Controversial NY SAFE Act is a step in the right direction

Controversial NY SAFE Act is a step in the right direction

Driving to and from Buffalo State every day, I’ve noticed a sudden increase in anti-SAFE Act propaganda. I saw a few stickers and signs around right after the law was passed, but in recent weeks these things have boomed.

At first I was confused, but then I realized how close we are to election season. Oh, the wonderful world of politics.

Still, it got me thinking: Why on earth is there so much opposition to a law designed to make it harder for people to buy deadly weapons?

Deadly weapons — that’s what guns are. They exist for the sole purpose of killing things.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with hunting, and I shudder to think of our police force going unarmed. But there is no reason for the average citizen to be walking around with a loaded weapon.

The SAFE Act doesn’t even stop most people from owning a gun — it just makes the process of getting one slightly more complicated, with the tradeoff that it will be more difficult for dangerous people to buy guns.

The SAFE Act broadens the definition of an assault weapon and creates a statewide registry for them. If you legally obtained such a weapon before the law passed, you can keep it, provided you register it in the state’s new database of assault weapons.

It also makes private sellers and ammunitions dealers responsible for conducting background checks on all of their customers. This is just another safety measure to ensure that dangerous people don’t get their hands on deadly weapons.

Mental health professionals are now required to report to a mental health director when they believe a patient has made a credible threat to another. If the patient owns a gun, it can be taken away from them.

The law also requires gun owners to renew their registration every five years. Some states make you renew your driver’s license more often than that.

The only part of this law that I have a problem with is the new magazine limit. My issue with it has nothing to do with civil rights. Rather, restricting people to carrying seven bullets just doesn’t seem to have any practical purpose.

The SAFE Act is by no means perfect, but it shouldn’t be repealed. Reformed, perhaps. But not repealed.

Other than seven-bullet limit, the bill’s provisions seem to be common sense. They all basically amount to making it more difficult to buy guns in the state. It shocks me that the SAFE Act is the strictest gun control law in the country.

And let’s face it, our country has a big gun control problem.

According to a 2007 study by the Small Arms Survey, the United States had a higher rate of homicide by firearm than any other developed country.

Canada, right across the border, had less than half the number of gun deaths. And in terms of gun violence, only South Africa even came close to matching our stats.

We’re number one! Unfortunately, it’s nothing to brag about.

Obviously, we need to do something about the unusually high amount of gun violence occurring in our country. This problem isn’t just going to disappear if we ignore it.

Gun control laws seem like the obvious solution. I think the SAFE Act is a step in the right direction.


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