Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 2, 2013

GLYNN: Gun control law takes toll on Cuomo

Niagara Gazette — A politician's approval ratings can take a plunge overnight.

If you're not convinced of that, check out the recent Quinnipiac University poll that shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo's popularity — at an all-time high last December — dropping from 74 percent to 59 percent. 

Mickey Carroll, the pollster, notes that the governor lost most of that support from the Republican side. Meanwhile, Cuomo slipped 10 points with the Democrats, his own party. Even at 59 percent, however, the governor clings to an approval rating that many politicians never enjoy while holding an elective office.

How does the state chief executive account for the sharp decline in his ratings? He's not at all surprised, he told reporters. But, he adds, once those vocal opponents grasp the full range of the new legislation, they will likely close ranks and back the measure.

Too often, it seems, the overall gun control debates tends to focus only on hunters, sportsmen and collectors. There's a huge number of people who don't ever hunt — perhaps never owned a gun in their lives — but they are fully aware that the Second Amendment provides the right for people to bear arms. The new law on the books has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate ownership of a gun, the governor insists. 

Gene Olson, 85, a longtime Niagara Falls resident, is perhaps typical of many people legitimately concerned that too many weapons (e.g. the assault type used in mass slayings over the years) fall into the wrong hands. "I have never owned a gun. And I wouldn't even keep one in my house," he said, "I'd probably end up shooting myself (accidentally)."

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EARLY EXIT: No matter how exciting the action is at some sporting events, there's always fans who leave "to beat the traffic," as they say.

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