Monday, February 18, 2013


FEBRUARY 20, 2013
By now the regular readers of this column know I am not a fan of Andrew Cuomo. The disdain came to a head when he dictatorially passed a gun control bill in record time (the middle of the night) to avoid any controversy by the citizens of New York.
There was not even the minimal three day period to allow for debate and input from the people who would be most affected by this new law. It is fraught with unfair and possibly unconstitutional provisions against the Second Amendment. The most reasonable objections are that it won't have any effect on reducing gun violence and that there will be a huge problem with compliance. Something like the non-compliance seen with the debacle in the Roaring Twenties during Prohibition.
The principles of democracy and the result of passing a bad law, just because Governor Cuomo had the power to do so, is an affront to those who wrote the Constitution and the millions of Americans who served in the military and died to protect the Constitution.
When Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government the Founding Fathers gave us, he replied: "A republic, if you can keep it." With politicians like Andrew Cuomo, keeping our government as a republic, may be a daunting task.
An executive and legislature should govern, not rule. The old saying: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," is true. This abuse of power is a good example of what the statement means.
Governor Cuomo said the police wanted this law and he had the Chief of Police from Rochester speak in favor of gun control prior to the governor's State Of The State speech. It would appear only the politically appointed law enforcement chiefs and commissioners were positive about this law.
The majority of the Sheriffs in the state were of a different opinion and as a group and individually have written letters to the governor objecting to the law and pointed out that it had many problems and few, if any, solutions to the problems of gun violence.
The majority of County Clerks also objected to the law because it dumped on them another huge unfunded mandate to enforce provisions of the law. It would increase their costs and require additional staff just to handle the additional paperwork and record keeping. None of these burdens will prevent criminals from obtaining illegal guns and using them illegally.
The legitimate gun owners are planning a huge rally in Albany on February 28th to protest this burdensome and useless law that is based on lies and deceit. Previous columns have described both.
It seems strange that a governor and legislature would want to pass a law that could make an honest gun owner a criminal because he refused to get a paper signed by a bureaucrat, which is called gun registration. Ask how many gun crimes have been solved because handguns have been registered for a century in New York. This columnist has asked law enforcement officers and district attorneys this question and has yet to get a positive answer.
Yet, the governor believes we are too tough on drugs and wants to make the possession of marijuana a lesser crime. He thinks hop heads should be able possess more than they do now before they are charged with an offense. Go figure.
Cuomo is bombarding the airways, using tax dollars, to tell the people he has a balanced budget without raising taxes. The law states that he must pass a balanced budget, but much of his revenue stream is comprised of smoke and mirrors.
For one, he wants to get all of the revenue from fines from speeding offenses. In fact, he wants to raise them. The current practice is that the local courts can accept a plea bargain to a lesser offense, such as parking, and the locality keeps the money
Without that option, the towns and villages will lose a significant revenue stream to operate and will cause a deficit in their budget. That will naturally cause local taxes to raise. The only money a government has is that which is taken from the citizens.
If Cuomo wanted to be a good governor and balance the budget, he would cut spending and focus on such reasonable options as repealing unfunded mandates. He also has to pass laws that will reduce the cost of government. \Perhaps he could have the courage to require governmental employees to pay more into their pension plans and health insurance premiums.
The unions, when they want raises, talk about everyone paying their "fair share." Perhaps it is time they paid their "fair share." It is the cost of these benefits that wrecks havoc with local government budgets. Of course it will take courage from the politicians to oppose the union demands. Maybe getting rid of the Triborough Amendment would be a good place to start.
There are good ways to govern. Taking money is necessary to fund the government and taxation is necessary, but the taxes should be reasonable. New York for a couple of generations has not been noted for imposing reasonable taxes.
It is also been noted that their gun laws are not reasonable either. It is time to correct both. Citizens should insist that the taxes be lowered and the SAFE law be repealed. Let's hope we have enough concerned citizens to make that happen.
Budd is a former NRA Director from the Buffalo, NY area. He is also a Chairman of the Board

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