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Gun law divides rural, urban New Yorkers

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Every so often in the progression of change for the future an issue emerges that clearly illustrates the cultural differences of the typical New Yorker. In today’s rhetoric the NYSAFE Act has emerged as such an issue.

Rural New Yorkers are familiar with guns. We do not feel threatened by gun ownership. It simply is a part of our lifestyle. Urban and suburban New Yorkers see guns as violent and gun owners as wild, crazies and extremists. Rural New Yorkers feel personally and culturally threatened. The act has been politicized crossing party lines based on geographic location.

The emotional backlash against Governor Cuomo is intense among many rural New Yorkers. It is disappointing that the role of the New York state Senate (final vote 43-18) and Assembly (104-43) is barely referred to by protesters. Basic checks and balances gives a governor the power to propose legislation but a majority vote is needed to pass. A minor point lost in the discussion.

Personally, I favor this act overall. There are parts that obviously need adjusting as there are with every legislation. Those changes will be made, and it is up to our legislative representatives to initiate and support those changes. If there are parts that are unconstitutional then the protocol to challenge in the court is the people’s right and duty. It is the court’s responsibility to examine and make a clear judgment. Again a successful process of checks and balances that has been the rule for over 200 years.

In the end, as a rural New Yorker, I resent the condescending viewpoint of my urban/suburban cousins. We are not ignorant, unthinking crazies.

I ask that all listen to others respectfully. We do live in different worlds. So in my opinion, this issue will not go away until the people have had their say, the legislature will work through problems they believe need fixing and the courts have ruled.

Sallie Brothers

Norfolk

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