By Don Smith
How can the rights of gun owners be balanced with the public interest while preventing another incident like Parkland, Florida?
Here’s an idea: legislators open hearings to design a bill to hold government and its agencies accountable at all levels. Citizens might even be willing to tolerate suspension of due process for government officials if for the common good.
We all understand that government can and will justify any action it takes as being in the public interest and/or an emergency. But it rarely holds itself accountable to the same standards it requires of its citizens.
Let us count the ways government ineptitude permits, contributes to, or causes violence using the Broward County School System as an example.
According to a report in the Miami Herald:
Reference Link: Parkland shooter always in trouble, never expelled. Could the school system have done more? http://www.miamiherald.com/ news/local/article201216104.html
Broward County Sheriff’s Office — "Stunning Series of Failures”
• “… Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies had multiple warnings that the 19 -year-old was a violent threat and a potential school shooter, according to r e c o r d s r e l e a s e d T h u r s - day.” (Emphasis added.)
Reference Link: Parkland school cop ‘never went in’ during the shooting. There were other failures, too. ( Emphasis added.) http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article201636649.html
Broward Schools & Sheriff 'Cook Books' to Suppress Discipline, Arrest Records
Broward County School District and Sheriff’s Department “cooked the books” in order to lower arrest records for the student population. (Emphasis added.)
(Question: If two agencies perpetrate fraud — which leads to murder, is anybody in those agencies accountable? How bad was the fraud?)
"Broward County schools once recorded more in-school arrests than any other Florida school system,” according to The Washington Post. (Emphasis added.)
Surprise! The collusion between the school district and sheriff’s department resulted in "a dramatic decline in the number of students who are arrested at school.” (Emphasis added.)
No kidding! Do the arithmetic: school-based arrests plummeted by 63 percent from 2012 to 2016. Who says authorities don’t know how to make schools safer? Can’t fix what you don’t measure.
"The Obama administration held up Broward’s transformed discipline system as a national model, inviting [Superintendent Robert W.] Runcie to speak [at a White House event] about t h e d i s t r i c t ’ s a p p r o a c h i n 2015.” (Emphasis added.)
Guess where Superintendent Runcie was before Broward County:
Chicago Public Schools.
Reference Link : https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ education/teachers-say-floridashooters-problems-started-in-middleschool-and-the-system-tried-to-helphim/2018/02/18/cdff7aa6-1413-11e8- 9065e55346f6de81_story.html? utm_term=.890a73ab56a0
No one held accountable. A White House, School District and Sheriff’s department that celebrate fake numbers resulting in the death of 17 students. Cheating on school violence records went on at other schools too. And we’re supposed to trust government to get it right and keep kids and us safe? Our rights should not depend on the behavior of the lawless — or the ineptitude of government authorities.
Perhaps a member of Congress could conduct an inquiry in order to design a bill that would hold government officials accountable at all levels. Let their due process be held in abeyance. Congressman John Katko (NY-24) prosecuted bad guys under RICO. This is perfect for him; and what a lesson for government. By the way, if government officials at any level screw up a NICS form. Same deal. And so on and so on. And Broward County is just one example. Wow, can you imagine. Citizens will be cheering Mr. Katko in the street as he goes after corrupt and inept government officials at all levels. About time!
By Harold Moskowitz
Lead was once widely used in manufacturing. Today, probably the only two remaining uses are for lead-acid batteries and ammunition. For most shooters, lead exposure begins with the handling of ammunition. The next exposure is when loading the cartridges. Small particles of lead are removed in the process and make contact with the shooter’s hands. Lead can absorb through the skin.
Lead becomes airborne when a firearm is discharged. Lead fumes are vaporized from the base of the bullet. Most fumes result from the ignition of the lead-based primers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health believe that any lead blood level over five micro grams per deciliter of blood is a health concern. Dr. Mark Laidlaw of Indiana University at Indianapolis has determined that frequent users of shooting ranges can accumulate a blood lead level as high as forty micro grams per deciliter of blood. The United States Department of Labor recommends that shooters who spend time at ranges should be tested for blood levels every six months.
Lead enters the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body. It gets collected and stored in the bones. The level of lead gradually builds up. More range time equals more lead exposure and accumulation. The nervous system is damaged first. Excessive lead can cause aggressive behavior and depression. Some shooters with high lead levels have experienced hand tremors, decreased memory function, vision problems, difficulty concentrating, and reproductive problems. The only way for keeping track of lead accumulation in the body is to have the blood level tested periodically.
Since the Progressive Liberal goal of outright destruction of the Second Amendment is still unattainable, there are two avenues available for advancing their anti-gun agenda. The first is the passage of “common sense” gun control restrictions after each new mass shooting incident. The second method will be through the guise of protection of public health and the environment. This can be done at both the state and national levels.
The information which has been presented in this article about lead is already known by the anti-gun individuals in government. Progressives want “single-payer” health care which would control and pay for medical care. In New York, Governor Cuomo wants a state-run “single payer” health system which would give Albany officials the power to control all health-related issues and treatments. At both the state and national levels, all-powerful bureaucrats would likely impose regulations focusing upon lead as an environmental and health issue. Governor Cuomo promised to release a slew of new ways to weaken firearm ownership during 2019.
How much longer will it be before both public and private club operated gun ranges are required to meet stringent air quality standards for ambient levels of lead both inside and outside a range? Anticipate ruinous penalties for each day range operators are economically unable to be in compliance. Many range operators would choose to cease operation rather than invest in the expense of the necessary technology and periodic maintenance for meeting the new air quality standards.
It is known that lead damages the nervous systems of children more easily than that of adults because their brains and bodies are still growing. Expect attempts to impose minimum distance requirements between the location of any gun range facility, whether enclosed or not, from any school, day care facility, preschool, park or playground due to ambient air “lead concerns.” Furthermore, because high blood lead levels can result in aggressive behavior and depression, it is not inconceivable that gun license renewals and hunting licenses could be denied to anyone having a blood lead level deemed to be “high” by state health administrators. Blood test results could become a new requirement for licenses and renewals.
Anti-gun politicians and their liberal billionaire campaign contributors understand that the undermining of the Second Amendment must be done incrementally, with stated motives which sound reasonable to the majority of the public. More weakening of the shooting sports and self-defense can be accomplished by regulating lead’s potential to harm health, especially that of children, than by attempting to ban it entirely.
The ammunition manufacturing industry, domestic and foreign, should be encouraged, even pressured, to shift production to lead-free bullets and primers. We as consumers should be willing and ready to support them in that effort. It will increase the cost of participating in the shooting sports. However, in the long run, by taking away the threat of anti-lead regulations aimed at driving gun ranges to close and disarming shooting sport participants, it will help to preserve and protect what is left of the Second Amendment.
By Rob McNally, S.C.O.P.E. Chairman
Much has been made of what many think the Founding Fathers had in their minds when the Second Amendment was initially drafted. If one delves deeper into the history of this right, it will be discovered that individual right of possession of firearms for the further right of self-defense, even from our own government, is much older than our own Constitution. For example, under Alfred the Great (beginning AD 872), all English citizens from nobility to peasants were required to privately obtain weapons and be available for military service although this obviously predated the general availability of firearms. Moreover, in English common law, during the 12th and 13th centuries, requirements were made upon 'freemen' and later this included serfs, to possess arms privately to serve within the military when called upon to do so.
During the 17th century, while this country was being explored, similar requirements were made upon the citizens of various colonies. Virginia colonists, for example, were forbade to travel unless they were well armed, they were required to bring their firearms to church on Sundays and participate afterward in target practice. Later in that same century, homeowners were required by the local government to purchase a firearm and have it within the household. If a person could substantiate they could not afford a firearm within the residence, the government would purchase one for them with the understanding that the government would be reimbursed at such time the resident could afford to do so. Massachusetts even went so far in 1644 to not only order freemen and indentured servants to own firearms, but also provided a fine to such citizens found not to be in possession.
As the days and years proceeded toward our Revolutionary War, local newspapers used arguments such as being British citizens (even in the colonies) they were entitled to the same rights as citizens in Britain under their Bill of Rights (not to be confused with ours created later in our Constitution). One even quoted from Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England which had listed the 'having and using arms for self-preservation and defense' among the 'absolute right at common law to own firearms."1
Numerous debates took place following the Revolutionary War prior to adopting the Constitution regarding militia proposals. All called for a general duty of all citizens to be armed. Richard Henry Lee was one of the Founding Fathers who argued against a formal militia in his "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican". He said in that document that "it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." George Mason of Virginia who assisted in drafting the Virginia Bill of Rights argued that the British 'plotted to disarm the people - that was the best and most effective way to enslave them'. Patrick Henry was known to remark that 'The great object is that every man be armed' and 'everyone who is able may have a gun.' Numerous other examples and sources can be identified routinely.
James Madison was originally assigned the task of drafting our Second Amendment when Congress convened for the purpose of drafting a Bill of Rights. To accomplish this, he drew upon a pamphlet listing several state proposals for such and attempted to create a brief version of the collection. One of his first drafts was as follows: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."1 The version we are familiar with today as the final product "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" was approved by the house and submitted to the Senate, which approved it the next day. It is pointed out that eliminated during the Senate debate was an amendment which the Senate felt inappropriately focused on firearm possession being limited to keeping and bearing arms to bearing 'for the common defense'. It is quite evident that by rejecting this amendment, the Senate felt 'common defense' should not be the only factor in guaranteeing arms possession by the private citizen. Note too there was no phrase in this document that pertains to hunting game.
Numerous commentators during our initial history following the war and the work done by Congress toward this aspect, remarked particularly concerning prohibiting any attempt by Congress in disarming the people. As an example, William Rawle's 'View of the Constitution' published in Philadelphia in 1825 noted that under the Second Amendment, "The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both."1
Finally, the point is made in the listed sources that several state constitution drafters also included the language of possession of firearms as an 'individual right' in their works. Thereby enforcing the idea yet again that the protections provided under the Second Amendment were intended for individual citizens, not specifically militias. Further, the argument was made that numerous states were providing similar clauses in their state constitutions. If the states, too, were incorporating this issue in their versions that it was felt by state legislators at that time to be a right that could be infringed at either federal or state level and that this right must be protected against infringement by both seems quite apparent.
These arguments supported the decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia. Enjoy the talking points in your next discussion with a liberal who is in favor of banning guns.
1. W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution (National Center for Constitutional Studies, 1991)
2. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Report of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, February 1982)
Larry Cowden, Schoharie County
A new piece of gun control legislation is now working its’ way through the legislature that on the face promises to reduce gun violence. Legislation Act 2857-A introduced by Sen. Parker will force all firearm owners to purchase a $1 million insurance policy. But will it and what are the hidden costs to New Yorkers and should the state pass this?
Only the law-abiding citizens will follow or attempt to follow the rules of this law. The criminal elements of society will not. New York needs gun owners to support the state programs boasted of as being the reason to come to New York to enjoy the state’s fishing, hunting, wildlife, and support local businesses.
As reported by democratandchronicle.com, dated March 21, 2018, New York hunters and anglers are responsible for generating more than $28 million in funding for state conservation and outdoor projects, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Tuesday.
New York was awarded $28,682,525 in the annual funding to state wildlife agencies from revenue generated by the historic Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts, $20.8 million in wildlife restoration funds and another $7.8 million in sport fish restoration funds.
New York hunters contributed $41,780,328.00 dollars in hunting license fees to the state budget for funding wildlife and preservation programs as specified by the Pittman-Roberts act. New York will gain an additional $971,461,000.00 in revenues from hunters not including sales taxes for that year. Many hunters in state, will spend more. Out of state hunters could be expected to spend three times that on transportation and lodging coming from other states. Will they have to have a $1 million insurance policy? If so, they won’t come, losing more revenue.
The non-hunting shooters easily exceed 2.5 million shooters spending an additional $500.00 each year. That brings in another $1.3 billion to the state economy, and with hunting revenues we are talking about $2.5 billion in funds generated for the state and business owners Hunting, fishing and trapping license sales (1.5 million per year) generate approximately $47 million dollars per year deposited into the Conservation Fund. Those funds leverage millions more in federal aid as a direct result of the license sale revenue. This doesn't even include the estimated $2 billion generated to the state economy on a yearly basis by residents and visitors coming to New York to hunt, fish and trap.
Because of this the invasive species program eliminating and preventing the spread of 18 invasive species that threaten marine and terrestrial ecology, and humans could end. All state, and national recreational areas will suffer. The loss of these funds to the state wildlife programs and business owners will be catastrophic and dangerous.
Time and again, the democrats, liberals, and Governor Cuomo rush to pass what they call the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. No consideration is given to those hurt most are the law-abiding citizens, gun owners, or the financial impact on state programs and business owners.
Last year he threatened any businesses that deal with the NRA reputational ruin. As reported in the Washington Times last year: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s discovered a way to kneecap the NRA by outlawing its gun-liability insurance program and is urging other states to follow his lead, saying they have a chance to exploit the gun-rights group’s admitted dire financial situation.
“I believe this insurance product is going to be illegal from a public policy point of view in most states,” Mr. Cuomo said on MSNBC. “Now that the NRA has said this is a major source of revenue, I’m going to pursue it nationwide.”
The liability insurance, Carry Guard, covers damages and court costs associated with defending against civil or criminal accusations of misuse of a firearm.
But under pressure from New York, which warned of “reputational risks” of doing business with the NRA, some insurers have backed away from underwriting the program.
My own research of major insurance companies such as GEICO and Allstate in NY discovered there are no insurance policies available meeting the requirements of the proposed legislation. How convenient. Governor Cuomo knowingly eliminated the major organization offering the insurance coverage required and by threats forced other companies in this state to refuse to provide such coverage. This assured Gov. Cuomo no law abiding gun owners will find insurance.
Every future purchase of a firearm in the state will be subjected to a new 10 day waiting period, proof of insurance, and a 3-year media background search. The controlling powers in Albany will look for every and any reason to deny a firearm purchase or permit renewal without restraint. This will drive fire arm owners to purchase out of state for ammunition, firearms and accessories. Citizens and businesses will move out of state. Can’t blame the weather as Governor Cuomo claims. New York’s official state motto is Excelsior, often translated as “ever upward”, but if Governor Andrew Cuomo had his way, he’s prefer it to say “ever liberal”. He recently told conservative Republicans – specifically anyone who is pro-traditional marriage, pro-life or pro-guns – they “have no place in the state of New York“. More lost revenue for state wildlife and businesses.
That defines his hatred for all gun owners, the 2A and the NRA regardless of cost to the state, businesses or citizens.
“It’s not about ending “gun violence”. This is about Gov. Cuomo’s agenda to end all gun ownership in New York. Disarm the public, control the media, and you will control the citizens! Our rights to firearms, hunting, protection of our lives, our family and home will be terminated!
By Tim Andrews, S.C.O.P.E. President
Routinely when gun banners roll out their many attacks on the Second Amendment, they attempt to allay our concerns, by telling us they’re pro-Second Amendment, and they have no intention on negatively impacting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Amazingly they do this with a straight face and then proceed to undermine the rights of law-abiding citizens to the delight of the criminal class. This deception is an unintended acknowledgment that they understand the Second Amendment is a right that most Americans believe in and support.
Make no mistake though, gun control is intended to disarm law-abiding citizens with the goal of a Utopian society without guns. Governor Cuomo has boasted on numerous occasions that New York has the nation’s toughest gun laws and it’s difficult to disagree with him. However, how do those laws impact criminals, law-abiding citizens and ultimately crime? For example, registration schemes, renewable licenses, bans on guns, magazines or other firearm components, only impact law-abiding citizens and have little to no impact on criminals. I can guarantee you would be hard pressed to find a criminal who’s concerned with the New York State Sullivan Act or the SAFE Act. Most street crime is tied to the drug trade and committed by gangs and thugs who possess firearms illegally. Criminals don’t have pistol licenses, so how does a renewable license reduce crime?
There’s a long list, but two of the most ridiculous examples of gun control that puts the public at greater risk are magazine bans and gun free zones. Take magazine restrictions that mandate how many rounds you can carry in a magazine. Can anyone, especially the governor find me a thug who is going to obey that law? Of course not. All this law does is place the law-abiding citizen at a tactical disadvantage. The same goes for gun free zones. If you know someone out there who supports laws like these please ask them to explain how these laws will keep us safer. Gun control is government negligence in action. We have a government in Albany that is legislating on the side of the criminal.
This brings us to a question for lawmakers and the governor. Given that violent crime is at an all-time low, and we already have the toughest gun laws in the nation, why are the governor and his allies in the legislature telling us we need more? The answer isn’t really about gun control — gun control is the means to “people control.” It’s been clear the Democrat party is going hard left and is clearly becoming an extremist left wing socialist party. This is not the Democrat party of our fathers and grandfathers.
Imagine a Democrat saying this today, “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” This quote isn’t from some Second Amendment activist or organization, it’s from Democrat Hubert Humphrey, his party’s 1968 presidential nominee. Oh, how things have changed.
New York State Senator from Brooklyn, Kevin Parker, has proposed legislation that would require gun owners forfeit several of their constitutional rights, for as he would put it the privilege to possess a firearm. Senator Parker wants you to surrender your social media passwords and review your online history and to determine your fitness to purchase or possess a firearm. Ironically, Senator Parker has an extensive history of violent criminal conduct, including attacks on women, adding to his rap sheet Senator Parker recently told a Republican female staffer to "kill herself."
It’s striking the quality of individuals we have representing us in Albany and it’s ironic that someone with such a violent history wants to regulate our Second Amendment rights. Since Senator Parker thinks law-abiding New Yorkers should give up their rights to privacy, free speech, and due process to exercise their Second Amendment rights, we would like to know if the Senator possesses any rifles, shotguns or firearms and if he thinks he's entitled to possess any rifles, shotguns or firearms, given his criminal history? What say you, Senator Parker? As a public servant, who is willing to strip us of our constitutional rights you owe us an answer to these questions. Call and ask Senator Parker if he will answer these questions, 518-455- 2580, email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given Senator Parker's criminal history and his propensity for violence is he even suitable to hold public office? That is a question to ask Senator Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, her contact information is 518-455-2585, email: email@example.com.
Finally, one last thought, when it comes to the quality of our representation in Albany. The Republican party also has its share of shameful incompetence. Despite most of the Senate Republican conference coming from upstate, the Senate Republicans elected Long Island Senator John Flanagan as their minority leader. Flanagan who voted for the SAFE Act led Republicans as majority leader to their disastrous defeat last November. Another interesting fact regarding Flanagan, following his election as minority leader he entered for the second time an alcohol substance abuse program. We wish Senator Flanagan the best regarding his treatment, but one must question the wisdom and judgment of the GOP senators who supported his election as minority leader.
Another issue facing the GOP is the future of state party Chairman Ed Cox. The only thing the GOP has consistently accomplished since he became chairman in 2009 is to lose elections. If the GOP is ever going to be relevant again it must begin with showing the likes of Cox and Flanagan the door. One way to make this happen is for gun owners who happen to be Republican to get involved in their party. If you haven’t already, contact your GOP headquarters find out when they have their meetings and get involved.
By Budd Schroeder
There will be changes in government because of the change of political power. We should know by now that politics is all about power and money and those with the most power and money get to call the shots on what will happen on the national and local scenes. In Washington, DC the Congress went to the Democrats, but the Republicans managed to increase their majority in the Senate.
Many think this arrangement will cause confusion and more internal battles that will involve getting or maintaining power. It will be difficult to get legislation passed and there will be more distractions, especially in the house. It is almost certain that what President Trump will be mangled by the Democrat majority. The citizens will be the ones to pay the price for the dissension.
The Democrats in the house have already stated or at least, hinted what their agenda will be. The prime directive is to distract from any legislation Trump wants. There will be the cries from the Waters’ group for impeachment. What the charges will be have not been invented yet. The fact that after two years of Mueller’s attempts to charge the president with collusion involving Russia, and coming up with nothing, that investigation will continue to be on the agenda.
The liberal leftists have made significant inroads into the process and since positions are traditionally based on seniority, the committee chairmanships will go to people like Maxine Waters and Gerald Nadler for key positions. Knowledgeable people are skeptical about the results that will come based on their past performances and reputation.
Ideology is going to be tested as well. From the direction the left has taken during the past two years, it is probable that there will be attacks on the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi has already stated that weakening the rights stated in the Second Amendment is high on her hit list. It is obvious that the liberal left is determined to strip rights from the citizens and increase the power of the government.
The Founding Fathers placed the right of the people to keep and bear arms high on their list of important rights. Only the freedom of speech, press, right of religion, and to peaceably petition the government were placed before the right to be armed. They stated that the right to own a gun was not to hunt or even for self-defense, but as protection against a government that became a threat against a republic. Since the Civil War, politicians and bureaucrats have been infringing on that right.
It is difficult to find another constitutional right that requires governmental permission to enjoy. From the time of the Jim Crow Laws to restrict the right to keep and bear arms, to laws requiring permits to carry them, the power brokers keep passing laws that infringe on the right in spite of what the Second Amendment says. Requiring a permit to have and bear arms has turned a right into a privilege. This is not what the Founding Fathers said. Of course, power seeking politicians don’t care what the Constitution says.
Then, there is the hypocritical issue of the First Amendment right of free speech. The liberals speak of their support of free speech, but think nothing of banning conservative guest speakers in the liberal colleges. Some college students held violent riots to prevent conservative ideas from being spoken in THEIR college halls. This is becoming more ingrained in the educational process, some being evident in public schools.
Even words have to be “politically correct” if a person wants to avoid problems. Saying the politically incorrect word can cause a person to lose a job or be denigrated publicly. Books have been taken of shelves because they had parts or words that could hurt someone’s feelings. Words have great power and using certain ones or making statements could cause a law suit if said in the wrong way or environment. The term “racist” has become a weapon in the mouths of the liberals.
What would happen if those who are conservative or on the right insisted that it is a denigrating word that is hurtful and would have to be referred to as the “r” word? Of course with the liberal media and educational institutions that would be unacceptable because it doesn’t offend them. Calling a person a racist is one of their best weapons.
The states take part of these methods to advance their agenda and New York and California are high on the list of the liberal states with more joining the blue tide. However, to a logical mind they are hardly a standard for rational living. California is high on the list of a haven for illegal immigrants and homeless people and it is getting worse. New York just became a totally blue state with the Assembly and Senate run by Democrats.
The major problem is geography. The power is all in New York City and the voting shows it. The upstate counties are much more conservative and invariably the counties with a high percentage of people getting public assistance vote Democrat. It is obvious that upstate New York will be run by the whims of the New York City politicians. They now have to power to do that. Some are saying that corruption will increase along with taxes and a loss of freedoms.
Governor Cuomo will no longer have to sneak in his pet projects with “a message of necessity” to dominate the state. He will be able to have the power of a dictator and push his agenda whenever and wherever he wishes. This will be a very tough year for conservatives and others who value freedom.
You are relaxing at home. Two men are kicking in the kitchen door at the rear of the house. What can you legally do to protect yourself? You own a “legal” firearm. Should you consider using lethal force to protect yourself? The answers to those questions will largely be determined by the laws of your state even though the Second Amendment provides the right to use firearms for self-defense.
Our laws governing self-defense are based upon English common law. In the 1600’s, English common law viewed a man’s home to be his “castle” which might need to be defended. However, every life had value. Before using lethal force, a man had a “duty to retreat” from the threat of physical harm if possible. Thus, English common law resulted in the “Castle Doctrine” for protection within one’s home along with the goal of trying to prevent the loss of human life.
The Castle Doctrine gives the legal right to defend one’s home against an intruder while allowing a defense of justifiable homicide. The homeowner is not required to retreat before using lethal force. In the 1980’s, some states expanded the doctrine to cover physical threats to occupants of a car, workplace, or place of business without a “duty to retreat.”
The Castle Doctrine may not be used as defense against a charge of murder or manslaughter if the defender was engaged in an unlawful activity at the time of the homicide. Likewise, lethal force can only be justified if the intruder entered the premises for the purpose of committing a felony. The intruder must not have been invited into the home for any reason. A defender who initiated or provoked the situation which resulted in the homicide may not use the Castle Doctrine as a defense. In addition, lethal force is not justifiable if the physical threat is diminishing. The idea of justifiable homicide is based on the premise that the killing of a person did not involve “malice” or “criminal intent.”
At least twenty-four states allow for justifiable homicide in the face of an imminent physical threat without a duty to retreat. New York requires a full duty to retreat before a person may use lethal force in home self-defense. Some New York prosecutors might possibly want to have recorded proof of a call to 911 on which you can be heard warning the intruder through a locked or barricaded door that you were armed and prepared to use lethal force if he persisted. A person might even be expected to flee from the premises to retreat from the threat. In fact, New York law prohibits the use of deadly force if it is known “with certainty” that an intruder can be avoided by retreating.
California allows the use of lethal force only for protection of the home’s occupants from physical danger. Prevention of theft of personal property is not covered. Other jurisdictions with limited or no Castle Doctrine self-defense protections include: Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Eastern seaboard states with very restricted ability to use lethal force include: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Not surprisingly, many of these states also have very restrictive gun control laws.
Florida and Texas have very strong Castle Doctrine plus “standyour-ground” protections. The latter form of protection provides the right to self-defense in any location where a person has a legal right to be. Other states with strong self-defense protections include: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
Texas allows lethal force for protection in homes, cars, places of employment, or business locations whenever an intruder has unlawfully entered, or is attempting to enter by using force. It also allows such force for protection when an intruder is attempting to remove someone from the protected areas by force or is attempting to commit a crime such as rape. No attempt to retreat is required. Texas as well as a few other states protect citizens against civil lawsuits arising from force used for defense of themselves and others in protected locations. Florida also has strong self-defense protections. In addition, unlike other states, in Florida the “dwelling” where self-defense has ended in homicide does not even need to have a roof. It can be movable and can be as temporary as a tent.
It is advisable to periodically check with lawyers licensed in the states where you own property. State laws can change at any time. Be informed before you need to pull the trigger!
By Richard Rossi, Delaware County
I would like to share my concern as an American citizen to what is going on in our country since P r e s i d e n t T r u mp h a s b e e n elected. Let me be perfectly clear, I am speaking as an American Law-abiding citizen. This has nothing to do with anyone's political affiliation or my political preference.
We are ALL American's first, regardless of our political affiliation, and that should be paramount in our desire to insure America continues to be the greatest country in the world. Wishing for our President to fail - means America fails... Saying 'America was never great' is disgusting....
We may disagree on various stances based on our political affiliations, different viewpoints are good - only if 'common-sense' prevails and we discuss the issues, without inflammatory rhetoric, and logically. Today, this is sorely missing from the agenda. It is NOT what is best for America.
We have many challenges facing our country today. The answers are complex; however, they need to be addressed. We must be a country of Laws. Our immigration policy need updating; Our border security is lax. Our Rights and Freedoms are being infringed; Our healthcare system is inadequate; Our military needs to be strengthened; Our national debt is out of control; Our government, at all levels, is too big and out of control. Our Supreme Court is making laws instead of enforcing them based on our Constitution. We have Governors and Mayors believing they can over-ride Federal Laws because they don't like them. etc...
Our Constitution/Bill of Rights must be followed. It is NOT the right of any elected official or branch of Government to decide which laws are just and which ones should be ignored. Our Founding Father clearly outlined a procedure to address changes when required. Our Constitution is not broken - it is ignored by elected officials who took an oath to protect and enforce it.
We have a God given right to self-preservation. Firearms are not 'either good or bad' - it is the individual who makes that choice. They are responsible for their decisions and actions. We need representatives who truly believe in this fact.
We have a right to know who is living in our country and to insure they came here legally. Our Governor believes he has the RIGHT to "play God". He believes that he is above the law.
Our Government is not there to provide for all your needs and wants, from birth to death. Individuals need to take personal responsibility and ownership for their actions and be responsible citizens. This will mean sacrifices and standing on one’s own two feet.
Nothing in life is 'FREE'. Nothing the Government can provide is FREE - someone must foot the bill. I keep hearing that the American People want FREE College, FREE Healthcare etc. We are a Democratic Republic not a Socialist Democracy. Are you willing to give at least80% of your income to the government so you can have all these 'so-called' FREE benefits? I for one, am not ready for my life to go from "Citizen to Slave". America was built on hard work and a day’s pay for a day’s work.
When Aliens have more rights and freedoms than Law-abiding Citizen, something is very wrong in New York State. When corruption is the norm, something is very wrong in New York State. When hard working Law-abiding citizens can't make a living because taxes are sky rocketing to pay for entitlements for 'leaches', something is wrong in New York State.
By Michael Giuliano
In a relatively stunning development, our poor, beleaguered and ever put-upon Governor Cuomo now considers both “extreme” conservatives and socialists (https:// www.newsweek.com/cuomo-amazon -headquarters-alexandria-ocasiocortez-1222753) to be among his enemies. You see, both sides have been critical of his and De Blasio’s lavish corporate welfare offered up to snag an Amazon facility in Queens.
Mr. Cuomo is hurt and offended that these disparate political interests would question his presumably pure motives and tactics. “This transaction is a lightning rod for the political rhetoric on both extremes. The extreme conservatives and the socialists both now vehemently oppose "incentives" for Amazon, which is one of the most profitable companies in the country,” said Cuomo in an op-ed released by his office (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/ op-ed-governor-andrew-m-cuomo). Among those “extreme” conservatives? The New York Post. Cuomo, it seems, is having his own battle with the free press. He also attacked The New York Times, Rupert Murdoch, and CNN.
These tax breaks and all are offered ostensibly for New York City to compete against other states and localities but, in the end, they are costing taxpayers a vast sum and the plan benefits the already very wealthy Jeff Bezos.
Cuomo’s diversionary ploy of labeling any dissent from either his policies or corruption as “extreme”, “socialist”, or otherwise emanating from people whom he considers generally unwelcome in New York, is wearing thin. At least it is wearing thin to the 41% who voted against him and perhaps a sliver of even those who elected him to four more years.
As for the rest of the Cuomo voting bloc, they prefer their Tammany-style Democrat politics “good and hard,” to amend slightly the observation on democracy by H.L. Mencken.
Albany’s Newest Tactic: Attacking the First Amendment (and Fourth, Fifth, etc.) to Ransack the Second
The anti-gun, anti-upstate forces in Albany and New York City (Note: Molinaro won 47 of 62 counties in November) won’t stop at anything to achieve their fantasy, which is not of stopping violence, since their gun control schemes cannot accomplish this as guns don’t commit crimes, but of needling their political enemies, attaining the leftist bona fides for CNN appearances, and invites to Congressional wine-andcoffee klatches with well-heeled donors.
Two of DeBlasio’s swamp creatures, a state senator and the Brooklyn Borough President, proposed a bill to require that a gun purchaser turn over their social media passwords and past three years of s e a r c h h i s t o r y ( h t t p s : / / www.wivb.com/news/new-legislation -calls-for-social-media-search-beforepistol-permit-in-ny/1612876779). This legislation is so extreme that even a certain gun “reform” organization (the NYAGC) has been slow to endorse it. Inevitably, such groups will eventually endorse it and we must be ready.
Most tellingly, the bill does not involve the policing of whether a person has made actual public or private threats against any person (i.e. threats that would be criminal acts under the current law) and thus presumably subject a person to scrutiny under the existing laws. It goes much further, which is to say, it loudly enters the territory of free speech. It allows a review one’s political speech and opinions posted on social media and internet search history as a basis to deny a permit. The proposal is a shameless, bold-faced attack on free speech and association as well as the Second and Fourth Amendments. No thoughts or actions are to be private under the new regime.
The Albany swamp is quite willing to attack groups unpopular and unwelcome in its hallowed halls of power. In fact, conservatives have been told they aren’t welcome in New York whatsoever by the very ethical and unimpeachable Mr. Cuomo, whose own corruption commission had to be disbanded lest it make things messy for Albany by finding anything further.
Call the new Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan and your own state senator and ask (politely) that they make a very prominent public statement against this outrageous legislation if it is introduced. In the minorities, the Republicans are without much power. The very least many of them could do is represent their constituents.
Cuomo ‘Disrespected the Judiciary’ after it Struck Down SAFE Act Magazine Capacity Provision
The Buffalo News has rep o r t e d ( h t t p s : / / buffalonews.com/2018/11/19/amidconfusion-part-of-safe-act-will-stopbeing-enforced-in-Erie-county/) that Erie County’s District Attorney has instructed local Erie police departments to stop charging violations of the seven-round limit provision in the SAFE Act. A couple dozen criminal cases were still pending at the time of the news report that charged a violation of this provision.
The seven-round provision was ruled unconstitutional years ago (in two separate decisions in federal court) but many observers suspect Cuomo’s administration has been encouraging the state police and many other local departments to continue charging individuals with violations of the magazine limit under the flimsy pretext that a lower federal court decision isn’t binding on the state.
Check with your county officials and inquire as to whether police agencies have been instructed to act in accordance with these court decisions. Kindly ask if your respective county officials respect the federal courts?
Look towards Washington and witness and smell the hypocrisy. The President is frequently attacked, in the most sanctimonious terms, for impugning the legitimacy of the judiciary. This attack on him is usually made with scant evidence. Vocal disagreement is not the equivalent of subversion. In contrast, liberal politicians such as Mr. Cuomo only “respect the courts” and operate within the confines of those courts’ decisions when a judicial decree squares with their progressive political platform.
By Tom Reynolds Treasurer and At-Large Director
Many of the progressive winners in the election are socialists and socialism always fails. It’s easy to point at Venezuela and Cuba as current examples of socialism’s failures but the last century gave us numerous examples.
If the left understood history, they would know that Nazi stood for National SOCIALIST German Workers Party. So why are the democratic socialists on the left labeling Republicans in general and President Trump in particular as Nazis and Hitler? Shouldn’t self-avowed socialists look in the mirror?
Remember the Soviet Union that President Reagan correctly labeled as an, “Evil empire…destined for the ash heap of history”? The USSR stood for Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.
China is a communist nation and communism is the inevitable result of socialism.
Now, the left is relabeling itself as a different kind of socialism, (democratic socialism) in order to separate themselves from their failed past; they are 0 for the last century. The Red Sox and Cubs had a better century than socialism.
But it’s not just socialism’s monumental economic failures that should scare us. In the last century, socialist dictatorships were responsible for 100 million people being killed. Mao murdered 40 to 50 million Chinese. Stalin killed 30 to 40 million people and Hitler chipped in with 20 to 30 million deaths. Minor tyrants such as Pol Pot and Fidel Castro barely get a mention but they did their best to bring death and destruction wherever they went. 100 million people killed and today’s socialists are saying, “Hey, let’s try it again”!
What are socialism / communism/ fascism? Their technical definitions sound very academic, non -threatening and revolve around the economy. But at their heart, they all involve central government control of the people. The differences revolve around the degree of control but, in reality, they all lead to total government control of all aspects of people’s lives.
Why do socialists hate guns? They want to be in control of society. When socialism fails, again, people will rebel and the left will need to force them to comply. Socialists aren’t interested in a fair fight; they want all the guns so they can keep people in line.
Why does socialism always fail (and a capitalistic / free market society succeed)?
Capitalism entails free choice while socialism necessitates government mandates. Very few like being told what to do, especially by faceless and far away bureaucrats.
Power is centrally held and when a tyrant (or an incompetent) takes control, they are virtually unopposed. Those in power will do whatever is necessary to stay in control and they have all the power. As I mentioned earlier, they are not interested in a fair fight, so they want all the guns.
Under our Constitution, which is the antithesis of socialism, political power is divided between the three branches of government. Power is further diluted among fifty states and each state has separate powers in their own right. Government’s power can also be challenged by the non-government sector where corporations, unions, the media, etc. are capable of opposing government. Of course, when these various government and non-government entities become aligned with the central government we are on the road to another socialist failure.
Under socialism, all power is held by the central government and when it makes a bad decision it affects everyone. The USSR’s failures are well documented. When China was totally communist, it could not feed its own people so it opened up some capitalism and now it is a world class economy. (But to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, a nation will not continue to exist half communist and half free.)
In the USA’s private sector, businesses and individuals are free to succeed or fail without (usually) taking down others. Others learn from those successes and failures and emulate the successes and avoid the failures.
Federalism is supposed to allow the individual states to try new things and if they fail they do not bring down the entire nation. Other states are free to copy – or not – these individual state efforts. But socialist government being what it is, they would rather be socialist than right. For example, gun free zones have been breeding grounds for mass murderers and yet socialist states keep establishing them even though they have a history of failure.
Those that do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
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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