Guns N Rosaries: Gun culture shooting through the roof

Pat Gareau, Creative Editor

An AR-15 rifle was won in a raffle at Grace Baptist Church in Lansingburgh on Sunday, March 23. The event made national news and was so successful that the church decided to give away another rifle the following day.

Guns have been a hot topic in the news in recent years, particularly following the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. in December 2012. Policy makers, including President Obama, have called for increased restrictions on gun ownership in an attempt to curb gun violence. However, some citizens are opposed to new regulations and attempts to pass legislation at the federal level have been unsuccessful.

While Congress hasn’t passed any reforms, New York State passed the SAFE act in January 2013. The law outlaws high capacity magazines, expands background checks, creates a registry of assault weapons, restricts the selling of guns further and requires mental health professionals to report patients who may be at risk of causing harm to others.

The SAFE act has been controversial and has drawn many vocal critics. 52 of New York’s 62 counties have issued proclamations of opposition. The NYS Sheriff’s Association opposes some of the law’s provisions, such as the limiting of magazines and the broadened definition of assault rifles.

On Saturday, a crowd of thousands protested the law at the state capitol.

New York State Senator Kathy Marchione, whose district includes Hudson Valley, was able to get over 130,000 signatures on a petition opposing the SAFE act last year.

The controversial nature of the law has produced a spike in gun enthusiasm from its opponents. Whenever there is even a rumor of more restrictions on firearm purchasing, gun sales increase sharply. The biggest impact of the national discussion about gun control has perhaps been the proliferation of gun enthusiast subculture.

Grace Baptist Church’s AR-15 raffle is an expression of this. The gun was modified to be legal under the SAFE Act and they made sure to do a background check on the winner to make sure they could legally own the rifle.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: