reciprocity

Meet Yetta Kurland, lesbian law expert, vegan advocate of animal rights, failed candidate for New York City Council, officer of the court, and reluctant gunslinger-at-large.

The New York Observer reports that after being outed by The New York Times as one of nearly 4,000 license holders allowed under the Sullivan Law to carry concealed handguns in New York City, Yetta dashed off an open letter to supporters explaining just why she owns and carries a gun:

Dear Neighbor,
I wanted to share my response to a recent article that ran in the NYTimes regarding firearms.
————————————
To The Editor:
I worry your recent article “The rich, the famous, the armed” (Feb 20) portrays firearms as tantalizing accoutrements of New York’s power elite.
    By placing those whose job responsibilities might call for firearm licensing (myself, other officers of the court and law enforcement like the Queens DA) alongside glamorous celebrities, you risk portraying guns as inviting, even fashionable.
    However unintended, headlines like “The rich, the famous, the armed” and “boldface names with gun” dangerously play into Americans’ fascination with firearms. It undermines our efforts to eliminate gun violence, unlicensed handguns, and laws that allow the sale of semi-automatic weaponry.
    Guns are not funny or amusing. They are the instruments of tens of thousands of violent deaths each year. Instead of glamorizing or trivializing guns, I wish your paper would bring attention to important efforts to control gun sales around the country, including the efforts of our Mayor.

Yetta Kurland, Esq.
New York, NY
Feb. 20, 2011

It is heartening to see this brave little woman gamely shouldering the burden of self-defense amidst a populace overwhelmingly disarmed since 1911. Meanwhile, herewith H.R.822, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C): “The Congress, therefore, should provide for national recognition, in States that issue to their own citizens licenses or permits to carry concealed handguns, of other State permits or licenses to carry concealed handguns.” In 2009, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was able to bribe the Senate into filibustering national concealed carry reciprocity via the Thune Amendment. “The passage of this amendment would have done more to threaten the safety of New Yorkers than anything since the repeal of the assault-weapons ban,” Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said after the vote. “If this had passed, it would have created havoc for law enforcement and endangered the safety of millions of New Yorkers. We will remain vigilant to prevent any legislation like this from passing in the future.” This year, legislative odds favor the hordes of law-abiding gun nuts descending upon the Big Apple with packed heat. Here’s hoping that their uncouth touristic ways leave unruffled all those special New Yorkers, whose riches, fame, or job responsibilities might call for firearm licensing.

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