July 15th, 2019 | Black Rifle United
It is no secret that New York has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. Proponents of gun control claim these laws are enacted for the purpose of promoting “Safety” in our society. Do these laws really help keep Americans safe? And are they justified? That’s a topic for debate around the nation, and in New York we are seeing the affects gun control has. We reached out to Steve Felano of the gun rights organization 2AWNY.com who reported on this recent case where the conviction of Ben Wassell was dismissed. Mr. Felano has agreed to share some additional insight on what this all means, and where things go from here.
If you missed the first article we featured about this case, click here.
We reached out to Steve Felano of 2AWNY.com for his input about this case’s dismissal, and what this means for New York and for the Safe Act. Here are the questions and answers from this exchange:
Q: Mr. Ben Wassell has lived for 6 years as a felon; I’m sure that has been frustrating, especially given the length these court cases can take. Is this Safe Act harming others in New York the same way?
A: Absolutely. Additional victims of the SAFE Act imperial gun control edict include Iraq War Veteran Simeon Mokhiber, Western New York Resident Lois Reid, and Queens Resident Keith Harvey. These are just some of the most recent SAFE Act victims nailed to the cross by New York State’s civilian disarmament industrial complex, and they will likely lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to legal fees, missed job opportunities, and other complications resulting from the baseless SAFE Act charges leveled against them. There are numerous additional military veterans and everyday citizens all across New York State suffering through a similar unfortunate ordeal at the hands of a state government that hates them simply because they’ve chosen to exercise their constitutional right to own the most effective tools available for self-defense and resistance against government tyranny – the venerable AR-15 rifle and standard capacity rifle and pistol magazines.
Our goal at 2AWNY.COM is to secure dismissal with prejudice of every SAFE Act conviction and decimate the imperial gun control edict itself in the state and federal court systems to the point at which it is fully reversed and nullified. The dismissal with prejudice on Monday, July 8, 2019 of Mr. Wassell’s full SAFE Act indictment, bolstered by the government tyranny argument, has brought us one step closer to realizing these goals. James Ostrowski – the brilliant constitutional attorney who won Mr. Wassell’s case – has clearly demonstrated that, when struck, New York State government autocrats do, in fact, bleed. They are mortal, fallible, and we therefore will not give them a moment to catch their breath. Rather, we will now immediately and aggressively execute the next steps in the long-term strategy required for SAFE Act repeal.
Q: Given the political nature of the legislators throughout the state of New York, do laws like this damage the respect for the justice system held by the average citizen? Or do they usually not see the effects?
It depends on who you’re posing this question to. The majority of residents in and around New York City and/or the several leftist autocratic suburban strongholds throughout upstate New York frankly don’t care that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional and destroys the lives of everyday people. These statist minions blindly equate law with morality, view any form of firearms ownership as immoral, and are therefore pleased to see gun owners punished by agents of the state to the greatest extent possible. Conversely, the majority remainder of upstate New York vehemently rejects the SAFE Act and the sum total of Imperial Criminal Andrew Cuomo’s civilian disarmament agenda.
By extension, most upstate New York residents view SAFE Act convictions as politically-motivated hit jobs that severely erode the legitimacy of the state police force (a law enforcement arm suffering significant recruiting challenges under Cuomo’s monarchical reign) and court system. The existence of the SAFE Act and other New York State imperial gun control edicts have made tens of thousands of Western New Yorkers much more willing to engage in non-compliance, led to numerous local government resolutions opposing state gun control, and agitated all 17 Western New York district attorneys to the point that they are openly embracing non-enforcement. In summation – Yes – the net result of prosecutions under the SAFE Act and all other unconstitutional state gun control provisions has been a significant decline in the level of respect accorded to the state judicial system by the average upstate New Yorker.
Q: How can we help average citizens be more aware of the infringements of our rights? Do you think that awareness can make a difference in the outcome of elections in places like New York State?
A: There are two types of average citizens in New York State – independent thinkers who favor logic in formulating opinions, and mindless followers of the progressive herd who fully prioritize emotion and identification with victim groups in their analysis of all issues. Through data-driven arguments, incisive historical insights, impactful engagements with the media, and other effective methods, the former can be educated to understand the immediate and long-term danger that state gun control poses to individual liberty and the American republic as a whole. The latter – acolytes of the Michael Bloomberg-backed gun confiscation cabal and their conspirators – are a completely lost cause, and so they must be aggressively and tirelessly opposed at every turn until they are so demoralized and emotionally disturbed that they simply give up. And they will, because progressivism – the idea destroying America – at its core, is fully focused on consolidating convenience. Once the fight for imperial gun control becomes too inconvenient for progressives to bear and cuts into their Netflix binge time of Amy Schumer specials, they will immediately surrender and simply move on to a strategy fully focused on social and financial ostracization of all gun owners – and I’d be perfectly fine with that because such an approach would further facilitate the desperately-needed divorce of upstate and downstate.
Unfortunately, the majority of average citizens in New York State, mostly centralized around New York City, fall into the latter category referenced above. Therefore, voting is not a winning strategy for Second Amendment civil rights defense and expansion, as the last decade or more of overall New York State electoral outcomes has clearly demonstrated. Therefore, the winning overall strategy for the war against the civilian disarmament industrial complex is one broadly focused on direct citizen action, and specifically focused on non-compliance by the public, non-enforcement by police and prosecutors, and repeal by the courts. This is the strategy 2AWNY.COM exists to popularize, execute, and relentlessly improve.
Q: Do other parts of New York state have a good chance of organizing non-enforcement of the worst anti-gun laws? How do you think that would affect the political climate of anti-gun politicians and the laws they attempt to pass?
A: If they follow the strategy I outlined above – Yes. If they continue the age-old, impotent approach of having ‘gun groups’ meet in a vacuum on the first Tuesday of each month at a rundown VFW, failing to cultivate the next generation of Second Amendment civil rights advocates and passing the baton to them with humility, and acting as a mouthpiece for legacy republican candidates who continue to fail us on the Second Amendment civil rights issue – No.
It is worth noting that the legacy republican-aligned New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA), the state NRA affiliate, rabidly opposed our winning legal action on behalf of Mr. Wassell against the SAFE Act. Why did they do this? For three reasons: First, they couldn’t take credit for the win. Second, none of their legacy republican cronies could take credit for the win. Third, the ultimate manifestation of 2AWNY.COM’s core strategy creates a situation in which direct citizen action and local government – not state representatives or highly-centralized interest groups – largely drive the real-world outcome of gun control policies on the ground.
Under such a scenario, where the population is emboldened to the point of open non-compliance, police and prosecutors are comfortable with non-enforcement, and there are cases constantly moving through the court system to overturn all state gun control laws anyway, what is the point of supporting traditional republican state politicians on the Second Amendment issue when they stand to have minimal if any impact on the ultimate result? The answer is there isn’t. However, this stymies the ability of republican legislators to hold the gun control issue hostage in order to drive votes, and then hamstrings the ability of NYSPRA ‘leaders’ to accumulate political capital with state representatives who will do nothing to substantively bolster the Second Amendment, which they happily convert into ill-gotten financial gain.
In New York State, where we are never going to secure relief on Second Amendment civil rights grievances through the state legislature, it makes much more sense for us to move ahead with a direct citizen action strategy than it does to mindlessly vote for today’s state republican representative du jour. New York State republicans are and will continue to be hopelessly outnumbered and under-resourced in comparison to their autocratic progressive counterparts, and have failed for seven long years to make the slightest dent in the SAFE Act, even when they were in a much stronger position to do so. This is why, through non-compliance, non-enforcement, and court repeal efforts, it will be infinitely more effective for upstate New Yorkers to force impotence on the state legislature and its enforcement arms (police and prosecutors) through direct citizen action. Such an approach, which cedes more power to residents and local officials than state and national legislatures, places us in a much better position to restore and grow Second Amendment civil rights over the long-term rather than settling for minimal wins on the terms of legacy republican politicians in the short-term.
Regions of New York State that understand the above reality and act on it will have a good chance of organizing non-enforcement of the worst anti-gun laws. This will have the effect of confounding anti-gun politicians and the laws they attempt to pass because said laws will be laughed at and become unenforceable for all practical purposes.
Q: If you can think of any other messages we can share about this victory, feel free to add it to the email. We look forward to featuring another article on this topic and we’ll include your insight in the next article.
A: In bold defiance of the anti-liberty agenda manufactured and force-fed to New Yorkers by the far-left autocrats controlling the entirety of New York State government, a Second Amendment civil rights renaissance is growing across Western New York, and the state as a whole. This is evidenced by the fact that, in the first two months of 2019 alone, all 17 Western New York district attorneys reached a unanimous decision that they WILL NOT prosecute the unconstitutional SAFE Act seven-round capacity limit provision. Additionally, within the same period, Wyoming County and the Grand Island Town Council both passed resolutions voicing strong opposition to current and future New York gun control imperial edicts.
Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, setting the stage for an expansion of individuals’ Second Amendment civil rights outside the home. Indeed, U.S. Second Circuit Judge John M. Walker, Jr. expressed to Attorney James Ostrowski on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 that the aforementioned case awaiting U.S. Supreme Court review will likely address the issue of intermediate scrutiny as the means for judging Second Amendment cases, and this will open the door for overturn of the unconstitutional New York State pistol permit regime via Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo, being litigated by Ostrowski. Each of these positive events coalesce to set the stage for the eventual overturn of the SAFE Act and New York States’ arbitrary pistol permitting regime, both on constitutional grounds. The end of New York gun control is coming.
Supporters of Gun Control may be tempted to use the State as a weapon against “the Bad Guys”, but Justice is also about restricting the State’s ability to infringe on the lives of the innocent. After a long battle where one man was regarded as a criminal for 6 years, we see a victory in that these charges were dropped. The unfortunate reality about the Gun Control Agenda is that it hurts innocent people, and then it does nothing to address the reasons why people commit crime in the first place. The hearts of the American people need to change if we are to have a culture that respects the rights and lives of others. And while this change occurs, we should allow individuals the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.