But wait, there are plenty of other ways to be killed. Keep the 322 deaths by rifle figure in mind. Now consider that 1,589 people were killed in 2012 by knives or cutting instruments. Also notable, 518 were killed by blunt objects, and 678 were killed by “fists, feet, etc.” Shotguns bring up the rear at 303, plus again some percentage of the unknown firearms. So, to keep our children safe, the governor targeted the second least dangerous death-inducing implement there is, based on FBI statistics. More people would be made safer if he had banned blunt objects, something, by the way, which isn’t constitutionally protected.
Ignoring that obvious problem in the governor’s logic, anti-gun advocates will argue that the SAFE act also keeps us safer by mandating that mental health professionals report anyone who might espouse suicidal tendencies to the State Police, undoubtedly so their guns can then be confiscated by the State Police. Here is where this idea runs off the rails. Gun owners love their guns. Suicidal gun owners, or borderline suicidal gun owners, also love their guns. If a gun owner is considering suicide, they now know that if they reach out to a mental health professional and try to get help for their condition, they will lose their guns. Thanks to the SAFE Act, fewer people on the borderline of mental illness or suicide will seek help. Any gun owner who is feeling suicidal is going to keep that fact to themselves, instead of getting help. How, Mr. Cuomo, does that make us safer?
Let’s make no bones about the true purpose behind the SAFE Act. Mr. Cuomo has for some time set his sights on higher office — now rumored to be that of vice president. He saw the possibility of gaining some national spotlight, plus lining up some liberal Bona Fides, for fund raising and national campaigning time, with a “Andrew Cuomo is tough on guns, so vote for the Clinton/Cuomo ticket” platform.
As they say, the devil is in the details, and the parts of the SAFE act which haven’t already been found unconstitutional either do nothing to make New Yorkers safer, or will have the exact opposite effect. We respectfully ask our state legislators to repeal the SAFE Act now, and go to work on some measures that might have a chance of doing something other than making the situation worse.