Thursday, October 8, 2015

No Sympathies Expressed, Only Posturing

It goes without saying that our sympathies go out to all of the families and friends involved in the Oregon College shooting rampage. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

We often write about Mr Feiner's shameless pandering and posturing for publicity regardless of the issue. This time, in one of his daily press releases, he says, "The tragedy in Oregon highlights the need to ban gun shows at government buildings." Not what we would have expected from someone in a leadership position. A more fitting comment would have been something to the effect of, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends lost in the shooting in Oregon. Before any of us begin discussing causes, root problems and the like, let us give these families some privacy and time to mourn their losses."

His statement is nothing but pure pandering to his base. There is no correlation to gun shows being an easy way to purchase guns, especially from legitimate gun resellers. The laws already in place in New York make sure of that. It's a statistically proven fallacy perpetuated by anti-gun advocates. In fact, research shows that the Oregon shooter's weapons were purchased legally. Statistics for the sale of guns purchased from gun shows indicate that only 1.8% of crimes committed nationwide with guns are acquired from gun shows. This is for all crimes, not just shootings such as this one.

Totally ignored by Mr Feiner are the financial issues related to this in that the County charges/collects a fee for exhibiting; taxes with that fee are paid for; additional expenses, such as electrical connections are paid for; background checks are performed and fees and taxes are paid relating to those. Then there's the actual weapon and ammunition sales/sales taxes, registrations/fees and taxes, etc., for the weapons. Also conveniently ignored is parking, food, lodging (along with Mr Feiner's new occupancy tax), gasoline sales, etc. In a Facebook post by Andrew L. of Hartsdale to Mr Feiner, ABG believes he correctly states that, “the constitutional argument isn't a Second Amendment one, it's a First Amendment one, a “public accommodation” and “freedom of assembly” one. The government owns the venue. It cannot discriminate against the usage of that venue based upon a difference in political beliefs.”

The shooter had six weapons on him and seven more at home. One weapon could be interpreted as an argument for self-defense. And, not all of the weapons in the shooter's possession were owned by him. One of the problems that may be a mitigating factor in this latest of these shootings is what is called "gun free zones". It's a significant issue because it creates a pocket of defenseless people who cannot stop a person with a gun who decides to shoot helpless victims. In this case at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, even the security officer was unarmed! So the biggest challenge of his career went unanswered.

The issue is less about controlling gun sales to law-abiding citizens and more about providing mental health care to those in need of it. As a society we have abandoned institutionalizing and closely monitoring the mentally ill in some part for political correctness and another part for economics. While many parents have guns in their homes, not all of them practice safe storage of their weapons. That's another issue that needs improvement. But of all the pundits who say we need tougher gun laws, they never actually say what their tougher gun laws would do or how their tougher laws would stop another shooting such as we just witnessed in Oregon.

Without picking only on the President, gun deaths and crime in his Chicago are setting records and they have some of the toughest gun laws around! Apparently, the tougher gun laws mean little. No, this appears to be more about the anti-gun lobbyists pushing their agenda than trying to find a real solution to a problem. By the way, the Fairview Fire Department’s members had bullet-proof vests with them for responses in the Manhattan Avenue area because of a high volume of guns and shootings. It's local.

Let's also not rely on politicians, who by the way, have created all of our existing gun laws, regulations, fees, background checks and waiting periods. All of these are proof that they don't have the answer! The real question is how do we stop these shootings? So let’s investigate it thoroughly and with an open mind. Let's not come to a foregone conclusion that we must eliminate guns to solve the problem. If that winds up being the solution, and that answer was come to fairly, then so be it. But politicizing it to push an agenda, one way or another is wrong. Fair discussions, fair evaluations and fair answers will help. But these need to begin locally. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

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