Gun-control advocates refute pro-gun arguments

(Photo by Will Dendis)

(Photo by Will Dendis)

A small but dedicated group of gun law reform advocates recently held a strategy session at the Inquiring Mind bookstore in Saugerties.

“Our goal is not to propose legislation, but to support it,” said Martin Keith, who along with his wife, Euphrosyne Bloom, both of West Saugerties, organized and moderated the meeting. The primary item on the agenda was just that: putting aside nuances of reform/control laws in favor of forming a unified front in support of generally “reasonable” mandates. “Obviously there is a diversity of opinions and we have to respect that,” said Keith. “But what we can do most is support the people that are already in a position to make changes.”

“There’s going to be legal challenges; a need for funding and support,” said Bloom. In reference to Governor Cuomo’s control package, she added, “Right now we have the strongest gun laws in the country and we need to protect that. So in a way, New Yorkers have a very important role to play.”


Keith and Bloom are members of the progressive group MoveOn, whose stated mission is to mobilize people across the country “to fight important battles in Congress and help elect candidates who reflect our members’ values.”

Bloom hopes to “parlay this into building up an Ulster County Citizens Against Gun Violence” organization—a tentative title, she notes—“a group that tries to get our voices heard in Ulster County.” However, by the end of the meeting, the territory of interest had expanded beyond the county, to the 19th Congressional District and the entire region.

The meeting focused on concrete acts individuals can take, such as signing petitions, mailing letters and practicing tactics for defusing pro-gun arguments. Bloom and Keith also advocated donating money to organizations like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “It’s kind of like our NRA,” said Bloom. “We need to be part of a group, too.”

“People don’t always know how to channel their energy into something effective,” said Keith. “We’re hoping to give people some resources and ideas that they can implement in the limited time they have to do something effective.”

At the suggestion of a member of the discussion, Keith pulled up the link to a petition on his laptop and encouraged those in attendance to sign. Some did, others already had.

A packet was handed out that included copies of unsigned letters to Congressman Gibson and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. Bloom and Keith encouraged those in attendance to sign those letters and mail them in. Bloom said that in politics, as a rule of thumb, every letter received is estimated to represent the interests of 1,000 people.

The letters urge their recipients to support federal gun reform, emphasized the importance of keeping schools safe and noted that the issue will be closely watched by voters in the coming months.

Keith said Gibson is a self-identified “Tea Party” Republican, whose website identified his opposition to gun reform legislation. “It’s important that he be galvanized on this issue as well. He’s in an important position.”

While generally more optimistic about Schumer and Gillibrand, Keith noted that they might face economic pressure in a state that houses large firearms manufacturers like Remington, which provide jobs and tax revenue.

“Don’t only write to representatives,” said Bloom, “but to newspapers—a letter to the editor.”

There are 5 comments

  1. Derek

    To refute the refutations:

    Re: Cars

    Your right to operate a vehicle “without infringement” isn’t codified in the Constitution. Apples and oranges.

    Re: Newtown

    The refutation there is a nice dodge and all, but misses the true point which is that Democrats *are* standing on the graves of the Newtown victims and using them as a bully pulpit.

    Re: Declaration of Independence

    [a] The Declaration of Independence is not in any way the basis of law in the United States. It is a declaration of war against Britain. The Constitution – which includes the 2nd Amendment – is, in fact a basis of law in this country.
    [b] YOUR nebulous undocumented right to “feel safe” doesn’t trump the codified right of gun owners to have uninfringed keeping and bearing of arms.

    Re: mental health system

    Really? The United States is the only place in the world with shootings? How about those kids in Norway?

  2. NYVoter

    So , the Liberals think they Finally “defeated” the great Evil NRA (those money making capitalists) and showed the NY Gun Owners how fast our rights can be taken away.

    You can enjoy it, for now …but when the party’s over , you should read up on how prohibition worked out.
    Then think about the 100’s of Thousands/millions of unregistered Rifles/Shotguns/Pistols with Hi-Capacity Mags that will now be worth a fortune on the Black Market.
    They were safer in Law abiding Citizens hands ..that’s history now.
    They’ll come in from small towns and cities across the State ..and all end up on NYC Streets . Why the Cities you ask ?
    The major Drug Dealers/Gangs & Criminals are all there , and they can afford to pay top dollar ..and soon they’ll have the latest in Hi-tech Assault Weapons to chose from.
    Cuomo did away with the Grandfather Clause that allowed us to keep the Hi-Cap magazines we legally owned ..the State is now mandating that we sell them out of State.
    NY has no idea what people own so , imagine how many of those Magazines will also end up on the Streets ,with those Criminals.
    And you were all so paranoid about the NRA & “Gun Nuts” because you had nothing else to blame , no understanding of Firearms or Laws alreadt in force you target us ?
    How will you explain the jump in NY Crime rate stats next year ?
    Hey ! you got what you wanted
    Invite Soros and , Enjoy the party

  3. Chris Acosta

    In answer to Derek:

    Read the entire Second Amendment not just the part you like.

    It says:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    ‘Well Regulated’ gives the Federal Government the power to regulate guns whether you like it or not. Even Judge Scalia agrees on that point!

    If you had any knowledge of history you would know that the English Army would augment it’s ranks by recruiting ‘Militia’, from the districts in England, that was made up of private citizens who owned and were trained in the use of ‘arms’. That is where the Second Amendment has it’s roots. The ‘Militia’ also augmented the Colonial Army in the Revolution so our Founders saw the value in having a citizen ‘Militia’ but they wanted it to be ‘well regulated’ not an unruly mob of people who would be of no value to the military should the need arise.

    In essence it is Derek and the NRA that want to rewrite the Second Amendment not the people interested in a ‘well regulated Militia’. The Second Amendment is not Carte Blanche on gun ownership.

    According to the latest FBI Crime Report the South,(which has the most lenient gun laws), has 41% of the violent crime in the US. The Northeast,(which has the strictest gun laws), has 16% of the violent crimes. Gun control works regardless of what the gun lobby wants everyone to believe!

  4. Mary

    No one is addressing the lack of better mental health care facilities? That is why we are seeing more and more mass murderers. They have no where to turn to get help. The law also was changed I think around 1980 hat ONLY mentally ill patients can admit themselves and no one else. We all know that they don’t think they are mentally ill. The old law stated that a parent/family member, together with two professional psych drs. could evaluate a patient and based on their dianosis could have the person either committed for further treatment in a mental facility till better or recommend medication to take at home. If we returned to that practice we will see less and less mass murderers. Taking them off the street helps them and saves society needless heartache losing people to mentally ill rampages.

  5. Chris

    I’ll bet Bloom is exaggerating his experience with firearms. I know someone who spoke exactly like him. When we took this guy out hunting someone had to bring an extra shotgun to loan the guy because he did not own a gun at the time, he stuck his finger in the triggers all the Time, had no muzzle awareness, and ended up shooting my buddy in the hand (luckly with birdshot and at a distance). Yet every “extremist gun nut” I’ve gone shooting with handled their firearms safely. Bloom and his following are nothing but a bunch of posers at best.

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