As we have noted, there appears to be an issue with New York’s new gun control law. Reenactors are concerned that based on how the law is written, they could be arrested and charged for violating that law.
Now, there are real concerns here.
Luckily, the good folks on the New York Daily News editorial board are sympathetic. At least, they are if by “sympathetic” I actually mean “mocking people’s concerns.”
New York’s Sullivan Act, which regulated the concealed carry of firearms, was passed in 1911 — then invalidated in a flash this summer by a Supreme Court armed with a dangerously distorted understanding of the original meaning of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, ratified in 1791. Now groups of New Yorkers even more obsessed with the past than the six conservative justices are griping about the important laws the state passed to prevent a gun free-for-all in the wake of the June decision.
Those groups are historical reenactors. They dress up in red coats (for the British) and brown, blue and gray (for the good guys), or gray (for the Confederates) and blue (for the good guys), carry old weapons and take to parks and fairgrounds to engage in fake firefights. If you don’t mind the sound of muskets and cannons firing blanks, it’s fun enough.
But now the good folks who participate in these charades, bless their hearts, are laying down their arms for supposed fear of running afoul of state laws that ban guns in sensitive locations, which quite understandably include public parks and sports fields. Last weekend, a German Flatts reenactment was called off after the local sheriff consulted their attorneys. The village of Angelica up in Allegany County canceled a pretend battle scheduled for Sept. 23-25. We sure hope any tickets sold were fully refundable.
Ah, the old “bless their hearts.”
There’s no way you can tell me this isn’t pure mockery. I’m sorry, but that part there negates any good intentions the editorial board may claim to have.
Oh, they go on to say that Gov. Kathy Hochul said the law doesn’t apply to reenactments or reenactors, but they fail to note that the governor’s word isn’t law. I’ve seen laws interpreted very differently than the people who wrote them intended.
They do, admittedly, go on to note that vagueness in the law needs to be corrected, which I agree with, but that’s after they mock legitimate concerns of people who simply want to help educate others while having a good time themselves.
And yeah, that bothers me.
Look, that vagueness exists. There’s a reason these reenactors are concerned about the law as currently written. The editorial board could have addressed those concerns and yes, even dismissed them as groundless, all without this mocking tone over the concern.
Granted, I’m not sure there are many Daily News readers who take part in reenactment as a pastime and I’m almost positive none of the editorial board does so. It’s easy for them to mock something that probably isn’t common among their New York City readers.
Yet they fail to document any reason reenactors shouldn’t be concerned besides Hochul’s meaningless assurances.
Then again, these are people who use a firearm recreationally. They study the actual history of this nation and, as a result, a lot of people view them–right or wrong, it’s what people see–as conservatives. So, they mock and belittle because a group of people doesn’t want to risk being arrested.
They’re not belittling Hochul or New York lawmakers for being unclear in the law they literally rushed into passage. They’re not taking issue with the procedural tricks they carried out in an attempt to minimize debate–a debate that may well have pointed out these issues.
No, they save their scorn for those men and women who take time out of their day and spend thousands of their own dollars to educate and entertain people.