The person who is the object of the complaint receives no notification nor do they have an opportunity to refute a possible false accusation. 

    You are considered guilty until proven innocent and only by hiring a lawyer and expending time and a great deal of money can the accusation and confiscation possibly be reversed. There is no requirement for the accuser to sign an affidavit nor any penalty for false accusations.

    No one wants a repeat of Parkland, Virginia Beach, El Paso, Dayton, or Odessa. However, removing the gun does not remove the threat. It may only change the means. Legislation that trades constitutional protections for the hope of future security is truly a red flag that should concern us all. Gun owners may not be the only ones impacted by the next unconstitutional law. Elected officials took an oath of office to protect the Constitution, not revoke its guaranteed rights. 

    Laura Sepka,

    Vice Chair

    Wayne County SCOPE

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

     

  • 05/10/2020 10:03 PM | Anonymous

    Brian Manktelow NY State Assembly 130th district
    UPDATE: media outlets are now reporting that the Governors Office is Backtracking and saying those who hit their benchmarks on May 15 can begin the reopening process. For those who haven’t, the PAUSE has been extended until June 7”, Richard Azzopardi, spokesperson for the Governor. This may make a difference for some in UPSTATE NY. Speaking with other officials in my District we are are still on tract as of today to start the reopening, starting with Phase 1.

    WE need to go back to work!

    The Speaker of the Assembly needs to call us back immediately to END Gov. Cuomo’s expanded emergency powers and RESTORE the traditional authorities given to the Legislature so we have a say in the Future of OUR state.

    We demand action NOW! Upstate matters and we will not give up this fight nor will I as Assemblyman for our 130th District.


  • 05/08/2020 9:48 PM | Anonymous

    Lucas Day May 08, 2020, Finger Lakes Daily News
    State Senator Pam Helming and Assemblyman David DiPietro today announced that they are introducing legislation to repeal new powers granted earlier this year to Governor Cuomo. Under S.7919, the Governor of New York was given the power to take virtually any action he deems necessary when there is a declared emergency. This measure gives him the ability to make changes and enact legislation without consulting the state legislature, holding hearings, or providing opportunities for public input. He may declare an emergency in virtually any circumstance.

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 55 days, the Governor has unilaterally enacted or changed 262 laws.

    “No Governor, Democrat or Republican, should have the ability to make hundreds of unilateral decisions without input from or votes in the state legislature. In times of crisis, decisions must often be made quickly, but they should not be made in a way that undermines the foundation of our democracy and the system of checks and balances. This is something that should concern all of us, regardless of partisan politics. State legislators are elected by their constituents to represent them, people do not solely vote for a governor. The State Legislature and Executive were created to work together for a reason. The State Senate and Assembly cannot abdicate our role in government as legislators and simply leave the difficult decisions to the Governor. I believe that it is our job to listen to our constituents, research the issues, vote and be wholly accountable to the people we represent,” said Senator Helming.

    “Gov. Cuomo has overstepped, superseded and, frankly, taken advantage of his executive authority in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis,” DiPietro said. “We have legislative, executive, and judicial branches to balance and check each other. This governor will do anything and everything to extend his power and control over the other branches, which is unjust and simply unamerican. We have to step up and do our duty as legislators to limit this as best we can. We cannot disregard our role and duty to the people of New York.”

  • 05/08/2020 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    May 8, 2020, Bill Karr
    All of a sudden, it seems like guns aren’t quite so distasteful anymore, since now with uncertainty in the air due to the Covid virus, gun sales have rocketed, and a full 90 to 95 percent of all new gun sales for many gun shops are NEW gun buyers!

    It’s interesting how our rights under the Constitution fade in importance until they’re denied, or needed! Then all of a sudden, the non-believers become believers. Actually, a lot of these new gun owners are getting their backs up when they find that their very own legislation, pushed through in previous years, has come back to bite them in the way of waiting periods, background checks and delays.

    And what’s the most popular gun being purchased? The one generally most-despised by these newly converted anti-gun, gun buyers: Pistols! A full two thirds of the new gun buyers states that they are buying the gun for protection.

    Let me give you an idea of how many guns are being sold right now: 2.6 million guns were sold in March alone. Some gun shops have sold the same number of guns in one month as they usually sell in 2 or 3 years. Handgun sales increased 91.1% year over year, while long gun sales jumped 73.6%.

    In February, well before the corona virus was a household word, the FBI’s background check system had already reported 2.8 million inquiries from potential gun-buyers. That was up from 2 million during the same time last year, and the third-highest monthly total since the agency created the system in 1998. And since then, gun sales increased even more along with demand.

    These are all Americans who are purchasing a firearms as a way to protect themselves amid fears that the coronavirus situation could lead to a complete societal breakdown.

    According to the National Rifle Association: “Nothing is more important than protecting ourselves and our families -- especially during these times of uncertainty. Yet, some anti-gun lawmakers are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to deny you and your loved ones your fundamental right to self-defense and your Second Amendment rights.

    “These anti-gun and anti self defense extremists deem gun stores ‘non-essential,’ they shut down issuance of firearm permits, and, in some locations, they have created extreme delays for background checks required for firearm transfers. Some jurisdictions have even put added restrictions on firearm transfers, making it all but impossible for many law-abiding Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights. All of this is happening against a backdrop of reported prisoner furloughs and law enforcement only arresting for the most serious of crimes.”

    All of that is absolutely true, but fortunately, only three states have ordered gun dealers and stores to be closed: New York, Massachusettes and New York City. Oh yeh, I keep forgetting that Puerto Rico is a “state”...they also have ordered all guns stores closed. Five states are in the process of developing a response, and one of those is California, of course.

    So, there’s very, very few things positive about this entire virus pandemic, but there is one good thing that is without a doubt going to come out of it: New gunowners, and many, many more of them.

    And along with that has come a realization that nothing is forever, and that complacency in simply “assuming” that the freedoms, liberties, free commerce and unending supplies and food in the United States are forever would be a big mistake. They can be stifled. And the only thing that guarantees they will be there for us, along with our liberty, is the fact that we are an armed society. And will be, forever.

    So, why, all of a sudden are there no gun protestors in the street, and that in fact, many of them are now buying guns? Because their lives and well being are threatened, and they suddenly realize that you can’t fight thieves and armed thugs with a stick and a sign that proclaims you as an anti-gun person. It just won’t stop a bad guy!

    Welcome on board the train to liberty and understanding the Constitution.

    —Bill Karr

    Karr is Northern California editor for Western Outdoor News (www.wonews.com)

  • 05/08/2020 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: One of the reasons most of the western world embraced unprecedented mass quarantines this spring was due to the work of a single man: a British academic called Neil Ferguson. Ferguson is a professor at a college in London, but he’s also something of an international figure. He’s best known for his dire predictions about pandemics. Ferguson seemed especially panicked by the Wuhan Coronavirus. At one point, he suggested the coronavirus might be comparable to the Spanish Flu of 1918, which killed up to 100 million people.

    On February 28, as the disease spread through Europe, Ferguson publicly endorsed the Chinese model of quarantine. Keep in mind that as Ferguson spoke these words, videos circulated on the internet showing police in Wuhan throwing screaming citizens in the back of panel trucks and driving them to some unspecified internment. Ferguson must have known the Chinese government’s response in Wuhan was extreme and utterly inhumane. He endorsed it anyway. That’s how serious Neil Ferguson was about the virus:

    NEIL FERGUSON:  One has to adopt community measures like the ones adopted in places in Wuhan in China. You try to reduce contact between people in the community so the sorts of measures which are important if you have anyone with respiratory disease or anything, stay at home until their symptoms are full resolved.

    Leaders around the world paid attention to this. They took Ferguson’s advice and locked down their entire populations. The British government asked Ferguson to help design its quarantines, as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. Ferguson was happy to help shut down the entire United Kingdom. He just wasn’t interested in participating in it personally.

    Today, the Daily Telegraph reported that Neil Ferguson ignored his own lockdowns. While the rest of the city stayed trapped indoors, Ferguson repeatedly invited his married mistress over to his apartment for sex. Perhaps most striking of all, he was infected with the Coronavirus at the time. Ferguson became sick and tested positive in mid-March. Not long after, he invited his mistress over. By doing this, he exposed her to a deadly virus. He also exposed her husband and children back home. When confronted today, Ferguson said this. Quote: “I acted in the belief that I was immune.” That was his explanation. The problem is, there’s no proof that’s true. Can someone who was sick a few weeks ago still transmit the coronavirus? We’re still not sure. For a famous scientist, Neil Ferguson is curiously ignorant of science. He’s also, obviously, an appalling hypocrite.

    And he’s not alone. So many of the people making our policies are this way. Almost compulsively, again and again, they do the very things they punish you for doing. When caught, they acknowledged no shame. They are entirely lacking in self-awareness. They have no idea how absurd they are. They discredit themselves without even realizing it.

  • 05/08/2020 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    BY DAN ZIMMERMAN |APR 08, 2020

    Lots of gun owners, gun rights supporters and gun rights organizations have taken note of Rep. Hank “Cappy” Johnson’s HR 5717. We wrote about that abomination which is chock full of wonderful surprises like national gun owner licensing, a ban on suppressors, federal red flag confiscations and more.

    MAC wrote about it on his Facebook page and asked his readers to call their representatives in Washington about the “assault weapons” ban bill. The alarm somehow got the attention of the ever-vigilant “fact checkers” at the McPaper, who actually looked into it.

    And here’s what they found . . .

    The ban has a few exceptions. Law-enforcement officers can possess these firearms as can those who are providing security at nuclear energy facilities. Firearms that are “manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action,” have “been rendered permanently inoperable” or are antique are exempt from the ban as well.

    The bill has not yet passed the Democrat-controlled House. In order to become law, the Republican-controlled Senate would have to pass it and the president would have to sign it.

    It has 18 co-sponsors, all Democrats, including Rep. Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts, Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland and Rep. Joseph Morelle of New York.

    The Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020 is not the first of its kind. Congress enacted a 10-year assault weapon ban that was in effect from 1994-2004. Democrats also attempted to pass an assault weapons ban in 2013 following the Newtown shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Just as Johnson’s bill has not passed the House, Warren’s bill has not passed the Senate.

    Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., sponsored in February 2019 a semiautomatic assault weapon ban that the House didn’t pass.

    Our ruling: True

    The claim on the pro-gun Facebook page that an assault weapons ban bill was introduced in the House is TRUE. If passed, H.R. 5717 would ban semiautomatic assault weapons.

    – Molly Stellino in Fact check: Would a U.S. House bill ban assault weapons?

  • 05/07/2020 11:33 PM | Anonymous

    by Paul Sacca
    The U.S. Justice Department is dropping its criminal case against Michael Flynn, according to the Associated Press. This comes a week after the public release of documents that were unsealed in the case, which raised questions as to the motivation of the investigation into President Donald Trump's first national security adviser.

    The DOJ concluded that Flynn's interview by the FBI was "untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn" and that the interview on Jan. 24, 2017, was "conducted without any legitimate investigative basis."

    The 2017 interview days after Trump's inauguration led to Flynn pleading guilty of lying to the FBI about contact with the then-Russian ambassador before Trump took office. The retired Army lieutenant general pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal agents in December 2017.

    In court documents filed Thursday, the Justice Department said it was dropping the case "after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information."

    "Through the course of my review of General Flynn's case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case," U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, who was reviewing the Flynn case, said in a statement. "I briefed Attorney General [William] Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed."

    Flynn had been attempting to withdraw his guilty plea since January, arguing that he is a victim of misconduct by prosecutors.

    Unsealed documents showed that the FBI had closed its criminal counterintelligence investigation into Flynn, but top bureau official Peter Strzok ordered it to be reopened. The FBI was going to close the case against Flynn because there was an "absence of any derogatory information."

    The investigation into Flynn, codenamed "Crossfire Razor," was set to conclude Jan. 4, 2017, but Strzok had it reopened. 

    "Hey, if you haven't closed RAZOR, don't do so yet," Strzok wrote in a text message to the investigating agent on Jan. 4, 2017. "Pls keep it open for now."

  • 05/07/2020 10:25 PM | Anonymous

    May 6, 2020 by Karen Lugo
    Once freedoms were surrendered, [Chief Justice William] Rehnquist warned, they would be even easier to take away when a future crisis or greater good came calling.

    • The very orders that citizens across this land were protesting have been delivered wrapped in lack of transparency: forbidding only some assemblies; preferring big box stores; shutting down churches and gun stores but not liquor or cannabis stores; motor-boating prohibited but sailing is not; vacation rentals banned but not lodges; among many more disparities.

    • It is vital that "We the people" keep on overseeing this process to ensure that the attempted power grabs -- for instance by those who would use this crisis to "restructure things to fit our vision" -- continue to be judged as intolerable acts.

      Shutting down America has caused many to ask who suspended the Bill of Rights. The re-opening of this country would do well to include close attention to righting wrongs that may -- deliberately or inadvertently -- have been inflicted on the US Constitution.

    At the end of Chief Justice William Rehnquist's life, one of his great concerns was the government's use of crisis power at the expense of civil liberties, a concern he shared with law students during his last summer constitutional survey course in Cambridge, England.

    "The Chief'", as he was respectfully known, revealed how deeply troubled he was with historical episodes that justified denial of constitutional rights. He pressed the students -- some of them future judges, government attorneys, state attorneys general -- to suggest alternatives that might better preserve civil liberties. Once freedoms were surrendered, Rehnquist warned, they would be even easier to take away when a future crisis or greater good came calling.

    This spring, Americans have been enrolled in a "flatten the curve" regime, but when the government's justification for home confinement shifted to some vague prescription for safety, the constitutional supports for unreasonable confinement dissolved.

    The government's promise to "make us safe" started to take on god-like proportions, based merely on the circumstance that government has the power to enforce irrational edicts. Worse, within that promise, there was no recognition of the increasing collateral damage on the other side of the equation: businesses, families, fortunes, and the generally ill who still needed doctors. There is also the looming burden of debt to be shouldered by future generations.

    Now that America is pushing back on the coronavirus, there is healthy attention to the excess of some government orders. Complaints of constitutional violations cover almost the entire range of First to Fourteenth Amendment overreaches.

    It is the disregard for due process -- the essential insurance policy against constitutional breaches -- that should alarm Americans. Due process is an important shield against tyranny -- especially of the local kind.

    Due process is the general promise to citizens that government may not take life, liberty or property without proper notice and hearings. This protection implies, as courts have instructed, that laws are clear, that the hearing process is transparent, and that government is accountable.

    The very orders that citizens across this land were protesting have been delivered wrapped in lack of transparency: forbidding only some assemblies; preferring big box stores; shutting down churches and gun stores but not liquor or cannabis stores; motor-boating prohibited but sailing is not; vacation rentals banned but not lodges; among many more disparities.

    Stay-at-home orders and state quarantine blockades also were directed at wide swaths of territory and whole states rather than targeted "hot zone" areas.

    When edicts are written in a careless, overbroad, or vague fashion, local authorities may be given, or assume, too much power. Some places, such as Florida, had border checkpoint instructions that provided for a two-week quarantine for "any person who had spent time in an area of substantial community spread." Such an instruction does not inform law enforcement -- or returnees or travelers into Florida -- who may be deprived of liberty.

    Americans are right to protest when executive orders pick winners and losers while "not thinking of the Bill of Rights." Many of these orders make petty criminals of understandably confused violators.

    While we have all learned much about the expansive Tenth Amendment's state police powers to oversee health and safety matters during a crisis, there are still limits. Emergency orders must have a legitimate connection to a justifiable government goal, they must not be arbitrary, and must not target any group in discriminatory way.

    Courts are already affirming complaints of government overreach in cases that concerned the First Amendment's freedom of religion and assembly. The federal government and Texas Attorney General issued proclamations, amid a flurry of gun store restrictions, defending Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm.

    Business owners in Pennsylvania are already appealing to the U.S. Supreme about "arbitrary and capricious" definitions that categorize "life sustaining businesses", while excluding others.

    The lawyers at the American Freedom Law Center have filed a lawsuit against the governor of Michigan's irrational Executive Order 2020-42. Our "liberties are not conferred or granted by government to then be rescinded at the will and whims of government officials." Even more fundamental is that "These God-given liberties are possessed by the people, and they are guaranteed against government interference by the United States Constitution."

    It is vital that "We the people" keep on overseeing this process to ensure that the attempted power grabs -- for instance by those who would use this crisis to "restructure things to fit our vision" -- continue to be judged as intolerable acts.

    Karen Lugo, a constitutional law attorney, is a former member of the California Advisory Committee to U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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