In a passionate State of the State speech yesterday New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo called New York the “progressive capital” and said it would have the nation’s safest gun laws. He challenged legislators: “you show them how we lead!” NYT: “Mr. Cuomo acknowledged that legislators were likely to face pressure from gun-rights groups not to pass his proposals, but he said that had an obligation to their constituents to support legislation that would improve public safety.”
But Massachusetts is the progressive capital, and the greatest state in the country: we should have the nation’s safest gun laws as a matter of personal security and protection of our children.
It is time for our leaders, especially Governor Patrick but also the lords of the legislature, to lead. Recent events demonstrate that security from military-grade weaponry can only be obtained by forbidding its private ownership. Newtown was perpetrated with a legal gun that was stolen. No background check, worthy though such measures are as a general principle, would have prevented it. Recent mass murders by lunatics at Fort Hood in Texas, a giant military base, and Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, both of which had armed guards, demonstrates the fatuousness of arguments that weaponry offers effective protection for surprise attacks by heavily armed maniacs. No guns, no massacres.
As to the politics, support for private ownership of military-grade arms — which in the wake of Newtown is effectively an endorsement of mass child murder — has collapsed into the ever-more-extremist Fox/Republican Party: the GOP continues to move right as the country moves left. Our fragmented system of national government may allow them to block national security legislation in the interest of gun company profits and the paranoid ravings of some of their base. After all, under the absurd filibuster rules tolerated by the Democrats 10.2 percent of the population can block legislation (we’re almost as weak at the moment as the famed Polish Parliament that required unanimity and led to the collapse of the state). If so, it will be a Pyrrhic victory along the lines of Mitt Romney’s embrace of the radical right to win the GOP nomination: short term success, long term irrelevance. But a lot of children will be murdered along the way.
New York Gov. Unveils New Gun Control Measures
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled what he has billed as the toughest gun control legislation in the country in the aftermath of last month’s Newtown massacre in neighboring Connecticut. In an impassioned State of the State address on Wednesday, Cuomo called for tightening the state ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as new measures to restrict gun sales to those with mental health issues and criminal records.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
“And I say to you, forget the extremists! It’s simple: No one hunts with an assault rifle! No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer! And too many innocent people have died already! End the madness now! Pass safe, reasonable gun control in the state of New York! Make this state safer! Save lives! Set an example for the rest of the nation! Let them look at New York and say, ‘This is what you can do! And this is what you should do!’ This is New York, the progressive capital; you show them how we lead!”
The gun control measure is expected to be approved in the next week, with state Republicans saying they will not stand in its way.
Separately, Gawker yesterday published the name of every holder of a gun permit in New York city: Here Is a List of
All the Assholes Handsome Law-Abiding Citizens Who Own Guns Some People in New York City.