Kudos to the New York State Senate and Assembly, which have accomplished the seemingly impossible, the enactment of measures designed to curtail access to the most lethal weapons and ammunition, including comprehensive background checks for those that wish to purchase firearms. It is remarkable that the New York Senate, which is dominated by Republicans, passed the legislation by a whopping margin of 43-18, demonstrating what can be accomplished when the people mobilize and pressure their leaders to do the right thing.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to the legislation's success with the following bold statement, "Common sense can win. You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense."
Will reason and common sense similarly prevail in Pennsylvania? I would like to believe so, but as a realist, I cannot expect any new gun legislation here in a General Assembly (and with a governor) that answer to the National Rifle Association, the gun manufacturers' lobby which stands in the way of any law changes on the flawed and illogical basis that this would be the first step in the confiscation of all firearms.
Pennsylvania is not on the cutting edge of any issue. Cases in point are the carryover of Prohibition and a multitude of arcane regulations inherent in the sale of liquor, beer, and wine, state law which bars automobile dealers from transacting business on Sundays, and the fact that Pennsylvania was years behind other states in enacting a ban on spewing carcinogenic second-hand cigarette smoke in most public places.
I will find gratification in the actions of New York's true public servants, who have deterined that throwing up our hands and doing nothing on a critical matter of public safety is no longer an option.
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