Originally published July 6, 2022
After the Supreme Court ruled that the state of New York could not pick and choose who is allowed to exercise their constitutional right to self-defense, Democrats mobilized to pass a law that says they can pick and choose who is allowed to exercise their constitutional right to self-defense. Every New Yorker should be outraged at this egregious power grab based on nothing but a determination to keep their own citizenry in line.
The New York Metropolitan area, which encompasses the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, and other areas, is home to a majority of New York residents. For generations, the culture of gun ownership has been non-existent to most people who live in these areas. Even if some own guns, it is not something that most people fight to protect like they do in other states. So it is difficult to feel invested in a right that you don’t personally exercise. To understand the reason to fight the gross abuse of power that passed in Albany, it must become a personal fight.
For decades, the CDC and other government agencies that normally track and study a variety of topics have shied away from studying the use of guns. While each side of the political aisle blames the other every time a gun is fired, the simple reason for a lack of research is that nobody wants to know. The Left doesn’t want to know about the ineffectiveness of gun laws and the Right doesn’t want a federal government agency to make broad centralized recommendations based on national findings. So the latest government data on the defensive use of firearms is approximately 10 years old, yet other research firms have confirmed that the trend is consistent. That is that there are approximately between 500,000 and 3 million defensive uses of a firearm recorded per year.
That is a wide range for a reason. Many defensive uses of firearms are not reported to law enforcement or the media, so they had to gather the information that was available and extrapolate it based on other statistics. Defensive use of a firearm could be as dramatic as a gun fight or as benign as someone seeing an armed citizen and changing his mind about committing a crime. Even on the low end of this statistic, guns are used far more defensively than they are in committing homicides, by a factor of around 50. An armed populace means that you don’t need to wait 5-10 minutes for police to arrive, an amount of time that can be the difference between life and death. Combine this with the increase in crime in New York as a result of a variety of policies, from no cash bail to defund the police, and people cannot be blamed for wanting to secure themselves and their families.
So when the Supreme Court ruled that the 1911 law that said that New York can decide who deserves the right to carry a weapon is unconstitutional, many cheered. Until this point, you needed to prove why you needed to carry a gun. Legitimate excuses were proving that you carry a lot of cash for your business, proving that you had a credible death threat against you, or if you were big enough of a celebrity. Regular people couldn’t exercise the right, which set up a two-tier system of rights in the state.
After feeling unsafe in public spaces over a spate of mass shootings, ranging from houses of worship to grocery stores to schools, people were starting to get accustomed to the idea that they can prevent a tragedy before it happens and then wait for the police to take over, as opposed to cowering and waiting for someone else to do something about it. This is what makes the new law so outrageous.
According to the new law, concealed carry permits must now be renewed every three years instead of every five. Plus, there needs to be 16 hours of classroom training, 2 hours of live range training, and a written test with a minimum score of 80%. Then you need to be interviewed by a licensing officer, where you need to provide personal information of all members of your household and four character references. You also need to provide all current and past social media accounts for investigation. When you go to purchase a gun, instead of the normal background check, a background check is done by the state police. There is no time limit on how long that can take. Then, if you are fortunate enough to pass all of that, nearly every place where you would be able to carry, you are barred from doing so.
In a statement about the bill, Kathy Hochul said, “to the legal gun owners: we will protect your rights.” That’s like creating a college-level civics test before being able to vote and then telling voters, “we will protect your right to vote.” Or like requiring a PhD before you can exercise your right to free speech. This is not protecting rights; this is creating legal mazes to discourage or prevent people from doing so. The same people who cheer this were apoplectic when states made it very difficult for abortion centers to stay open. The difference is, one has always been an explicit constitutional right and the other never was (at best it was implied).
Hochul’s explanation of this law is as bad as the law itself. When asked what data was used when making the law to explain to conceal-carry holders and law-abiding gun owners, Hochul replied, “I don’t need to have numbers. I don’t have to have a data point to point to say that this is gonna matter. All I know is I have a responsibility to the people of this state to have sensible gun safety laws.” When pushed on the issue that this law won’t stop a mass shooting like the one in Buffalo – or any other shooting – Hochul conceded, “I never said there was any correlation between our solution here and the Buffalo case.”
Hochul and her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, have overseen the greatest reduction of civil liberties in modern New York history. They are the poster children of a tyrannical government that requires an armed population. There are great hopes that this new law will be declared unconstitutional, like the old law was. Regardless, this should be a wakeup call to all New Yorkers that these people cannot have power.