To the editor,
Last night (Tuesday) I attended the Rockland County Legislature meeting dealing with Public Safety matters. In the audience were many active and retired law enforcement officers.
One of the topics were the seven-round magazine limit that was recently passed into law under the NY SAFE act. Much to my dismay, there were several legislators present who spoke against amending the law to exclude retired law enforcement from the seven round magazine ban.
Apparently, these several county legislators felt that if Governor Cuomo, the Senate and Assembly passed these measures that they were warranted. Legislative Chair Harriet Cornell even brought up ex-cop Chris Dorner into the discussion, as an example of why restrictions on former police should be considered. Imagine comparing honorably retired law enforcement officers to a ex-cop who was a criminal. Nothing like comparing apples and oranges.
It is how ignorant people are. How we forget the off duty and retired law enforcement officers who gave their lives protecting and serving communities across the nation not even to mention on duty law enforcement officers who of course also made supreme sacrifices protecting and serving our communities.
Apparently some of the legislative members forgot NYPD Patrolman DelPino who aboard a Staten Island-bound NY ferry stopped a madman armed with a machete that killed 12 people and injured many more. He was the only person on board a ferry that was armed and able to stop this perpetrator with a five-shot revolver and fired one round during the encounter which left him with only four rounds.
Then some forgot retired NYPD Patrolmen Rutman who stopped an armed robbery on a NYC Subway and was killed while taking police type action. To even further trash retired police some forgot how another retired NYPD sergeant by the name of Zink took police type action in yet another robbery on the NYC Subway and was killed while doing so.
Lest we forget NYPD Retired Lt. Thomas Barnes, who just a few months ago shot and killed a perpetrator who was about to ambush three on duty NYPD cops in upper Manhattan. There are so many more incidents involving off-duty and retired cops that I would take up an entire newspaper writing about it.
The point is some of these Rockland County legislators are out of touch with the outside world beyond Rockland County or even outside their own cubicals in their offices. One legislator is a former county attorney with a handgun permit. He brought up a point that it takes 2 to 3 seconds to change magazines.
Well, go into a gun fight. Most gunfights are within seven yards and take a few seconds. The NYPD has a hit rate of approximately 18.3 in a active gun fight. A perpetrator armed with a 15 round magazine versus a law enforcement officer (active or retired) armed with seven rounds.
I believe that the seven round magazine ban is a terrible idea for both the law enforcement community as well as the public. The state has placed law abiding citizens in harm’s way. They couldn’t care less. Even the NYS Sheriffs’ Association is opposed to the seven round ban. Another incident that some of the county legislators seem to have forgot is the gun fight that Barry Fixler the jewelry store owner was involved with. The owner, who is a former US Marine, shot two perps as they attempted to hold up his store.
Makes every cop (off-duty or retired) wonder if it’s really worth risking your life for people who couldn’t care less if you breath or not while trying to defend your community during a life threatening situation.
Retired Chief of Police USDOT