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EDITORIAL: Gov. Andrew Cuomo misused power to get gun bill passed

2013-01-16T20:59:00Z EDITORIAL: Gov. Andrew Cuomo misused power to get gun bill passed Glens Falls Post-Star
January 16, 2013 8:59 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo got your attention this week. We’re pretty certain of that.

We’re hoping the hotly debated, highly volatile issue of gun rights, which has worked so many of our readers into a blind rage, will also make you mad as hell about how this governor does business and not want to take it anymore.

Many of you are not happy about the new gun law passed in Albany, and if you watched the proceedings carefully, you should be even more angry over how it was done.

Ever since the Newtown shootings a month ago, we’ve taken the position it is time to have a conversation about a variety of issues, none of which single-handedly would have prevented the Newtown shootings, but together might further our advancement as a civilized culture and lessen violence in the future.

Over the past few weeks, we talked about the media sensationalizing the news, the effect of video games on our kids, school security and, finally this week, finding the right balance between gun rights and gun control.

Although New York has a constitutional amendment that requires a three-day public review of a new law, there was no such thing when it came to the new gun control measures.

The state Senate received copies of the 78-page law at about 11 p.m. Monday and was asked to vote on it shortly afterward. Using a loophole in the legislative process called a “message of necessity,” the governor was able to suspend the three-day vetting process, limit public debate to a minimum and force a vote before most of the legislators could even read all 78 pages.

He said he did this because gun violence constituted an emergency, requiring fast action by the Legislature.


Or, words far stronger than we are allowed to use here.

This was the 35th time since taking office Gov. Cuomo used a “message of necessity” to ram through legislation.

We hope you are paying attention, because this is becoming standard operating procedure in Albany.

We wrote about this at length in March when Gov. Cuomo traded the current gerrymandered legislative districts for a constitutional amendment on casino gambling and some much-needed pension reforms.

Gov. Cuomo may be getting things done, but we are opposed to how he is doing it.

We said then, and we repeat it now, this is an obvious misuse of power.

We believe this time it is far worse and the issue of gun rights needed to be debated openly and at length, and each member of the Legislature needed to have time to review every detail of the new law.

This is important stuff and the details are important.

The people should have been allowed to have their say.

So while you are signing petitions, and writing your assembly representative and state senator about your opposition to the new gun bill, you might want to mention the misuse of the “message of necessity” by the governor needs to end.

This was not an emergency.

But the governor’s abuse of power is quickly becoming one.

Local editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Rick Emanuel, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle and citizen representative Robert Sledd.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. ravendakclaw1
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    ravendakclaw1 - January 20, 2013 9:46 am
    Remove Andrew Cuomo from Power Now, Albany has continually violated your 5th amendment rights with its Department of Motor Vehicle DWI laws and now your 2nd amendment rights which clearly states (shall not be infringed upon.) The creation of the second amendment has very little to do with interpretation, it clearly states that it (is) there to defend the constitution against threats from Government and its not up for discussion or debate...
  2. 789household
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    789household - January 17, 2013 6:03 pm
    I think you need to begin dealing with facts, not emotions on this issue. First, NY State already had some of the strictest laws on firearms in the country. For examplle, so-called "Large capacity magazines" are 20 and 30 rounds, and drums of up to 90. They were already illegal in New York State. New York took over for the Federal "assault weapon" law in 1994 when it expired nationally, and made it into a State law. The magazine size has been limited to 10 rounds for years. The new law limits magazine capacity to 7 rounds, which really means 5 - No one manufactures a 7-round magazine for rifles; only in increments of 5 - there are a couple of handguns with 7 round magazines, but most of the common ones have 8 or more. In effect, unless manufacturers change their products, after the first year, the majority of commercial firearms will be outlawed in New York. -And none of that addresses the Constitutional isssue of Second Amendment, which 72% of the US population supports.
  3. loneoak
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    loneoak - January 17, 2013 3:48 pm
    It's called due process and without it why not just let those in Albany do whatever they want. Are you afraid of open debate that will get facts out about issues? You can't count any news media today so even the more reason to be able to see the bill read the bill and contact your representatives about the contents of the bill. If they are interested in stopping carnage then lets look at what happened in these scenarios and sddress them not just pointing at gun control. The reporting on Newtown was so wrong news stations had to go back and address the misinformation. Look at the facts Illionos toughest gun control in Nation, Illionois highest amount of gun violence in Nation those are facts. Discussion needs to be about the whole picture not one aspect that has been proven not to work time and time again. Passing this law will not keep guns from those who have no respect for the law.
  4. hdekhtereva
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    hdekhtereva - January 17, 2013 3:42 pm
    I could not agree more with this editorial. Bravo ! No matter which side of an issue you are on, you should be concerned about this folks. This is no way for our government to do things, and it is looking like it is fast becoming common practice. Write to your representatives. All of them. Demand action now.
  5. albe71
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    albe71 - January 17, 2013 11:48 am
    ..."that government of the people,for the people and by the people shall not perish....' What occurred in Albany this week was none of that. What happened in Albany was government by a chosen few forcing unneeded laws on a peaceful and law abiding population forwarding an agenda with an certain endgame that only the chosen few know.
  6. Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike'
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    Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike' - January 17, 2013 11:33 am
    “Gov. Cuomo Stopped Rush to buy Assault” Weapons”
    The editorial board for the ‘Post Star’ has taken a rather myopic view and really sounds like a mouthpiece for the NRA in this editorial assault on Gov. Cuomo. The passing of 72 hours to debate legislation which was already a forgone conclusion to pass in the Assembly, and Senate would have allowed a ginned up public, drunk on NRA propaganda to buy thousands more Assault weapons and High Capacity Clips. The Governor himself said that was what spurred him on to get the NY Safe Act passed as quickly as possible. The paper’s Editorial failed to mention that, and also that the NRA has spent a fortune on misrepresenting, ‘Gun Control’ measures as an assault on the 2nd Amendment. When instead Cuomo is really attempting to help stop the carnage that’s killing innocents in NYS all over America, because Assault Weapons are in the hands of criminally insane individuals.

    Mike Flynn 'Middle Class MIke'
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    IWILLNOTCOMPLY - January 17, 2013 11:21 am
    Mr. Editor - I complain about when you get it wrong in my opinion but I will also say when you get it right and you a 100% right here. The Gov. just like the Pres. are over stepping their constitutional power and trying to make laws they have no right to do. This LIE by Cuomo saying its a emergency is just that a LIE. He knew if this went the LEGAL way and people saw the power grab he wanted it never would have made it. We all know this bill will do nothing for crime as all the endless other laws that don't get to heart of the problem. This was done to make him look good for running for president in 2 years. The big question with this stupid law is how much is it going to cost and where is the money coming from, NY is already broke and yet all he knows is to spen more money. Maybe we should start a recall effort like the unions did in Wisconsin, King Cuomo is power happy.
    This is what I have been asking for more balanced news, not 1 sided. Thank you
  8. 5756917
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    5756917 - January 17, 2013 10:32 am
    Didn't all you guys just come out and support NY's gun control measure? I know Doolittle did. Anyhow I totally agree with you. Prison sentences, long, long prison sentences for crimes committed with guns as Mark Rubio proposed is the answer. Automatically 10 more years added to the crime when a gun is involved. It's the only thing criminals respond to. More help for the mentally ill is also needed. Any infringement on the second amendment rights to bear arms will be overturned by the Supreme Court.
  9. mooseriver
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    mooseriver - January 17, 2013 7:49 am
    I agree with some of the new gun control measures and others I believe the governor went a little overboard on. I have been thinking of moving back to ny from florida but now I`m not so sure.
  10. loneoak
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    loneoak - January 17, 2013 7:21 am
    Exactly right, we the people deseve better than what we are getting in Albany. Three days was too long to waith for a vote, oh yea he had to beat the Prsident with his legislation. This bill was 78 pages long and most probably did not have time to read it no less digest the loos of freedoms in this bill. There is a lot more to this bill than gun bans, read the entire bill and you will see like all bills it includes a lot more than what is sddressed by the media headlines. A sad day for law abiding citizens who never were given a chance to promote their side of the story.
  11. Franko
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    Franko - January 17, 2013 12:39 am
    What was witnessed can only be described as the 9/11 response to a problem. Infringe on civil liberties while cramming erroneous legislation through the senate.
  12. dot2dot
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    dot2dot - January 16, 2013 11:54 pm
    I want gun control but even I was disappointed the Governor (or should I say Presidential Candidate) would so blatantly abuse his power. Any bill pushed through as fast as this one was will have many 'errors' that will later have to changed. And why no discussion? To me it clearly was not the urgency of the need for a gun bill. No, the urgency was to beat President Obama to the punch. Yes, it is nice to see our State government actually accomplish something. But is our Governor really running our State... or running a poorly camoflaged campaign for national office? I think the recently released numbers showing huge increases in political contributions are very revealing. From this point on he is auditioning for his next job? President? Vice President? Secretary of ?????
  13. Report Abuse
    - January 16, 2013 11:38 pm

    People's sovereignty is, in reality, limited largely to a voting booth. Will "TPS" be joining in lawsuits against NYs?

    Here, for what we recognize as unusual, the debate's shortened & law's made. It's not like the issue materialized mysteriously outta' some fog. It's long been a big deal, especially among the, "I got my Const (gun) rights" crowd, & the NRA.

    I'd not accuse editors of placating-for-profit an identifiably CONSERVATIVE-leaning subscription base w/ "TPS" outrage over Cuomo/legislative action/method here.

    Is it possible the DC gun lobby's well-funded efforts to protect profits for the gun makers will prevent or postpone efforts at reform until & past the next Newtown? Yep.

    Of course the gun lobbyists in DC will be, outraged at a rush-to-judgement call as editors suggest here re: the Governor. The NRA'LL also wave some patriotic 2nd Amend, Const. rights flag to play for angry Joe 6-pks.

    There IS a case. Laws can't/won't halt carnage. Misuse of power? Nah.


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