I joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns back in April of 2012 because I was very concerned about the flow of illegal, unlicensed guns into New York State. I believed the group had a common sense approach to trying to stem the tide of illegal guns while balancing the rights of legal gun owners.
I believe that New York State has very strict existing guns laws, something I experienced firsthand as a licensed owner of a hand gun (I applied as part of my application to became a part-time Deputy Sheriff for Westchester County back in 1999). So, I do not think that New York needs to make any drastic changes to its guns laws. Rather, the changes I would like to see to improve public safety include: background checks on all gun purchases, banning Internet sales of ammunition and recording of the sale of ammunition that would be shared in a state-wide law enforcement database. I also think that there should be spot checks of how guns are stored in people’s homes. The FBI database also needs to include any history of mental illness, even if that information is currently limited. Additionally, I support a complete ban on assault weapons - there is simply no reason anyone can provide me that rationalizes a citizen’s need to have a weapon that was designed for killing large numbers of people. No true sportsman needs a rifle with a high capacity magazine. I enjoy bird hunting, the shotgun I use has two rounds in it, anything more would be completely unnecessary.
Unfortunately, with 300+ million guns in America, we will never be able to eliminate gun violence. The inability to “solve this problem” does not mean we should not take steps to help reduce the chance of another tragedy. However, lawmakers should remember that the vast majority of gun owners are very responsible with their firearms. Many of the proposals I have heard seem to disadvantage law-abiding gun owners while not addressing illegal guns in the hands of criminals. That is why tracking and limiting access to ammunition needs to be discussed. This is a very complex issue and the only way to see meaningful change will be to look thoughtfully at all the causes of gun violence while avoiding inappropriate knee-jerk lawmaking with unintended consequences in the wake of a tragedy. There is certainly a lot of work to be done.
During the late spring of 2005, a small group of local residents gathered to discuss the potential publication of a newspaper. The paper would be dedicated to bringing objective, non-opinionated news coverage of events in our communities to every home and business in the river villages it would eventually serve. It would convey information in an unbiased framework so that its readers could decide from the straightforward facts what actions, they as citizens, might take to better their own conditions and improve their communities.
The newspaper conceived at that meeting is, of course, what you are reading, The Hudson Independent, now beginning its 8th year of publication. From that initial meeting grew the locally supported Hudson Valley News Corporation, the “parent” of the newspaper. The company drew its financial foundation from some 75 local, civic-minded folks who became shareholders. These investors were motivated by the same reasons that prompted the conception of the paper, the need for a balanced presentation of information.
The first issue of The Hudson Independent was published in February 2006 and reached all of Tarrytown’s and Sleepy Hollow’s mailboxes. Circulation later expanded to Irvington, and then to Scarborough-on-Hudson and Ardsley-on-Hudson. To meet the needs of digital communication, we have reinforced our website and have an active Facebook page.
This newspaper believes it has accomplished what it set out to do. In covering local government, schools, civic groups, business, and other activities, it has strived to report issues in an unbiased manner, adhering to ethical journalism rules. For a local community newspaper. the proximity of its subjects sometimes makes it difficult to adhere to that standard. Nevertheless, that is our aim. Clearly marked editorials, differing from news coverage, and occasional balanced commentary, may present opinions, in categories that most newspapers often do. They are properly labeled and not presented as news reporting.
As we embark on our 8th year, it is time again to thank those that make it possible for The Hudson Independent to publish. Our thanks first to our readers, for without their interest, a newspaper serves no purpose. A grateful nod goes to our advertisers, whose support is essential for every newspaper. We express sincere gratitude to all of our shareholders without whose help we would not exist. And finally to our hard-working and earnest staff, our stringers, and to the volunteers, who range from our officers, to the professional Editorial Board members who help guide our direction, a very heartfelt
And, Happy New Year to all!
A true barometer of a community’s character is how its residents come together in times of crisis.
Hurricane Sandy tested the mettle of thousands of people in the tri-state area, and it didn’t spare the villages of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Irvington, where some people suffered without electricity and heat for nearly two weeks.
Stories of neighbors helping neighbors and businesses opening their doors to those in need of a hot shower or to charge their cell phones were aplenty.
But what really demonstrated the compassion and kindness of the community was the outpouring of support people showed to strangers, hundreds of miles away, whose homes were destroyed and whose lives were left in shambles.
Many communities found themselves consumed in their own despair but residents of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and Irvington managed to not only survive the storm themselves, but also do what they could to lend a hand in places where they were needed most.
Nobody who collected clothes and other goods or drove several hours to deliver carloads of boxes was looking for any fanfare, but those selfless acts of goodwill deserve to be mentioned as an example of human spirit at its best when it seemed things couldn’t get any worse.
Getting off the mat when knocked down is a characteristic New Yorkers have long prided themselves on. Village residents absorbed Sandy’s best punch, made the best of a bad situation and helped their fellow man. It doesn’t get any better than that.