The 2018 mid-term election is over. Among the many races that are awaiting absentee ballot counts, are several definitive results that will have clear consequences. Perhaps one of the most important is a result that has had the least discussion. The change in control of the New York State Senate is a green light to the declared intentions of re-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Throughout the 2018 election cycle Gov. Cuomo has stated that if re-elected he would push for greater restrictions on the Second Amendment. Gov. Cuomo did not quibble in his words, much like his direct assessment of America never being great. It was on September 22, 2018 when Cuomo said, in disparaging his opponents and firearm owners,
“These guys sold their soul to the NRA so they won’t pass common sense gun control. We did in New York and we’re going to expand it even more.”
Part of that expansion of restriction of Constitutional freedom is the support of Red Flag legislation that will come before the new State Senate. Having passed the State Assembly, as reported July 26, 2018, the State Senate has a new mission. In part, support of a potentially 2020 presidential candidate. That support in 2019 is free of the restraint that may have been presented in 2018. Looked at in a different manner, if the NY SAFE Act was able to be passed in 2013, with whatever disagreement overcome, what are the odds of passage of Red Flag legislation without such disagreement to overcome?
“Far too often in modern politics, the public is the last to know about the potential impact and consequences of a law. All too often lawmakers leave out critical details, or in the worst cases actively obfuscate the truth – like keeping your doctor and healthcare in 2013. This is even worse when there is an emotional impetus to a Bill. The public demanding elected officials ‘do something’ – even when no one understands what to do nor the impact of what is being done.”
As an example, what has been the impact of the NY SAFE Act? According to the latest New York State Gun Involved Violence Elimination (G.I.V.E.) report, the first glance might seem like a positive trend of reduction of illegal use of firearms. The current 2017 vs 2018 comparison shows a 10.2% reduction in murders with a firearm. Likewise the 5 year comparison shows a reduction of 11.6%. It is figures like these Cuomo and the new State Senate will use to make their case to justify further restrictions against the public.
But this is deceptive. If we look at the 5 years prior to the SAFE Act, and compare that to the 5 years since the SAFE Act was in effect, there is no significant difference. The trend is virtually unchanged, showing a 6% reduction that cannot be directly correlated to any factor. In fact if we look at our October 2017 article, A deep look at mass shootings and gun control facts, review of data from the FBI shows no change in illegal firearm use. Our review of 4 States with the strongest gun restriction legislation (including Connecticut which had Red Flag legislation already in place) revealed a failure to address illegal use of rifles and shotguns – the 2 primary focal points of gun control measures,
“In all 4 States, murders due to knives, by hand, and all other means not otherwise listed (bombs, cars, ect.) were significantly higher than rifles and shotguns.”
But will any of this be addressed with the public as the 2019 session of the NY State Senate begins? Highly unlikely. More common, and given the new structure of the Senate more likely, is that New Yorkers will awaken at some point in January to dual headlines. One stating that Gov. Cuomo has kept a campaign promise to further disenfranchise gun owners. The other will be how such legislation promotes the chances of Cuomo on the path to nomination for 2020 nomination.
Yet the true impact will come in time. Just as we see with the G.I.V.E. reports, and FBI data, and studies by Professor James Allen Fox and Duke University among others. Restricting the Rights of a portion of Americans provides no credible proof of safety for all Americans. The quick fix mentality of some politicians, while effective in winning elections, has failed in every instance. The conclusion of FiveThirtyEight, hardly a Conservative think-tank, in a study of 33,000 gun violence incidents determined,
“If we focus on mass shootings as a means of understanding how to reduce the number of people killed by guns in this country, we’re likely to implement laws that don’t do what we want them to do…”
Still, it is not a forgone conclusion that this will come to pass. Even with an ostensibly anti-2nd Amendment State Senate, it is possible to overcome the attack on gun owners long promised by Gov. Cuomo. What it requires is awareness by the public on the dangers to Due Process that Red Flag legislation promotes. What it requires is an insistence to have major news media to cover this legislation and its probable impact on the lives of citizens. Ultimately, what it requires is the voices of 5 million gun owners in New York State, one of the largest bipartisan constituencies in the entire State.
The 2018 mid-term elections are over. No matter what the final results, this does not end the power or voices of constituents. If fact, if we are to remain the true power of the Government, this is just a start of our voices being heard.