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Editorial

EDITORIAL: No good reasons offered for allowing guns on Kingsbury property

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Kingsbury Town Hall

The Kingsbury Town Board is weighing whether to let concealed carry permit holders bring their firearms onto town property.

“Why?” is the question that arises when hearing that the Kingsbury Town Board may allow people to carry concealed firearms into Town Hall and onto other town property.

Why make a change? Has any problem ever arisen in Town Hall or in a town park that could have been solved by a person with a pistol secretly tucked inside their jacket?

Good reasons were given for prohibiting firearms on town property in 2005, when the Town Board voted to ban them. (Police officers, security guards, members of the military and town employees who, as part of their job, need to carry a gun onto town property were exceptions.)

“Firearms are dangerous weapons” the 2005 law says. It mentions the danger of accidental injuries and the commission of crimes by people armed with guns.

Also mentioned is the real possibility of intimidation of town employees.

Arrayed against these very good reasons for banning guns from town property we now have … nothing. No justification has been offered for amending the 2005 law.

The whole concept of “concealed carry” is fascinating. Which is worse, if you’re a town of Kingsbury employee: Dealing with someone who is being difficult and is carrying a gun you can see or dealing with someone who is being difficult and might be carrying a gun you cannot see?

Of course, allowing people to swagger into the town’s offices with their guns on display would be intimidating for town employees. But allowing them to hide their guns under their jackets does not solve the problem. The way to put everyone’s mind at ease is to ban guns.

Why do some people feel that guns should be allowed anywhere people are? We love our dogs, but reasonable people understand your dog cannot go everywhere with you.

While dogs can be dangerous, they are nowhere near as dangerous as guns. Each year, a few dozen (30-50) people in the U.S. die from dog attacks. In 2017, almost 40,000 people died from being shot, and about 14,500 of those were homicides.

It is interesting, although part of a different argument, that New York, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, has, with Hawaii and Massachusetts, the lowest rate of gun deaths among the 50 states.

It is also interesting and also part of a different argument that the United States has a much higher gun death rate than other developed nations.

We love our guns, our guns are killing us, and that is that.

But, still, we can maintain a few common-sense restrictions, however minor. Kingsbury’s officials had the right idea in 2005 when they prohibited guns on town property except in official circumstances.

It would be a hassle, if you had a concealed carry permit, to stow your gun before entering town property. You’d have to have a locked container for it in your car, which you would also have to lock.

Or, if you knew you were making a trip to town property, you could leave the gun at home.

But carrying a lethal weapon is a large responsibility. It shouldn’t be a casual thing. If you can’t abide the hassle of stowing a gun sometimes, then you’re not ready to carry one.

On your hip or under your coat, a gun does not belong in a town playground or in the town clerk’s office. Never mind the reason, if there is one, that this amendment was suggested: The law should not be changed.

Local editorials are written by the Post-Star editorial board, which includes Ben Rogers, president and director of local sales and marketing; Brian Corcoran, regional finance director and former publisher; Will Doolittle, projects editor; and Bob Condon, local news editor.

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