No public body in New York state has yet created a Second Amendment Sanctuary, but residents in two local counties this week urged their elected officials to do so.
About 70 people attended a meeting Monday of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators in Canton. And more than 300 residents showed up Tuesday for the meeting of the Lewis County Board of Legislators.
“Becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary means a locality won’t use law enforcement resources to prosecute the proposed anti-gun laws,” according to a story published Jan. 21 in the Wall Street Journal. “Whether such resolutions have any teeth depends on local officials’ resolve, but at the very least these measures are a reflection of regional sentiment on gun control.”
This idea is based to some extent on the concept of sanctuary cities. Such jurisdictions place limits on their cooperation with authorities striving to enforce federal immigration laws.
Chief among the concerns for gun rights advocates in the north country is the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013. It was rushed through the state Legislature in the middle of the night without advance notice and with little public input.
Patrick Morse of New Bremen, a gun shop owner and National Rifle Association safety trainer, told Lewis County legislators that 52 of the state’s 62 counties passed resolutions opposing the SAFE Act — and each one fell on deaf ears in Albany. It’s easy to understand why state lawmakers often tune out the voices of people from Northern New York.
The Legislature is dominated by Democratic politicians from New York City. They exhibit little knowledge or interest in what those of us from rural parts of the state believe or how we live.
“If we continue to stand idly by while our constitutional rights are being infringed, it will allow these political machines to have domestic domain over the commonwealth of America,” Wyatt Cole of Colton told St. Lawrence County legislators, according to a Watertown Daily Times story published Tuesday. “It will lead to powerful and ambitious politicians to only work for their own profit and personal gain without the unity of the people for their common interests.”
Critics of New York’s gun control measures raise valid points about the flaws in the policymaking process. These ideas may be popular in Manhattan, but they have no appeal here.
Second Amendment Sanctuary ordinances would likely not withstand court challenges. So passing them wouldn’t be wise.
But the growth in the movement is best explained by examining the arrogance of state legislators who have repeatedly ignored people from throughout New York. One-party rule in Albany is eroding trust in state government. And when that party takes its marching orders from its members in one city, the rest of us must conclude that our interests don’t matter.
These politicians believe they know better than anyone else about what’s best for us. They treat us like children who need their pontificating to maintain civility.
Good governance recognizes the rights of all constituents, not just those who keep some officeholders in power. State legislators must reconsider their rationale for passing gun laws. If they don’t acknowledge that residents in rural areas have a stake in how policies are implemented, resistance to their autocratic rule will grow more intense.