HOPKINTON - When the Hopkinton Town Board meets next month, theyre expected to join the list of communities from the area who have passed resolutions opposing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomos SAFE Act gun control bill.
Hopkinton Town Supervisor Susan Wood was in attendance at a Parishville Town Board meeting last month when local gun rights activist Will Gray spoke to their board, encouraging them to pass a resolution opposing the bill, which they did.
Following the meeting, Ms. Wood then invited Mr. Gray to make a similar presentation in Hopkinton, noting her board would be interested in passing a similar resolution.
Mr. Gray gave that presentation to her board this week.
The whole focus of the act is misguided at best, he said. It was a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in Newtown (Conn.).
While Mr. Gray said he feels sorry the families affected by the Newtown massacre and other gun-related crimes, he doesnt feel like gun control legislation is the answer.
Mr. Gray told board members that he lost a son to a shooting in Buffalo in 1980.
I never once blamed that gun or the manufacturer, he said. Its the person who pulls the trigger.
Making matters worse, he said, is the fact that legislators were voting on a bill they didnt even read.
There were legislators who had that bill on their desk for 20 minutes and then voted yes on it, he said. Theres no way they could have read it.
Mr. Gray also noted that since 1998 gun-related deaths have decreased by 40 percent.
Twice as many children have died playing football than were shot on school property from 1998 to 2011, he said. Thank God they dont want to outlaw football.
Mr. Gray said if a crime is committed with an illegal weapon theres a mandatory five-year prison sentence.
Ive never seen anyone get five years, he said. Its always pleaded down. If they would just enforce the laws they have now and put the bad guys away then we would be all right.