By Timothy Swedenhjelm
I'm sharing this story as to show how the insanity of the New York State SAFE Act has lowered the quality of life for not only myself, but all New York residents.
I enter many competition matches throughout New York, and was recently invited by a good friend to go along on a trip to the CMP store at Camp Perry. Ohio, to be part of the CMP program to buy rifles recently released by the Federal Government. These rifles are for sale to the active members of the Civilian Match Programs (CMP). There were thirty Ml A Carbine surplus rifles to be released the next morning on a first come, first served basis. So there we go, on a 315 mile journey, to the free state of Ohio to take our chances, to try to get one of these pieces of om history to add to our private collection, and to compete in the MIA Carbine Matches.
We arrived at 4:30 pm to find the store closed. People were already in line for the 8:30 am opening and a chance to get one of these beauties. It's 30° outside, and only getting colder off the Jake as the night goes on, but these folks don't care. They were ready in their cold weather sleeping bags and layers of thermal underwear, ready for the morning to come. Everyone put their name on the signup sheet to keep the order, and to avoid confusion come 8:30 am. At 3:00 am, a young, bot very helpful and friendly State Highway Patrol Officer stopped over to see what we were up to. He became our hero as he had knowledge of the only place within 30 miles that was serving fresh, hot coffee. Off I go to get 20 cups of hot coffee, leaving my partner behind to keep my #10 spot locked up as up to 30 more people had arrived by this time. The 20 cups of coffee instantly disappeared as it was now 28°.
Finally the sun comes up, and the now new band of friends pack up their cold weather gear and prepare for the store to open. At 8:30 am the doors open and there is now 138 people in line trying to get a chance at one of these beautiful rifles. I'm thinking about how lucky I am to be #10 in line, not only do I have the chance for one of these rifles, but I'm one of the first to get inside and get warm again. We were outdoors for 12 hours at 28- 32 degree temperatures.
Nuts? Yes. Fun? Absolutely, as I met a bunch of folks from all over the country, just like me. This is where the story gets better.
I stand in line with the first thirty others and get called into the pre -processing area. We all scramble in and pick as quickly as possible. the rifle of our dreams. I pulled a beautiful IBM M J A well cared for piece then started for the counter where the processing starts. After being checked for every type of ID and proof of current memberships of all the clubs and organizations, we tag the rifle and hand it over the counter and proceed to get our background check, and start waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Then I get the news that my background check has been delayed. It's now 9:00 am and I wait, nothing ...
Finally at 11 :30 I get called to the counter, and in front of all these people I had just gotten to know, a lady says, ''I CAN'T SELL YOU THE RIFLE. YOU'RE FROM NEW YORK. The rifle has a bayonet lug, a removable magazine, and they just sent us a text not to sell this rifle to you."
She held up my paperwork and said, 'There's nothing we can do folks, he's from New York, we get our rifles from the government and we have to follow their rules." They took the tag off my chosen rifle and returned it to the rack where a very lucky guy from Illinois ran over and grabbed it up declaring that he felt like he just won the lottery; you see, he was #86!
I have never been so ashamed to be from the state of New York as I was then, and am now! I ended up buying some ammo and leaving in disgrace, feeling ashamed of my state the entire 315 mile return trip home; that doesn't feel like home anymore.
So tell me again how the SAFE Act is such a good thing. Tell me how it won't affect legal NYS gun owners.
My statement: If you own guns, hunt, and/or belong to any club or organization in New York State, and you didn't vote; It's your fault this has happened. If you didn't vote against Cuomo. you are an enemy of freedom. These freedoms and rights were paid for by the blood of Good Men.
If you couldn't be bothered to vote, shame on you Cupcake. Go have another beer.
By Ralph Esposito
No! Please, not another article on the upcoming election. If you're like me you're shaking your head at the shenanigans this election cycle. The name calling, the endless waiting for Hillary to be or not to be indicted, the pundits trying to explain why this or that primary defied their predictions as well as their best attempts to tear down candidates is wearing thin. We haven't hit the conventions yet. So I promise this will be a short one.
One of the biggest reasons this election is important is the Supreme Court. The death of Anton Scalia, Supreme Court Justice has left a serious threat to the balance of the court's ideology. Replacing Scalia wjth an equally conservative or constitutionalist justice would keep the balance of the court slightly conservative barring the president's desire to have his nominee, Chief Judge Merrick Garland being put to a vote.
If Hillary becomes president we will likely see her nominee tip the court over to the progressive side. Add to that there will likely be retirements during the next president's term it could well make the court solidly left leaning.
If Trump is elected there is a good chance bis nominees would be conservative or lean that way. With Hillary we know what we will get.
Another important reason is that the leading democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton has pledged to close gun stores as well as firearms manufacturers. I will remind you Bill Clinton shut down about two thirds of the legal gun dealers during his presidency. By the way Bill did it without the consent of Congress, he did it by changing property zoning and regulations specific to firearms dealers.
Hillary's plan is to remove any immunity from lawsuits generally given manufacturers and allow gun manufacturers and sellers to be sued for all damages, injuries and casualties from the misuse of their products. It would be as if Ford or Chevy were sued every time one of their cars was in an accident or driven in an illegal manor (any traffic offenses). With her as president thousands will lose their jobs and their businesses.
Hillary has also embraced a Federal gun registry as well as a gun owner license. Of course banning so called "assault weapons" is also high on her list. Rounding out the major part of her anti-gun wish list is smart gun technology and mandated separate locked storage for both guns and ammo.
Trump has said he is pro-gun, in addition several of his children are enthusiastic shooters. He is not going to go after gun manufacturers or gun shops.
There is much at stake. I am not saying Donald Trump is the best candidate in the world, I am saying he is the best candidate when the other choice is Hillary Clinton.
There are a number of "never Trump" talk show hosts. Each claims this or that candidate can win if... In my book it will be a face off between Trump and most likely Hillary, unless the FBI recommends incitement for her.
Should it happen it will get even more interesting. Will Bernie Sanders be drafted, perhaps VP Joe Biden? Andrew Cuomo's name has even been whispered.
Of course President Obama could just pardon her or have any indictments buried. On Fox News, Rudy Giuliani gave odds of 60/40 on incitement. We shall see.
This November is coming up fast. If your not registered, please register. Encourage others to register and vote.
New York 147th District Assemblyman David DiPietro and Brian Krawczyk, of Wethersfield, have a proven track record of educating the public on gun issues and defending the Second Amendment. Earlier this month, the New York Shooters Committee On Political Education (S.C.O.P.E.) honored the two men at its annual banquet in Hamburg.
DiPietro was presented with the Sandra Lee Wirth Memorial Legislator of the Year award for his tireless efforts to protect Second Amendment rights in Albany.
"The first vote I had to make in Albany was in opposition to the S.A.F.E. Act," DiPietro said, "And every year since. I have sponsored a bill to repeal the S.A.F.E. Act".
Last year the assemblyman was honored by S.C.O.P.E. with their Thomas Paine Award for Excellence in Defense of the Second Amendment. DiPietro has put a lot of effort into educating his constituency through numerous town-hall-style meetings throughout the 147th District.
"I don't usually get involved, but since David was so serious about sticking up for our gun rights, I had to help," said Bill Walters, a gun rights activist from Strykersville.
Walters helped organize many of the informational sessions for DiPietro's constituents.
Krawczyk was presented with S.C.O.P.E.'s Thomas Paine Award for Excellence in Defense of the Second Amendment. Revolutionary War re-enactor Tommy Thompson presented the award after quoting Thomas Paine: 'These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will. in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
When accepting the award. Krawczyk felt obliged to finish the Paine quote by saying: 'The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
Krawczyk, a member of the Wyoming County S.C.O.P.E. chapter, is very active in gun safety education in Wyoming County. He teaches the Wyoming County mandated Pistol Permit Class, is an NRA Laser Pistol class instructor, and is president of the Wyoming County Wildlife Federation. His efforts have educated many on the mechanics of responsible gun ownership, outdoor sportsmanship, and fair pJay. After the S.A.F.E. Act was enacted, Krawczyk produced a presentation that was circulated throughout the state. He is also very proactive in educating youth in outdoor sporting skills like hunting, trapping and fishing. "If it wasn't for volunteers like Brian Krawczyk, there wouldn't be a Wyoming County chapter," said Mark Yount, president of the Wyoming County S.C.O.P.E. chapter.
Schuyler County S.C.O.P.E. has had a busy summer attending local events and meeting candidates running for election.
On August 5-7 Schuyler S.C.O.P.E. had a booth at the Watkins Glen Italian fest. We were joined by Millport Hunting and Fishing Club and the Odessa Community Conservation Club. Jointly, we were promoting our current fundraising efforts to assist the Schuyler County 4H Youth Shooting Sports Program. The new program has started with the archery discipline and air gun will follow shortly. The Millport Hunting and Fishing Club also joined this effort by providing their grounds as a venue for the 4H program. Some generous members of S.C.O.P.E. and the Millport Club have attended the 4H training and have become program instructors in various disciplines.
On October I, Schuyler S.C.O.P.E. will have a booth at the Montour Falls Harvestfest. Last chance voter registration will be a theme at this event as with all events we attend. The Chapter currently has a raffle ongoing for a 16-gun safe, a reloading kit and a patriotic soft rifle case. The winners of the three prizes will be drawn at our Oct. 13 meeting.
Democratic NY Senate candidate Leslie Danks-Burke addressed our August 11th meeting. She is challenging the incumbent, Senator Tom O'Mara, for the NY 58th Senate District. Danks-Burke stated she was pro 2nd Amendment and acknowledged that she felt the NY S.A.F.E. Act has major errors.
The newly installed S.C.O.P.E. NY President, Tom Reynolds, also attended our August meeting, introduced himself and addressed the Chapter on current S.C.O.P.E. business. NY Senator Tom O'Mara attended our September 8th meeting. He gave a briefing on the current NY Senate makeup, proposed legislation and critical Senate races around NY State. He was very concerned that if the Republican conference loses control of the Senate that more onerous gun control bills will be passed.
Our current A rated Assemblyman, Phil Palmesano, is running unopposed in the 132nd Assembly District.
By Gary Zielinski
The Ontario County Chapter of SCOPE -- we are doing our Job' too well. A question I keep asking myself, is why we don't have the response from our members that they have in the Wayne, Yates, Genesee, and Steuben County chapters?
We have members, but, very few are active. Some people in the county see that there is a problem, but for various reasons, think that throwing $25 a year at SCOPE will solve it. Most gun owners seem to be satisfied with trying to live with whatever Albany throws at them. However, can you spot a trend?
The last 20 years have seen a lot of "stuff' come our way. It's not going to get any better. As soon as 'little duce' thinks he can do it, more onerous regulations will be coming. How would you like getting a prescription for sleeping pills, and having the state police show up to seizeall your guns? IT'S HAPPENING NOW!! IT WILL GET WORSE!!
Why don't we have more active members? Is it our leadership? Basically, our leadership are those who show up on a regular basis.
This is a volunteer organization. if there is a lack of volunteers, there will be a lack of capability. So, those who at least recognize that there is a problem, have to accept more responsibility. Become more active, and get more members. Otherwise, prepare for the "knock on the door", and to hand over your guns. Anybody who says anything different is sleepwalking through life.
By Warren Johnson
When you consider how municipalities manage property... do they have an obligation to see to it everyone has a voice? In the instance of Margaretville, New York in the Catskill Mountains, the local Chamber of Commerce hosts a Cauliflower Festival on a large public venue in a field maintained and operated by the village. This festival stems from the historical context of local farmers raising cauliflower up until about twenty years ago.
The Catskills have also been the wilderness for many people where they could hunt and fish and generally enjoy the outdoors. The use ofguns and a society raised in that culture permeate the county. In fact, Delaware County, NY is the only one out of 62 in NY that remains a .. "shall issue" pistol permit location.
In a recent move to increase S.C.O.P.E.'s influence in the area, a new committee formed under the leadership of Andrea Elliot. She suggested we inquire concerning our ability to obtain a booth space (at this venue). Our intent is to address the issue of voter registration,pass out registration forms, and colIect them to deliver to the Board of Elections in time for the November polls. Many of you know of the lack of participation by gun owners in the last election where Cuomo won by some 500,000 votes. For a community like Margaretville, in a county like Delaware, it's important the gun owners retain a voice in their government.
Mrs. Carol O'Beime, Executive Director of the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce, turned down a request for a booth space with these words... "This is a community festival, not a forum to bring up issues that seem to have become political. People want to get away from all of that and we aim to provid (sic) a place where we can offer that. Not the time or place. It is our policy."
I don't know the origin of the concept of not talking about religion or politics in public. I do know I've heard it for some sixty years. The policy detracts from honest discussion and continues to lead us in a downward spiral throughout our society and culture. S.C.O.P.E. is a nonpartisan, non-profit 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. The denial of a local community group like S.C.O.P.E. to offer an opportunity to register to vote and discuss matters of public interest on a municipal piece of property, seems to fly in the face of our First Amendment rights.
We went to the Margaretville village government. Mayor Diana Cope spoke at length with us twice. She is to be commended. However, her responsibility, with the review and approval of the village board, is to never deny anyone the right to use the property. That would be illegal. Once an organization/ individual signs the agreement indicating the expected population, general use, and agrees to pick up after themselves, the village has done its job. There is no rental cost, only a cleaning fee returned if the park is clean when one leaves. She does indicate no one can charge an entrance fee. Use of the grounds is open to everyone. If you've arranged to use the property and received permission, you can't stop someone from walking their dog. You can't stop someone from speaking about issues while standing in the middle of your event. You can't charge an admission fee (donations are an acceptable recompense). The Delaware Chapter of SCOPE may use other tactics during the Cauliflower Festival. We're still discussing those. The bottom line is not about forcing ourselves upon an organization hell-bent on keeping civilized discussion from within its territory. Our every effort needs to be aimed at engaging the public whereever we can find them, Cauliflower Festival or not. Contact information for the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce: Mrs. Carol O'Bierne 806 Main Street, POB 605 Margaretville. NY 12455 845-586-3300 www.centralcatskills.com www.cauliflowerfestival.com
By Tom Reynolds
Barack Obama and the left say that closing our borders is not who we are; but they won't admit that we really are a nation under attack by terrorists. The facts are obvious: the Obama administration is unable to protect America from terrorist attacks; cities with strict gun laws, like Chicago, are unable to protect their citizens from gun crime; countries, like France, which have strict gun laws are unable to protect their citizens; gun-free zones are abysmal failures; the government cannot monitor all potential threats without endangering the Constitution.
The Obama administration is unwilling to confront the terrorism issue and defend the American people. The President even suggested climate change is to blame for terrorism. If so? Why aren't Catholics and Buddhists beheading people? Is ISIS really motivated by changing weather and a lack of jobs?
Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Disarming citizens is a program that has been tried, over and over again, and does not work. It's time to try something different.
Admiral Yamamoto, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, said, "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Terrorism has invaded our homeland. Let's have no more "soft targets" for terrorists. Let's re-arm Americans to protect Americans.
A highly visible gun presence will be a deterrent to crime and terrorism. All Americans start with the Constitutional right to bear arms and only those that fall into narrow categories and have had a judicial hearing should be denied that right. Concealed carry laws must be expanded. Handgun licensing should be expedited in the interest of protecting Americans; judges should not have the discretion to delay licensing because of their political beliefs. It should again be a common sight to see rifles mounted in the back window of pickup trucks. It's a program without government cost since private citizens already own guns and will be buying the guns.
This is not a call for unlimited gun ownership but for expanded, common sense gun ownership. Silly and ineffective laws such as the SAFE Act should be repealed. Carrying a gun while intoxicated should have similar penalties to driving while intoxicated. Private property owners must retain their Constitutional right to control their property. Felons, mental patients, etc. would obviously be denied. Use of a gun in a crime should increase the penalty.
People without respect for the lives and rights of others must learn that Americans will not be easy targets. Fourteen people died in San Bernardino even though the police arrived in less than five minutes. Terrorists must learn to expect an immediate response to their actions. Drive by shooters must understand that potential victims can shoot back.
Why should Obama, Cuomo and legislators be protected by guns if citizens are denied that same right?
The 2nd Amendment insures all our Constitutional rights as well as our inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
''We the People" are under attack. The Second Amendment gives the citizens the right to keep and bear arms.
The Founding Fathers were well educated and knew the continuing evolution of weapons; the rock, the spear, the bow and arrow, the cross bow, and the musket.
In 1776 the governing powers (British) had the musket, the citizens also had the musket. Now in 2016 with the SAFE Act, the governing powers have assault style weapons, but the citizen only have the rock.
What kind of government would try to disarm us during this age of terrorism?
The politicians that want to disarm us should lead by example, and disarm their heavily armed security teams that surround them - ALL Lives Matter. ''We the People!"
By Henry S. Kramer, Tompkins County
Like many American citizens who are not members of SCOPE, I do not own a gun nor do I want to own one. So, why am I writing this to SCOPE? Because guns are unlike any other form of property, they are specifically guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Protecting and preserving the entire Constitution itself, even if we do not agree with some of its clauses, is an important value in its own right.
The Constitution is the glue and the cement that holds us together. Americans can be a violent people; we are certainly a litigious one. Like the rules in football, the Constitution defines for us what the rules of the game are and how we must play it. If opponents of gun rights want to change the Constitution, they should follow the amendment procedures. These procedures are difficult and were designed as such to create a high hurdle for those who may want to alter the Constitution. Gun control people are impeded by the Second Amendment, but that does not stop them from trying to pass laws, statutes, and ordinances that undermine our constitutional protections. Presidents Wilson and Obama viewed our Constitution as a set of mere guidelines but they were wrong and organizations such as SCOPE are necessary to protect the Constitution.
While I can support some gun regulation under our Constitution, I think the Second Amendment must be honored. That is one reason why so much is at stake this November in terms of who will appoint Supreme Court justices. The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is. They have tightly enforced the First Amendment free speech rights hut have effectively nullified the Tenth Amendment. which leaves power to the states and the people. On the Second Amendment, they have set boundaries which seem to be flexible. That is both a good and a bad thing. It allows adjustment to the times but it also allows the Court, if so disposed, to give the Second Amendment lip service while effectively reading the Second Amendment out of the Constitution. Because the Supreme Court is the bulwark of constitutional rights, who will be the people who interpret the Constitution is a critical question.
On one occasion, the amendment process for the Constitution has failed us, prohibition. This social experiment that was forced upon the country by a well organized, vocal, group was so unpopular with the American public that it failed, becoming the only constitutional amendment ever repealed. Strict gun control laws, even if passed, would face a similar fate. They would not be widely accepted particularly outside our big cities and statistics show that tough gun control laws simply do not work.
Consider that you, as a citizen or legal resident of the United States are constitutionally protected to carry your property with you when you cross from New York into another state. It remains yours. That is, all your legal property, except your gun property. Although it is the one kind of property the Constitution protects, it is also the kind of property that the state you enter can regulate or even confiscate. This creates a kind of constitutional singularity for gun property.
So, why should people who don't like guns support and value your Second Amendment rights? Because if we do not, who will be left to speak for us when they come for our First Amendment free speech rights, our rights to a free press, our right to freedom of religion? All are constitutional rights matter and if we fail to defend any of them against unconstitutional incursion we start down the road to the loss of other rights. No rights are absolute rights; some restrictions are not only inevitable but sensible. But the core Second Amendment must be preserved if other rights are to be honored. When you talk with people who don't like guns, this is perhaps what you should tell them. Whether or not they agree with you, they may then support your work in defense of our Constitution itself.
By Budd Schroeder
The misnomer of "gun violence" keeps running through the liberal media and is voiced in the broadcast channels as buzz words to take the focus off criminals and place it on an object which, in reality, is a tool. Most tools can be used violently as weapons such as an ordinary hammer. Using it to build a house makes it a tool. Using it to crush someone's head makes it a weapon. Whether the criminal uses a gun or a hammer as a weapon the result is a dead person.
Granted, there have been no reports of hammers being used in mass murders, but the concept remains that no tool is a weapon unless an evil person takes control of it. One of the largest number of victims of a mass murder was caused by a Molotov Cocktail in a social club in the Bronx a couple of decades ago. Close to a hundred people were killed in that crime.
Recently, in Europe, many people were killed by an evil person driving a truck through a heavily populated section of the city. The victims were equally as dead as those who were shot in Paris. The tool is only an instrument. The violence is strictly a human caused event. There is no argument that there are too many evil people in society. No evil, no violence. Maybe, but the liberal left will argue that if we had stricter gun control laws, we would have less violence.
Those who argue against that premise will claim that horrific violence occurred throughout history long before the invention of firearms. The Bible tells how the Kings of Israel killed people by the tens of thousands. While it could be argued that the numbers don't matter because God commanded the Kings to "slay His enemies." When it comes to a report of deaths in that way, the tellers usually shy away from using the term, "murder."
Regardless of whether or not the killing was sanctioned by a government or was committed by a criminal, people died. There is only one degree of death. A person either is or isn't. Near death is "still alive." "Recently died" is still "totally dead." Death can come in many ways from many actions. Medical malpractice on an annual basis, by a huge margin, exceeds the death by gunfire. Deaths caused by accidents, illness and substance abuses are responsible for more deaths than gunfire.
So, is there a solution to the problem of the "gun violence?" If there is one. it has to be focused on people, not guns. The term should be changed to "criminal misuse of firearms." That would be much more accurate and place the focus and efforts on those who misuse firearms for violent and evil purposes.
There is a problem with trying to convince criminals not to be violent. In the first place, many murders are "crimes of passion" or "they didn't think they would be caught" and commit the crime. Some sociologists think the crime is a result of society not dealing with the problem which involves the study of family structure, poverty, or other excuses for bad behavior leading to violent actions.
Regardless, the focus is on more "gun control" and even if it doesn't work, the liberal politicians and media try to convince the public that such things as universal background checks, banning certain guns because of their appearance or features and even banning high capacity magazines will reduce the number of homicides. They conveniently overlook the obvious problem that criminals don't obey laws.
If bans worked, Prohibition would have successfully ended drunken fights, alcoholism, and the other social problems that involve alcohol, like drunken driving, as well as the illnesses associated with alcohol.
Illegal drugs are banned, so we shouldn't have any problems with drug abuse, right? Try again. Drug overdoses account for far more deaths than homicides involving guns. Obviously, gun control laws don't affect criminals either. So, the answer has to be people oriented and the focus should be on discouragement for the use of guns in crime.
Using simple math of the number of guns and gun owners in America versus the number of people misusing firearms, the misuse comes out to about one-quarter of one percent. That's a real minority of problem people who own guns.
A thought that might be much more effective is to amend the criminal justice laws regarding violent crime. Presently, if a person commits a violent crime with a gun, the charge may be increased a degree or two regarding the length of the sentence. In other words, if a criminal robs a bank or a person the charge increases the length of the sentence.
What would happen if that was changed to a charge that if a gun was used in a violent crime, there would be an additional five years added to the sentence for the robbery or assault? It would be one charge for the crime without the degrees presently used. No, buy one, get one free, in the sentencing.
The second thought would be to add to the list of conditions that make a murder one charge, the crime of a drive by shooting that results in a homicide. What can require more intent than talcing a gun in a car to drive around for the purpose of killing someone? If Greg the Gunslinger does this, he will never get out of prison. That could be a real incentive to not do it. It also could give powerful leverage to the DA if he wanted a plea bargain and save the taxpayer the cost of an expensive trial.
Gun control doesn't work. Criminal control would make more sense.
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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