Cuomo: Gun Law Isn’t Divisive
Armed with the latest Siena College polling information that shows across-the-board support for his gun control law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo sparred with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 radio show.
Dicker, who has been critical of the measure’s provisions that update the state’s assault weapons ban and for the way in which it was passed through the Legislature, began the interview by telling the governor the law was one of the more “divisive” in New York history.
Needless to say, Cuomo disagreed.
“It’s not divisive, it’s passion,” Cuomo said. “They’re passionate in their opposition.”
To use Cuomo’s word, the gun control law has indeed created a passionate — and negative — response from some gun owners and Second Amendment advocates. Republican Sen. Kathy Marchione has started an online petition to repeal the law, and promised to introduce legislation to reverse it.
But while protests — like ones the governor saw yesterday in Rochester — are going to common, the Siena survey of voters found more than 70 percent of New Yorkers backed limits on assault weapons, including the tightening of loopholes in the measure signed into law by Cuomo this week.
Sixty-percent of upstate voters surveyed also backed the proposal.
In the interview, Dicker disagreed with the argument that law doesn’t infringe on the rights of gun owners, noting that there’s a public protection component to firearm ownership as well.
But Cuomo said the gun control law was about “balance.
“Reasonable regulation — I understand the benefit of a high capacity magazine in the need for protection,” Cuomo said. “On the other hand, I understand the danger of a high capacity in the hands of someone who is mentally ill… I’m saying, on balance, the assault weapon is not worth the danger.”
The gun control law is the first to pass in the country since last month’s school shooting in Connecticut that left 20 children dead.
Cuomo issued a message of necessity this week to waive the required three-day waiting period for the bill, which cleared its final legislative hurdle on Tuesday with its passage in the state Assembly.
The use of the governor’s message has been criticized by good-government advocates and GOP lawmakers and has been seen by some as an attempt by Cuomo to ram the bill through the Legislature in attempt to gain first-in-the-nation bragging rights for the law.
Again, Cuomo disagreed.
He noted that the Legislature has to first ask for a message of necessity and doesn’t even have to follow one.
“On the messages of necessity, I’ve done less than Spitzer, Pataki, Paterson, I’ve done less than any other governor,” he said.
Still, Cuomo has used messages of necessity to pass through a host of complex and controversial bills, including his new Tier Six pension overhaul and a tax reform measure.
He deflects this criticism, too.
“It’s a red herring in the argument,” he said. “It’s always the opponents who argue process over substance.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 17, 2013 at 11:44 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|