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Cuomo says Firearm Advocates, Among Others, "Have No Place in the State of New York"

Friday, January 24, 2014

Last year, anti-gun New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and the New York State Legislature conspired to circumvent normal legislative procedures in order to enact sweeping and extreme anti-gun laws in the state. 

This week, the WashingtonExaminer.com reports that, during a recent interview, Cuomo added insult to injury as he listed pro-gun supporters as part of a group of extremists that "have no place in the state of New York."

Cuomo made the remarks during a radio interview while discussing an alleged division between moderate and conservative Republicans.

"Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves," Cuomo said. "Who are they?  Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay?  Is that who they are?  Because if that's who they are and they're the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are." 

Ponder that for a moment.  Cuomo thinks those who oppose his social and political agendas are extremists who aren't even fit to be called New Yorkers and who are unwelcome in the state.  Let's call that what it is: ideological segregation and the marginalization of neighbors and fellow residents who don't subscribe to an official orthodoxy.  What could be more un-American than that?  This is not, after all, some crank writing in the editorial pages of a newspaper that readers have the choice to buy or not to buy.  This is the governor of one of America's most populous states addressing his constituents and telling many of them he doesn't even consider them "fit" to live in his domain.

So, what do Cuomo and his anti-gun cronies mean when they classify someone as "pro-assault weapon?"  Well, we need look no further than Cuomo's own legislation:  S. 2230

Among other things, this legislation makes prior "assault weapons" prohibitions under New York law much stricter. 

For example, newly banned rifles include all semi-automatics--whether or not centerfire--that can accept a detachable magazine and have any one of a list of prohibited features. These include such ordinary accoutrements as a thumbhole or telescoping stock, a second or protruding grip that can be held by the non-shooting hand, a flash suppressor, or a pistol grip that protrudes beneath the action of the gun.  Among other things, this eliminates common AR-15s, one of the most popular and fastest-selling rifles in the U.S.  

The law also sought not only to eliminate non-conforming magazines formerly grandfathered in under New York's so-called "large capacity" magazine ban, it sought to eliminate the ability of New Yorker's to load their 10-round magazines (the legal limit) with more than seven rounds.  (Fortunately, the load limit was recently invalidated by a federal judge, who described it as "arbitrary" and unjustified and who noted it could "disproportionately affect[] law-abiding citizens").

In other words, the firearms Cuomo considers "extremist" are amongst the most popular firearms with law-abiding Americans.  In fact, numbers of all of the firearms and magazines that Cuomo has advocated banning have risen to all-time highs.  Americans now own about 100 million handguns and millions of "assault weapons."  Americans are buying in unprecedented numbers everything that Cuomo wants to ban.  Thus, considered in light of the preferences of ordinary Americans throughout the country, Cuomo himself is the extremist outlier.

Nevertheless, if you are a New Yorker who lawfully owns one of these firearms--which is still possible in limited circumstances under Cuomo's current New York law--or if you even support the right of law-abiding citizens to own them, Gov. Cuomo has reserved a large dose of contempt for you and your ilk, says you are an extremist, and claims you "have no place in the state of New York."

Predictably, in the face of the outrage and disbelief that have greeted his comments, Cuomo has tried to back-off their clear and unmistakable meaning, but what is done is done.  His words--to say nothing of the imperial way he wields the authority of his office--should serve as a warning to all New Yorkers, and indeed all Americans, who are determined to think for themselves and not simply toe whatever party line is fed to them by public officials.  If attitudes like Cuomo's are left unchecked, free-thinking Americans may indeed conclude that New York has little to offer them.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.