North Country newspapers blast gun control measure

Governor Cuomo signs the gun control measure this week. (Photo: Karen Dewitt)

This week, North Country lawmakers generally panned Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun control measure.

The mood among editorial writers in our region hasn’t been much friendlier.

The Glens Falls Post Star uncorked a doozy on the governor, accusing him of “an obvious misuse of power” and arguing that the paper’s readers should be “mad as hell about how this governor does business and not want to take it anymore.”

The Watertown Daily Times, meanwhile, focused its criticism on just one provision of the law, a change actually favored by many gun rights activists that would limit public access to gun permit records.

“Pistol permit data has always been accessible and available, and there is no justifiable reason for restricting it now,” the newspaper wrote.  “The Legislature should revisit the law and remove the provisions closing off the public record.”

Somewhat surprisingly, the Albany Times-Union also tucked into the governor for pushing through the measure so swiftly, with little time for public review or debate.

But the way this bill was rammed through — introduced, passed and signed in barely 24 hours — violated the transparency Mr. Cuomo talks so much of and which was so clearly needed on a bill of this scope and complexity.

This is not just a philosophical argument about open government. There are real concerns about this bill, and we say that as ardent supporters of its overall intent.

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican hasn’t published an essay on the new gun control measure, or the process which led to its passage.  In an essay published in early January, the paper seemed to embrace regulations roughly along the lines adopted.

“Ban automatic weapons and make qualification for any gun ownership rigorous and easily traceable,” the P-R argued.  “Make it simple to account for all guns sold.”

Indeed, the general consensus among Upstate and North Country newspapers appears to be that the gun control measure includes good provisions, but was pushed through in a way that short-circuited healthy democratic debate.

What’s your view on this?  Is this a good law that got made ugly?  A bad law that was produced by a flawed system?  A bill that had to be pushed through quickly to avoid the Albany morass?




77 Comments on “North Country newspapers blast gun control measure”

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  1. The Original Larry says:

    “Does she know what the definition of is is?”

    Much better than Clinton does. The reference is particularly apt. With him as their patron saint, liberals must feel all things are possible, truth be damned.

  2. The Original Larry says:

    I think the last bayonet charge was probably around 1945 and the last widepread military use somewhere in the 19th century. The law exempts antique weapons but not antique accessories? Poorly thought out, vague and badly written. Sloppy government open to well deserved criticism.

  3. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Get your stories straight. If you’re insisting that owning guns is a God given right then don’t laugh at the people in the video — they’re the people you want to be able to own guns.

    And when Obama told Romney that the military has fewer horses and bayonets all the conservatives were jumping up and down saying “the Marines carry bayonets! What an idiot that Obama is!”

  4. Paul says:

    “The pistol grip helps to hold the gun steadier but that has no relation to the function of the weapon?”

    I agree. I also don’t use guns for self protection. But why should a criminal be allowed (by law) to have a gun with a “steadier” grip than a potential victim??

    That doesn’t make sense to me. The law is not supposed to effect law abiding guns owners, many here have said the same thing??? Here you describe a potentially lethal effect.

  5. Paul says:

    “Not a video but 5 people hurt at 3 gun shows:”

    Knuck, I also see that two jets collided at Miamia Itnl. Thankfully no one was hurt but obviously it could have been a huge tragedy. You seem like a smart guy, are either of these incidents relevant to what we want to do as far as gun violence?

  6. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Jets have a primary function that doesn’t involve killing. Big difference.

  7. Brian Mann says:

    Original Larry – Don’t use terms like ‘mental defectives’ in this blog site. There are plenty of ways to express your thought without that kind of language.

    –Brian, NCPR

  8. Ken Hall says:

    Picking up on Knuck’s comment about the five attendees at 3 different gun shows at various locations around the US yesterday; anyone care to attempt to explain why folks at a mass concentration of humans would be loading live ammunition into weapons they have ostensibly brought there to sell? Lets see one shooter was a “firearms” dealer who shot his friend with a gun he had apparently just procured, one person shot himself in the hand whilst attempting to unload his gas operated auto-loading pistol and three folks were hit by bird shot when a shotgun discharged. Just accidents I reckon; however, good press for the folks desiring a bit more control over guns and ammo.

  9. The Original Larry says:

    In my pro-gun opinion there’s just no excuse for sloppy safety procedures – none – whether it takes place at a gun show or in a video. People want more laws? There’s a good place to start. I have only attended gun shows in NY and my understanding is that all guns must be disabled from being fired before being allowed in. I’ve never seen one that wasn’t.

  10. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Sure Knuckle, can you find an example of anyone organizing a bayonet charge to kill so school kids or people at a mall? On a civilian gun the bayonet mount is cosmetic, as are the flash hiders, grenade mounts, etc.

    Brian, I can provide links to videos of people putting 12 shots on a target from a 6 shooter revolver in under 3 seconds. Given the chance I’m sure they could put 60 on the target about as fast as the guy with the AR or within a time frame where the difference was negligible.

    Mike, he may not be coming after YOUR guns YET!

  11. Rancid Crabtree says:

    ” knuckleheadedliberal says:
    January 20, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Jets have a primary function that doesn’t involve killing. Big difference.”

    Ooops! You stepped in it Knuckle! Jet engines and all our aircraft are based on military aircraft. Jet engines were developed to increase the speed of aircraft to make killing easier. Obviously any jumbo jet would make a great bomber and killer of innocent women and children. They all have similarities with military aircraft. I suppose you think everyone should be able to own their own jet airplane? I suppose that’s in the Constitution too?

    Sarcasm off.

  12. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Brian Mann says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Original Larry – Don’t use terms like ‘mental defectives’ in this blog site. There are plenty of ways to express your thought without that kind of language.

    –Brian, NCPR

    But using the term “factually incorrect”, ie- lying, is okay? Have you looked at some of the other language used here? If you want to censor language, fine, but do it equally and fairly.

  13. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Ken, considering the number of gun shows, ranges, etc. across the country, our gun safety record is pretty sterling. True, you get boneheads that could break an anvil, but as they say, “There’s never beena safety device invented that can defeat a truly determined idiot.”

  14. Kathy says:

    Jets have a primary function that doesn’t involve killing. Big difference.

    This is true.

    But as we know, 9/11 proves the point some have made on this forum. Anything can become a weapon.

  15. Kathy says:

    “Mental defectives” seemed appropriate since it is Huff Post comedy and the word “idiotic” was used to describe it.

  16. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    RC, airplanes, like lighter than air craft were conceived in the long distant past. The story of Icarus illustrates the desire of prisoners to free themselves from bondage.

    Balloons and early airplanes were used by the military for scouting purposes and the pilots from opposing sides often felt a spirit of camaraderie, often flying over the funerals of foes who died in crashes to toss out flowers.

    That began to change after someone decided to bring a weapon up and start shooting. So the plane was designed for a different purpose than the gun.

  17. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    And now we have all these guys who are very, very interested in cosmetics. Who knew?

  18. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I agree that there is no excuse for sloppy handling. The people who were so sloppy in their behavior should be ticketed, fined, and have their right to own guns taken away. Let’s enforce the laws.

  19. Mervel says:

    Like I said the shows I have been to are wild and unprofessional. This is where we need some regulations and enforcement .

  20. Mervel says:

    When you go to a normal gun ammo store the guns and ammo are locked up, why we allow gun shows to operate with none of those basic steps makes no sense. There should be no loaded weapons at a gun show.

  21. Mervel says:

    I have never had a loaded weapon in my home. Growing up my dad was not into corporal punishment, but bringing a loaded gun into our home would have meant an ass whipping. It’s too serious you can’t play around with gun safety. I think we all have hunted with people that are not safe, and you never hunt with them again. That is what the NRA is supposed to be teaching.

  22. knuckleheadedliberal says:


    Albuquerque Shooting: Teenager Kills 5 People, Including 3 Children

  23. Brian Mann says:

    Original Larry –

    I disagree with your estimate of the relative kill efficiency of a 30-06 hunting rifle and an AR-15.

    For two reasons. First, the AR-15 is designed for maneuverability and flexibility — not for setting up one-shot kills, like the sort that you seek in a hunting situation.

    The simple ergonomics of a hunting rifle are highly awkward.

    Repositioning rapidly just isn’t going to work, at least when compared to an assault-style weapon.

    Secondly, you make the argument that her kill efficiency would be the same if using matched ammunition clips of 10 rounds.

    I’m assuming that under complete de-regulation, a shooter of an AR-15 would be using a much larger, more efficient clip, requiring fewer reloads.

    Finally, I want to speak broadly to the argument that a lot of gun advocates are making right now.

    The argument goes that the AR-15 is essentially a cosmetically enhanced hunting rifle, not really more dangerous or efficient in a mass-shooting situation than any other rifle.

    This appears to be at odds with the history of the weapon in question. The following comes from Wikipedia. Please correct if you think their narrative is inaccurate:

    “ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt in 1959. After a tour by Colt of the Far East, the first sale of AR-15s was made to Malaysia on September 30, 1959, with Colt’s manufacture of their first 300 AR-15s in December 1959.[10] Colt marketed the AR-15 rifle to various military services around the world, including the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps. The AR-15 was eventually adopted by the United States military under the designation M16. Colt continued to use the AR-15 trademark for its semi-automatic variants (AR-15, AR-15A2) which were marketed to civilian and law-enforcement customers. The original AR-15 was a very lightweight weapon, weighing less than 6 pounds with empty magazine. Later heavy-barrel versions of the civilian AR-15 can weigh upwards of 8.5 lb.[11]”

    To sum up, there is, very simply, one good reason that the US military isn’t using a fully automatic version of hunting rifles in combat situations: They’re not as good at killing people.

    Meanwhile, the notion that this particular rifle doesn’t have military DNA in its design strikes me as inaccurate and revisionist.

    –Brian, NCPR

  24. Two Cents says:

    “The other option of course is to just re-load your own shotgun shells thereby avoiding the whole thing and it saves money anyway.”

    right. saves money. what makes you think they are not gonna ask for the same background check for the “parts” to make ammo. powder, wadding, shot and primers, that all adds up to a box of shells. now the bill doesn’t say this is different from ammo-specifically- so then the loophole displays how bad a bill it is.

    another Q?
    if i’m trusted to load only 7 rounds in my “grandfathered Marlin”, we’re basically back to the honor system, i allready promised not to kill people, what is this bill trying to accomplish?
    please, it amatuerish and embarrassing

  25. Two Cents says:

    i’ve seen videos where the safety instructors, while giving a saftey hunting course, shoot themselves, a relative, and an attendee, (three separate instances, 3 different instructors)
    there is no excuse for morons, and there is little chance of protecting them from themselves.
    bad luck or Darwin, irony or stupidity- but is it call for a new law? no.

  26. mervel says:

    Well the important thing is that in NYS, we know who bought shells for a 20 gauge last week at Wal-Mart, I think that will get at the heart of the issue.

  27. Mervel says:

    I agree it’s military. Snipers in the military don’t use it though for example. Shotgun variants are used in the military for some close combat situations. I think what we want to do is limit the number of rounds that can be shot in a short time period, not necessarily if the military uses it or not.

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