Greg Camp writes [via ammoland.com]: The badly named New York SAFE Act continues to make the life of the state’s law-abiding gun owners difficult. Residents who are deemed worthy of a pistol permit – permission to own in their homes, to carry to hunting or target shooting, or carry generally, depending on the good graces of law enforcement – that were issued prior to January 2013 must get them renewed or risk having their weapons confiscated.
Governor Cuomo believes that “when they write the history books they’re going to say, ‘New York got it right,’” whoever “they” might be – perhaps he is preparing copy for the Ministry of Truth. The state legislature predictably placed the burden of getting the word out on county law enforcement agencies, and those people who live in New York City or surrounding counties can’t use the state police website to renew.
The law was passed in a hurry over the objections of sheriffs and county clerks. The original seven-round magazine capacity limit got tossed out in court, while most of the provisions have taken effect. But many owners of so-called assault weapons in the state are refusing to register them, suggesting that the spirit of liberty is alive even in one of the worst states for gun owners.
In the same way that the USA PATRIOT Act was a knee-jerk response to 9/11, the NY SAFE Act came as an effort to look busy after the Sandy Hook school shooting, an example of politicians’ belief that punishing people who did no wrong will somehow prevent such incidents in the future.
If the non-compliance in New York isn’t enough to show that a total ban and mandatory confiscation of “assault weapons” would fail, consider the fact that there are millions of AR-15s in circulation alone, not to mention the many other models of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines out there.
And if by some perverse miracle good people could be convinced to hand in their guns, Americans who are already criminals aren’t likely to change their ways by being asked, and enough of them specialize in bringing contraband into the country to make effective control of “assault weapons” a pipe dream. Those pipes could be filled with the drugs that are used to conceal guns as they cross the borders.
The reality that gun control advocates refuse to admit is that the only outcome of their demands would be increased harassment of people who aren’t harming anyone. It’s hard not to believe that this is exactly the purpose of such proposals.
We live in a nation that is the main stage of security theater, the promise that if we will take off our shoes to get on an airplane, hand over our drivers’ licenses to buy cold medicine, and tolerate bans and restrictions on a constitutionally enumerated right to save the children, the Millennium will arrive, and we will all be at peace.
Except that plenty of nations have strict gun control and homicide rates that are far higher than ours. And some nations with strict gun laws have rates that are lower than ours. The classic saying is that correlation doesn’t prove causation, but when correlation doesn’t exist, there certainly isn’t evidence for a cause.
This doesn’t stop the advocates of control, and it’s up to those of us who care about rights to say no, to remind our elected leaders that their jobs depend on protecting rather than violating those rights.
To Review: if you have a pistol permit in NY acquired before 2013, no matter how many years ago you received it, you need to reapply by the Jan. 31, 2018, deadline or lose your permit. Contact your local county clerk’s office and thank Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the New York SAFE Act next time he is up for vote.
PS: Did I mention that with your new application you also have to include a list of all pistols and revolvers you currently possess, including the associated make, model, caliber and serial number(s), you know for the safety of the children…
About Greg Camp
Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.