The week before these divisive midterm elections, my town board took on the role of advocacy group for the gun lobby. They unanimously adopted, without constitutional argument or public referendum, a “pro-second amendment” resolution related to concealed carry. The recent legislation in New York (S.51001*, A.41001) does not take away the right to own, or even carry, a legal firearm, just makes it more onerous to conceal that weapon in public places. They simply followed the template adopted by the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, who chose to conflate the right to carry concealed weapons (in all manner of social, civic, business, transport, and other cultural environments) with freedom and our constitutional rights. Guns are prohibited in the town hall, though. This, we were told, is to protect those who administer justice on premises. No contradiction here? Doesn’t this make obvious the concerns about public safety with the potential of lethal firearms in the hands of folks who might imagine cause to use them?

Each of us has a right to our own views about everything from gun ownership and birth control, to capital punishment. We are free to follow all the arguments about constitutionality in all types of social behaviors. When did it become the purview of town managers to make their personal views an official town position? This strikes at the heart of how deeply political bias has saturated even our most local government actions.

Not an actionable item, not administrative. managerial, or visionary, their view of responsibility for safeguarding and shepherding the community now includes a series of partisan resolutions aligned with national political agendas. The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, and a host of individual town supervisors, made public political endorsements. Is this in service to residents or to politics? Sadly, this makes voting across party lines unacceptable for me. Politics is running rampant like an invasive weed. We’re driving a truck downhill with no brakes; and without quickly taking the runaway truck ramp, any sense of government for all, even on this very local level, is lost.

*Specifics of the S.51001 are to be found here: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S51001

Sarah Meredith
Gilboa, NY