Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland. The litany goes on and on. But we in NY are fortunate that we have not yet appeared in this listing. NY has the fourth lowest rate of gun deaths per capita in the U.S., thanks in part to the NY SAFE Act, a 2013 gun safety law. A Siena poll reported that opposition to the SAFE Act is at an all-time low of 28%.
But Republican State Senator Terrence Murphy wants to change all that. Mr. Murphy, rated 93% by the NRA and a regular recipient of NRA campaign cash, has co-sponsored S.879, a bill to repeal the SAFE Act outside of NYC.
He and his colleagues have rejected Assembly-passed enhancements to the SAFE Act including red flag provisions, enhanced background checks, keeping weapons from domestic abusers, etc. Actions, some of which are favored by 80-90% of Republicans. The Republican response was a package of “school safety” provisions, including the offer of “Guardians for Schools” license plates to raise money for school security.
By contrast, Robert Kesten, Mr. Murphy’s Democratic opponent, stands foursquare behind the SAFE Act and actively supports its enhancements as well as a ban on “cop-killer” ammunition and similar provisions.
No reasonable person wants to repeal the Second Amendment or prohibit gun ownership by responsible hunters, target shooters, etc. But the recent spate of gun violence compels us to take positive action to keep guns from those who cannot or will not control themselves and to manage the types of weapons available to the general public.
Robert Kesten understands this. Mr. Murphy does not. If he has his way, we will one day experience such a tragedy here in the Hudson Valley. But, Mr. Murphy, we will still have our “Guardians for Schools” license plates.