Op-Ed: A New York State of Mind

By Fred Thompson

When I was working in television, I spent quite a bit of time in New York City. There are lots of things about the place I like, but New York gun laws don’t fall in that category.

Anybody who knows me knows I’ve always cared deeply about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. So I’ve always felt sort of relieved when I flew back home to where that particular civil liberty gets as much respect as the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, New York is trying, again, to force its ways on the rest of us, this time through the courts. First, they went after U.S. gun manufacturers, seeking through a lawsuit not only money but injunctive control over the entire industry. An act of congress in 2005 blocked, but did not end, that effort.

Now, the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani’s administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers, has done it again. Last week, he created a bizarre justification to allow New York City to sue out-of-state gun stores that sold guns that somehow ended up in criminal hands in the Big Apple.

The lawsuit has been a lesson in out-of-control government from the get-go. Mayor Bloomberg sent private investigators to make “straw” purchases – illegally buying guns for somebody else. According to the ATF, NY’s illegal “stings” interfered with ongoing investigations of real gun traffickers.

Obviously, New York won’t get much cash out of the few dozen shops being sued in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia; so the purpose can only be political.

Click here for the entire op-ed.

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NTTimes: Opponents Attack Giuliani’s New York Record

    Rudolph W. Giuliani has showcased his record running the city of New York as he has campaigned for the presidency. But his performance as mayor is now being turned against him as two of his opponents have begun challenging him on two of the biggest issues in the Republican primary: gun control and immigration.

    ...On Tuesday, former Senator Fred D. Thompson, who is not yet officially in the race, threw down the gauntlet with a commentary on his Web site that criticized New York gun laws and mentioned the Giuliani administration’s efforts to sue gun makers.

    The criticism of Mr. Giuliani is not surprising given his continued dominance in national polls and the perception among Republicans that he is vulnerable on a host of issues.

    ...The potency of the issues among Republicans can hardly be overstated. Even many Democrats who came to Congress as part of the new majority in 2006 were elected on pro-gun platforms.

    ...As mayor, Mr. Giuliani was a strong proponent of gun control, lobbying Congress for a ban on assault weapons and calling for a federal gun licensing system. A video on YouTube shows Mr. Giuliani on “The Charlie Rose Show” in 1995 likening the National Rifle Association to “extremists.”

    On the campaign trail, however, he has declared himself a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and has characterized his past positions as part of an effort to reduce crime in New York that may not make sense elsewhere in the country.

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