My grandmother had a loaded M1 Garand in her bedroom closet.
It was propped in the corner, behind the dress blues of her dead Recon Marine son.
She lived up on a hill, out of town, in what had been a cow pasture, and when a car she didn’t recognize pulled into the long dirt driveway, she would bring that gun out and lean it against the side of her doorframe.
My uncle kept two Ithaca Deerslayers, in 16 and 12 gauge, in his living room, on a gun rack fashioned from the feet of a whitetail buck whose heavily antlered head kept watch above them.
When he came in off shift, he would put his duty gun or another pistol on top of the stereo cabinet beside the front door.
My mother had a Remington Nylon 66 that leaned against the head of her bed. One day a big cock pheasant walked through the field next to the trailer and she shot its head off as she stood in the front door.
These were the guns of my childhood.
They were all legal, they were all loaded, they were all unlocked.
They were all in households either home to or frequented by children.
And yesterday a bunch of Democrats in the state Capitol made them illegal. A bunch of Democrats in the state Capitol decided they – and a Michael Bloomberg-funded “mom’s” group – knew better what to do in my house than I do.
When the governor affixes his signature, it will become illegal in New York to possess an unlocked gun in a home with children under 16. If the gun isn’t encumbered by a trigger lock, or stowed away in a locked safe, it’s a misdemeanor. That’s one year in jail and kiss your pistol permit good bye.
If the child is merely visiting – grandkids, or somebody delivering Girl Scout cookies – it’s a violation, and will cost you $250 before court fees.
That’s what New York Democrats – who are both ignorant and contemptuous of upstate culture – have decreed. This is the latest cram down from our foreign overseers on their colonial subjects north of Westchester.
Don’t get me wrong, safe storage of firearms is an essential moral component of gun ownership.
But there’s more than one way to safely store a firearm, and some of them don’t involve locks.
For example, an unlocked gun in the absence of ammunition is of no harm to anyone. Further, a firearm out of the reach of children – children who have been taught not to touch guns – is likewise safe.
Perhaps New York Democrats should leave parenting to parents, and child safety to the people who gave life and love to those children.
This gun-lock legislation creates great mischief for legal gun owners – which was no doubt its intent.
The greatest harm is that, if the law is obeyed, it renders firearms almost useless in home defense.
The rapist coming through your window at night may not wait for you to go to the gun safe and fiddle with the combination in the dark. Likewise, a home invasion can get a little dicey as you fumble through your keys trying to find the tiny one that fits the trigger lock on your now-useless gun.
This Democrat anti-gun law will make it harder to protect your home and your family.
And if you do protect your home and family, this Democrat anti-gun law will expose you to criminal and civil liability.
Let’s say the rapist comes through the window in the night and you reach over onto the nightstand, pick up your lawfully owned but unlocked handgun, and shoot him.
On the upside, you didn’t get raped and killed. On the downside, the cop is going to ask where your trigger lock is. That’s when you get charged with a misdemeanor, and they take your gun and your pistol permit and you’ve just got to hope nobody comes through the window ever again.
Even if the police and district attorney decide not to charge you under the Democrat anti-gun law, you will be sued by the intruder or his estate, and the fact you didn’t have a Democrat-mandated trigger lock on your gun means you will have a whole boatload of civil liability – because now it’s YOU who was not obeying the law.
That’s what sits on the governor’s desk today.
It’s the best legislation Michael Bloomberg and his money can buy.
And another example of the Democratic Party’s war on the values and lifestyle of the people of upstate New York.