By Enza Macherone
Watching Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) speech last Tuesday night on the need for more rigorous gun control gave me goose-bumps. Never before have I—who holds a stringent dislike of politics—felt more proud of a politician’s resolve to achieve something so crucial and important. Normally when politicians appear on TV and rant about medical care or the wars I turn off the news, but Cuomo’s speech had me glued to the screen. Perhaps it was because he was speaking from the heart, without the help of notes or a teleprompter, about a bill that would make the citizens of New York much safer that I was so captivated. That bill is the New York Safe Act, signed into law on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
One of the most controversial pieces of legislation signed by Cuomo thus far, the Safe Act has people from New York—and all over the United States—up in arms (literally and figuratively). Why? Because people misunderstand what the new gun control law actually entails. From the Governor’s website, the message is clear: the act will “give New York State the most comprehensive gun laws in the nation, which will keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous mental health patients and ban high capacity magazines and assault weapons.” However, some people believe this will be an infringement on their Second Amendment rights. They see the act as an attack on their right to bear arms. Yet this is NOT an attack on good citizens’ rights to bear arms, rather it is a guard to keep people who are at a higher risk of committing crimes—such as the ones recently seen in Aurora, Colo. and Newtown, Conn.—from possessing dangerous weapons.
At a time when the United States has seen a rise in the number of mass murders by gun-bearing assailants, Cuomo did what every governor should do— he stood up for justice, order and peace.
This act will NOT take away any sound-minded person’s right to bear arms. First, it will completely ban all pre-1994 high capacity magazines. Secondly, and similar to that, the act will reduce the number of bullets allowed in a magazine from 10 bullets to seven. This provision has created quite a stir in the gun-owner world. I argue: why does it matter if you have three fewer bullets? If it’s for hunting and you’re trying to shoot a deer, maybe you should learn to be a better shot and be able to kill the deer with seven bullets (quite a lot, in my opinion). If the gun is meant for self-defense, seven bullets would most likely wound, if not kill an attacker, therefore seven is sufficient.
In addition, the act will make it more difficult for those with mental health problems to obtain guns—this makes sense as in both the Aurora and Newtown shootings (among many others, such as Virginia Tech), the attackers had mental health issues.
After reading this, most people will probably think that I’m anti-guns. However, that’s not the case. My father is a retired police officer and through him I’ve learned the value of guns as a weapon against crime. I know that when you are in a life-and-death situation having a gun will most likely save you. I also know, however, that when faced with an assault weapon, a handgun owner wouldn’t stand a chance.
See CONTROL on Page 14
It’s about making sure that when you’re faced with a crazed attacker, he doesn’t have a high-powered assault weapon such as the Bushmaster used in the Newtown school shooting.
It is up to us, as the up-and-coming generation to change the attitude surrounding gun laws. We need to teach our future generation that weapons are not cool, but instead a tool that we can use to preserve our lives and freedoms. People need to understand that in times such as these, we need to do everything we can to uphold the laws that preserve our freedoms—even if it means giving up three little bullets in our guns to do so.