Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another useless gun bill passed by the liberal Assembly

June 10, 2010

Another useless gun bill passed by the liberal Assembly

By Bob McNitt

I’m not sure who first said “We’ve got primarily idiots running our state,” but it seems with each passing year, that proves to be increasingly true. They can’t pass a budget, close parks to the public on one of the most popular tourism holidays of the year. But the latest bit of idiocy just passed through the Assembly and is now in the Senate Codes Committee. The bill, S06005A, requires that all semiautomatic pistols sold in New York State must have their firing pins microstamped with an identifying number which would theoretically imprint on any bullet casing fired (and ejected) from that gun.
The push to have firearms, specially semiauto pistols, microstamped has been around a long time, but the reasons it’s never caught on is rather simple to understand—unless apparently you’re an anti-gun liberal politician in the New York legislature—it doesn’t do anything to deter crime nor identify criminals using pistols. What it would accomplish, if passed, is to drive the price of pistols so high precious few law-abiding NYS citizens could afford them. It would also drive many legitimate licensed FFL dealers out of business and probably also deter firearms manufacturers from doing business with New York State, period.
The reasons this lunacy of legislative monstrosity makes no sense could fill far more space than this column has room for, but here’s a few. First is that the microstamp on the firing pin can be easily removed in minutes by using a small file or emery board, or replacing it with an un-stamped firing pin. Even those unaltered ones only identify the initial owner and not the current user should the gun be stolen. Since no states bordering New York have this law, law-abiding citizens could simply purchase their pistols in another state. Last but not least, the criminal element might also easily side-step it all by switching to revolvers (which don’t eject the casings after being fired), sawed off shotguns, or rifles.
COBIS, introduced by Gov. Pataki in 2000, is a program to collect identifying data from the shell casings of all new handguns sold in the state. This information is then entered into a database for use by law enforcement to aid in identifying and prosecuting criminals. Since its inception, over a quarter of a million shell cases have been collected and entered into the database at an estimated cost of $32 million and not a single arrest or conviction has resulted. In fact, COBIS has proven to be such a failure that no other state is even considering implementing their own version of it.
I tend to be overly confused when elected officials start preaching and pushing new gun laws, especially when all the ones already in place do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the criminal element. Currently we have almost a hundred gun laws already in force in New York. New York, along with New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Washington DC, has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. So what state is ranked the lowest for violent crime? Why North Dakota, which has only a dozen or so gun laws on the books. “Feel good” gun legislation is almost always the result of political demographics – the more urban centers in a state, the higher the crime rates and more politicians seeking voter support via more gun laws. The states with more rural demographics have the lesser need for more gun laws and restrictions.
I think the confusion stems from the bulk of our current legislative power lying at the extreme end of the Hudson River – about as urban as you can get in the state. However, the majority of the remaining New York is predominately rural in its nature and demographics. Many of us hunt, shoot targets, and see a gun as just another tool. We certainly don’t worry as much as urbanites do about being shot by some thug, druggie or gang member. And even if our crime rate were to begin edging up, those of us licensed to carry a handgun might do so as a deterrent to us or our family becoming a victim. Ironic that in states and areas where concealed carry is legal, crime rates goes down – often quite dramatically.
Some may find amusement over law-abiding gun owners’ (especially hunters) concerns regarding ever-increasing and more restrictive gun laws, but a look back at the history of this phenomenon, here and elsewhere, reveals an alarming potential conclusion. Despite having no positive impact on violent criminal use, the eventuality may easily be removal of all firearms from our citizens. Sound farfetched? So do a little history review on places that have followed similar patterns that we have seen here.
Now, here’s a zany thought – picture how the DEC would manage wildlife without hunters capable of using firearms. Obviously bowhunting or spear throwing couldn’t possibly keep pace with expanding deer, bear, coyote and geese populations. And if gun restrictions wound up causing purchase prices of guns, ammo and licenses to reach such a level only the more wealthy could afford them, would that make everyone happier and feel safer? Or would the criminal elements, by definition, simply ignore the expanded laws and acquire their guns and ammo from the black market suppliers?

Try as it may, our Albany legislators just continue to abide by the mistaken notion that passing more and more restrictive laws is the best solution to solving any criminal problem and garnering them more votes come election time. In reality, all they’re accomplishing is strapping more restrictions and costs to the honest citizens they’re sworn to serve and protect. Maybe we should suggest microstamping some of our elected officials’ really stupid legislation for referencing come election time.

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