Ahead of the 2019 State of the State of New York announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which is expected to include several anti-Second Amendment proposals, a peek to what can be expected occurred in Rochester NY. On January 14, 2019, police were notified of an individual in possession of a shotgun in a residence. This resulted in deployment of SWAT and shutdown of the area in the early morning hours. The questions that should be asked are, what crime occurred and how much worse will the single Party Government of NY punish firearm owners?
In the case of the Rochester seizure, reports by WHAM and other news initially indicated that there is no underlying crime. It was only after action was taken and some 24 hours later that a charge was attached to the incident. That charge was Menacing in the 2nd degree,
“He or she intentionally places or attempts to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm”
This seems to be a case of punitive action in search of after-the-fact justification. Unless the mere sight of a firearm is enough to qualify as a fear of death and injury. Movie makers, theaters, and media providers should be very afraid to do business in New York State if that is the case.
Red Flag future
But the thing to take away from this incident is what it predicts. The incident mirrors, in almost every aspect, a Red Flag incursion in Maryland on November 5, 2018. Except that Red Flag action ended in the death of the accused. But with the passage of the NY Red Flag legislation, the opportunity to re-enact the Maryland death becomes exponentially more likely.
Currently, the NY State Legislature is considering multiple proposals that place 20% of the State in jeopardy. There is the 1-2 combo attack of Red Flag Bills taking firearms and children, and Social Media Password invasions of privacy. There is a proposal to price ownership of firearms out of the hands of law abiding citizens (A00095) – an action that no other Constitutional Right is constrained by. All of this reinforced by turning citizens against citizens by offering a reward to those that inform Government of “illegal” firearms as the price of 71 pieces of silver (Converting $500 into troy ounces of silver).
But to address the first question asked, where is the crime? Red Flag legislation is dependent on no law being broken – merely an accusation by an individual. The demand to provide the Government unfettered access to the private communications and thoughts of citizens – of approval of the Government – is independent of any crime existing. Without the changes to legal possession of firearms, there is no gun tip line to sacrifice the neighbor with the noisy dog for.
Illusions of safety
Upon review it may shock most that virtually ever aspect of all the proposed gun control legislation for New York applies to legal gun ownership. Criminal action, or even intent, is absent even the hint of suggestion. Punishment for the exercise of the Second Amendment is all that is needed.
Naturally the justification given is the all encompassing, ‘this will protect the public’. But there is nothing in the legislation that infers such protection. As we previously reported, Red Flag legislation has not been found to effect any additional safety from mass shootings or even suicide. As Politifact determined in March 2018, in checking the statement of then-Congressman Faso, the overwhelming number of crimes committed with a firearm are illegally obtained. So the New York State attack on legal ownership perhaps marginally affects crime, and even less than that violent crime (NY is part of 37 States with 60% illegal possession of firearms in crimes).
Looking at the specific issue of school mass shootings, a favorite emotional cause cited often in the rush to pass Red Flag legislation, the recent Parkland Shooting Panel report seems to be missing in New York gun control interest. The findings of that report? Adding multiple armed officers in schools, training teachers to better be aware and responsive to threats, better infrastructure design of schools, and far more open interaction with law enforcement without interference from school administrations. Red Flags, passwords, citizen spies and banning children from events with firearms were somehow missing from the year-long 458-page report.
As to the second question asked at the beginning of this article, the answer is shorter. Though there was statewide outrage over the State Senator Kevin Parker social media password Bill, as seen in the survey by Senator Fred Akshar, it reached a deaf ear in Albany. The concern of Victory Christian Church Pastor Charlie Muller simply don’t matter,
“We’ve got to be careful not to trample on and not to take away the rights of good decent gun owners.”
All dissenting voices are either in the minority of Government, or held among the public. Nothing stands in opposition to the desire of Gov. Cuomo and the single Party rule over New York State. Passage is virtually guaranteed, with the only real hope being superficial changes in language, but not substance.
Given this rush to disenfranchise the 2nd Amendment, and to punish law abiding citizens, there will be only 2 sure results and the potential of a third. The potential is that crime, especially violent crimes with illegal firearms will increase. Because nothing being passed will disencourage this. In fact, the lack of defenses encouraged by these proposals, could spur such crime.
But a sure outcome is that more citizens will be criminalized without committing any act of criminality. District Attorneys across the State will be inundated with requests to investigate neighbors for a reward, children will be denied the opportunity to learn proper firearm safety, and violations of property and privacy will be enacted to enforce bad laws. Punishment will be mete out, with Due Process as an afterthought exclusive to the wealthiest or most politically connected.
The other outcome has already been seen. A continuation, if not increase, in the exodus from New York State. From the middle class of New York City, and the mixed economic masses of Upstate New York, almost 1.5 million have fled in recent years. It’s no small coincidence that States being fled fastest include those with Red Flag and punitive gun ownership laws, with those lacking this assault on law abiding citizens being the resulting destination.
But escaping the aggressive actions of New York, and the political ambitions of its leadership (notably Gov. Cuomo and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential hopes), is poor shelter. National efforts to impose Red Flag legislation leave nowhere to escape to for safety and Constitutional Rights protection. Unless New York becomes the lens of reality that the nation views the results of these gun restriction legislations. But that is unlikely in this hyper-partisan media backed environment.