Dear Senator Young:
Judging by your web site, you have been on the right side of many issues, and I commend the time and attention you spend on public service.
There is one thing, however, that appalled me, and that is your support of legislation repealing the SAFE Act. I am virtually certain that you have not met the families of the victims in Newtown, Conn., to explain your position to them. You haven't seen the bodies of six-year-old children so riddled with bullet holes that photos of them could not be published. You have not talked with the families of the young and dedicated teachers who gave their lives trying to protect those bright young students. And I am certain that you have not considered the 5,000-6,000 deaths since that time by gun violence - nor the several hundred people killed over the last weekend in Chicago alone.
If Congress is too much under the thrall of the NRA and the gun manufacturers to do anything to correct the travesty that is our non-policy regarding guns, then the state Legislature will have to step up to the job, and I commend Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for taking a strong stand to meet their responsibility.
And please, do not throw the Second Amendment at me. Neither you nor I and certainly not Wayne LaPierre and his ilk are competent to interpret the Second Amendment. Only a court of competent jurisdiction can do that. The Second Amendment does not sit glowering over the rest of the Constitution, and the country. It does not trump the rest of the Constitution. It is subject to interpretation like every other part. Contrary to what Mr. LaPierre has publicly stated, using the Second Amendment to justify the maiming or death of even one human being - child or adult - is not in any way justified.
So I am asking you now to withdraw your sponsorship of this unfeeling, unintelligent bill, and show your constituents that you stand for intelligent action to protect our citizens from further gun violence. If you fail to do this, you will have aligned yourself with the few U.S. Senators who insulted 90 percent of Americans who desperately want some sanity brought to this horrible stain on our civilization.
Very truly yours,
Samuel C. Alessi