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was to deceive and confuse the gun owners in the state to believe that at least part of the SAFE act was going to be repealed.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.<