When the dust finally settled at the end of last week, New York’s terrible, racist, and unjust knife laws remain unchanged. However, the box score does not do the battle justice, as KnifeRights.org lobbying efforts managed to block the Machete Ban in committee as well as prevent passage of a horribly draconian ban on the possession and transportation of ivory.
Unfortunately, the bill to “fix” New York’s gravity knife prohibition, which would have made prosecutors prove criminal intent, was killed by Republican Senator Mike Nozzolio who refused to release the Democratic-sponsored bill from his committee. This was despite furious on-the-ground lobbying by KnifeRight’s Todd Rathner and a concerted social-media, email, and phone blitz.
From Jon Campbell at The Village Voice:
“Sources in the legislature tell the Voice that the opposition may have been as simple as upstate Republicans being unwilling to support a bill from a liberal downstate lawmaker. But there was also some pushback behind the scenes from law enforcement officials, particularly Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Vance spearheaded what was ultimately a halfhearted campaign to get purportedly illegal knives off the shelves of city retailers in 2010. As we documented, despite threats to prosecute some hardware and outdoors stores for selling knives deemed illegal, Vance allowed a majority of those stores to later violate their “deferred prosecution agreements” without consequence. His office also appears to have abandoned a promised education campaign regarding illegal knives, even while aggressively prosecuting possession cases and using the campaign against retailers to justify doing so.”
We at TTAK went all in on this effort, and Doug says that it hadn’t gone unnoticed in the halls of the capital. I would like to thank everyone who called, emailed, or tweeted to Senators Flanagan and Nozollio. Upstate resident and TTAK Reader/Commentor/Contributor Jake Middleton of RuggedAmericanGear.com actually went as far as going to his local gun stores and getting people to make phone calls. Incidentally, and I would like to hear more about this, Jake reports a huge amount of pessimism and fatalism among gun-store patrons when it comes to the possibility of SAFE Act repeal and the state of the 2nd Amendment in general in the Empire State.
I also wanted to take a minute and give plugs to a few more people who lent us their respective megaphones and allowed us to reach a much broader audience. Topping the list is The Blogfather, Glenn Reynolds, who linked our “Batter-Up New York” post not once, but three times. Instapundit referrals accounted for several thousand page views.
Bill Quick, of DailyPundit, actually composed a piece on the situation, “Republicans in NY Legislature Supporting Racist Anti-RKBA Knife Laws” . Still worth a read, even though the legislature has adjourned.
Wes Siler, of Indefinitely Wild, Gizmodo’s outdoor adventure blog took the ball and ran with it after I gave him a head’s up. His piece “Help Rid NY of its Unjust Gravity Knife Law“, undoubtedly reached tens of thousands. It is great to have them onboard for the effort.
Thomas and Elise Xavier of More Than Just Surviving blog have an ungodly 68.2k followers of their Twitter Page (@MTJSblog). I am still in the low 700’s on the TTAK Twitter Page (@knifetruth). We received 100’s of page views from Twitter, and while I do not know how many were theirs, I am certain that they were a large slice. Thomas has left the occasional comment at TTAK, and was a co-panelist in the “Best Survival Knife” roundtable. Double kudos because they are Canadian, it isn’t even their fight.
One other Twitter/Blogger also passed our call to action along to his almost 25k followers as well. I know little about @isurvivalskills other than that he runs a very comprehensive survival blog and is a prolific Tweeter. His content is legit, and he is passionate in his defense of the 2A. Thank you kind Sir for your help and support.
There are too many others to single out by name, but your support is appreciated. This is the first time I have attempted to make this much of a direct impact, and I learned a lot about social media activism even in an unsuccessful effort. However, I have some ideas for the next time around, and will share as they become salient.
Thanks Everyone for your support of TTAK and our efforts to help KnifeRights.org.