To the editor:
Once again our fine editor, Mr. Pete Crowley, has shown his complete ignorance of a subject for which he wishes to offer us his opinion. As for Mr. Crowley's understanding of New York state and federal gun-control laws, his recent editorial shows he is completely clueless.
First NYS has already banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In fact, New York state has the toughest gun-control laws in the nation. Mr. Crowley is apparently happy that judges in New York are free to refuse to issue pistol permits even to single women who have court orders of protection from stalkers and abusive ex-husbands and -boyfriends.
Mr. Crowley's lack of understanding about an issue as important as our constitutional rights should, in and of itself, invalidate his opinion. We all know our editor is a highly intelligent man who thoroughly researches all his facts before offering his opinion. So we are left to assume that he deliberately attempted to deceive his readers on the issue of their individual rights.
While Mr. Crowley calls for tougher gun-control laws in the toughest state in the nation, he refuses to call for any restrictions on his First Amendment rights. A movie that recently went out on the Internet depicting the prophet Mohammad sparked riots worldwide that have killed far more than the deaths in Colorado. Yet Mr. Crowley has not called for any restrictions on his own precious First Amendment to prevent another anti-Islamic movie. In Syria, if the press writes an anti-government story, they shoot the editor. Pete states he doesn't think anyone should have the right to use a handgun to protect themselves; he wants a nation of helpless victims.
The Second Amendment that protects our individual right to own and carry firearms was not meant to protect hunting. Our founding fathers guaranteed our right to defend ourselves from an oppressive government, foreign or domestic, for the same reason they guaranteed freedom of the press. One only needs to witness the fight for freedom going on in the Middle East to understand our founders' wisdom.
In the Army we are trained that even the rules of engagement cannot take away every human being's inherent right of self-defense. Pete expects the law-abiding citizens of New York to surrender the means to defend our families, our nation and our very way of life.
Hunting rifles are not being used in Syria to fight tanks and helicopter gunships. At the time the Second Amendment was written, our forefathers carried the Brown Bess musket, the assault rifle of its day. I find it curious that Mr. Crowley expects the militia to defend his First Amendment rights from an oppressive government using single-shot deer rifles. I have fought three of our country's wars, and I think by now I fully understand what it takes to continue to protect Mr. Crowley's right to be wrong.
Fred Mason, U.S. Army retired