May 8, 2013
An opportunity missed.
NY Safe Act. It’s funny how you start out thinking one thing, and then they convince you of something else. And of course, they don’t mean to. They believe that If they just keep repeating the same old s… or if they yell loudly enough, you will listen, right?
The Safe Act is the state gun safety legislation, and the Putnam County legislature, according to one legislator, was so angry that it was pushed through so fast, that they pushed through a resolution opposing it. Strange argument. Some people were angry that the county legislature pushed through their resolution.
I listened to all the protestations that this legislation will not protect anyone, that we Americans have a God given right to guns, that we need to protect ourselves, that it will do nothing, that 7 rounds is stupid. Now I support the NY Safe Act. None of the people who want their guns, and want criminals and the mentally ill to have unfettered access said anything about the children. They don’t seem to care about those 6 year olds. That is what I find the most disturbing. No parent should ever have to live through that.
And then, they do not propose solutions. They only tear down what has been done, bully and ridicule those who want children protected, but suggest nothing. After all, nothing is working so well for us.
But there were other things that are disturbing about all this.
The historic Old Court House in Carmel has a capacity of 75. There were lots more people there, and the legislature knew there would be lots more people there, yet they made no attempt to accommodate the public. Blatantly dismissive of the public, just as they were when they approved their resolution. There was a line down the stairs, out the door, down the hall. With nine legislators, their support personnel, and the press, they knew they were already taking up a significant percentage of the space. The microphone was remarkably inadequate to amplify the sound for the public. The line down the stairs was dangerous.
I have long felt that the legislature should be disbanded, and that we should go back to a Board of Supervisors. That system was lousy, but it was cheaper, and no more undemocratic. The legislature doesn’t even seem to care about representation. This meeting just reinforced the impression that they are completely disinterested.
They had the opportunity to start a dialogue. They did not.
Putnam County would be a good place for the dialogue to begin. It is a suburban county with a rural mindset. We have a significant level of stray shooting, and too much population for that reality. Plenty of crime and drug addiction.
Despite 3 women speaking for guns, the reality is that women are most often the victims of those guns, their own gun, or a family member’s. Gun ownership and killing is a guy thing.
According to some Putnam pistol owners, the background check seems to be thorough, and somewhat onerous, so what is the issue? We already do not allow unfettered access to guns; we have agreed that there should be licensing and background checks.
The world has changed. We need to protect children. We need to move forward, not stay fixed in a past that never actually existed.
Putnam County has become a bad reality show, even within that bad genre. Everyone behaving badly, and basking in their celebrity. The legislature did not redeem themselves with this event.