Governor Cuomo: Dishonesty is not Enough

New York's Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and his predecessor Eliot Spitzer (aka Emperor's Club VIP Client 9), are well known for their dishonesty and lack of integrity. As shown by their own state government's Web site, both fomented malicious, groundless, and frivolous lawsuits whose sole purpose was to harass law-abiding gun manufacturers. The failure of Cuomo's latest anti-gun legislation to exempt police officers proves him incompetent, and amendment of the law to exempt police officers reinforces his dishonesty even further.

Malicious Lawsuits Against the Gun Industry

Client 9, along with then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, are on record as orchestrating frivolous and malicious lawsuits whose sole purpose was to harass firearm manufacturers into bankruptcy. This is from Client 9's own Web site (emphasis is mine):

With the action, New York becomes the first state in the nation to sue gun manufacturers.

"For more than a year, we sought to achieve reasonable reforms through negotiations with the gun industry. It is now clear that most manufacturers and wholesalers are unwilling to give up the profits they reap from selling guns into the criminal market. So we must now seek a court to order to do what any good corporate citizen would have done voluntarily, and make our homes, streets and schools safer," said Spitzer, who was joined at a New York City news conference by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, anti-gun violence advocates and law enforcement officials.

Spitzer's lawsuit charges nine gun manufacturers, three importers and twelve wholesalers with contributing to and maintaining a public nuisance through ongoing production and distribution practices. Among the manufacturers named are: Glock; Sturm-Ruger; Colt's; Beretta; Taurus; Bryco; and Intratec.

...Secretary Cuomo said, "The gun industry should follow the lead of Smith & Wesson and accept common sense-safety standards to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals.

...Unlike lawsuits filed by more than 30 cities and counties during the last two years, the Attorney General's case focuses on a statutory provision of New York law that explicitly defines unlawfully-possessed handguns as a public nuisance.

...Specifically, the manufacturers and wholesalers are accused of contributing to and maintaining the public nuisance by engaging in design and distribution practices that place guns in the hands of criminals in New York State.

We agree that an unlawfully-possessed firearm is a public nuisance and even worse, just as an unlawfully-possessed narcotic (controlled substance) is a public nuisance. These items do not, however, fall into the wrong hands through the fault of their manufacturers. Gun manufacturers sell their products to the public only through Federally licensed dealers. FFL dealers who value their licenses do not sell to minors, and they must run background checks to make sure they don't sell to criminals. Pharmaceutical companies sell controlled substances via licensed pharmacists, who in turn require a doctor's prescription before they will hand such items over to a patient. The handful of doctors and pharmacists who engage in drug diversion are held professionally and, in some cases criminally, responsible, but nobody would even think of blaming the manufacturers.

Client 9's and Andrew Cuomo's attempt to sue gun manufacturers, therefore, illustrates their lack of ethics, character, and integrity. Their malicious lawsuit was, by the way, dismissed by a court of law. This fact is particularly telling, and damning as well:

In its suit, New York City contended that the gun makers had made themselves liable under that narrow exception, by failing to monitor firearms retailers closely enough and thus allowing guns to end up in the hands of criminals.

This takes us back to the simple fact that firearms retailers are licensed as such by the Federal Government and, in the absence of disciplinary action such as revocation of an FFL, the manufacturer can reasonably assume the retailer to be in compliance with the law. Cuomo's latest anti-gun legislation has meanwhile proven him incompetent as well as a declared enemy of the entire Second Amendment.

New York Bans Target Pistols and Police Sidearms

We showed previously that New York, under Andrew Cuomo's leadership, has declared war on the entire Second Amendment by banning .22 caliber target pistols that, while theoretically usable for self-defense, are best suited for making inexpensive holes in pieces of paper. Most of these pistols take 10-round or even larger magazines, and are therefore now illegal in New York. Now there is concern that the reckless, slipshod, and irresponsible haste with which New York's legislature enacted its new gun law also outlaws police sidearms that accept more than 7 rounds. Governor Cuomo must now scramble to "clarify" what the law means, and possibly amend his law to exempt the police. This exemption underscores his dishonesty even further.

Cuomo Opposes the Natural Human Right of Self-Defense

When Governor Cuomo argues that only the police should have magazines larger than 7 rounds, he is saying openly that private citizens do not have the natural human right of self-defense. If a private citizen needs to use a handgun for anything other than sporting purposes, he needs it for exactly the same reason a police officer needs it: self-protection against one or more violent aggressors. The only difference between the private citizen and the officer is that the latter has both the duty and the authority to intervene in situations in which it would be ill-advised or even illegal for the citizen to involve himself.

A police officer might have to defend himself from somebody he has challenged for breaking into an unoccupied building, or even from somebody who turns a non-criminal traffic stop into a lethal confrontation. You and I don't even have the authority to compel another driver to pull off the road and stop his vehicle, although we can call 911 to report a drunk or reckless driver. We might, however, have to defend ourselves from one or more violent home invaders. Once the perpetrator(s) initiates deadly violence against either a police officer or a private citizen, the defender has a legitimate need for a weapon that can end the violence. This could be a 9 mm pistol with a 17-round magazine, or a .45 Automatic with one-shot stopping capability. In either situation, the defender should have at least one extra magazine, and should know how to change magazines quickly.

Former PA Governor Rendell Adds Another Layer of Outrage

If Andrew Cuomo's outright dishonesty is not enough, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who also supported frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry, added still more outrage. These words should mobilize all supporters of the Bill of Rights, and alienate his own side in the bargain:

"...the good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific that I think it galvanized Americans to a point where the intensity on our side is going to match the intensity on their side."

The only "good thing" about the Sandy Hook shooting was the perpetrator's decision to finally rid the human species of himself. The fact that Mr. Rendell finds this brutal crime politically convenient, along with Rahm Emanuel's "Never let a good crisis go to waste," tells us everything we need to know about the other side's ethics, character, and indeed basic humanity.

William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.

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