12:10 pm Dec. 31, 20125
If Michael Bloomberg is the face of the national gun control movement, New York Post state editor Fred Dicker might just be the voice of the local resistance.
While the owner of his newspaper, Rupert Murdoch, sees no reason automatic weapons should be legal, Dicker sees no reason semi-automatic rifles should be made illegal. (As Dicker pointed out to me, automatic weapons are currently banned for civilian use in the state under New York's Sullivan Law.)
In his December 24 column, Dicker quoted a source saying the state had approximately one million semi-automatic rifles—too many for the state to purchase in a mandatory buyback program, which Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested earlier.
This morning, Dicker pressed his point further, saying on his radio show that more people were killed with knives than automatic weapons, according to state records. He also said there was a sinister motive behind the push for stricter gun control laws in New York.
It was "profiling [of] upstate, white gun-owners" by "these Democrats from New York City" who are "shifting responsibility" for the violent crime in their districts, Dicker said.
His guest today was Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, a Republican from an Albany suburb. McLaughlin said even though he hasn't seen any specific legislation, he's confident that advocates seeking to ban high-capacity magazines
clips are going to "go after all handguns in New York."
In response, Dicker said, "Sure."
CORRECTION: This item has been corrected from the original, which suggested Dicker opposes banning automatic weapons.
Here's an excerpt from Dicker's show this morning:
McLaughlin: England has shown, Australia has shown when you disarm the population it doesn't reduce violent crime.
Dicker: Assemblyman, don't you think in some way there is, by these Democrats from New York City in particular, kind of a profiling going on of upstate, white gun-owners. Now, if you say you should keep an eye on a community of African-American youth if they're in a particular area because they're prone statistically, inclined to be involved in crime, that's described, and I think legitimately so, as profiling; it's unfair. To say Middle Eastern people, who look Middle Eastern, at an airport should be single out, that's unfair. That's profiling.
But if you talk about upstate gun owners, or gun owners, who bought their guns legally, who've maintained an honorable or honest lifestyle, haven't engaged in crimes, have been very careful.
Anyone who belongs to a gun club, and I do, knows how seriously safety is treated…nevertheless, these people are being profiled as if they are that kind of danger, don't you think?
McLaughlin: That's exactly what's going on. And the preposterousness is that's how the left thinks. They think that if you own a gun you're suddenly going to transform into a killer. I know thousands of gun owners. A lot of people in my district own guns. They hunt [Dicker: "Sure"], they target shoot.
Every gun owner that I know is a responsible gun owner. They keep their guns secure, they teach their children about gun safety; they do it the right way. But to go after legal gun owners, to me, is just a fool's errand. And here's the thing.
What I'm hearing, I have not seen a proposed bill yet, but if we turn around and start to ban magazines that are beyond 10 shots lets say, what they're effectively going to do is go after all handguns in New York. And make no mistake, that's what the anti-gun crowd wants."
Dicker: Sure. Well, and the failure I think to distinguish between honest gun owners and potential criminals is not by accident. I think the very strong advocates know the overwhelming number of gun owners are Republicans, they are not their constituent group, they're outside the city and it's a convenient way of shifting responsibility for the still enormous number of people being killed in inner cities…
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