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.

Alex Hammond


The writer is Waddington town supervisor and the Democratic nominee for assemblyman of the state’s 116th District.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(25) comments


I like the safe act, limiting guns to a few bullets does no harm, but will hopefully slow down "junior" when he steals daddy's gun to go shoot up a school. Thinking you are going to stop tyranny by owning an AK does not work in practice. The Germans merely had to line up a few women and kids, start shooting them, and the guns were turned over rather quickly. Reasonable gun laws are very similar to reasonable speeding laws, you may be able to drive 85, but some ninny will wind up killing himself.


Great letter.

Charlie McGrath

The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting. Its purpose was to allow the citizens the ability to oppose tyranny if it ever showed itself again. It is number two on the list of importance. The most basic instinct is security and protection of one's life and their family. None of us born here has ever lived under tyranny. Talk to those who have escaped from communist/socialist countries. Nothing scares those in power more than the armed citizen. Democrats answer is always to pass more laws that restrict the power of the citizens. Government gets its power from the citizens. Not the other way around. When the government and police are the only ones allowed to be armed they believe we will be safer. The AR-15 is just a semi-automatic rifle but it looks more dangerous than a Remington 742 semi. Once the AR is restricted then all other semi-automatic weapons will follow. Tyranny by 1000 cuts.


[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Its a slippery slope (covered with grease).


You do realize that slippery slope is the actual name of a logical fallacy, right?


Almost one hundred percent of firearm used in this country since becoming a nation has not been used to protect oneself from(tyranny) the Government. It has been used on each other in Schools, work places, our homes etc. Some might say how about Ruby Ridge, Waco , they represent a very small fraction of what some call government tyranny that has happened in this country.

Charlie McGrath

The mere existence of firearms is the "use" that has kept tyranny from happening. We haven't had to "use" them because the government elites know that the attempt to seize power would fail. What do you think would happen if firearms were only in the hands of police and soldiers? Examples exist all over the world.


The mere existence of firearms is the "use" that has kept tyranny from happening.

There are democracies all over Europe that have low gun ownership that disprove your authoritarian fantasy. You have a very low opinion of humanity.


I continually wonder why liberal elites are always trying to alter the basics of this country when there are so many nations in Europe that are already perfect and would love to have you, KR.


What do you think would happen if firearms were only in the hands of police and soldiers?

Nobody, but nobody is advocating for taking away all weapons. If you say they are, name them. Is your argument that all citizens should have access to the same weapons as the police and military? If not, your revolution might be a short one. Once again, who declares that the government has slipped over into tyranny? Is there a leader who makes that call? This idea of fighting “government tyranny” seems more relegated to the lone wolf types or extremist conspiracy theorists. I’ll just bring up Jade Helm again in which folks like Alex Jones were saying the government was going to invade Texas. And do what, I’m not sure. Annex it and make it part of the US. You need to get a lot of folks to agree that it’s time to go to war against the government. I’m thinking long before you have enough forces they might know about it. If it’s a fantasy you enjoy and want to keep it at that no harm though, I suppose.


It's purpose was to provide for the equipping of a well regulated Militia, since that is necessary to the security of a free State. Like the text says. No need to read any more into it. There are numerous possible threats to a free State, among them tyranny, invasion, anarchy, and insurrection.


rdsouth - that's your interpretation... so you must be a member, attend meetings, carry a membership card...meeting the definition of "well regulated" BTW membership in the NRA doesn't count... or at least the National Guard..


Here’s a question I’ve had for some time. Who determines a governments is a tyranny? If 2 or 3 or even a couple hundred decide it’s a tyranny, do they then take on the government? They take on the police and National Guard and all who are on the government’s side and maybe other citizens who are? In Queensbury the local cops have an MRAP? I’m thinking police departments in northern NY are similarly well-armed.

I remember Jade Helm when Obama was supposedly “invading” Texas. If I hear someone talking tyrannical government I look for their tinfoil hat. As bad as Trump is I trust the Secret Service to remove him from office if the Electoral College (I 💕 irony) determines Biden the winner. I trust the military to follow the Constitution, not the president. Why do liberals have more faith than conservatives?


There are some good questions here. I think the only reason that people are even talking about tyranny is because they are seeing their freedom erode. We are less free now than when I was coming up in the 70s. We have a rule for everything. It never seems to go in the other direction. This then partially answers your last question. Liberals tend to lean toward centralized authority and conservatives the opposite.


KR - only CM cites tyranny...it's his and PB's recognition that leading up to Nov the results may not go in their favor... the tyranny was against England...2nd A ratified only 15 years after our independence...that was the threat... Can anyone seriously image individual citizens with firearms going against our modern armed forces??? This falls under the "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt" .. Lincoln


When I think of warriors against tyranny in the armed sense I think Tim McVeigh. I prefer warriors against government injustice like MLK and John Lewis. Going farther back to their inspiration, Jesus the Christ. These warriors went unarmed and effected real changes. Almost every owner of an assault rifle is a poseur.


I forgot to mention our high rates of children giving birth to children, abused children, and domestic violence. We need politicians who will talk about real issues. Look around you see and hear none.


Using the Upstate Downstate concept is so juvenile and used by too many local politicians to gain votes that are based on raw emotion rather than on intelligence. The SAFE ACT is not too restrictive. It is not a problem for the North Country. Alcoholism, obesity, illicit drug abuse, ignorance as a result of undereducation -these are true North Country problems we fail to deal with.




Wake up and look around. We are no more like NYC than western Iowa is like Chicago. The states who have large cities sometimes bully the country folk. Its not juvenile, its "rural thinking".


How exactly are your gun rights being infringed upon by NY State laws?


Depends on you definition of "brilliant". If it means using fear to avoid the normal 3 day waiting period for legislation, then it was brilliant in a very Democrat sort of manipulative way. In a state where it might take close to 2 years to get a pistol permit or you have to suffer through the humiliation of a judge's scrutiny who is anti-firearm all the way, this was an unnecessary limitation on a constitutional right. Fear is the currency of the left and they used it to their advantage regarding the SAFE Act.


I agree with Alex's comments...and his description of the firearms he possesses is probably common for many...including myself... What he fails to address is AR's.. and the interpretation that the 2nd A allows for the possession of any weapon of war... Few disagree that common hunting - recreation firearms are part of our culture... AR's have one use...mass killing. Only the military and law enforcement should be allowed possession.. He's avoiding that issue which is a major part of gun control...


The SAFE act is a brilliant piece of legislation, including the sacrificial parts that have been struck down. It may have passed in the dead of night, but it was a product of long development. The writer has multiple guns for hunting and a licensed pistol. If the writer had owned an AR15, perhaps for off time military marksmanship training, then that would have merely had to be registered. Following the SC decision even the magazines would have been OK. But we all have to stick with our "clubs" rather than think independently and arrive at our partisan leanings that way rather than just through the deep commitment of being a joiner.


rdsouth - well written, but it won't fly with the right wing NRA gang...and their "tyranny" and slippery slope argument.. the good news is they're in the minority now..and the NRA is imploding... gave up my membership years ago when they went wing nut right ...

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