My home state of New York is no stranger to knee-jerk gun restrictions, laws that do nothing more than inconvenience (at best) law abiding gun owners. Thanks to the newly rising murder rate in New York City, the Empire State is challenging California as the poster child for anti-pistol petulant pig-headedness. Like so many anti-gun states, New York’s gun control fervor is a big city thing. So when one of Poughkeepsie’s local councilmen stopped picking his feet long enough to propose a bill to further regulate law-abiding citizens and their firearms, local gun owners confronted him en masse at a local town meeting . . .

That’s the way the system works, right? Council members propose laws and regulations, residents respond, and Democracy lives on. That’s not how Councilman Joe Rich sees it. From the Poughkeepsie Journal:

Councilman Joe Rich, D-2nd Ward, said he felt attacked at the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council meeting on June 15 by members from theDutchess County chapter of the Shooter Committee On Political Education and supporters of the National Rifle Association, after SCOPE gave a presentation against the council’s proposed ordinance for mandatory storage of firearms. The proposal would require gun owners to lock up firearms in the City of Poughkeepsie.

“I didn’t mean to lose my temper, but felt it was abusive for them to come there in large numbers, wearing their shirts,” Rich said. “They were accusing us of taking their second amendment rights. I got upset, so I stood up — I don’t have to be intimidated by outside organizations like that.”

New York politicians in general and Democrats in particular like to believe they’re a separate class from the common folk. With a patronage-shaped lock on their political “machine,” they feel free to run their cities however they want. Elections are coronations – not as a job interview to do the People’s work.

Councilman Joe Rich (courtesy wpdh.com)

I know — I’ve seen it firsthand from within the Democratic party in Westchester county while growing up. I’ve listened to the candidates talking behind closed doors about how best to dupe the population into liking them long enough to get into office. It’s all about power and control, and they hate it when anyone speaks up against them.

The ordinance would make mandatory gun storage “a blanket policy for everyone under all circumstances,” which could be detrimental in a number of situations, Emslie said.

Dutchess County SCOPE First Chair Jacqueline Emslie and Chapter President Christopher Zaleski gave a presentation during the meeting. Emslie, who is a gun owner and resident of the City of Poughkeepsie, said other SCOPE members from the City of Poughkeepsie were in attendance.

“We came to give information and present to the council, so they can make an informed decision if it does come up for a vote,” she said. “My whole goal was to give the council a resident gun owners’ perspective. This will have a negative effect on gun owners.”

Who are voters. And pay the salaries of the politicians who oppose them. Not that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to questions of social utility (as Bruce Krafft reminds us). FWIW.

94 Responses to Gun Rights vs. “Democracy” in Poughkeepsie

    • “I don’t have to be intimidated by outside organizations like that.” Outside organization? You mean constituents? Suck it up Pal, you work for them.

      • It sure seems like they interpret being elected as a reason to act like infallible kings living in ivory towers. Does anyone know who is sitting on Senator Palpatine’s left? I like how he goes from laughing to face-palming after hearing the ridiculous statements.

    • Depends…

      Calling someone a “pussy” is a slang, contracted form of the word “pusillanimous.” It is not a reference to female anatomy as the popularly ignorant tend to believe.

      So, no, it’s actually not possible for that to be an Ad Hominem. It’s merely identifying one of his many negative character traits.

      • That’s an Internet myth and not at all the origin of that word, let alone in that context.

        I know, it seems like one of those nifty little nuggets of trivia that one can amaze people with at cocktail parties and on blogs; right up there with tomatoes being a fruit, technically, and rainbows being circles, technically.

        Unlike those, which are true, the pussy/pussilanimous bit is completely and provably false. I could let slide you giving into temptation to repeat the myth here, with only a disagreement. However, going on to call other people ignorant when it is YOU who smugly and lazily refuses to confirm the readily verifiable etymology? Nope. I can’t let that stand.

  1. I don’t get it. This stuff is covered in 10th grade world history and 12th grade US civics… the democratic party in the US is the Left party in the US… modern Leftism derives from Marixism. Marxism is inherently anti-democratic. Its the reason I giggle every time I see the term “democratic socialism” the two terms are mutually exclusive.Sometimes I wish the left would just admit that they don’t want democracy here and then things would make so much more sense.

    • Rather like spendthrift “conservatives.”

      We need new parry names, such as Theocratic, Statist, Kafkaesque, Cud-Chewing and so on.

      • +1

        The creation of compound terms could further illuminate a politicians proclivities e.g. Cud-chewing Statist.

        • The problem is if all the Cud-Chewing Statists from both the (R) and (D) sides joined together into one party, they’d have an 85% majority…

      • The important continuum to me is statism vs. individualism. All but a few Dem politicians (at least in DC) want to push us away from the original American model toward the Nazi/USSR end of the continuum. About 2/3 of the Republicans also want to rule, they just have a different (and admitted larger) list of freedoms they are willing to “allow” the people to have, and promise to rule with a slightly lighter hand (at least for now).

    • And Republicans take their inspiration from the Fascists of Italy, except when they lose. Then they get all butt hurt and whine about the bullies on the other side.

      • That’s a funny comment, coming from the son of Obama that advocates for the government to tell us what to do. LOL, you progtards fail so miserably.

      • “And Republicans take their inspiration from…”

        The loudest whining looks like it’s coming from *you*, ‘god’.

        NEWSFLASH – Gun rights are ascendent. Big time.

        And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

        And that just drives you (if possible, even more) nuts.

        How do you like the taste of Liberty?

        Get used to it. Learn to love it.

        It’s all you’re gonna be eating from now on…

        Poor little impotent butthurt ‘god’.

        Nice sneering at you, jackwad…

        (Jeeze, I miss the good ole’ days of USENET. Hey, Dan Z – Any chance you can set up news.thetruthaboutguns.com on TTAG’s server? It sure would be nice to have threads that go a lot deeper than the 4-5 you have now… )

      • Crack open a book once in a while. FDR’s democrats spent insane money on propaganda to get Americans on board with both Hitler and Mussolini. Things didn’t start falling apart until around 1938-1939 when Hitler’s demands got more out of control. All through the 30’s the Democrats worked very hard on presenting a positive image of Italy and Germany to the mass of americans. Nice try though.

      • God, is that really you?

        Or is it just you Alanis Morissette again, stuck in role?

        Anyway, your Mom said come upstairs, your friend the pizza guy is here.

      • “And Republicans take their inspiration from the Fascists of Italy”

        Um, no. Like the GOP or not, that is not a credible statement. Mussolini is the father of Total Government, which is a concept of cradle to grave entitlements and government control of the people. The GOP’s official position is adamantly opposed to entitlements and government control. Mussolini has far more in common with Roosevelt’s politics than the GOP. Before responding, let me say that I am neither a registered Republican nor a Democrat. In fact, I absolutely deplore both parties. But, here is some advise, though: If you want to hate a political party, do it based on truth.

    • My favorite is the “Working Families Party”.

      Nothing more than a non-threatening euphemism for the Communist Party.

    • Democrats running the government, virtually unopposed…now you know why NJ is so F’d up. General McClellan was Governor for one term in 1878 and didn’t run for a second term because even then, the state was run by F’d up Democrats. PS…Christie is a ‘R’ anomaly that can’t do anything to straighten things out because of the strangle hold of Dems, Unions, Teachers and Public employees.

  2. No doubt the next time the people of Poughkeepsie wish to assemble and air their concerns, they’ll be relegated to “free speech zones” at least a mile distant from their “audience.”

    • “No doubt the next time the people of Poughkeepsie wish to assemble and air their concerns, they’ll be relegated to “free speech zones” at least a mile distant from their “audience.””

      …and their permit will allow them to assemble a day after the vote is taken.

  3. I would have wound up in cuffs if I attended that meeting. He is an elected official. We are his boss. He doesn’t tell us when to shut up, we tell HIM when to shut up.

    • I’d be right there with you. Holding a bucket labeled “TAR” in one hand, and a feather boa in the other. Just glaring and grinning like a mad man at him!

      • You are so cool. I can see this Tory flapping his “wings” running down the street with a trail of feathers behind him. Ah, the good ole pre-Revolutionary days.

      • I might be next to you with a blow torch heating up your tar bucket. You know for “therapeutic” reasons.

    • On the one hand Councilman Joe Rich was correct: the audience was speaking out of order. On the other hand Councilman Joe Rich was telling members of the audience not to exercise their First Amendment right to assemble peaceably and petition government for a redress of grievances.

      The interesting question, therefore, is, “Why should the audience respect Robert’s Rules of Order when the Council (or at least the Councilman speaking at the time) doesn’t respect the First Amendment right of We the People?”

  4. I don’t know what was funnier, his fellow councilmen trying to not break out in laughter at this man’s baseless and scared attack, that this man was elected to govern anyone, that he looks like Skeletor, or when he thinks that he has the moral high ground when yelling back, “You’re not recognized, you’re not recognized! He’s not recognized! Shut Up!”

  5. I suggest everyone watch “a republic if you can keep it” our country was never susposed to be a democracy. A democracy is equivalent to mob rule. A republic respects each individual person and there basic human rights. Sadly even most republics discriminate against at least one group of people.

    • “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

      • If jackasses like this council member get their way, it will sound something like this….

        “I pledge allegiance to the Divided States of America, and to the Dictatorship for which I stand, one Nation without God, with no liberty or justice at all.”

        • I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Nations, and to the world for which it stands, one ideology under control with social justice for all.

        • Michael, I thought the scariest thing I would ever hear is “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” but after reading that I’m going to have nightmares for the next 3-6 months…thanks!

  6. Such is the nature of things.

    New York gun owners need to hit the streets and mount a campaign to bring to light the moral, philosophical, and legal weakness and failings of the gun control movement. The left has been trying to wage its own form of kulturkampf against gun owners and merely complaining isn’t going to solve the problem, better philosophical arguments will.

  7. When a politician tries to impinge citizens of their civil rights, they get testy. Who would have guessed that.

  8. I grew up in a small southern town that imposed Jim Crow gun laws to keep blacks from obtaining handguns. One such way was to require any business that sold handguns to pay a $200 a year business license (everyone else paid $15 or less). At the time the theory was that since only a few blacks owned cars, traveling to another town to make a purchase was impractical. Of course it never prevented anyone from buying a handgun; it only harmed local businesses that found the expense damnable. This ordinance came about in the 50s or 60s and was never repealed, though eventually it was nullified by a state preemption law that Marion Hammer (former NRA president) got passed in the 80s. But in the interim I was aware of two occasions when we tried to get it repealed. In one case the city council was made up of conservative commissioners, and in the other case it was made up of liberal commissioners. Both times the ordinance was retained. What I learned from this was something my father had warned me about (he was one of the commissioners who tried to get it repealed). You may elect someone to office that you think you know and can trust, but once they’re given a little power over you, and control of other people’s money, it’s amazing how their true nature comes out – and it ain’t always pretty.

  9. How long does it take for a people to revolt against a totalitarian Govt.,The rest of the world is doing it, I am glad I am 75 and live in Arizona, Who Said
    “give me liberty or give me death”
    Patrick Henry..

  10. Joe Rich’s statement reminded me of a Monty Burns quote from the Simpsons. Well except that Rich made it into office.

    Mr. Burns: This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.

    Smithers: You are noble and poetic in defeat, sir.

  11. “I… felt it was abusive for them to come there in large numbers, wearing their shirts.”

    Well sir, I’m afraid you aren’t cut out for public service.

    • “Lawdy, lawdy, I do declare! These scoundrels set upon our meeting, all wearin’ the same shirts! How dare they coordinate their clothing, the brutes! I was nearly overcome with the vapors!”

  12. Storage laws have been tried in plenty of places. Guess this walking corpse has a bad case of senioritis and is not aware his proposal has already failed.
    Or he himself doesnt care if storage laws don’t work and wants them anyway.
    But that would make him a hypocrite. Nah, no politician would ever be a hypocrite or liar or otherwise immoral and unethical to get whatever he wants done done damn all else and others. Nah.

  13. NY is lost territory what we need to do is focus on getting a US president that is pro 2 A that way we can use the courts to turn back this horse poo

  14. All I want to know is, who was that above average everyday ghoul that was running the meeting?

  15. The most difficult choice a politician must ever make is whether to be a hypocrite or a liar –Unknown

    Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason – Mark Twain

  16. Only wealthy people keep their guns locked up.. ( Read NOT Adam Lanzas mother ).. Poor people don’t lock up their guns…..

  17. “…but felt it was abusive for them to come there in large numbers, wearing their shirts,” Rich said.”

    So a large number of people showing up, in shirts, to support you is a good thing, it’s Democracy or Grass Roots or Power of the People.

    But a large number of people showing up, in shirts, to oppose you is an attack you don’t have to stand for?

    So lobbying for a cause you support is good, lobbying for a cause you disagree with is to be stopped. Got it.

  18. Saw this a few days ago. What a freaking idiot. Then again he is a politician. The city of Poughkeepsie sucks and if you want to survive there you BETTER be armed. The place is a hell hole.

  19. Years back our local council sponsored a “Street of Dreams.” Problem was getting to it was a problem. They decided to use our neighborhood street and make a cut through. You know, dump trucks, heavy traffic, buses. At the next meeting 57 of us showed up. Then 19 of us signed up to speak. The council abruptly left the room for a executive session. They returned announcing the project was cancelled. That’s democracy.

    • You know you have won when the City/County/Town council passes what you want half way through your protest.

      I have seen it happen as well.

      It is amazing what one statist jerk can push through when the rest of the council do not wish to “offend” anyone. Lots of nice people get elected to these local offices, people who do not wish to “offend” another council member, and will go along without really thinking of the consequences over the long term.

  20. Joe Rich is great, he should be this countries representative to ISIS. He can scream at them right before his beheading!

  21. What’s funny is a locked container won’t prevent suicides by the owner, which is one of the things that gun control advocates claim they want to prevent. However, they are also in favor of abortion and doctor-assisted suicide, so I’m a bit confused.

  22. Unfortunately, people like this do not even understand violence. Fortunately, there are people who enjoy watching others violently attempt to get guys like this to understand ???? }:-)

  23. “Outside organization”. No, that would be MDA and every other Bloomberg-supported astroturf. But, that’s how the label game goes.

  24. Holy crap… I actually got through that nearly incoherent oral diarrhea. Seriously… I could barely understand what that moron was saying. And, what I could distinguish as words…. made no sense.

    It made me think of this video from Billy Madison:

    • Poor old timer gettin’ wound up like that. What he really needed was an epi pen or blow dart full of morphine from the young guy next to him. That juxtaposition between raving pensioner and barely-restrained-from-outright-laughter sharp young man almost had me thinking he was photoshopped into the background.

  25. I don’t find Councilman’s reaction unusual at all. His beliefs are rooted in delusional thinking and when this delusion (his reality) is challenged his concept of the world completely unravels. He becomes confused, defensive and angry, lashing out and casting blame on others, taking no accountability for his own behavior. In general the man has zero self-awareness, he is deluded, living in a fantasy. You will see this often in the anti-2A responses. This why when pro-2A people provide facts it is met with hysterical outbursts. Their lies and delusions are their reality. Same is true with seriously mentally ill people.

  26. Start a recall petition to get rid of Joe the socialist democrat! Joe’s idea of requireing the locking up of guns will put the residents in harms way from the area criminals! Joe doesn’t think you should be able to protect yourself!

  27. what part of elites are better qualified to dictate our daily lives do you guys not understand. we elect governments to do for us what they think best because if we had the smarts they do, we would be in places of authority. we don’t hire public servants, we choose those we think can take care of things so we don’t need to spend a lot of limited brain power trying to figure things out for ourselves. we elect elites because they are elite. we tell them to take care of us so we don’t have to DVR our favorite reality shows. when we get in their faces, we are acting like rebellious teenagers. just let committees and councils and boroughs and so on do their thing and tell us how to comply. if i were ever smart enough to get elected, i would tell people, “hey, you elected me to do things, make decisions, tell you what to do. don’t come in here and try to tell me my job, you ingrate !!”

    enough, already. don’t you have something better to do, like send out for pizza?

  28. Here is what I got out of that:

    I, Joe Rich, feel people who are not wealthy shouldn’t have guns.

    I, Joe Rich, feel that there should be a law mandating you lock up your guns rather than give you the responsibility to handle it yourself.

    I, Joe Rich, an elected official, do not want to be bothered by listening to my constituents at 11:00pm. Unacceptable.

    I, Joe Rich, don’t want you out-of-towners to come here and explain rights to the people of poughkeepsie or explain negatives of laws that I like.

    I, Joe Rich, think that you don’t want this law to pass because you think it may be successful and move on to other jurisdictions – not because that you as a people are directly affected by it and simply don’t want it.

    I, Joe Rich, want to give a long spiel (after complaining about staying till 11:00pm) about gun control and other people’s perceived agendas and feel that no one should interrupt me. You are not recognized!

    I, Joe Rich, am a city councilman – who are you? Shut up and sit down – in fact – leave – I don’t want you around.

    I, Joe Rich, feel that when numerous peaceful people wearing political t-shirts come into a meeting – that is “intimidation.” I, Joe Rich, a city councilman, should not have to ever feel intimidated by the “people.”

  29. I love when fascists who think being a politician makes them nobility get confronted by citizens. They get the vapors at the fact that their divine mandate is being challenged by the unwashed peasants. Screw them all.

  30. San Antonio? Nick, have I ever seen you at the monthly hi-power/service rifle match at Dietz/CTSA Range, sponsored by South Texas Marksmanship Training Center (STMTC)? …Third Sunday each month. Check out other STMTC events in the San Antonio area at the website: http://southtexasshooting.org/.

  31. Skull faced libtard looks like he came out of a place (concentration camp) where his misplaced ideals may one day send us all.

  32. “Not that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to questions of social utility…”

    My favorite observations on this issue are the following two:

    By political definition, popular views need no protection. It is unpopular notions that are in the greatest peril…
    Coll. Republicans at S.F. State Univ. v. Reed, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1005, 1018 (N.D. Cal. 2007).

    What it means to take rights seriously is that one will honor them even when there is significant social cost in doing so.
    –SANFORD LEVINSON

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