Mental health counseling will suffer under new law
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 11:58 am

To the Editor:

Dear Honorable New York State Senators Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo:

I want to thank you for your “NO” vote in the recent gun legislation, S2230. The citizens of the North Country value your vote, a vote to maintain the freedoms of New Yorkers.

As we move forward with this issue, I want to urge you to use your position to resist and overturn the recent legislation. In particular:

I urge you to do everything in your power to overturn the gun bill because of the manner in which it was passed. The Governor’s use of the “Message of Necessity” was a manipulation of the legislative process. The Governor pushed this bill thru the NYS Legislature, intentionally bypassing the usual review process. Our legislators must be afforded the benefit of an open review of legislation, particularly when bills of this scope and magnitude are under consideration. Careful review of legislation is critical for the function of our republic. There was absolutely no emergency that warranted the Governor’s hasty action.

I urge you to overturn this legislation because of the dramatic negative impact it will have on those seeking mental health counseling. As a worker in the field of Human Services, I know firsthand that patient confidentiality is critical for effective counseling and therapy. This gun legislation will have a disastrous effect on our attempts to work with clients who are struggling with emotional and mental health issues. The fear of reprisals for those who share openly with their physician, therapist, counselor or other health care professional will interfere with clients receiving the care they need.

I urge you to use your position to re-frame the debate over gun control. Gun ownership is not simply the domain of “sportsmen.” The second Amendment right to bear arms guarantees the rights of true patriots everywhere. The right to bear arms provides for self-protection and, if needed, provides for protection against a tyrannical government. Please restore language to this ongoing conversation that recognizes and affirms the broad purposes for gun ownership.

Again, thank you for your “NO” vote in the recent gun legislation. I stand with you in the pursuit of freedom.

Richard W. Sinclair, Madrid