Gabrielle Gifford in a show of support for the gun shows that have chosen to adopt a newly created New York State code of conduct, pushed by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Gabrielle, (Gabby), Giffords and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, attended an upstate gun show. Schneiderman accompanied the couple at the event.
Schneiderman has accomplished the task of getting agreement from 35 gun show organizations to follow the code. He also has a staff member at each event to monitor compliance.
Cathy Petronus, the organizer of the Saratoga Springs gun show, expressed her satisfaction with the way in which Schneiderman worked with the gun show groups to come to a resolution as the code was being written.
As for Giffords and Kelly, their attendance at the event was just one part of a national movement they are leading to promote checks on gun buyers. A recent campaign poster shows Gabby and Mark Kelly together, with a quote above, saying, “Enough. We Need Your Help to Stop Gun Violence.” Participants are asked to text the word, “Solution” to 90975.
A grass roots effort may be the best way to go, especially during the current political stalemate between advocates of gun control and those opposed to any restrictions on gun use and/or ownership.
A highly public road to partial recovery has brought Gabby and Kelly, both gun owners, to the forefront of a campaign to bolster gun-control rules across the United States. The effort ultimately stalled in Congress this year after aggressive counter-lobbying by the National Rifle Association and other groups.
New York’s code of conduct impressed Kelly, and he believes the system could be a uniform model. “At the federal level we still have no requirement for background checks at gun shows, but states like New York are fixing the loophole,” he said. “The state’s model helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them — like criminals and the dangerously mentally ill — without infringing on our Second Amendment rights.”
It may take some time for even New York to completely close the loophole. The results of an 8-month investigation by the attorney general’s office in 2011 indicated that gun-show dealers allegedly tried to evade the state’s laws requiring background checks for buyers. At least 10 sellers faced criminal charges.
In California on Friday, Governor Jerry Brown agreed to a bill that would prohibit lead ammunition in hunting guns, in order to protect those who ate the meat of the animals. However, Brown vetoed a bill that would have imposed the nation’s toughest gun ownership restrictions on Californians. Governor Brown said his reason lay in the fact that the legislation was too far-reaching.
The legislation would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.
At a time in the US when important issues have been looming, such as The Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare), gay/lesbian marriage and civil rights, immigration reform and new technology focused on a greener way of living, proponents of these social changes have redoubled their efforts to make such movements work on a permanent and sustaining basis.
Written By: Lisa M Pickering