Thursday, February 15, 2018

An Old Gun Grabber Letter

From June 20, 2014:

Candidates’ NRA ratings not needed

Congrats to candidates Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik on the AQ ratings from the NRA. Highest rating! The NRA recently affirmed support for a group called Open Carry Texas. OCT was in the news for showing up at restaurants with assault rifles slung across their backs. It would be interesting to know if there are any questions on the test pertaining to open carry laws.

All the candidates running for representative have expressed support for the rights of hunters. I don’t believe that is where the argument is joined, though. Anyone short of a PETA member is good with that. Me? I like living in a state where I can stop for a burger and not have to worry about the posse walking in. Gives me indigestion. Paradoxically, six with guns is better than one, though.

The NRA has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the gun industry. I can’t see why anyone running for office still seeks their approval.

August 25, 2014:

In reading some of the anti-President Barack Obama letters, I get the feeling democracy is not such a popular form of government in some circles. Mr. Syrell seems to favor skipping all that impeachment folderol and going straight to the military coup. The justification for the overthrow of the president being public opinion polls and the threat to this country of, what he himself refers to as, barbaric cave-dwellers. Not sure what his strategy toward ISIS is, but since he likes polls, 74 percent of the citizenry is against putting troops back into Iraq.

On the poll thing, there were periods during President George W. Bush’s and President Ronald Reagan’s administrations when their numbers were worse than Obama’s are now. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been suggesting coups as a remedy then.

I survived eight years of their reigns, and I’m certain Mr. Syrell can survive two full terms of Clinton and Obama (barring a coup, naturally).

Also, in response to Mr. Farenell’s letter on Matt Funiciello — I like Mr. Funiciello and praise him for the many things he has done for the greater Glens Falls community. He made a statement that troubles me, though. He said, “If you don’t feel that we need to have guns to defend ourselves against tyranny, then you are not paying attention.” I’ve been paying attention for some time and prefer to put some faith in our system of government. We have enough Republicans in Congress making statements that sound a lot like that. I’d prefer we elect a moderate, sensible Democrat to replace the moderate, sensible Bill Owens.

Oct 17, 2015:


I want to join The Post-Star in commending Congresswoman Stefanik for cosponsoring legislation to reform our mental health system. I'll mention Congressman Gibson for his efforts as well. I also wanted to comment on a story that ran in Monday's paper on funding for gun violence research. The article mentioned how the Republican-led Congress, at the behest of the NRA, killed this funding. What funding the CDC has received is only on account of the White House.

In a report they managed to put together for 2013, the statistics showed 33,636 firearm deaths in the U.S. Of these, 63 percent were suicides and 33 percent were homicides. Under 2 percent were from mass shooting events. So that's fewer than 700 from incidents like Roseburg and over 21,000 that are self-inflicted. The solution suggested by the NRA after every massacre is to arm more people. Looking at the stats above makes that sound like less than a good idea.

I'd also like to point out that there have been 3,380 deaths from terrorists since 2001, mostly on 9/11, of course. There have been 406,456 deaths from firearms. How much has been spent on the War on Terror? God knows, but we do know that Congress is spending as little on research into deaths from firearms as they can get away with. Zero.

I believe most NRA members are as concerned about this as any of us. Wayne LaPierre and its leadership are in the business of selling guns and ammunition though. My campaign advice is probably worth what I'm charging, but I'd urge Mike Derrick to reject Big Gun. Having rational ideas about overcoming this scourge will absolutely put him ahead of his two rivals in our district.

June 23, 2017:


Hopefully enough time has passed so we can mention the shooting that wounded Rep. Scalise. As I write this, he is still hospitalized. We all wish him a speedy and full recovery. I also wish him and our representative a speedy change of heart.

Mr. Scalise has received $18,900 from the NRA and Ms. Stefanik, $4,000. Much has been said, in the wake of the shooting, about the lack of civility in our discourse. The NRA sells a T-shirt with an eagle clutching a rifle. The slogan is "Because you can't fist fight tyranny." Classy. We have a healthy enough system of government and a free press to prevent tyrants from taking root. It’s worked well so far and seems to still be.

Maybe it's time for Congress to make gun policy without the aid of these lobbyists for the gun industry. Would merchants of death have been uncivil? It's past time to get rid of the Dickey Amendment prohibiting funding of the CDC to reduce gun deaths. Jay Dickey himself, before he passed, called for its repeal. How about our reps doing the very least they can to address the problem? They can do it while they wait for the white puffs of smoke from the Senate chimney portending the "new and improved" AHCA.

Fortunately I got better at making sure I put these up on the blog at some point. 

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