Governor Andrew Cuomo owns a gun. To be specific, it's a shotgun that he keeps locked up in his Westchester home. He's admitted to this; regardless, since his inauguration, he's been strident on gun control, siding with Mayor Bloomberg on the need for more regulation in Albany and Washington. And that attention ramped up after Newtown: Cuomo declared
that our national gun obsession was "fundamentally a federal matter" but "loopholes" remained in state laws.
While Obama attempts to tackle the former
, Cuomo has set out after the latter, demanding that his colleagues confront the issue head on by expanding the scope of the installed assault weapons ban.
As of now, that ban only includes semi-auto shotguns and rifles and pistols with detachable, automatic magazine clips - however, after what happened in Webster, N.Y., on Christmas Eve, it seems as if more direct attention needs to be placed on what guns are actually being sold out there. To note, the shooter in Webster owned the same gun used by Adam Lanza: a Bushmaster assault rifle.
Also, the Governor seeks another provision in Albany: limiting magazines to seven bullets a clip. If passed, it will be the strictest limit on actual bullets our nation has ever seen. And this kind of sentence is usually followed by the politics of it all: yes, there are a few people who definitely do not want to listen to the Governor.
Advancing on a stance supported by a majority
of Americans at this point, Governor Cuomo has mentioned that he sees no real reason for assault rifles in the public sphere: "I don't think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, 'I need an assault weapon to go hunting,' he told
the Daily News.
Given, but that's not a view shared by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
However, this is a group whose President is telling its 40,000 members to file complaints against gun control legislation - or, basically, anything that proliferates out of this urge for more legislation - and push for armed guardsmen in school; a view we heard all
too well from the NRA
last Friday. And, if we've learned anything from Wayne La Pierre's presser, it's that we should probably stop listening to these people for our own good.
In addition to the aforementioned proposals, Gothamist
that talks in Albany have circulated about fixing loopholes in gun-free school zone law, tightening restrictions on registering for a gun and implementing some sort of buyback program. However, the last one could be deemed DOA: the Post
that this kind of program, which works very well on a local
level, would cost the state $1 billion. And that's $1 billion that we probably do not have.
However, above all, the most important factor we have to take in account in this impending political battle is the shifting tides on this issue. As we have said before, Newtown has proven to be a tipping point (at least, conversationally) and it remains to be seen how politicians far and wide are affected by this new call to action from the voters that put and keep them in power.
With that being said, we'll hear more from the Governor next month in his State of the State address.