Mothers Demand Action Stages Protest in Carmel

Local residents among those objecting to county Legislature criticism of SAFE Act

By Kevin E. Foley

Upwards of 50 Putnam County residents, including many from Philipstown, held a protest demonstration outside the Old County Courthouse last Wednesday night (April 3) to oppose the position of the Putnam Legislature, which had previously voted to condemn the passage of the state’s new gun control SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) act. The protest group, organized under the banner of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, had hoped to present to the Legislature at its monthly meeting that evening a petition with 550 signatures that objects to the county legislature’s actions.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America at Old Court House in Carmel (Photo by K.E. Foley)

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America at Old Court House in Carmel

From a statement she read at the rally (full text below), organizer Alexandra Dubroff of Nelsonville said in part: “When I heard that Gov. Cuomo and our brave legislators had worked across party lines, and had done what needed to be done to bring sensible gun violence prevention legislation to pass in New York state, I was so proud to be a New Yorker. Then I heard the news that the Putnam County Legislature had passed a Resolution to Repeal the NY SAFE Act in a unanimous vote. I was outraged. How could they do that? My town is only 45 minutes from Newtown, Conn. Weren’t they affected like I was by this tragedy?”

Dubroff said that after receiving initial assurances from Barbara Scuccimarra (Philipstown’s representative) and another legislator that they would be allowed to appear and speak, ultimately legislative chairman Richard Othmer ruled, prior to the meeting, there could be no public comment on matters not on the agenda of the meeting.

Dubroff pointed out that the county resolution in question was passed without prior public notification and did not go through the usual committee process before being presented to the full Legislature. Her group, however, has been told they will have to appear before the Legislature’s Protective Services Committee on May 8 before any consideration of addressing the full Legislature is given. Dubroff said the group had every attention of attending that meeting and pursuing the matter of formally presenting the petition.

Alexandra Dubroff speaking at Moms Demand Action rally in Carmel

Alexandra Dubroff speaking at Moms Demand Action rally in Carmel

Nancy Montgomery, a member of the Philipstown Town Board, was the only elected official to join the demonstration. “I am here because I wanted to stand behind and support Alex. This was a courageous endeavor as she set out and gathered all those signatures. And I am also unhappy with the way the (county) Legislature is representing or not representing my town on a number of issues. I am confident the New York SAFE Act is going to hold. I think the point is we have to look at our representatives on a county level and see if they are representing us the way we want to be represented.”

John Teagle, Margaret Yanco-Haines and Joyce Blum were among those from Philipstown attending the protest.

Statement on Putnam County Legislature’s Resolution Opposing NY SAFE Act

By Alex Dubroff, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Hello. My name is Alex Dubroff. I am a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, but more importantly, I’m a mom to two beautiful children. I live in Cold Spring, N.Y. I am here today, along with all of you, some of the signers of our p

etition to the Putnam County Legislature that has over 530 signatures. We are here to show our support for the NY SAFE act.

Dec. 14, 2012, was my wakeup call. I was woefully ignorant about the gun violence in this country prior to that day. When I heard of the senseless killings of those children and teachers in Newtown, Conn., I was brought to my knees in my living room in horror and sadness. I know Newtown; I lived there. It is just like Cold Spring. A small town filled with great caring people. That day, I counted down the minutes until 3:05 when I could go pick up my son from kindergarten. I ran all the way to the school, held him in my arms and did not want to let him go.

It was on that day that I realized that my son and daughter are not safe in this country. And it was on that day when my resolve was steeled to help affect change. This will not stand. This is not right. There are eight children every day that die in this country from gun violence. There have been 3,053 deaths from gun violence since Newtown alone. Today is the anniversary of the Binghamton Massacre in 2009, where 13 people were murdered. It does not have to be this way. There are commonsense gun violence prevention steps that we can take to lessen the chance of these tragedies happening again.

And so, when I heard that Gov. Cuomo and our brave legislators had worked across party lines and had done what needed to be done to bring sensible gun violence prevention legislation to pass in New York state, I was so proud to be a New Yorker. We were the first state to pass a gun violence prevention package after Newtown. I felt that it was a statement about us as a people. We knew what was right and just did it, for our kids, our neighbors, our loved ones. We put aside our affiliations with strong lobbying groups and political parties and did what needed to be done. It gave me hope — hope for my children and hope for the safety of others.

Then I heard the news that the Putnam County Legislature had passed a “Resolution to Repeal the NY SAFE Act” in a unanimous vote. I was outraged! How could they do that? My town is only 45 minutes from Newtown, Conn. Weren’t they affected like I was by this tragedy? Wasn’t their resolve steeled to make positive change?

Unfortunately, as I’ve dug deeper into the history of this resolution, not only was it passed unanimously, but it was passed without public notification nor through a committee for vetting. It was brought directly to a vote in the full Legislature, added to the agenda on the day of the vote under “Other Business.” Now, this may be politics as usual, but, I for one will not allow this to pass unnoticed. This issue is too important to me, as a mom and as a citizen.

The day that I found out about the resolution, I started our petition, which you have all so graciously signed. I have been humbled by the outpouring of support and truly believe, if we steel our resolve together, we can make change.

I’ve been told that I can only present our petition at the Protective Services Committee meeting on May 8. I urge you to join me at that meeting. According to a poll published in March, 61 percent of New Yorkers support the NY SAFE Act. Our county legislators need to know that.

Also, I urge you to call and email and visit your senators and congressmen to tell them how you feel about this issue. They are hearing from the lobbying groups at a ratio of 5 to 1 to our calls. We are the majority, we are finding our voice and we need to be heard.

And lastly, I ask you to join me as a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. We are a nonpartisan group of moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends and, most importantly, citizens who are demanding commonsense gun legislation for this country.

Together we can make positive change. My resolve is steeled. Thank you for everything you’ve done and you continue to do. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.

Photos by K.E. Foley

20 thoughts on “Mothers Demand Action Stages Protest in Carmel

  1. We are awake now. We, like Alex have a resolve that is steeled. We will not forget the eight children taken from us each day by guns. We will honor the lives stolen at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We will not stop fighting for commonsense gun legislation.

    • Your group is for “gun sense,” so let’s do just that — pass sensible laws with input from law enforcement and the public and history. You have to be careful saying, “Abolish the Second Amendment and ban guns” because this country is built on the Constitution and your words are becoming borderline treasonous.

      • Please stop with the “this country is built on the Constitution and your words are becoming borderline treasonous” nonsense. Let’s shine some light on the truth of this argument: The NRA is nothing more than a trade association hiding its agenda behind the constitution. The fact that so many people swallow their load of baloney is a tribute to their marketing prowess and their deep lobbying pockets in Washington. Those with sufficient common sense to see through their marketing campaign also understand that the Second Amendment is an “amendment” to the constitution, and the constitution can be further amended as necessary to meet the needs of our modern society. And the hand-wringing cries of “treason” by a bunch of money-grubbing gun-industry marketers are laughable (and maybe libelous).

  2. Ben Wheeler was six years old. A dear friends’ daughter was his pal. He was blown away with a Bushwhacker that held a 30-bullet magazine. His parents are on 60 Minutes tonight. In his honor, I held a photo of him at this rally and a sign that said: “I support the NY SAFE ACT” and on the flip side: “But you forgot to ask me.”

    How dare our elected representatives vote against our LAWS without holding public meetings to know how their voters feel!? SHAME!

    Tonight on 60 minutes. Sunday, APRIL 7 2013. Parents of the victims of the Newtown massacre: theirs is a lifetime quest to change gun laws in hopes of preventing the gun violence that took their young children.

  3. Any human being with a heart and a brain who watched 60 Minutes must know that the only right thing to do to help those poor Newtown families who sustained such loss, is to immediately vote to stop the gun insanity in our country. What is wrong with the lawmakers, who have the power to make such obvious, necessary changes, and just choose not to act? They can be called nothing but cowards. They are holding the people of our country hostage by not taking appropriate action. Isn’t anyone in Washington listening to the people who put them there? They should be ashamed of their indifference. What will it take for them to hear?

  4. I do not want to be represented on any level by politicians who would vote for a “Resolution to Repeal the NY SAFE Act” and will donate and vote accordingly. Along with all of our Constitutional rights come responsibilities and limits. Rights of gun owners are not exempt. If gun owners have to step up and take on addition responsibilities for the safety of us all I find that perfectly appropriate. I make a resolution to repeal the politicians who are against the common-sense NY SAFE Act.

  5. I would have missed this and glad to see that the Putnam County Legislature’s obscene embrace of the worst elements of the gun pushers will not go without challenge.

  6. FYI, your current required steps for a pistol permit application in Putnam County, in case any of you were wondering:

    To Be Submitted with Application Questionnaire:
    1) Application questionnaire – complete, signed by references and notarized.
    2) Postal money order for $91.50 payable to Putnam County Commissioner of Finance.
    3) Three (3) head shot photographs (passport size).
    4) Four (4) stamped envelopes addressed to your character references. (No return address.)
    5) Copy of proof of a handgun safety course (or ID card if you are a police or peace officer).
    6) Copy of your driver’s license. (Copy of a utility bill or tax bill, if necessary.)
    7) Court disposition(s) (if applicable).
    8) Business carry paperwork (if applicable).
    9) Copy of Certificate of Naturalization or passport (if applicable).
    10) Copy of Alien Registration Card (if applicable).
    11) Copy of handgun receipt(s) (if applicable).
    12) Two (2) State of New York Pistol/Revolver License Applications:
    • Both applications must have character references original signatures.
    • Applicant – DO NOT SIGN or NOTARIZE these applications.
    • Do not cross out, white out or spill anything on these applications.
    • Do not write in the sections above your name.

  7. Where on the application does it say they can do universal background checks? Does the permit restrict high-capacity magazines? Stay on point, and let’s really keep it “real,” that’s what we moms are protesting, the NRA fear tactics really have no place here.

  8. “Now, this may be politics as usual, but, I for one will not allow this to pass unnoticed. This issue is too important to me, as a mom and as a citizen.”

    No problem with Emperor Cuomo’s method for passing the law though, right?

  9. I fully support. Moms demand action for gun sense. Let’s change the legislature.

  10. You seem not to understand the unconstitutional “safe” act was pushed through Albany in the dark of night, illegally skipping over public debate. Putnam county, and almost every other county in New York, are doing the right thing. I’m a mother, too — a mother who chooses how to protect my family, and a mother who will not allow our rights go be trampled in the name of children. This “law” protects no one except criminals. I will be at this meeting. I have some simple questions for these uninformed people who wish to make me a criminal simply because I own property they have no understanding of. See you there. Tawn Caputo, County Zone Leader, New York Revolution Putnam County

  11. Society needs to address the problems we have with mentally unstable people. There are more out there than we know. They are the ones committing these horrible crimes with a gun. By the way, it’s 99.9% of the time with a gun that is not theirs because they were unable to purchase a gun on their own. Why is that you want to punish the people who obey the law and only want to protect their families who they love so much? What gives you the right to take that away? If you don’t like guns then don’t buy one but for the rest of us who live in the real world , not Disneyland, leave us alone. We’re not looking to hurt anyone.

  12. A universal background check is no different from what is already done by fingerprinting, just has a new buzzword added to it. We already have the toughest gun laws in the country. The SAFE Act is not about gun control, it is about government control. Read the act carefully.

  13. Every time a firearm is purchased in NYS, there is a background check. It is universal and absolute. As for 30-round magazines, you already couldn’t own mags over 10 rounds. These magazines never attacked anyone. Learn the topic thoroughly and you will start to understand there is a mental health issue that is not being addressed. Many NYS politicians don’t understand the topic or the underlying problems.

    In many parts of the country, these violent video games are being allowed to entertain children from a young age, much younger than what is suggested. Therefore, there is neglect from parents properly raising their kids. The Newtown killer had serious mental issues and was allowed to be raised on these video games and had no sensitivity for life and others. He couldn’t tell between what is real and just a game. He cowardly took his own life because the game was over once help arrived.

    This SAFE act wouldn’t save anyone, but it doesn’t address mental health seriously. If you traveled the country, you would understand the “gun culture” and see how society really lives, peacefully, a lot of them with God, and having the Second Amendment as well as the First, which is even more important, and the rest.

  14. You want to amend the Constitution? Go for it, if you think you have the votes. Otherwise, leave us gun owners alone.

    • There have been 27 amendments to the Constitution. It’s not the Ten Commandments. It’s not written in stone. It’s the basis of the laws that govern our society, and if it requires changing, it can be changed. There’s nothing radical about that to anyone but those who’ve been buffaloed into believing in the commercial gun lobby’s load of bull and the legislators who’ve been paid off by those lobbyists to ignore the wishes of their own constituents.

      To quote Thomas Jefferson: “No work of man is perfect. It is inevitable that, in the course of time, the imperfections of a written Constitution will become apparent. Moreover, the passage of time will bring changes in society which a Constitution must accommodate if it is to remain suitable for the nation. It was imperative, therefore, that a practicable means of amending the Constitution be provided.”

  15. “In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia , to work and eat in Russia , should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law. Russia does not need minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities. When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are NOT Russians!” –Vladimir Putin, Feb. 4, 2013, addressing Duma (Russian Parliament)

    The philosophy of conservatism emphasizes liberty. The philosophy of liberalism emphasizes control.

  16. That is a fascinating quote to represent “the philosophy of liberalism,” assuming I am correctly understanding your gist. Putin sounds like Joe Arpaio who, to a certain extent, voices the the far right “conservative” position on U.S. immigration.

    No liberal would ever call Putin a liberal. Conservatives are about tax policy. Everything else dupes, distracts and divides. Conservatives move money and power into fewer and fewer hands — plutocracy, feudalism — the very thing our founding fathers rebelled against. Liberals believe everyone should have a shot at the American dream, not just the privileged few. As to the topic of this story, I am a firm believer in all of the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment begins, “A well regulated militia.” Regulated means regulated.