As the efforts of anti-gun politicians and advocacy groups fail in Congress, the gun control blowback is being felt in ever widening circles. Efforts to recall politicians involved in proposing everything from universal background checks to outright gun bans are gaining steam. Legal challenges have begun by those already impacted by the draconian and ill drafted legislation in New York. The frustration is palpable within the anti-gun camp as the hoped for gains fail one by one in the Senate and politicians up for re-election distance themselves from the hornet’s nest they stepped in.
In a particularly brazen spin covered by CSPAN, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, during a rebuttal to Texas Senator Ted Cruz’ debate on the floor, challenged Cruz to point out any proposed bills brought forth that would require universal gun registration leading to the paranoid delusion of gun confiscation. While it is true that in this session, no directly labeled gun registration was proposed, there are plenty of statements on record by anti-gun officials and advocacy groups clearly outlining long term plans for any legislative gains regarding gun control measures.
Statements include “brainwashing people to want to get rid of their guns”, a 1990’s statement by Attorney General Eric Holder, Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky recently stating that “an assault weapons ban is just the beginning…a complete ban on handguns could be achieved through state and local action.” California Senator Diane Feinstein made her position abundantly clear over the years, including her statement in 1995 “if I could have banned them all-‘Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns’- I would have”. Most disturbingly, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne is actively supporting the proposed gun control legislation stating “it may take a generation, but guns will eventually be taken off the streets through new laws.”
This credibility gap is further widened by the New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement issued after the federal legislation failed to pass. Within that statement, he stated that “We have shown here in New York that it is easy to expand background checks without infringing upon anyone’s Second Amendment Rights. Make no mistake-this fight is far from over.” Remarkably, he fails to mention the April 1st “fools day” snafu where a gun owner was notified to surrender all of his firearms and that his permit to own guns had been suspended in error.
This gun owner fortunately had the means to hire an attorney specializing in New York gun laws to assist him in resolving the problem, given that he had never had any criminal charges, any reports of violence or dangerous mental illness. In the end, it turned out that the state had targeted the wrong person, not just once, but twice involving the same name. While the gun owner had a health issue that required a short course of medication, he had not been reported as a threat by medical personnel and questions are being raised as to how the state accessed medical information and where the “error” occurred as to the identity of the person that was supposed to be the target of the state action.
The New York state “SAFE” Act includes a provision that mandates confiscation of permits and guns if a person has been prescribed psychotropic drugs and here is where some of the problem arises. In their haste to force legislation through, no consideration for the fact that many of these drugs, such as Xanax, and anti-depressants are prescribed for conditions other than mental illness.
For example, insomnia, diabetic neuropathy, and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia are frequently treated through the use of these psychotropic drugs that have absolutely no connection to treating the mental conditions supposedly targeted by the SAFE Act. No safeguards were put in place to protect citizens in these situations, nor is there apparently any medical oversight in how these decisions are made.
Needless to say, this gun owner, as well as the other victim of the bungling, who did not even own guns have had not only had their Second Amendment rights violated; their Fourth Amendment rights, not to mention their privacy and dignity have also been violated. The denial of responsibility and finger-pointing between the Erie County Clerk’s office and the State Police without an apology or compensation of legal costs for the violated gun owner further erodes the credibility of those who have been pushing “common sense” gun legislation since Sandy Hook.
The cynical use of Sandy Hook victims who support gun control and carefully selected police officials, blatantly ignoring voices against the passage of more gun control laws belies the President’s frustration with senators failing to listen to their constituents. Mark Mattioli who lost his son in the massacre yet supported better enforcement of current laws rather than passage of new gun laws was ignored, as was Bill Stevens, a parent of a student in the same school district who strongly supported the Second Amendment and the right of individuals to protect themselves.
The Albany Police Officers Union sent a four page letter castigating the New York SAFE Act and the law makers that passed it, stating unequivocally their support of the Second Amendment, as well as describing their disapproval in how the law was drafted, passed and the impact it will have on both their safety, as well as that of citizens impacted by the law. In Colorado, 37 of 62 Sheriffs have joined in a law suit against the gun control laws recently passed in that state. This is in direct contravention of the President’s photo op with both the Sandy Hook parents and some police officials.
Though a January 18th article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek hopefully titled “America is ever so slowly falling out of love with guns,” promises that demographic changes will improve chances to implement gun control, a few uncomfortable facts get in the way. The number of gun sales to people who haven’t previously owned guns, especially women, and the increase in participation in shooting sports, not to mention the eternally lingering statements on record by anti-gunners openly stating their end game being to completely ban private ownership of guns will all serve to ensure the gun control blowback will continue in the foreseeable future.
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Juli Adcock began her career in law enforcement with the Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy until she was injured in a riot situation. She transferred to Judicial Security and retired in 1998. Juli pursued career advancement training with an emphasis on officer survival, interviews and interrogation. She worked with a local Rape Crisis Center and in victim’s advocacy, complementing her college course work in psychology. She currently resides in New Mexico and is an instructor with The Appleseed Project (www.appleseedinfo.org). The Appleseed Project is a rifle marksmanship clinic teaching the fundamentals of firing an accurate round downrange every 3 to 4 seconds, out to 500 yards, as well as American history. She has trained military personnel at White Sands Missile Range who are certifying as Squad Designated Marksmen. Juli instructs basic handgun skills to new gun owners in preparation for responsible personal gun ownership. She also writes for The Badge Guys (www.thebadgeguys.com). She can be reached at [email protected] or through Law Enforcement Today