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Briefings  from our SCOPE membership

  • 09/08/2023 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    Letter to Hochul:   A SCOPE member sent in the following letter

    Governor Kathy Hochul

    NYS Capital Building                                                                    Albany, NY 12224                                                           
    September 7, 2023

    Dear Governor Hochul,

    When the New York State Police began the pistol permit recertification process you had the option of recertifying by mail or electronically. Now everyone is limited to recertify electronically and you can no longer recertify by mail.

    As a senior citizen I did not grow up with a computer or a smart phone. I am limited as to what I can do on a computer and have had problems with virus attacks, computer breakdowns and email problems where I have not been able to receive emails for several days. Those emails are lost when my computer is up and running again, I do not receive emails on a smart phone. I would prefer to recertify my pistol permit by mail because of the stated computer problems I have had in the past.

    A recent Pew research survey shows that 64% of seniors over 65 have no internet connection, and they do not want to go to a friend or a library to use a computer. Many do not even know how to operate a computer.

    The state sends me a notice of renewal for my motor vehicle registration, for my trailer registration, for my boat registration, They can and should do the same for my pistol permit recertification. I hope your office makes renewal by mail a reality when it comes to pistol permit recertification.

    We have early voting in this state either in person or by mail in ballot. I also understand that your office is currently looking to expand mail in ballots for elections.  Mail in pistol permit recertification is something your office can make available, please do so.

  • 09/07/2023 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    Let’s Not Kill the Lawyers  by Tom Reynolds

    The 2nd Amendment is not going anywhere so the gun grabbers are looking for ways to backdoor 2A into impotence.  For instance: drive FFL’s out of business; make owning a gun very expensive; make purchasing guns and ammo very bureaucratic, to name just a few.

    Legal Insurrection ran a story on George Washington University Law School student Tahmineh Dehbozorgi.  Her family emigrated from Iran after the takeover by Islamic radicals in 1979.  She is concerned about what she is seeing in America’s legal system and made comparisons to Iran.  Specifically, she is concerned about another tactic of the left: scaring lawyers away from defending clients that the left considers enemies.  (People like Donald Trump and his supporters or anyone who believes in the 2nd Amendment would make the left’s enemies list.) 

    For instance, she says, unlike Iran, “nobody, no party, should be using the justice system for their political gain.”  (Could she have been thinking about the Department of Injustice under Attorney General Merrick Garland?)

    Dehbozorgi highlighted that the Islamic regime used guilt-by-association tactics to prosecute lawyers who represented the regime’s opponents.  When she saw that President Trump’s legal advisers were being indicted along with him, it sounded like guilt by association to her

    After appearing on Fox and Friends she tweeted: “As a law student, seeing attorneys named as co-conspirators and threatened to have their licenses revoked only because they gave legal advice to former President Trump worries me. This is against the very nature of the American justice system I’ve long aspired to be a part of.”

    The morning after she tweeted about her Fox appearance, Maryland lawyer and Democratic National Committee operative Robbie Leonard seemed to threaten her when he tweeted back: “If she’s in law school in Maryland, then please put me on her character committee interview.” 

    Disagree with the left and they will punish you!  Passing her ‘character and fitness exam’ is essential for bar admission in every US jurisdiction and this sounds like a direct threat to her.  (Will anyone challenge Leonard’s personal character and fitness for making this threat?  Is Leonard – and the left – familiar with that 1st Amendment stuff about Free Speech?)

    The 65 Project will spend millions to expose and try to disbar more than 100 lawyers who worked on Donald Trump’s post-election lawsuits.  It hopes to deter Republican lawyers from joining any future Republican election efforts.  In addition, 65 Project wants to shame Republican lawyers and make them toxic in their communities and their firms.  

    The left would seem to be perfectly happy for the American judicial system to mimic Iran’s where Judges do the bidding of the political party in power.  Can you imagine challenging an election in Iran?  Iran would put you and your attorneys in prison. (Oh wait, isn’t that happening…?)  

    Dehbozorgi explained that the Iranian people gave up their freedoms, little by little, to Iran’s Islamic Republic regime, in exchange for economic benefit:  Khomeini came in and promised free stuff: free school; free health care; free utilities. The Islamic Republic centralized the economic system and took away people’s social freedoms to maintain control.  (Couldn’t happen in the USA.  Giving up freedom for free stuff.  Nah.)

    But Dehbozorgi is just a law student.  What about someone who has represented liberal causes for years and was a major part of the old American Civil Liberties Union. (As opposed to the new ACLU which usually bases constitutional rights on which political party one belongs to.)

    For instance, what does Harvard emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz have to say about this attempt to banish lawyers who disagree with the left.

    "I can tell you that six lawyers so far called me and said, 'We will not defend Trump even though we'd like to because of what happened to you, Alan Dershowitz, because you have been canceled.'"

    Dershowitz has lost jobs and speaking engagements after representing Trump in the 1st impeachment trial,

    Dershowitz also said that lawyers at big firms were being asked by their companies not to touch cases involving Trump.

    Dershowitz continued, “The threats to the lawyers are greater than at any time since McCarthyism. Nor is the comparison to McCarthyism a stretch. I recall during the 1950s how civil liberties lawyers, many of whom despised communism, were cancelled, and attacked if they dared to represent people accused of being communists. Even civil liberties organizations stayed away from such cases, for fear that it would affect their fundraising and general standing in the community. It may even be worse today, as I can attest from my own personal experiences, having defended Trump against an unconstitutional impeachment in 2020. I was cancelled by my local library, community center and synagogue. Old friends refused to speak to me and threatened others who did. My wife, who disagreed with my decision to defend Trump, was also ostracized. There were physical threats to my safety.”

    TV’s talking heads have of describing the legal actions against Donald Trump by saying that the USA is turning into a “Banana Republic.”  Perhaps, they should be describing it as an ‘Iranian Regime’, instead. 

    If Hochul’s and Biden’s regimes come after your guns, you may need a lawyer. 

    Oh yeah, and if you end up in court, it would be nice to have some 2nd Amendment supporters on the jury.  Remember that the next time you want to get out of jury duty.

  • 09/01/2023 9:49 PM | Anonymous

    Government Interest vs Personal Rights  by Tom Reynolds

    Governor Hochul applauded passage of the 2022 NYS Concealed Carry Improvement Act and stated: "I refuse to surrender my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. In New York State, we will continue leading the way forward and implementing common sense gun safety legislation."    

    Governor Kathy Hochul has repeatedly said she was trying to protect the citizens of New York State when she signed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) in July 2023. Factually she did so in animosity of the decision by the Supreme Court in NYSRPA v. Bruen.

    Does the government have a basis for restricting our Second Amendment right in order to protect the citizenry? They would have us believe that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. Instead, they claim it protects a militia right or a military right. But an individual right to own a gun for personal protection is an idea that is deeply rooted in American culture. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller in 2008 said: The Second Amendment protects a right that is “exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”

    Yet elected officials and their allies continue to insist on appealing to emotion when people are innocently injured or killed because of domestic violence and emphasizing the unconstitutional removal of guns by utilizing “red flag” laws.

    Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) Executive Director Adam Kraut said: “Red flag laws are based on the inherently Orwellian belief that you can take actions against someone for an alleged crime that hasn’t occurred. Such laws authorize seizure and punishment for a crime nobody committed but which could occur at some place and time in the future. This may work in a science fiction movie but should not be allowed in real life.

    Despite the existence of tragic events, we do not believe that we should measure or define our rights on the basis of how others may misuse these rights or their misbehavior. A psychopath’s misbehavior should not be a basis for us losing our right to own a particular firearm of our choice. Cars, like guns, can be misused but it is not rational to consider banning cars.

    Despite the Bruen decision states continue to look for laws to prevent crime and even allow victims of gun crimes to sue manufacturers. Yet they refuse to prosecute those who are responsible for gun crimes. NY City DA Alvin Bragg either dismissed or downgraded 52% of the cases brought to him in his first 11 months in office. Likewise, Chicago DA Kim Foxx has refused to incarcerate criminals.

    Many lower courts, following the Heller decision of 2008, attempted to justify gun control by balancing the good versus the bad of guns. But we should not be losing our gun rights because of an expressed government interest. In fact, our rights are there to thwart the government.

  • 08/31/2023 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    From John Connor in Guns Magazine

    The following are a few choice comments from a recent John Connor article that are amusing – and unfortunately true.

    I don’t want to have to tell my grandchildren that America was once a great country, and have them disbelieve it. And I don’t want them to arrive at adulthood and find Congress used them as their “line of credit.”

    Withholding is a narcotic deadening taxpayers’ senses to the process of governmental pickpocketry...I’d like to propose: No more payroll tax withholding. Everybody would have to sit down once or twice a month and write checks to the feds and their state treasurers for their taxes. Yeah, it would be a huge pain in the neck, but all of a sudden, millions of people would be awakened and enraged by the wasteful, excessive and often criminal spending of their hard-earned bucks.  Writing those checks would be like shots of adrenaline. I predict legislators’ lives would quickly become less than comfy-cozy. That’s OK with me. I believe our liberties are never safer than when politicians are a little bit, umm…terrified.

    We’ve got to pass it so you can see what’s in it.” That’s the rule for stool samples…not laws!  Before any bill is put to a vote in Congress, members must pass a witnessed written test, to show they understand it in full and know its consequences and costs. If they refuse or fail, they can’t vote on that bill.

    It seems to me that most of your efforts are bent toward controlling and “regulating” people like me; military veterans, hard-working taxpayers and folks who would not willingly or knowingly violate any law. If I were meant to be controlled, I woulda come with a remote.

    Oh, and by the way—the book 1984 was meant to be a warning, not a guidebook for government.

    I’ve heard it said by “progressives” that the problem with capitalism is a small group of people could end up controlling almost everything. But the solution they offer is to give an even smaller group absolute control over everything—and all the power of the state to enforce it.

    And let’s prohibit use of the fallacious term “redistribution of wealth.” For most of us it amounts to “taking whatever you’ve got left and giving it away to others.” Let’s make ’em use that phrase and see how it flies.

    I’ve heard a lot of people muttering that this government is going Socialist...I think this would be better defined as a plutocracy: one wherein the plutocrats want everyone else controlled by a Socialist government. It makes sense for them. Hey, it’s better for them than making us slaves, because they can still tax the workers among us to feed and support the more docile, manageable peasants.

    I don’t know where you come down on the Tea Party. Entrenched politicians call them anarchists and radicals. It seems to me their platform is to take over, stop stealing our money, adhere to the Constitution, restore our liberty and then leave everybody the heck alone as much as possible. Ooohhh, sounds pretty dangerous to me.

    The government says all they need to make this country a paradise is more money and more power. I think P.J. O’Rourke said it best: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” The difference, I see, is many teenage boys know better than to drink and drive.

    And for those of you who, like me, feel the government ignores you, ridicules you and attacks you, remember this gem from Mahatma Ghandi: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you, then you win.” It’s the ignored, ridiculed and attacked who finally, regretfully but resolutely, fight.

    This did not come from Connor but SCOPE recently saw a comment on why the left wants desperately to outlaw magazines.  Think of it as MAGA-zines.

  • 08/30/2023 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Active Shooters, Parole Wars, the Babylon Bee and Six Packs  by Tom Reynolds

    Whenever there is an Active Shooter situation, you can be sure the leftist media will be covering it and Biden & Hochul & Newsome will call for more gun control.  If an armed citizen should stop it, the coverage tends to be close to zero.  The coverage of defensive uses of guns is almost non-existent. 

    SCOPE has previously written about Defensive Gun Use, which does not usually mean shots were fired; show a criminal you are armed and they often have second thoughts about their career choice. Numerous studies put the number of Defensive Gun Uses at 1 million or more, annually.

    But sometimes, just showing a weapon isn’t enough, especially if the criminal is already shooting his / her weapon (an Active Shooter).

    Luckily, there is a list on John Lott’s web site of cases where armed citizens have stopped ACTIVE SHOOTER incidents.   It’s a long list of lives saved but worth a look.

    Cases where armed citizens have stopped active shooter incidents (


    SCOPE recently reported that bills have been introduced in the NY Assembly (A2035) and the NY Senate (S2423) that would allow incarcerated individuals who are 55 years and older and who have also already served 15 years in prison to appear before the parole board for potential release, regardless of the crime they committed.

    Will Barclay, the Assembly Minority leader has taken issue with these far left antics and reports on Assembly Republican efforts to tighten, not loosen, parole standards.  The following are excerpts from his press release of August 25th.

    Our (Assembly Minority) Conference has offered a number of legislative solutions aimed at protecting victims and their families.

    Assemblyman Maher sponsored legislation (A.4041) to ensure those who murder children under 13 years old will receive a mandatory life sentence with no opportunity for parole and I have sponsored legislation (A.5225) to reform the composition of the parole board and require a unanimous determination from the board members before an inmate be released.

    Second chances are an important part of our criminal justice system, and I believe there are lots of instances where individuals should be presented with an opportunity to make amends. Unfortunately, not everyone deserves such latitude, and in instances where the public is in danger, we must take every possible measure to ensure the most serious offenders are not given the wrong type of second chance—a second chance to take another life 


    If you are reading this, you have the internet.

    If you have the internet, you may have seen or heard about the satirical website, the Babylon Bee.  (Leftists have been known to quote it as a reliable source!)

    The below link goes to a video on their web site that makes fun of some of the ridiculous statements about guns from the gun grabbers.

    Babylon Bee Video relies heavily on the Crime Prevention Research Center’s Research (


    Gun owners are often pictured by the leftist media as beer guzzling rednecks. 

    This story reinforces the need to concealed carry but it also reinforces our image with the left:

    Breitbart News reported that  Cordelius Martin entered a store in Cassopolis, Michigan and announced a robbery. Surveillance video shows that a customer was in the store at that time with a six-pack of beer in his hand.  The customer, a concealed carry permit holder, pulled his pistol with his right hand and shot the robber numerous times while continuing to hold the beer in his left hand.

    I doubt if any handgun safety courses teach shooting with a six-pack in hand.  But hey, you never know!

  • 08/29/2023 9:42 PM | Anonymous

    Interstate license to carry  by Tom Reynolds

    Massachusetts, like New York, is noted for ignoring the Supreme Court’s decisions on the 2nd Amendment.  For instance, in Caetano v Massachusetts, every Massachusetts’ court ruled that a stun gun was illegal in Massachusetts because it did not exist at the time the 2nd Amendment was passed.  It took the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to remind Massachusetts’ courts that SCOTUS had already said that guns did not have to be in existence in 1792 to be legal.

    Much to our surprise and delight, in another case, one Massachusetts district court recently obeyed SCOTUS rulings.  While the decision only applied to this specific case, it provides the rationale for concealed carry reciprocity between states.

    In the Commonwealth v. Dean Donnell, a New Hampshire man (Donnell) was charged in a Massachusetts’ District court for carrying a firearm in Massachusetts without a non-resident license to carry (LTC).

    Donnell’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss the case claiming the law violates the Second Amendment and, therefore, is unconstitutional.  In the Bruen decision, SCOTUS ruled that the 2nd Amendment must be interpreted based on the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment as it was understood when the amendment was passed in 1792.  Donnell’s legal team argued that “there is no historical analogue burdening the right to interstate travel” with a firearm.

    Also, Donnell argued that the defendant’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution were also violated since LTCs for Massachusetts residents are good for five years but a Non-state resident’s temporary LTC must be renewed annually.

    Because Massachusetts could not give an example of a similar law stopping an otherwise law-abiding citizen from carrying a firearm outside their home state during the ratification of the Second Amendment, the judge ruled that the law Donnell was accused of violating was inconsistent with the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment. 

    The judge also applied the Equal Protection Clause by pointing out the difference in the length of time a non-resident and a resident license lasted.

    The judge also rejected the state’s claim “that the licensing scheme imposes a permissible burden because of the substantial state interest in preventing certain people from possessing firearms.” The judge pointed out that certain people are already prohibited by federal law, so the state’s argument wasn’t valid.

    As we often point out, criminals already ignore gun control laws while most gun control laws make criminals of otherwise law-abiding citizens.  The judge said that a person should not become a felon for exercising a constitutional right while passing through Massachusetts.

    The judge dismissed the case. As we said, this case is a state-level case and only affects the defendant but provides a rationale for reciprocity.

  • 08/28/2023 2:24 PM | Anonymous

    More on Background Checks  by Tom Reynolds

    SCOPE has been writing about the background checks on ammo and the new fees.  There is so much going on behind the scenes that it is difficult to keep current with the latest information.  However, a bit of background is in order.

    Passed as part of the SAFE Act, the ammo background check mandate was delayed for years because the state police could not implement it. 

    If the new background checks are implemented on September 13th, as scheduled, New York will be the second state (behind California) to require ammunition background checks.

    Per Bearing Arms web site, California’s ammunition background check requirement, has led to tens of thousands of false denials for legal gun owners.

    California’s law is the subject of a federal lawsuit.  U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez must rule whether the law is an infringement on Second Amendment rights.

    Although not identical to California, NY’s law is also likely to face a lawsuit after the background checks actually start taking place. Once the state police are running checks on every purchase of a box of ammunition, people will have ‘standing’ to sue.

    A letter protesting this state action has been sent to Kathy Hochul from some of New York’s Republican congressional delegation*.  It is signed by Congresspersons Claudia Tenney, Elise Stefanik, Nick Langworthy and Brandon Williams. 

    In addition, a resolution condemning the CCIA has been introduced in the House by NY congresswomen Elise Stefanik and Claudia Tenney as well as seven others from other states**. 

    These efforts raise attention to the issue but Hochul isn’t big on listening to Republicans from her state...or any state…or listening to the Supreme Court.

    One of the strategies of the left, as to gun control, seems to be to introduce as much legislation in as many places as they possibly can.  Introducing ammo background checks in multiple states is only one example.  This costs the gun grabbers nothing as they are on the taxpayers’ dime and are in blue states where there is not much chance that they will be defeated at the ballot box or impeached.  Citizens challenging these laws costs the citizens hundreds of thousands of dollars to get through the appeals system.  Basically, NY State (and California and Illinois, etc.) want to bankrupt their opponents into silence.  So, they are not only going after the 2nd Amendment but also your 1st Amendment right of Free Speech.

    The best answer to this is to spread the word on how our 2A rights are being threatened in order to motivate 2A and 1A defenders to go to the ballot box before they lose their rights, completely.


    *The link to the letter to Hochul follows:

    51119baa-96a9-4b3c-a1c5-4c7b4934dbe5.pdf (


    **The important part of the House Resolution follows:

    Whereas there have now been multiple New Yorkers suing the State of New York over the CCIA to protect their constitutional rights: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

    (1) New York State’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act violates the rights of New Yorkers under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and is unconstitutional;

    (2) the courts should immediately strike down the Concealed Carry Improvement Act as unconstitutional; and

    (3) all States should pass legislation supporting Second Amendment rights instead of trying to restrict or undermine Americans’ constitutional rights.

  • 08/25/2023 11:35 AM | Anonymous

    SCOPE Needs You in County Chapters!  By Don Smith

    Grassroots groups such as SCOPE are important with county chapters increasing the possibility of a greater voice in the selection of our local and state elected officials. Many candidates appreciate the opportunity to speak to SCOPE members and look forward to high ratings by the county chapters. Local and state level candidates are eager to meet with and hear from SCOPE chapters while establishing connections with them and their staff.

    Each county needs candidates supportive of protecting against: unreasonable searches and seizures; a right to a speedy trial with representation (consider many “January 6” defendants); the ability to confront witnesses against you and obtain witnesses in your favor; and of course, due process and “equal protection of the laws” as well as other constitutional liberties.

    Examples include the village, town, county and even state positions of: Mayor; Supervisor/ Legislator; Sheriff; Judge; State Assemblyman and State Senator. Are any of these positions on the ballot in your county this November? Your chapter’s rating of them may help their cause.

    Note that SCOPE, as a nonprofit cannot endorse a candidate but can rate them.

    The key to a strong chapter is its leadership. Your first step is to show support for a county chapter by being willing to attend an organizational meeting in the near future. Location and date TBD. You may then volunteer for a leadership position of Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer. Will you join?

    Taking a leadership position does require a limited time commitment but is not an overwhelming responsibility. Other positions at the chapter level such as Vice Chairperson are important but even less demanding. Volunteers from other chapters are willing to help you.

    Americans have always been willing to make commitments to righteous causes and preserving our liberties should be at the top of the list. Knowing you are contributing to the defense of our Constitution is personally satisfying. Others may jump aboard based upon your enthusiasm.

    A year from now, we will be in the midst of a presidential election that will determine if our country continues veering to the left or regains the path on which our Founding Fathers intended America to follow.  We need volunteers locally and at the state levels to begin preparing us for this crucial battle. All county chairs sit on SCOPE’s State Board of Directors.

    Please contact me so we may discuss your involvement with others or to create a SCOPE Chapter in your area.

    Don Smith

    Membership Chair

  • 08/24/2023 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    Tenney Supports the 2nd Amendment  by Tom Reynolds

    Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New York’s 24th Congressional District is an ardent supporter of our 2nd Amendment Rights.  She has introduced a number of bills and House Resolutions towards that end.

    Proposed bills and other actions by those that would destroy the 2nd Amendment are sure to be trumpeted in the liberal media and they will be sure to use Tenney’s support of 2A against her in the next election.  If you are concerned about your 2nd Amendment rights – and you should be in Hochul’s NY State and Biden’s America – doing nothing hands over your 2A rights to Biden and Hochul.  If 2A is to be preserved, it’s imperative that you spread the word about those like Claudia Tenney who are fighting for your rights. 

    The following is a list of Tenney’s actions:

    Introduced H.Res. 45: This resolution expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that NY’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) is unconstitutional and that the courts should immediately strike down the CCIA.

    Cosponsored H.R. 38: This bill would ensure all states that allow concealed carry, such as New York, maintain concealed carry reciprocity with other states with concealed carry permits.

    Cosponsored H.R. 3492:This legislation prohibits states and localities from using federal funding to store sensitive, personal information obtained during a federal background check. Under current law, the federal government cannot store information acquired during the firearms background process.

    Introduced H.R. 5161: This legislation will repeal language in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BCSA) which was passed last year,  In July 2023, the Biden Administration’s Department of Education released guidance that it was restricting federal funds for schools with hunting, shooting, or archery programs, citing language included in the BSCA.

    Cosponsored H.R. 1271: This bill prevents the federal government from building a federal firearms registry by requiring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco and Firearms (ATF) to delete all existing firearm transaction records accumulated by the ATF. The bill would also require Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) to destroy their firearm transaction records once they go out of business, ensuring the ATF cannot accumulate these records.

    H.J.Res. 44: This act would repeal the ATF’s unconstitutional pistol brace rule. The Biden Administration is abusing the National Firearms Act to arbitrarily declare pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles (SBRs).  Pistol stabilizing braces were created to help disabled individuals, including many veterans, better stabilize their pistols while shooting.

    Introduced H.R.962: This legislation modifies federal bankruptcy law to allow an individual debtor to exempt from their bankruptcy estate one or more firearms up to a total maximum value of $3,000.

    Cosponsored H.R.790: This legislation would remove the ridiculous excise tax on firearms and attachments governed under the National Firearms Act, including SBRs and silencers.

    Cosponsored H.R. 705: This legislation prohibits the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from reporting a veteran to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when that veteran uses a fiduciary to manage VA benefits.

    Cosponsored H.R 4860: This legislation ensures that residents living in federally-assisted housing may lawfully possess firearms.

  • 08/23/2023 11:54 AM | Anonymous

    Gun Violence is a Morals and Family Values Issue  by Bohdan Rabarsky, Oneida/Herkimer SCOPE Chapter Chairman                              

    Recently, there have been numerous shootings in Utica, including one fatality. In bigger cities such as New York City, Atlanta, Seattle or Chicago, that wouldn’t even make headlines, but it's big news locally. Local law enforcement has a difficult job of solving these crimes, especially when witnesses refuse to come forward, for various reasons.

    What is being done about this violence?

    In the past, social and religious groups have formed marches through the inner-city streets and called the event "Take Back Our Streets". They would get religious, city & county leaders involved along with the local police department officials. They would chant that the streets belong to them and they won't put up with the violence anymore.

    Then there is SNUG, (guns spelled backwards), a New York statewide gun violence prevention program. The group has received state funding to implement its program and combat gun violence, but the shootings continue.

    To fight the so-called gun violence, Former Governor Cuomo passed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE) Act of 2013. In 2021, Governor Hochul signed Executive Order 211 to establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) and in 2022 the NYS Legislature passed the Conceal Carry Improvement Act (CCIA).

    The city and state have their gun buyback programs, which will take guns off the street, but we all know that these aren't the guns being used in the shootings in question.

    During election time, candidates will tell you they passed laws to make the streets safer for us, but the evidence just isn't there. They usually rely on data from anti-gun groups such as ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’, ‘Moms Demand Action’ and ‘Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’. Their data is misleading since it is more anti 2nd Amendment than trying to eliminate gun violence.  Why?  Because if gun violence disappeared from our streets, they would lose their power and control and they wouldn't exist.

    These are noble gestures on the surface, but serve no real purpose, except to make bumper sticker slogans or sound bites during an interview.

    Over the years there's always been outrage at the so called "gun" violence, but few ever want to talk about the elephant in the room. The violence on the streets is an issue of morals & family values, which seems to be lacking in those involved in the shootings. A lack of family structure and single parent households with the absence of a father figure all contribute to this violence.

    I don't claim to have the answer, but taking away the 2nd Amendment Rights of law-abiding gun owners isn't the answer.  However, reemphasizing traditional American moral and family values is worth trying.

    Another approach is following the rules and enjoying our 2nd Amendment freedoms rather than condemning them.  

    Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Lewis & Madison Counties have a total of over 60 Fish & Game Clubs, Gun Ranges and Rod & Gun Clubs, with a total membership in the tens of thousands. Members are required to pay dues to belong to these clubs, follow the club rules and abide by all New York State laws regarding firearms, firearm storage, transporting, handling & shooting. Failure to follow the state laws and club rules will get you expelled from the club and possibly arrested for not following the NYS Gun Laws.

    The nicest and most respectful people you'll ever meet are on the firing line at a gun range. You'll see men, women, minorities, handicapped individuals, parents with their children, all with one goal in mind, practicing firearm safety first, then enjoying the day practicing their shooting skills. You don’t hear about a shooting injury associated with a gun range, not even accidental, because safety and respect for the firearm comes first.

    Get out there, exercise your God given 2nd Amendment Rights and enjoy yourself.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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