TO THE EDITOR: I agree with Gov. Cuomo that the epidemic in the use of guns in murders throughout our country has warranted immediate action to protect citizens of our state.
I was disheartened in listening to the debate in the State Assembly. The bill’s critics, who argued against this legislation, spoke about the danger the legislation posed to people who live in rural areas like the Adirondacks. They said these citizens will not be able to defend themselves from violent criminals who may want to harm them.
One would think that residents of the North Country live behind barricades with arsenals. Most people depend upon and are well served by the wonderful services of law enforcement like the Plattsburgh City Police and State Police.
In fact, I can only remember one incident in recent times when a citizen used a gun to “defend” his household from “invasion.” In this case, the invader was a drunk, unarmed, student who was killed in circumstances that most people viewed as tragic.
I don’t understand why home defense is being used as an excuse for the indiscriminate ownership of assault weapons and large magazine clips, which are clearly appropriate only in the hands of police and soldiers in war-like circumstances.
The New York Safe Act, although not perfect, addresses most of the issues that have been raised as a result of recent tragedies. These include banning the purchase of assault weapons, requiring more stringent gun registration, increasing the penalties for crimes committed with guns and gun-ownership bans for the dangerously mentally ill and those who pose threats in domestic settings.
I believe that this legislation represents a balanced way to address this threat to the health and safety of all citizens.