Protecting Our Rights
- Pass an act protecting the First-Amendment in all schools
- Repeal and replace the NY SAFE Act
- Find new ways to reduce recidivism in our state prison system
America is a country that was built on a set of basic ideals surrounding the rights of the people and keeping the government from infringing upon those rights. However, even a few years after the founding of the nation; we saw attempts to remove power from the citizens that continue to today. So I'm taking what should be the uncontroversial opinion that our legislature should be fighting for and sending bills to the desk of the Governor that gives us the most freedom possible.
Over the years, I have worked with a group called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to make sure that students have their full rights provided to them, regardless of partisan positions. While we may not like every opinion presented to us, it's a slippery slope from banning one position to banning everything that we don't want to hear. Therefore, it is my position that we need to end speech codes on our college campuses and make sure that they are in compliance with the US Constitution, not our personal views.
We also need to address the overlapping gun control legislation that the state has passed. While I understand the intentions behind the NY SAFE Act, I also believe that it was rushed through our legislative body without much thought given to how it would impact Upstate New Yorkers. For that reason, I support a repeal and replace position on the bill. The bill should not have required the release of mental health records from the VA, as it violated the individual rights of our veterans. We need to replace the SAFE Act with a law that gives prosecutors the ability to punish criminals who have and sell illegal guns while respecting the right of law-abiding gun owners to have a potent self-defense method. Finally, we need to strengthen the requirements for keeping guns secure and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Such a bill would not be passed with haste and would take the opinions of all sides into account.
We also need to find a way to reduce prison recidivism in the state so we aren't spending millions upon millions of dollars on locking up criminals repeatedly. Progress was already made when we passed legislation that banned companies from discriminating against those who had served their time and paid their debt to society. However, it also means supporting programs to make sure prisoners can receive some level of education, due to the fact that many grew up in situations that prevented them from learning necessary life skills. The best way to keep people off the streets committing crimes for financial reasons is to give them the ability to become productive members of our society. They all deserve second chances if a judge and jury have decided that life behind bars was not the fate for these men and women.