Senator Seward has recently rejected even the consideration of new laws regarding guns. He thinks that increasing penalties for illegally using guns will solve our problems. He goes on to say that, “Only law-abiding citizens are hampered by current gun restrictions.” His position makes no sense. If gun laws only hamper law abiding citizens, then what purpose would raising penalties serve? Criminals are already ignoring the laws.
Let us be clear, hunters have the right to own guns, and the right to use them for hunting. All sides agree on that. But let us also recognize that there is a problem in this country with gun violence. The guns in the recent Wisconsin and Colorado massacres were bought legally, not on the black market. The often repeated talking points, on both sides of the political aisle, have brought us to a point where gun crimes and deaths are rampant and increasing and no one has the political courage to do anything about it.
It is time for politicians such as Mr. Seward to stop spouting the same old tired phrases for purely political purposes. It is time for reasonable people on both sides to actually talk together and find ways to protect lives and Second Amendment rights. When I am elected to the Senate, I will go beyond the talking points and initiate such a dialogue.
Town of Dryden
Leib is running for New York State Senate’s 51st Senate District.