Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed gun-control legislation this Wednesday aimed at improving school safety.
One bill (S.101A/A.1715) bans “any person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard” from carrying guns on school grounds and the other (S.2449/A.2685) creates standards and best practices for gun “buyback” programs across the state.
“The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we’re expanding New York’s nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children,” said Cuomo in a statement.
“These measures will help slow the proliferation of guns by keeping unneeded firearms out of school zones and helping to ensure unwanted or illegal guns don’t fall into dangerous hands,” the governor, a Democrat, continued.
Assembly Member Judy Griffin, who introduced the bill banning teachers, staffers, and administrators from carrying in schools, thanked Cuomo.
“Arming teachers with guns can only lead to additional tragedies,” explained Griffin. “I was proud to introduce this legislation in the New York State Assembly and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing it into law so that the children of New York State will be able to learn in a safe environment without the threat of unintended consequences from a gun in their classroom.”
Right, arming school personnel “can only lead to additional tragedies…” except for that time that armed principal in Pearl, Mississippi, detained a campus gunman who stabbed his mother to death and murdered two students with a rifle. One can argue that “additional tragedies” weren’t created but avoided in that scenario.
Look, arming teachers is a controversial response to school safety. But the decision to do so should be left up to the school districts — not the state. Not every school can afford SROs, security guards and cops to patrol the campus full-time. What does Cuomo say to these economically disadvantaged districts?
Fundamentally, if everyone agrees that armed responders should be at schools to protect children does it really matter if they wear a badge or a pocket protector so long as they are sufficiently trained?
Opponents of armed teachers get too caught up in traditional labels and roles and forget that not all teachers have the same personal history, interests, and skills. Some may be military veterans, some may be 3-Gunners, some may be hunters and outdoorsmen (and women). If given the opportunity, some may be more than willing to train to become a school’s armed responder.
What’s the problem with that approach? Again, especially if we all agree that some form of armed resistance is better than no armed resistance at all. What seems obvious to everyone but Cuomo and his fellow Dems is that limiting a school’s options as to how it can harden its campus against armed psychos doesn’t make a school safer. It makes it more vulnerable to tragedy.
“Gun buyback programs work. Providing people with a no-questions-asked opportunity to turn their guns in has helped dramatically reduce the number of legal and illegal guns on our streets, making our communities and our schools safer,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal.
“New York already has the strongest gun laws on the books, and standardizing gun buyback programs statewide will help ensure that each county is implementing proven methods to get the most guns off our streets,” she added.
Rosenthal is lying. Gun “buybacks” are a joke (Government never owned those guns so “buyback” is a misnomer). They really don’t work. At these events, a bunch of people show up to turn in junk guns — that more often than not don’t work and, therefore, have little value — for free gas cards or small monetary stipends. This isn’t “saving lives,” it’s wasting taxpayer dollars!
SUNY Buffalo State associate professor Scott W. Phillips actually did the research into buybacks.
“Does it work? No,” Phillips told The Buffalo News in 2017. The professor looked at city crime data in relation to five gun buybacks held between 2007 and 2012 and found no evidence — zero evidence — that they reduce crime.
“Should they keep doing it? I wouldn’t bother wasting their time,” he said, noting that there is no academic research that indicates buybacks curb suicides or accidental shootings
What’s fascinating is that Assemblywoman Rosenthal claims that buybacks “dramatically” reduce the number of guns on our streets. Again, there is zero evidence that this is true. In fact, as Phillips explained, the majority of the guns sold are rarely the types used in crimes, i.e. long guns, and, as mentioned, many of them no longer function.
The Fun Continues
Cuomo also signed bills this week that ban 3-D printed firearms and bump stocks, increase waiting periods from three to 30 days and force gun owners to secure all firearms in a residence if anyone under the age of 16 has the potential to access them.
“Governor Cuomo’s answer to failed restrictive gun laws are more new gun laws that prevent people from being able to protect themselves, their family and property from violent criminals,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in an email to GunsAmerica.
“The real danger to people in New York is his appointment of his cronies to parol boards that let violent offenders out of prison early,” Gottlieb continued.
“Because of Cuomo backed anti-gun rights policies in New York people are moving in droves to less gun restrictive states like South Carolina, Florida and Texas where they can have the means to self-defense,” he concluded.
Gotta love New York! Right?