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New York gun owners are PISSED. As you’d expect. Their legislators passed a bill attempting to strip them of one of their fundamental civil rights, and did so without even reading the drivel they were voting on. While the constitutionality of the bill is currently under challenge in the courts, the people are making their displeasure known. A massive rally outside the capitol building in Albany – attendance was estimated at 12,000 – gathered yesterday to protest the bill, a crowd some legislators said was the largest they’ve ever seen. The Times Union picks up the story with some notable quotes . . .

“This is probably one of the most egregious acts by government I’ve seen defying our nation’s history,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua. “It’s time to repeal this law.”

And, of course, the president of the NRA was on hand to make his displeasure known.

“Your governor is willing to sacrifice the Constitution, your rights as citizens and the prerogatives of his Legislature on the altar of his own ambition and the ego of Michael Bloomberg of New York City,” said Keene, referring to the Big Apple’s billionaire mayor, a staunch gun control advocate.

This issue really does have the potential to have a lasting impact on the state of New York. There has always been a feeling that politics in the state are dictated by the residents of the city, with the mostly Republican upstaters being completely ignored. My money is still on the state splitting a la West Virginia. But either way, it shows exactly how divisive this issue has become in our country.

And here’s the account of reader Aaron W. who was on the scene:

I went intermodal today and parked at the Croton On Hudson spillover lot early this morning. Took an early train to Albany. Passenger load was light, even when a group of fellow travelers boarded in Poughkeepsie. The NRA hats and camo tipped me off. I minded my own business until there were about 20 mins left to go. I introduced myself, and as usual amongst beleagured NY gun enthusiasts, we quickly bonded and chatted until we got to the Empire Plaza . . .

As we approached, I saw protestors disgorging from buses. “Hmmm… that’s that NRA protest they’ve been talking about” said the front seat passenger. I caught the woman next to me staring at my NRA shoulder patch. I asked the driver if I could leave since I already found what I was looking for. “Those are my people” I should have said, but I just fled the minivan and merged with the teeming masses of RKBA enthusiasts.

Everyone drifted into the cavernous underground corridor beneath the Plaza.  It connects all of the important government buildings, so for the functionaries that keep NY functioning, there is no need for exposure to sunlight and fresh air. The main Plaza was “closed for the winter” anyway – we gathered in a smaller, but still substantial part of the complex.

There were already a few thousand people, and more were coming in by bus. I would say the crowd peaked around 12:30 or so. Max attendance was probably between five and eight thousand people.

Many people addressed the crowd – I didn’t catch their names, and out of the perhaps dozen or so only two seemed to be particularly effective or forceful. Sorry to say, but David Keene wasn’t among the better speakers. The National Anthem was sung brilliantly by a young woman, another person whose name I didn’t catch.

Lots of State Troopers were present, mostly to make sure people crossing the street to and from the main body of the crowd didn’t get clocked by intracity drivers. They seemed generally friendly. They let people pet the horses, and smirked politely at the various iterations of “FU Cuomo” shirts and signs.

Someone pointed out an overwatch – a trio of men with a tripod mounted camera were surveiling us from a nearby rooftop.

Crowd periodically chanted “Cuomo must go!”, a deafening chorus of disapproval that made the hairs on my neck stand up – not just from the vigor and volume of it, but the unity of purpose that it represented.

The signs weren’t super-creative or witty, but there were a few decent ones mixed in.  LOTS of AR-15 “come and take it” banners, both in Greek and the original English. Also quite a few crude representations of Cuomo and/or Obama as Hitler.

The saddest part of this is that we had to spend time, money and energy to try to roll us back to where we were. If we could run a sort of Windows system restore on the NYS government, we’d still be back to the Sullivan laws on handguns, a non-sunsetting AWB, mag limits, feature restrictions and all that jazz.

I’m still glad I went.  It’s great to be amongst fellow pro-RKBers and speak as one voice to our so-called leaders in Albany.

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  1. Fracturing along political lines. I wonder how much more of this we’ll see. In states, I can imagine a few of these occurrences, nationally…we live in interesting times.

    • Welcome to the Divided States of America.
      Used to be a united area.

      Half follow the Constitution,
      Half obey the rule of dissolution.

      Pick your side today,
      For travel visas are a sum to pay.
      Move out with your guns,
      So that your children can shoot someday

      • …the Divided States of America… two nations, irreconcilable, with liberty and justice no more.

      • I wish it was that simple. Neither party fully respects the Constitution. Republicans give you the 2nd Amendment, but not the 1st (free speech zones anyone?). Both parties seem happy to ignore the 4th Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure- warrantless wiretapping anyone?). Obama seems happy to ignore the 5th and 6th (due process, trial by jury), with drone strikes and kill lists.
        All of them are happy to ignore the 9th and 10th Amendments (protection of rights and limitation of federal government)…

        Sadly with our two-party system, a 3rd party candidate that actually respects the Constitution can never get elected. As long as we are voting against someone instead of for someone, this bullshittery will continue.

    • Civilian disarmament proponents have no qualms sacrificing my daughters’ virginity to a diseased rapist so that they (disarmament proponents) can feel good.

      It is my honor and duty to protect my family and prepare them to protect themselves when I am not around. Sadly, we not only have to protect ourselves from the violent criminals in our community, we also have to repeal the efforts of our government who is working feverishly (at the request of other fellow citizens) to enable those violent criminals among us.

      My daughter’s virginity is not negotiable. Do we have any choice but to split?

  2. Good to hear it. Unfortunately people on our side have jobs and repsonsibilities, so we can’t camp out for weeks in end like Occupy. Also, I think you meant “original Greek and English”.

  3. off topic: on the gun facts page. is there an item on UK crime after dunblane, if so it would be good to have it up (if not: after dunblane, crimes involving firearms rose 112% to 11,088 in 2005/06 from 5209 in 1998/99 – homicides and attempted murders all went up along with robberies commited with a firearm)

  4. I detest Marxism, communism, etc. but Marx and Engels knew how to turn a phrase.

    So, I’ll paraphrase:

    ‘New Yorkers, you have nothing to lose but your chains!’

  5. It’s becoming clear that the fracturing in America is no longer along the Mason-Dixon line, but rather rural vs metropolis. Federal and State governments are increasingly controlled by the whims of the urban elite and we are seeing policy after policy, initiative after initiative aimed at urban dwellers while rural America is increasingly ignored, or even worse, trampled on by these policies.

    Sure, a hedge fund manager in Manhattan can’t contemplate why anyone would “need” an AR-15, but has anyone once ever mentioned the ranchers and landowners in the border states, hell even farmers in Upstate NY along the Canadian border, who have no choice but to defend their property and families themselves with the possibility of armed drug smugglers always a threat? What about all of the Americans who live in rural counties with small sheriffs offices who may take upwards of 45 minutes to arrive at a 911 call due to distance alone? That so-called “assault weapon” Mikey Bloomberg is so terrified of isn’t an assault weapon. It’s a tool, just the same as a shovel, an axe, a hammer or a snowplow. It’s part of a way of life.

    There are plenty of city slickers, including many of us on this site, who have our roots out in the sticks, or have at least been introduced to and recognize the beauty of the rural American lifestyle. Policies that aim to cripple that way of life won’t just impact Americans in Texas, North Dakota, Wyoming, Alabama, etc…don’t think the government doesn’t know that its biggest obstacle to totalitarianism is rural America.

    • Your comments are so perceptive as to almost reach the point of profundity – exactly right!
      It’s not just the Urban (or urbane as they see themselves) Elites, its the masses of asses they get to vote for them in run down hell-holes as well as snotty enclaves as shown so well in “Seinfeld”.
      Believe me, the people around here aren’t really idiots – they just vote that way. That’s partly why I dread “Upstate NY” breaking away or another secession movement in the South or West. I shutter to think how these urban islands would be without our rural counter weights.

    • In the Pacific Northwest I’ve seen the urban elites in Seattle and Portland kill the timber economy in much of both states, impoverishing many counties and small towns. They’ve also passed silly laws they know nothing about like hunting with dogs, just because they don’t like the idea.

      I guess our founding fathers anticipated this urban/rural divide on a national level by structuring the House and Senate the way that they did. It seems the states have done a much poorer job of anticipating this shift.

      • Yes and no. Most of the states did have the same sort of divide at one time i.e. Set number from counties, proportional from districts and indeed this had the same effect as the Federal System. This changed in 1964 with the Reynolds v Sims decision by the Warren Supreme Court, declaring it a violation of “Equal Rights” and installing “One Man, One Vote”. Since some of the states actually entered the union with their systems in place it was considered outrageous but sunk in with time. Ever since some large rural areas have been held hostage by the urban mobs and their bosses – most sadly – Illinois by the criminal gang in Chicago. The NY Safe Act would have never passed under the old system. On the bright side it shows the power of Supreme Court decisions and I look forward to some agony by those who think they can sneak around Heller and McDonald.

      • Phydeaux, my dad is a logger. He made $19 dollars an hour in the 80s. After the idiots destroyed the timber industry he made $10. He just surpassed his pay from the 80s this year.

  6. Hoorray for the sequester. It is said that if the sequester takes place it will likely derail the majority of Obama’s second term agenda. I say good. Thanks to all of the NY State gun owners, that was an awesome rally to see on tape. Maybe this will send a message to the rest of the democratic controlled states that this is not a roll-over and die issue for gun owners. Fight, fight, fight!

  7. Nick, really? A split in the state ala West Virginia? I like that, isolate the metro midget and his minions. Ill. should also consider this plan!

    Do you honestly foresee this happening in NY? I hope you are correct for the sake of the real people. NY you make us proud! 12,000 or better show great conviction of your rights. Godspeed!

  8. I spent most of yesterday in the Legislative Office building in Albany, NY. I was able to visit offices of 5 of the 11 senators that voted yes to the SAFE act. During one of my visits I asked why the senator’s constituents feared my guns. The answer to my question was very telling and indicative of the general ignorance surrounding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I was told “they don’t fear them, they just don’t think you need them”.

    I guess that’s why it named the Bill of Rights and not the Bill of Needs.

    Rosa Parks didn’t NEED to sit at the front of that bus: it was her RIGHT to!

    My Second Amendment rights are not subject to democratic modification or control.

    Cuomo keeps quoting some poll showing the majority of New Yorkers in favor of trampling my civil rights.

    Following this logic if enough people in NYS didn’t see the need for African Americans to sit in the front of the bus, and didn’t see the need for them to use a common entrance, or common restaurants or common restrooms than someone would be justified if they introduced legislation to codify the poll results.

    Absurd, but no less absurd than restricting my 2A rights based upon some bigoted idea of what my needs are.

  9. It was a great rally (except for the Woodstock like mud which composed most of the Capitol Building lawn). Met reporter for NRA News, Ginny Simone. She will have reports today I understand on their show. Should give all a better representation of the large turnout.

  10. wish you got a picture of that cia gun crew on the roof, (hats on) im sure they got lots of pictures of you guys for the future terrorist file…

  11. So 12k pro gun people gather in the middle of the day on a workday, and the gun control side has to pay “volunteers” to show up to their rallies….yeah, there is totally overwhelming support for gun control /sarc.

  12. Coumo and Hitler are the same in thinking. It was over 12,000 people new papers are downplaying it to 5000 ignore them you can see even liberals in NY say enough!!!

  13. If this were the late 1700’s (and a govenor had just passed this law) our founding fathers would be there, muskets in hand, forcefully removing Cuomo and tarring and feathering his tyrannical keister!

  14. Isn’t this rally ILLEGAL? I thought they outlawed pro-Second Amendment sentiments.

    No? Well, another year.

    • The rally was legal because they asked for permission from the government and the government granted them permission to rally.

      Yes. That. Is. Disgusting!

      The people of the United States have to wake up.

  15. Fight for your rights! No more discussion abut compromise, universal background checks, etc. I’m not giving one inch. They missed that chance with their lies, name calling, denigration, etc. If you want my guns, you better come loaded for bear!

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