On Tuesday, I woke up and found myself lying in the dark. Our pitbull snored softly from his dog bed and I could hear our old radiators tinking and clanking as they warmed up. I patiently waited for the alarm to sound, not wanting to get out of before I had to. This morning was starting out just like every other morning.
My patience was waning and, after a while, I gave up on waiting for the alarm to sound. Being wide awake at this point, I decided to turn off the alarm and get an early start on the day. I rolled over, reached for the clock, and realized that it wasn’t quite 2:00am. Getting an early start on the day was one thing, but this? I spent another half hour tossing and turning, trying to get back to sleep, before I finally gave up.
After getting cleaned up, making a steaming cup of coffee, and a retrieving a cigar from my humidor, I headed for my laptop. I spent a little more than an hour taking care of things for work then turned to the news to see what was going on in the word around me. That was when I learned what happened on the New York Gun Front. Reading restriction after restriction left me feeling like I was punched in the stomach.
New York residents have a long fight ahead of them. What makes matters worse is that I don’t foresee any of the items signed into law doing anything to combat violent crime. Lets face it, anyone determined enough to do a thing will do whatever they need to do in order to meet their goal. If that goal involves hurting innocent people, feel good legislation is a speed bump, not a road block.
While I take issue with the vast majority of these new New York Gun Control measures, there were two items which bothered me more than the rest.
Mental Health Restrictions
Preventing someone with a mental illness, that poses a threat to self or others, from owning a firearm is a good thing. I don’t think there would be much of an argument against that, even by staunch Second Amendment supporters. The issue that I take with this portion of the New York Gun Control measures is that I believe it has the ability to be counter-productive.
I read an article published on USA Today that I think makes a variety of great points. It starts off by laying out how reports of mental illness would be reported to the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient’s gun permit and seizing any guns.
Imagine, if you will, developing a bout of depression (it shouldn’t be difficult with the state of the economy and current events). Knowing that anyone in your Family Physician’s office could get a little overzealous and prompt an investigation, how much would you be willing to tell them? Perhaps you aren’t the type of person that worries about such things. Even so, I’d be willing to bet you could name at least five good, honest, wholesome people that would have serious reservations about opening up.
This could lead to people who need help not getting it in fear their rights will be stripped away. Once those rights are taken away, how would they go about getting them back after the problem has been treated and resolved?
As I understand it, there are no repercussions for not reporting a serious mental health issue. Why would a health professional, mental or otherwise, risk violating doctor-patient confidentiality? Sure, there are always morals but as you and I both know, morals don’t always win when the decision could be bad for business. Would you be willing to see a doctor with a reputation for tattling to the government?
If there is any aspect of the New York Gun Control measures that incites anger, magazine limitations should be it. New York is telling their law abiding citizens, who have jumped through unnecessary hoops to obtain their guns in the first place, that they must sell their legally obtained standard capacity magazines or be branded a criminal and face charges.
I recently watched a video presented by the CATO Institute which featured David Kopel as an analyst. In that video, Mr. Kopel explained that the District of Columbia vs Heller ruling laid out guidelines for what is protected by the Second Amendment. He went on to explain that weapons currently used by law abiding citizens fall into that protected category. Furthermore, he expressed his opinion that police officers make a for a great example of what is commonly used by for the defense of self and others.
With the vast majority of police officers using standard capacity magazines, holding between eleven and nineteen rounds, even a ten round limitation could be deemed unconstitutional. To go from bad to completely absurd, New York has reduced that limit even further, down to seven rounds.
There have been reports of police officers having to use far more than seven rounds to stop an attacker. In the unfortunate event that multiple attackers break into your home, what are you supposed to do if seven rounds just isn’t enough to stop the threat on your life? Somehow, I doubt those endangering the life of you and your family are going to play by the rules and limit themselves to seven rounds.
Fighting Back against New York Gun Control
It is clear that I feel these recent New York Gun Control measures do little to prevent crime and only act as a burden (a potentially life-threatening one at that) to law abiding gun owners. Fortunately, some people are fighting back.
If you are a New York resident and want to fight back, I would strongly suggest taking a look at NYSecond.org. If you aren’t a New York resident and still want to do something, Ruger has a great tool for contacting your representatives.