Defenders of SAFE Act advocate rush to his defense after he's caught bringing a gun to school

Don’t you gun nuts understand? Dwayne Ferguson is a good and decent person trying to make his community a better place, not some ignorant gun-humper like you.*

Dwayne Ferguson spent more than a decade advocating for nonviolence and peace in the streets of Buffalo.

He was a well-known face in the movement for the SAFE Act, the state law that made carrying a gun on school property a felony. He was also a familiar presence in the hallways of the city’s Harvey Austin Elementary School, where he worked in the after-school program and mentored students.

No one imagined that on Thursday he would show up at the school in possession of a gun, touching off an hours-long lockdown, search and ultimately his arrest on two felony charges.

He was among local activists who stood with Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes last year lobbying for a law that would make possessing a gun on school property a felony. Prior to New York State’s adoption of the SAFE Act last year, in response to the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut, it was a long-established state law that guns could not be brought onto school property. The only difference was that the crime carried less punishment as a misdemeanor.

In an ironic turn of events, Ferguson was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon under that law for Thursday’s incident. The law carries a maximum sentence of up to four years in state prison.

Some gun advocates opposed to the SAFE Act have argued that the law actually makes schools less safe since law-abiding handgun owners cannot possess their weapons on school grounds, while mass murderers have never heeded laws making schools gun-free zones.

Ferguson held a New York State licensed pistol permit, but that makes no difference under the law.

These activists can’t seem to get it through their thick skulls that the restrictive laws they champion have zero effect on the criminal behavior of career criminals and gang-bangers that are responsible for the vast majority of gun crime, but only affect good a decent people like Dwayne Ferguson always imagined himself to be.

Now that he faces felony charges and the permanent loss of his own right to own a gun because of a law he championed, I wonder if he realizes how big of a mistake he has made.


* That’s called sarcasm, folks.