Dominick Calsolaro

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Court’s gun decision brings mixed reactions

Published on 6/27/2008 by the Daily Gazette written by Cari Scribner, Gazette Reporter

CAPITAL REGION — Local reactions to the Supreme Court guns decision came swiftly Thursday, as many people stayed updated on the arguments leading up to the ruling via the Internet and television.

Thoughts ranged from worries about violence to satisfaction about personal rights to concerns about future legal cases.

“I’m really displeased,” Patricia Gioia of Schenectady, who is a member of the Brady Campaign against guns, said. “I respect the fact gun owners feel they have to have them, but there’s more chance for violence when people are harboring guns. Society has changed; now, when people fight, they don’t slap each other, they pull out a gun.”

An employee at Accurate Arms and Ammo in Schenectady said he believes people supporting a ban on guns are not examining the issue as far as economics.

“They have no idea what impact it would have on unemployment [to ban guns],” Tom DiBona said. “The steel and wood manufacturers would be out of business. They should think about this before they act.”

DiBona also said he is opposed to the whole idea of people trying to force their ideals on others and background checks do a more than adequate job of controlling sales to potential criminals.

“Our gun checks are thorough, there are so many federal checks in place and anything derogatory in a person’s background means they can’t buy a gun, and that’s it,” DiBona said.

Albany Alderman Dominick Calsolaro, who wrote the legislation for the Gun Violence Task Force in Albany, said he’s concerned about the future ramifications of the decision.

“This may very well lead to more court cases, and I think it opened a can of worms,” Calsolaro said. “California has a partial ban on weapons and now people may push it to the courts to interpret cases.”

Calsolaro also said he has extensively researched historical stances on the rights of Americans to bear arms.

“A lot of historians debate if those rights refer to individuals or groups, and most believe it did not apply to individuals,” Calsolaro said. “Now those rights are increasingly being applied to individuals, and that concerns me.”

John Manger, of Zack’s Sports in Round Lake, said people should be allowed to make their own choices.

“We live in a society where people protest everything,” Manger said. “After 9/11, people who never had a gun would have taken a bazooka to protect themselves from violence. I’m really anti-government when they try to tell people what to do, so I think today’s decision was a good one for once.”

Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said she believes the Supreme Court decision will encourage gun control advocates in New York state to continue to fight for strong gun laws to save lives.

“Today’s decision confirms that New York laws are constitutionally sound,” Hilly said. “Legislation to protect public safety, like closing the gun show sales loophole, requiring background checks on firearms purchases and banning some assault weapons, are legitimate restrictions. Each of these laws has the reasonable purpose of protecting the safety of the law-abiding public from illegal weapons.”

Hilly said the decision rejects the “absolutist view of the Second Amendment” of “any gun, any time for anyone.

“The core purpose of the gun-control movement has always been to disrupt the ability of criminals to get guns,” Hilly said. “Nothing in this decision today changes our ability to continue to do that, and we will do so. Public safety demands no less.”