Ineffective SAFE Act ought to be repealed

Rod Watson was right on the mark when he wrote his column on the futility and ineffectiveness of the SAFE Act. The law affects only the honest gun owners because criminals do not obey laws. That is why they are called “criminals.” Does a criminal bother to limit the number of rounds he carries in his illegally carried gun? And who knows how much ammunition is necessary in a confrontation if one is attacked by a gang?

The SAFE Act does nothing that would prevent, or even hinder, a person determined to commit a mass murder. The incident in Greece is proof of that. The law affects only the honest gun owner who does not commit crimes. If the writer criticizing Watson had bothered to check the statistics, he would find out that those with a pistol permit have one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the state.

The “crime” of having more than seven cartridges in a magazine is arbitrary and capricious and any person of intelligence would have a difficult time convincing reasonable people that this should be a misdemeanor. In fact, under certain circumstances, the penalty for having more than seven rounds in the magazine is the same as committing adultery or a degree of child abuse. This is hardly a comparable crime.

A law should focus on the criminal misuse of firearms, not making an honest, law-abiding person a criminal for the possession of a gun with cosmetic features that Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t like. Who believes that a bayonet lug on a rifle makes it more dangerous than one that doesn’t have one? It is simple logic that what makes any tool a weapon is the person holding it. Criminals kill more people with knives, blunt trauma and personal weapons than they do with rifles of any kind.

The law is unreasonable, and ineffective for combatting gun violence. It should be repealed.

Budd Schroeder

Board Chairman, SCOPE