Tag Archives: gun control

One Man’s Take on Mayor Bloomberg’s Gun Control Activity

Richard Ottalagano, a retired Democrat Fulton County supervisor, is fed up with Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement that he’s going to spend $50 million to support gun control legislation. Disclosure: Supervisor Ottalagano and I have been friends since high school.

Here’s what he says:

“Many people admire and revere former NYC Mayor Bloomberg. Looking at this differently, I see a clear and present danger to all Americans. With his massive power and money, he would push his will on us…

“His stand on guns, though well-sounding, is a play on the fears of innocent people. The record shows that most gun accidents are not caused by legal gun owners.

“In New York City, a gunman was cornered in a building, gunned down by law enforcement, and seven innocent people were hit. None of the bullets came from the gunman!… I support law enforcement, so I won’t go on…

“Following Bloomberg’s media statements, . . . are we seeing 1930’s Germany again, where a powerful person swayed a nation and caused millions of deaths, and mass destruction.

“Guns are not the issue! Our Constitutional rights are! Every time a national tragedy happens, government overreacts, and American citizens lose more rights. Look at the Patriot Act, and now the SAFE Act.

“As a Democratic Committee member, half the people I represent will work against Governor Cuomo’s Bloomberg sponsored run for re-election. Upstate Democrats are disgusted by the injustices coming from Albany! Cuomo’s constant shell games no longer fool people. . .

“In 1776, the impossible happened: a dedicated group of Patriots stood together and defeated the world’s largest power. We can do this, except instead of musket and shot, we need to use voter registration cards and the vote. If the number of people who never voted were induced to vote, we would win.

“Get voter registration forms, convince others to register to vote!”

Why Comprehensive Reforms Go Bad

You don’t have to look far if you’re interested in wrap-ups detailing what the NYS Legislature and Gov. Cuomo accomplished or didn’t accomplish during the just ended legislative session. I’m not going to recap the recaps. Instead, I’m going to climb on a horse that is in major need of being ridden––why so many major legislative efforts in Albany and in Washington go bad.

Would-be politicians must being inhaling in their college polisci classes the idea that the best way to tackle a major problem is to assemble an omnibus legislative package that incorporates everything they want passed on everything remotely related to the central topic.

Take ObamaCare for example. Instead of dealing with some of the more obvious problems facing healthcare delivery piece by piece, we got a bill so massive that no one had read it when it was passed and today it is crashing under its own weight. Insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of the uninsured will remain uninsured, and billions have been wasted in the process.

Or take immigration reform. Instead of dealing with such matters as the guest worker program separately from border security, our elected officials want to load everything and anything related to immigration into one package. No wonder it’s unlikely to pass.

And, in the just ended session in Albany, we saw comprehensive gun control passed which hinders law enforcement and makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens, but how much did it do to prevent gangs and criminals from using guns? I won’t insult the intelligence of my readers by answering that question for you.

What about Gov. Cuomo’s government corruption legislation? It failed to pass because he had to inject his views on campaign finance reform into the package. So after a session during which several legislators were arrested on public corruption charges, nothing to sharpen oversight of legislators has been put in place. Gov. Cuomo’s women’s agenda failed for the same reason. He cynically threw in abortion legislation that he knew would kill the entire package.

These failures are a sign of the arrogance of political power. Men like Barack Obama and Andrew Cuomo (and those who work for them) think they are so much smarter and know so much better than anyone else what’s good for the rest of us that they can’t resist the temptation to top their legislative ice cream with large doses of castor oil.

The arrogance of these men extends to their calculation that it is better that nothing is done if they can’t get everything they want. Why? Because they believe they can gain more power politically by being able to blame their opponents for their own failures. They are confident the media and the public will absolve them of any blame.

Comprehensive reform sounds good in theory. It rarely works out that way in practice.