Three candidates for office accepted our invitation to attend our September 9 meeting and present their platforms in advance of the NOVEMBER 3rd ELECTION DAY.
State Senator Pam Helming, State Assemblyman Brian Manktelow and Congressman John Katko were in attendance. Invited opponents did not attend the meeting.
All 3 candidates are Republicans and offered substantial reasons for us to support them at the polls. Each is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. They have either sponsored or voted in favor of legislation protecting our liberties. These include, in addition to the 2nd Amendment, the 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments.
It is clear they all support our right to due process; right to protection from government confiscation of our personal property; right to knowledge of our accuser(s); right to represent an accuser in a court of law with the assumption being that we are innocent until proven guilty.
It may be easy for us to focus on the 2nd Amendment and overlook the importance of these latter four Amendments. Yet the State has thrown many law-abiding Gun owners ‘under the bus’ by violating these fundamental civil and Constitutional rights. The passage of a so-called “Red Flag” law in 2019 was only the beginning of yet another round of intrusive gun control laws. Many nationwide examples have proven this type of law, sometimes known as an Extreme Risk Protection Ordinance (ERPO)to be a violation of our liberties. Why? Consider:
1. Judges can issue an ERPO - formerly known as the unconstitutional GRVO or Gun Violence Restraining Order — without any testimony from the accused. In other words, the accused is denied his or her Sixth Amendment protected rights. The person served the order will lose their Second Amendment right to own or even possess a firearm. All firearms will be confiscated.
2. The Sixth Amendment provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” The Clause was intended to prevent the conviction of a defendant upon written evidence (such as depositions or ex parte affidavits) without that defendant having an opportunity to face his or her accusers and to put their honesty and truthfulness to test before a judge and/or jury.
3. Who are these people filing for an ERPO? Mental health experts? No. They are family members, LEOs and judges. The list could grow to include present and former romantic partners. People who could possibly act entirely out of hatred, anger and revenge.
We have 3 candidates who have told us they understand the importance of our Constitution and it’s guaranteed rights. They also need financial support. We, as independent voters, can provide that support outside of SCOPE’s nonprofit structure. SCOPE, the corporate entity, cannot legally endorse a candidate. However, it can rate them. Then it is the individual member’s personal choice as to whether to financially support a candidate.
We will provide you with the ratings of all three candidates mentioned above at our October 14 meeting as well as postal addresses if you wish to donate to their cause. Bring your checkbooks.