I was really hoping not to post about this today, but am behooved.
The horrible school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December, provoked a nationwide discussion about guns and gun control that many had thought unlikely given the high levels of polarization that surround the issue. In New York state, that discussion quickly resulted in the passage of a new gun law, the NY SAFE Act, that is one of the nation’s toughest.
But of course we know all this — guns, gun control and the constitutional and other issues they call to mind have been all over the news for weeks now. Brian Mann filed an excellent story this very morning about how gun owners and dealers in our area are dealing with the new law (or refusing to engage with it). And that’s far from the only coverage NCPR has done on the issue. Tomorrow, David Sommerstein will file a story on a Potsdam man who bought an AK-47 from a local classified ad to make a statement about assault rifles.
The ongoing guns/gun control story isn’t one I relish — the gun control dialog is frequently one of America’s least functional (it’s right up there with abortion and the national debt), and every new story reminds me of the Newtown shooting and others. But on we must go, because it’s incredibly important.
This in mind, I draw your attention to two stories in the news. First, Your News Now reports that the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association has filed the first legal challenge against the new law, claiming (PDF) it violates the US Constitution’s commerce clause, among other things (this happened yesterday). It also describes the legislation as “impermissibly vague and overboard.” This isn’t a lawsuit, yet, but it may well become one. We’ll see what happens with that.
Also, the Albany Times-Union reports that Gov. Cuomo’s approval rating has dropped 15 points since the new law. It’s still quite high, though — it was at 74 percent, now it’s at 59 percent. That’s according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.