SAFE Act parade float promotes human rights
Friday, June 13, 2014 - 6:33 am

To the Editor:

Memorial Day is a day on which we should be focused on those who fought for this country. It is also important that we remember the principles for which they fought and died.

Arlington National Cemetery is filled with row upon row of stark white stones that remind us of our heroes. Thanks to them, we can continue to exercise freedoms many others do not have. With that said, I would argue that the Repeal the NYS SAFE Act float in the parade was completely appropriate.

The NYS Safe Act, and the manner in which it was made law, all violate the most basic principles of democracy. Cuomo, with the help of Addie Russell, met in the dark of night and introduced a bill that violates the Second Amendment. They passed this into law without public review or debate. The entire process clearly violated the most basic principles of representation and democracy. In other words, our veterans and fallen heroes sacrificed much for freedoms and principles that Cuomo and Russell conveniently ignored.

Our veteran all swore an oath: “I, John Q. Hero, do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Our veterans fought to uphold the Constitution and to preserve democracy as we know it here in the United States.

When Cuomo and Russell ignore that same Constitution, and run rough shod over the most basic democratic principles in pursuit of another 30-second sound-byte, they mock the sacrifices of our veterans. The manner in which these elected officials continue to abuse power is shocking and disgraceful.

There are times when citizens need to call attention to the abuse of power by government. This is one of those times.

The anti-NY SAFE Act float and its presence in Memorial Day parades its completely appropriate. The people on that float are fighting for constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and for basic democratic principles.

They are not fighting with bullets and bayonets, but they are using First Amendment freedom of speech and of assembly as tools in the fight to protect our Second Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights. They are fighting to preserve the basic democratic principles that our veterans died to preserve.

Memorial Day isn’t about providing pretty parades or nice floats. It is about remembering and honoring the sacrifices of our veterans and the principles they fought for.

Dale Petry

Canton