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MESSAGE OF UNDERSTANDING, OR MESSAGE OF DECEIT?

MESSAGE OF UNDERSTANDING, OR MESSAGE OF DECEIT?

THE RIGHT SIDE BY 
BUDD SCHROEDER  CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF S.C.O.P.E.
JULY 15, 2015          

MESSAGE OF UNDERSTANDING, OR MESSAGE OF DECEIT?

   The professional politician or bureaucrat becomes an expert at deception.  They learn, and practice this art when making appearances, speeches, and press releases.  They will write documents that consist of phrases that are difficult to understand by the average reader, and will include many “subjective words” to make interpretation a matter for courts to eventually decide. 

              Recently the bureaucrats and politicians in Albany released what they call an MOU, or Message of Understanding regarding the SAFE act.  It means absolutely nothing and its purpose was to deceive and confuse the gun owners in the state to believe that at least part of the SAFE act was going to be repealed.  This is a definite lie.

              One of the benefits the politicians hoped for was to dampen the enthusiasm of the upstate gun owners to run primaries for six Republican senators who said they were for the repeal of the SAFE act, but voted for the Majority Leader who voted for it instead of for an upstate senator who is on record for voting against it.  Now, they are looking for “damage control.” 

              The gun owners in the six districts are not easily dissuaded from their intentions and lying to them only strengthens their resolve.  This could easily be construed as an insult to their intelligence and make them more determined to continue with their efforts to primary the turncoats.

              The provisions of the SAFE act that the MOU talked about were in regards to the background checks on ammunition and other provisions that would be extremely expensive for the state to implement or enforce.  The fact that the provision of the act to register “assault weapons” has resulted in massive non-compliance during the first year of it taking effect should be a powerful message regarding the effectiveness of the law.

               Not registering the “assault weapons” is against the law.  Running a primary is not against the law. Six Republican senators are in jeopardy of having their campaigns challenged next year.  This is not a pleasant prospect for an incumbent, especially those who are in “safe districts.”  It will be most interesting to see what bills will be introduced regarding the repeal of the SAFE act next year, especially in the senate.  Voters want results.  Promises no longer count.

              There is an old saying: “I can forgive you for lying to me, but what hurts is that I can never trust you again.”  Trust is very important in the political field.  The loss of trust and belief gives the voter encouragement to vote for a change in that office.  This factor can have a big effect on campaign strategy.  Anger is a powerful motivator to get people to the polls.

              The MOU didn’t even touch on the most unconstitutional part of the SAFE act which is the loss of four Constitutional Rights caused by a report on the alleged mental health of a gun owner.  A case is already in the courts on the Montgomery Case where a retired State Trooper went to a hospital for insomnia, and somehow, someone reported that he was considered to be mentally unfit to possess firearms and was a danger to himself and others.  His pistol permit was revoked and all his guns were confiscated.  Just on a “report by one person.”

              The same thing happened to other people in the state.  A report was made to a bureaucracy, passed down through the bureaucracy chain to the pistol permit offices of the accused party’s county and their rights were terminated.  No warning was given, just a letter to surrender their pistol permit and all guns in their possession.  Absolutely no due process!

              There are approximately 70,000 people on this list and most of them don’t know they are affected. There were almost 400 who got the notice only because they had pistol permits.  The others could have their record sent to the Federal Government NICS check and will find out that they are not eligible to buy a firearm when they try to buy one.  The process to get that corrected is convoluted and can be expensive.

              What should be done is to make sure that before any reports are made that will affect firearms ownership is to have the due process BEFORE the action.  A medical care person who may not have proper training in psychiatric disorders or even a social worker can make the determination that in their opinion the person is a mental defective or a danger to themselves or others. 

              The due process should involve a review of this opinion by a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist before the action to deprive a person of the four constitutional rights.  That would be reasonable.  Not to do so changes the American system of justice.

              A person is considered to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.  This provision of the SAFE act reverses this to “a person is considered to be guilty unless that person can prove himself (herself) to be innocent”.  Time consuming, expensive and unfair!

              Those who voted for the SAFE act with this provision should have realized that this would be a problem.  All legislators have legal counsel available on staff and many are lawyers who should know about due process.  Yet they passed the bill with this dangerous provision.  This columnist has a word for those who voted for the bill.  Actually, a couple of definitions for their actions: ignorant, unAmerican, and stupid.  I stand by this statement.<

The Right Side

MARCH 15, 2017

IS DUE PROCESS A LOST CAUSE?

The SAFE act is once more generating news. There is a bill is in both the Senate and the Assembly to make a change, not in wording, but in geography. The bill proposes that the law is limited to New York City and those in Upstate New York are not affected by it. It is similar to the way the Sullivan Bill works on handgun possession. Two different sets of rules on gun ownership.

From the recent news about the criminal misuse of handguns in Buffalo and the increase in homicides since the law was passed, it would indicate that it isn’t working to cut deaths by criminals using guns. The answer is actually pretty simple. Criminals don’t obey laws and the good people don’t need to have their rights infringed. They definitely are not a problem.

The law does nothing to keep criminals from getting guns anymore than the drug ban keeps addicts from getting heroin. However, in politics perception is reality. So, if enough people are conned into believing the law will reduce violence, the politicians without scruples will vote for it. The whole motivation is votes and reelection. In New York City the attitude regarding guns is much different than it is upstate.

The upstate gun owners are used to having guns for hunting and target shooting as well as believing they have the right to self-defense and wish to be able to have a viable means to do it. New York City has a contingent of politicians who try, and often succeed in convincing the voters that the government will take care of them.

The legislative power is in the Assembly and there are enough Democrat votes Southeast of the Tappan Zee Bridge to pass any bill and to even override a veto. The power is there and naturally, that is the house with the most abuse. What the Democrats want, the Democrats get. They wanted more gun control and they got it.

Now that there has been a long enough period to see it doesn’t work, there I a huge effort to get the law repealed. That won’t happen, so since politics is the art of compromise, this bill is offered. The people in New York City get a law they want and the people in upstate get rid of one they don’t want.

The SAFE law makes it impossible for the Amish to buy a gun because of the universal background check. It requires a photo ID to get the NICS background check and the Amish religion forbids the photo taking. Therefore they are denied the ability to legally purchase a gun. The Amish are known to be a very law abiding, peaceable and non-violent society. We wonder why the politicians don’t want them to have guns.

Another problem with the law is that on only a report, a person can lose four Constitutional and civil rights. The big problem is that they can lose these righs without due process. A false report from a hospital or from a doctor, nurse or social worker saying thet believe the person is a danger to themselves or others. can cause the loss of Second Amendment rights. They don’t need the intervention by a psychiatrist or parapsychologist and there is no hearing to challenge the report. That is a very significant problem.

SCOPE (Shooters Committee On Political Education) initiated a law case on this issue. It is called Montgomery v. Cuomo and has been languishing with delays caused by the state. This is an indication that they are not optimistic about winning and hope that the plaintiffs will give up. The plaintiffs are waiting for the SCOTUS to be filled soon in case the lawsuit has to go that far.

It is simple to determine from an outside viewpoint. The fact that due process is in the Bill of Rights and also in an amendment to the Constitution should be reason enough to repeal at least that part of the bill. Nobody should be denied any rights without due process, but the State of New York believes that they should be able to override the Constitution. It would seem that the legislators who voted for the bill have the same opinion.

When the new bill comes out of committee, it will be interesting to see how the Assembly Speaker prevents it from coming to the floor to be debated. The Assembly has a tradition that no bill gets debated unless the Speaker approves it and he wants it to pass. It is a New York City passion that only their approval of any bill should get consideration. This also opens the door for back door deals in order for upstate legislators to get any of their bills passed. Good old Quid Pro Quo.

How far this will go remains to be seen. The odds are that it won’t get out of the Assembly committees although it has a chance in the Senate. There are many one house bills that are used to help legislators in their reelection campaign. They can tell their constituents that they tried, but the other party was responsible for it failing. Just another campaign strategy.

From the time of Tammany Hall, the Albany legislature had been an inspiration for the TV show “Let’s Make A Deal.” Politicians have been known to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted of corruption. It would seem the rewards outweigh the risks. If there is to be any chance of this bill passing, there will have to be a huge input from the upstate gun owners to gain the necessary activity to pass this bill.

This is not only a bill to strengthen ther Second Amendment, but really could be a victory for those who believe that everyone deserves due process and justice. Neither one is in the SAFE act.

Budd Schroeder

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