The SAFE Act Memorandum of Understanding had the tactical effect of a 2,000-pound bomb dropped from a B-52 flown by a blind pilot. Fortunately, several Republican lawmakers in the Assembly, as well as many Second Amendment activists, immediately saw this for what it was - an attempt to diffuse intense political pressure faced by the "Upstate Six," the Senate Republicans who backed Flanagan over DeFrancisco.
The Shooters Committee on Political Education and several other groups, including NY2A, held a rally in Sherburne in Chenango County on Saturday. All who spoke, including GOP Assemblyman Pete Lopez, GOP Assemblyman Bill Nojay and Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, derided the MOU.
It's unfortunate that Senate and Assembly Democrats don't understand what this MOU actually does - which is nothing. We do wish that New York Democrats understood what the SAFE Act actually was - an anti-Civil Rights omnibus that negatively affects women, the elderly and minorities. However, we do agree with the Democrats on one thing: We do not support vague MOUs that attempt to change laws by bypassing the legislative process. It's just wrong.
We are also not afraid of seeing the GOP lose the Senate majority in 2016. We know that if they do lose it, more extremist gun control will likely be pushed through Albany. But the Senate GOP has lost its way. Even if we sat on the sidelines and did nothing, because it's a presidential election year and so many of their constituents have fled the state or have become disenfranchised, they will likely lose their majority anyway.
This means we have no fear of supporting pro-2A Senate Democrats, running primaries against incumbent Republicans or even running candidates on third party lines as punishment to the Senate GOP. Until Democrats abandon their party platform plank of extremist gun control, we will continue to support good GOP candidates in the Assembly, with the idea that the 2018 governor's race and winning a true Senate GOP majority with Upstate NY leadership is the real endgame.
But the Senate GOP, which failed to tie SAFE Act reform to rent control, has one shot at redemption - backing an Upstate member for majority leader instead of Flanagan in January. NY2A has begun a statewide petition demanding that this happen.
NY2A Executive Committee