I feel it important to go on the record regarding guns and the Second Amendment.
All too often, this issue is painted as falling along clear partisan lines, but the truth is far less clear cut.
Boiling a position down to the NRA’s multiple-choice questionnaire can oversimplify and confuse the issue.
I speak with north country residents to understand how these laws actually affect their lives and our communities.
I have been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment for my entire life.
I own three long rifles, two shotguns and a handgun for personal protection.
I am a member at the Norfolk Rod and Gun Club.
And since taking my hunter’s safety course at Massena Rod and Gun Club, I’ve hunted small and large game every year.
My dad taught me gun safety at a young age.
And when I swore my oath to the U.S. Constitution and joined the U.S. Army, safety and training were our top priority.
Now as a National Guard officer, I trust my soldiers to handle their firearms.
I think it is time we send a representative to Albany who will work to rewrite gun laws in this state to be more region-friendly and to keep us safe.
I have looked at students in my classroom with the horror of imagining another Sandy Hook.
Knowing that any of those children could become a victim of random gun violence is a haunting fear we can’t ignore.
After Sandy Hook, the SAFE Act reflected an honorable desire to respond to the epidemic of school shootings.
I believe it was imperfect and failed to respect the range of communities across our state.
While I support keeping our communities and children safe, I would have opposed the SAFE Act in the form that passed in the dark of night.
As your representative, I will always support the right to keep and bear arms and oppose blanket legislation that imposes urban sensibilities on communities like ours.
I would not deny anyone who has passed a proper background check, who has adequate training and who is of sound mind the right to own a firearm.
We need to pass laws that make sense for the north country, not just downstate or New York City.
It’s time for a change.
The writer is Waddington town supervisor and the Democratic nominee for assemblyman of the state’s 116th District.