Nothing in NY SAFE Act will stop school shootings

In response to the recent letters in support of the NY SAFE Act, I would like to point out a few misconceptions. Defenders argue that the law makes our schools, homes and businesses safer. This is not the case, nor is it the intention of the act. Like every new law, it simply deprives us of more freedom.

First, no one has stated that the SAFE Act protects criminals. What it does is make criminals of otherwise law-abiding citizens. The items restricted under the act were banned simply because of how they look. Having a pistol grip on a rifle does not make it any more deadly – but it does make it illegal.

The law was rushed through in the middle of the night and a vote was forced while emotions were running high. In their haste to score political points, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators even overlooked exempting police from carrying their service weapons on school grounds.

Also, there is nothing in the SAFE Act that would have prevented Sandy Hook. As the recent shooting in Colorado showed, when a mentally disturbed individual decides to commit a violent act, nothing short of an armed citizen or security personnel is going to stop him. Arapahoe High School shooter Karl Pierson had a common pump shotgun, a machete and Molotov cocktails. If the SAFE Act were in place in Colorado, the armed security guard would not have been there and the situation would have been a lot worse.

Laws do not make responsible citizens. People of conscience will respect the rights of others, and criminals will do as they will regardless of the law. If Cuomo really wanted to protect us, he would not be closing crisis centers and mental health facilities. Turning people in need out onto the streets will certainly result in more tragedies.

Andrew Boyer