STRATEGIES OF DESTRUCTION: HOW THE NY SAFE ACT EVISCERATES THE SECOND AMENDMENT AND THE RIGHT OF ENJOYMENT IN ONE’S PERSONAL PROPERTY
ANTIGUN GROUPS ADVANCE THEIR POLITICAL AGENDA BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TRAGEDY
American citizens who hold dear our sacred Bill of Rights may think that leftists in this Country, and abroad, have placed their goal of destroying the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution on the back burner by virtue of the fact that the mainstream media has said nothing, or virtually nothing, about it, in the last few weeks. This is due to a few other matters that have piqued media interest and attention in recent days and weeks: one, the crisis at the Nation’s Southern Border, resulting from a massive influx of individuals—tens of thousands of them—from Central America, trekking through Mexico, to our Nation’s doorstep, outrageously demanding entrance, at various ports of entry, to our Country, or otherwise illegally crossing over into our Country; two, the retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy from the U.S. Supreme Court; three, the closed door Congressional hearings with the renegade, Trump-hating FBI Official, Peter Strzok; and, four, today’s open door Congressional hearing of Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, who has, for months, wrongfully and defiantly placed impediments in the path of Congress, making Congressional oversight functions of the Department of Justice and FBI extremely difficult. While these issues have, at the moment, taken center stage—and, make no mistake, these are critical issues—still, destruction of the Second Amendment forever remains the major goal of both so-called “moderate” Democrats, and those of the radical “Left.”
FIREARMS AND MENTAL HEALTH
The issue of mental health and access to firearms has become a focus of concern in the mainstream media due to two mass shooting incidents occurring in public schools: one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018, and a second, not that long ago, at Santa Fe High on May 18, 2018. These two tragedies follow in the wake of two other major school shootings: Columbine High School, in Jefferson County, Colorado, that occurred in April 20, 1999, and a later shooting incident taking place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.
Mass shooting incidents occurring in public elementary and secondary schools across the Nation—these four, in the span of 18 years—are statistically small in number. But the mainstream media’s control of the airwaves, newsprint, and the internet—thrusting the issue into the public consciousness and conscience—has warped perspective. An illusion has been created and deliberately fostered, suggesting that school shootings are common when in fact they are not. Consider that, according to a 2013-2014 National Center for Educational Statistics (“NCES”) study, there are over 98,000 public elementary and secondary schools in the Nation, and another 33,600 private schools. Four mass shootings have taken place have in four schools in the span of 18 years. Statistically, the number of mass shooting incidents in schools is small. Of course, any gun shooting incident, especially in schools, is a serious matter, never to be taken lightly. The number of such shooting incidents should be zero. But, it is a mistake to believe that the cause of gun violence is the gun itself and not the sentient being who misuses the firearm. It is a mistake that many citizens make because it is one that the mainstream media, on behalf of antigun groups, fosters. Antigun groups, and their echo chamber, the mainstream media, always blame the misuse of firearms on the firearm itself, rather than on the individual who misuses the firearm. They do this, of course, in furtherance of their agenda, emphasizing, as they see it, the need to curb, in this Country, gun ownership, generally, all the while remarking little, if at all, that even the four tragic mass shooting events that did occur in public schools would never have occurred—indeed could never have occurred—had the schools in question undertaken, in the first instance, rigorous school security assessments, following these security assessments up with the implementation of effective security measures and procedures.
In each case, failure at the “backend”—failure to implement effective school security—was a major factor in the horrific tragedies that ensued. But there also existed a failure at the “front end” as firearms fell into the hands of young people who should never have had access to them in the first place. In each of these four mass shooting incident cases, there was: one, a failure to secure firearms away from disturbed young people and, two, a failure of Governmental authorities and/or adult family members to provide these disturbed young people with appropriate mental health treatment.
Had appropriate measures been taken at both the backend and front end, the four mass shooting incidents that took place in the Nation’s public schools would never have occurred. In fact, there have been no shooting incidents in those schools that have implemented comprehensive, effective school security measures.
Obviously, no reasonable person would argue that a severely disturbed individual ought to have access to firearms. But, by the same token no reasonable person–if that reasonable person should stop to consider the matter–would posit that a severely disturbed individual should have access to any instrumentality through which such severely disturbed individual might do violence to self or others.
Yet, it is, invariably, the misuse of guns by disturbed individuals that receives mainstream media attention. It is never the misuse of knives* or automobiles by disturbed individuals that receives attention. The reason for this is clear. The mainstream media, as the dutiful mouthpiece for fanatic antigun groups, targets the gun, an inanimate object, for elimination from society, rather than preventing the agents of violence, those individuals who pose a threat to self or others, from acquiring access to these weapons.
NEW YORK IS THE FIRST STATE OUT OF THE GATE TO FURTHER RESTRICT A CITIZEN’S RIGHT TO USE, POSSESS, AND ENJOY THEIR PERSONAL PROPERTY
Antigun Legislators, most notably, those in New York, jumped on the antigun bandwagon early, through the creation of ever more stringent gun laws, following the Sandy Hook School shooting incident in 2012. Almost one year to the day of the occurrence of that tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York Safe Act. As for the purpose of instituting further firearms restrictions on resident gun owners, the Governor said this, as emblazoned on the Governor’s NY Safe website: “The SAFE Act stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun by requiring universal background checks on gun purchase, increases the penalties for people who use illegal guns, and mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposed the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.” But that wasn’t all. In what could only be seen as provoking resentment among those residents of New York who wish to exercise the fundamental right codified in the Second Amendment, the Governor had the gall to add: “For hunters, sportsmen, and law abiding gun owners, this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns.”
Actually, the ability of law-abiding gun owners to buy, sell, keep or use their firearms—through implementation of the Safe Act—is extremely restricted, contrary to Governor Cuomo’s pronouncement. For example, those individuals who lawfully owned firearms, dubiously referred to as ‘assault weapons,’ prior to enactment of and now banned by the Safe Act, are in fact denied the right to possess, use, and enjoy their property because of substantial Government interference. Further, if one has any doubt as to the parameters of one’s right to possess, use, and enjoy one’s firearms qua private property, the Safe Act does little to reassure that person, because there is nothing in the Safe Act that clearly clarifies the parameters of that property right.
Like so much of the NY Safe Act, one finds inordinate ambiguity and vagueness. A person can debate whether such ambiguity and vagueness is due simply to negligence in the drafting of the Act or is, rather, the product of careful and crafty deliberation on the part of the Act’s drafters to make it ambiguous and vague. Be that as it may, the law-abiding gun owner, licensed gun dealers, mental health practitioners, and even executors of estates are left scratching their heads as to the meaning of several of the provisions of the Safe Act. One thing, though, is manifest and clear, and cannot be overstated. Those New York State legislators who pushed for this thing detest firearms and would gladly abolish guns from civilian hands outright if they could. The only thing that prevents complete gun bans and gun confiscation in States such as New York, and in States, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Hawaii, and others—States that hold the Second Amendment in low regard if not outright contempt—is the very existence of the Second Amendment as etched in stone in the Nation’s Constitution.
Given that the framers of the Constitution, specifically the antifederalists, were adamant in demanding codification of the natural, unalienable right of the people to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, the gun grabbers of today are compelled to take a seemingly more measured approach to the matter of gun ownership and gun possession in this Country, albeit they do so reluctantly and disgruntledly.
As heretofore stated, the New York Safe Act is the first major piece of antigun legislation to hit the public. Coming on the heels of the Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Governor Cuomo sought, one, to be the first out of the gate to tighten the noose around those individuals who seek to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms, as codified in the Second Amendment, and, two,
As with all restrictive gun measures, emanating in antigun jurisdictions across the Country, but predominately on the East and West coasts, the NY Safe Act is heralded not as an attempt to constrain the exercise of the right embodied in the Second Amendment, which it is, but as a “common-sense,” “sensible” measure meant to secure that right. Through a feat of legerdemain, the public is expected to buy into the proposition that restricting Americans’ gun rights somehow preserves and strengthens Americans’ gun rights. It does no such thing. The NY Safe Act as with those Acts modelled on the Safe Act in other jurisdictions is no less than a scarcely disguised attempt to eviscerate the Second Amendment. Congressional Democrats, for their part, would just love to see a New York Safe Act measure applied to the Nation as a whole, through federal law enactment; and make no mistake, Congressional Democrats, with the quiet backing of some Centrist Republicans—no friends of the Second Amendment—will work toward accomplishing that very goal in the unhappy event they happen to attain a majority in Congress, in November.
IN WHAT MANNER IS THE SECOND AMENDMENT MERCILESSLY ATTACKED BY CONGRESSIONAL ANTIGUN FORCES AND BY ANTIGUN PROPONENTS IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE?
There are three primary strategies by which and through which antigun groups and antigun legislators in Congress and in various States seek to significantly reduce the efficacy of the Second Amendment. One, expand, exponentially, the domain of firearms that the citizenry is precluded from lawfully owning and possessing. Two, expand, incrementally, the domain of individuals who are precluded from owning and possessing any firearm. And, three, increasingly restrict the free exercise of one’s property rights in one’s chattel among those people within the law-abiding civilian population of this Nation who are permitted to own and possess firearms. These are the three strategies employed in the NY Safe Act. One, the Safe Act is specifically designed to expand the domain of guns banned in New York. Two, the Act expands the domain of those New York residents who are prohibited from owning and possessing firearms. And, three, the Act makes increasingly expensive, onerous, and oppressive, gun ownership and gun possession for those New York residents who wish to exercise their property rights embodied in the Second Amendment right, who are not denied the exercise of their right outright.
We will, in upcoming articles, look at how the NY Safe Act applies these strategies to curtail one’s enjoyment of his or her personal property as guaranteed under the Second Amendment, and we will see how these strategies are then replicated in various jurisdictions across the Nation.
*Once guns are effectively banished from a society, a government will go after other implements, using the pretext of societal violence to constrict and constrain a nation’s populace under the guise of protecting it. In one of several articles on the subject–this one from a May 2018 article, posted by the BBC, titled, “Judge calls for rounded knives to stop stab deaths,”–the BBC reports:
“Judge Nic Madge said ordinary kitchen knives were causing a “soaring loss of life”, rather than more heavily regulated large-bladed weapons.
He was speaking at Luton Crown Court at a ceremony to mark his retirement.
Knife crime rose by 22% in England and Wales in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.
‘Kitchens contain lethal knives which are potential murder weapons and only butchers and fishmongers need eight or 10 inch kitchen knives with points,’ the judge said.
He wants manufacturers to produce knives with rounded points for domestic use and those with points to be sold under strict rules.
In past two months in Bedfordshire, 77 knife related street attacks went through the courts, with three deaths and 44 injuries.”
Rather than dealing with the perpetrators of violence, governments tend to cast a wide net, capturing an entire population, treating the entire populace of a nation to “population control.” Is it really the criminal element of society that a nation’s government seeks to control, or is it a nation’s citizenry that a nation’s government seeks to control, albeit under the cloak of promoting “public safety?” Consider our Nation under the thumb of the Democratic Socialists of America. The Democratic Socialists of America openly admits, on its website: “We are a political and activist organization, not a party.”
Not since the heyday of the Communist Party USA, one century ago, 0f which the Democratic Socialists of America may be considered one of several offshoots, struggling for membership, have Leftists in this Country actually gained some modicum of political traction, due in no small part to the surprising upset of Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz over the U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Party incumbent and power broker, Joe Crowley. What it is that people like Ocasio-Ortiz envision for our Nation is not equality for the masses, regardless of her pronouncements, but, rather, mass serfdom, for one and all, and an end to the fundamental rights of the American people as codified in the Nation’s Bill of Rights.
Americans shouldn’t for a moment take Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz seriously. After all the Party of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi has, as evidenced by the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz to the House of Representatives, devolved into a burlesque imitation of itself, if ever it were to be seen as anything more or other than a sad joke. But we, Americans, must nonetheless ever be cognizant of erosion of our sacred rights and liberties if we become too complacent. To be sure, there is more danger posed by smug, status-quo Centrist Republicans, to the preservation and strengthening of our sacred rights and liberties, than any danger to the preservation of our fundamental rights and liberties posed by sordid leftists, whatever their stripe: Socialist, Communist, Moderate Democrat, Democratic Moderate, Progressive Democrat, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Democrat, Socialistic Communist–so forth and so on–however this or that leftist may happen to define him or herself.
Copyright © 2018 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.