Letter: Naysayers accept money from gun rights groups
To the editor Published in Times Union 10:09 pm, Thursday, April 19, 2018
Late March 30, the state Senate voted 41-19 to ensure that domestic violence offenders do not have access to firearms. The bill, S8121, was introduced by Sen. Elaine Phillips, R-Long Island. The Assembly had already passed its version of the bill. It awaits the governor's signature.
While this is a bright spot in a budget that left far too many progressive ideas on the cutting-room floor, it is beyond comprehension that this common-sense legislation was opposed by 19 senators. Among those on the wrong side of history were Sens. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam; John Bonacic, R-Middletown; Sue Serino, R-Dutchess County; and William Larkin, R-Orange, all of whom represent the Hudson Valley.
One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent, independent of other risk factors for homicide, according to an American Journal of Public Health report. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime.
Since the bill was introduced by a prominent Republican, and supported by Majority Leader John Flanagan and a majority of the Republican conference, what possible reason could the Hudson Valley senators have for voting "no?"
The only logical answer is that they answer to a higher authority than the Republican leadership of the state Senate. Indeed, each of the four has accepted contributions from gun rights groups. These four senators have shown they are out of step with their constituents.
Pat Strong, Kingston, Democrat Candidate, Senate District 46
Jen Metzger, Rosendale, Democrat Candidate, Senate District 42