To The Reader's Forum:
Hunters were not silenced by lack of an organized voice as you depicted in your February 7 editorial. They were silenced by a Governor and opportunistic politicians who violated their own rules to pass flawed legislation after midnight avoiding the customary three day review rule. Representatives had less than one hour to read the 25,000 word document before voting. Organizations representing hunters had no opportunity to be heard.
Your editorial depicts hunters as simple people hunting to put food on the table. If that was the case they would simply buy their food at less cost. Hunting is only a part of the life of hunters. Their main concern, like most New Yorkers, is the safety and welfare of their family. That may be the reason that the NRA is five million members rather than the 80 million gun owners. However, hunters do make up a majority of the membership in the NRA that you depict as extremist.
Is it extremist to want to protect our school children in the same manner as we protect other segments of society? Is it extremist to allow law abiding citizens the same means of self-defense as might be used against them and that police use? Is it extremist to ask our government to obey and enforce existing laws? Is it extremist to provide the primary safety instruction used by hunters, gun owners and law enforcement? What are the "extremist stances taken by the NRA"?
Recent polls show that the NRA is the single most effective organization that will protect our second amendment freedoms. In New York State the NRA has designated the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) to be the lead agency in cleaning up this flawed legislation. NYSRPA has filed a claim in the State Supreme Court, against the State, saying that the SAFE Act violates fundamental constitutional rights. Without change the law will consider most commonly used self-defense personal carry pistols illegal as well as arms used by law enforcement. A technicality in the law prevents police from legally entering school grounds if they are carrying a weapon.
The second amendment is not about hunting. It is about our unalienable right to keep and bear arms that shall not be infringed upon. Any New Yorker who cares about that right of self-protection should join NYSRPA today to help rein in extremist politicians.