When Andrew Cuomo beat Carl Paladino to become Governor of New York, I knew my state would eventually have to deal with a really bad decision from the “liberal-in-chief” , I just didn’t know when. He made a pretty bad decision right off the bat by signing into law a bill that legalizes gay marriage, but soon afterward quieted down and did nothing very controversial for a what seemed like a long time. Then Hurricane Sandy hit and Cuomo was…really good; he fought for the people and kept on Con Edison’s case for not getting people’s power back on time. He even had people who did not like him giving him praise; it was during this time that it seemed he could do no wrong…and then Sandy hit, Sandy Hook that is.
Everyone knows the story; a mentally ill gunman walked into a gun-free school zone in Sandy Hook Connecticut and opened fire, killing twenty kids and six adults before killing himself. The entire nation mourned this tragedy and a national debate sparked over gun control; coming off of his Hurricane Sandy victory, Gov. Cuomo had another chance to shine bright, but instead, he did the exact opposite. In a speech calling for “common sense gun control”, the Governor had this to say:
So we don’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer huh? Well, what if we want to kill two deer? Not only does Cuomo show his arrogance with this statement, he also shows the complete lack of understanding he has of the 2nd amendment to the United States Constitution. Governor Cuomo, the 2nd amendment is not about hunting, it is about self defense; defense against those who wish to do harm to you, whether they be robber or government tyrant. So while I may not “need” 10 bullets to kill a dear, I am still allowed to have them, and you have no right to tell me that I don’t need that many rounds in my gun to protect myself. And who cares about how many bullets I “need”? The 2nd amendment encodes my right to keep bear arms if I so choose, and if I choose to keep and bear a gun that carries 10-15 bullets in its chamber, that is my business, not your’s sir.
But Cuomo doesn’t seem to care about our rights, and so he signed into law an extremely sloppy and rushed bill that puts a 7 round maximum on guns. (1) Yes, you read that correctly, seven rounds. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel so much safer now that if a robber who breaks into my house has a gun with 10 rounds in it (because in case you didn’t know Governor, criminals break the law), I can now defend myself with 3 less bullets than he has…thanks for that. Again Governor, the second amendment protects my right to keep and bear arms; I dare you to show me anywhere in that amendment or the constitution in general that says that you have the right to regulate what kind of gun I own, because you are not going to find it.
The Founding Fathers spoke of the citizen’s right to arm and defend themselves, if Cuomo thinks that the right to bear arms is about hunting, he really needs to look back on his history lessons. This bill is simply unconstitutional at its core; a violation of the 2nd amendment is pretty darn serious, but there may be a second constitutional violation in the text. There is concern that not only does this law make it illegal to own guns and magazines with more than 7 bullet capacities, it may also punish you for having bought these guns when it was legal to do so. (2) Punishing you for doing something that was legal at the time is called an “Ex Post Facto Law” (law after the fact), and according to Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution:
“No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.”
If this law really does contain an ex post facto clause, then Cuomo and the New York government are guilty of at least two counts of violating our supreme law of the land, a serious crime indeed. Not only is this bill unconstitutional, its downright sloppy as well; these geniuses in the New York government were so anxious to get this bill passed and signed, that they forgot to exempt police officers from the 7 round maximum. (3) Thats right, if the New York legislature fails to amend the bill (which they are currently trying to do) (4), then New York’s finest will be breaking the law with their 15 round guns…can you imagine the chaos of them having to all arrest each other? Another thing we keep hearing from the Governor and his supporters is that “assault rifles” are too dangerous for our streets; but heres the thing, just because a gun is semi-automatic and can shoot more than 7 rounds does not mean its an assault rifle.
Many of these guns that liberals want banned aren’t even used by the armed services! But liberals just don’t seem to get it; “the 2nd amendment was about muskets, not assault rifles” they say, but last time I checked, back when the 2nd amendment was crafted, a musket was an assault rifle! Also, if all my American history classes from 1st grade through college serve me right, the framers hunted with their assault rifles Mr. Governor! The truth is that liberal arguments just don’t hold up to logic or history, and yet they will never cease to amaze us with their lack of realization of this truth.
“But under your definition of the 2nd amendment, people will be able to own tanks and bazookas!” No they won’t, no one has ever argued for that; a tank is a vehicle, no one with any common sense thinks that that is a 2nd amendment protected arm. A bazooka on the other hand is todays hand held cannon; this isn’t something anyone has called for the public to have en masse. If my recollection is correct (and if someone can prove me wrong, go right ahead) I don’t think you average Joe had cannons way back in the 17/ 1800s; it was a weapon used by armies, and town defenses. So before you start fear-mongering over what may come into the hands of citizens, why don’t you do use a bit of common sense?
The New York gun debate is only part of the national gun debate, and in this national debate Texas Senator Ted Cruz makes a great point about these gun bans that can be applied to our case in New York. The point he makes is that functionally speaking, the differences between many of the guns that are banned and many of the guns that are legal, are nothing more than aesthetics. He makes the point that the guns that are being banned are being outlawed due to the fact that they look scary and have a different piece of plastic on them than guns that remain perfectly legal under these new laws:
We can only hope that the consequences of violating the Constitution with this law come back to bite the Governor in his political hind quarters, but already some political consequences are taking place. As a result of this new law being passed, a group of nearly 50 gun manufacturers have chosen to boycott the government of New York, and to not sell them any firearms; yes, because of the actions of the Empire State’s leaders, New York Police Officers will not be able to buy guns from nearly 50 manufacturers. (5)
The second consequence is one that hits Gov. Cuomo personally as due to his signing of this bill, his approval rating has plummeted a startling 15 percentage points, from 74% to 59% (and this is in the liberal state of New York of all places). (6) This is one of the only bright spots of this story, though obviously one that comes at a price; if this law is overturned then it will have all be worth it, but until then, we in New York (and all around the country) must continue to fight hard against what can only be called the beginning of tyranny.
“”Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. ” ; “…when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.” – George Mason, co-author of the 2nd amendment and Founding Father. (7)