Here you will find pressing issues facing the residents of the City of Syracuse, New York. New issues will be posted frequently, so be sure to check back often.
2-20-13 — David on The Issues: NY SAFE Act, other “Rushed Measures,” and “Gun Free” Zones
It’s tragic that we can’t bring back the dead by making new gun laws, but even more tragic to see anyone try.
Nevertheless, I agree that we need a positive solution.
We need to empower the living.
Show people that we can prevent massacres by making criminals think twice before committing a gun crime. The best way to do that is to make them fear that anyone around them could be equally or better armed than they are.
This brings us to the matter of “Gun Free” Zones.
If we are intellectually honest, and carefully examine recent events, we can clearly see that “Gun Free” Zones leave people vulnerable to rampages by lunatics.
There is no place in the constitution, nor in any free society, for restriction of gun rights to the point that citizens must depend on government agents for protection or die if they aren’t close by.
We need to do everything in our power to protect our children and other vulnerable members of society. All measures that disarm their protectors are just plain wrong.
Mad men take advantage of settings where they know everyone will be disarmed.
A well armed populace is a safe populace.
2-14-13 — David on The Issues: Can we prevent crime with street cameras?
We all agree that crime doesn’t take a break, that we should do everything in our power to stop crime from happening. But let’s be perfectly honest with each other, you’re never going to prevent every single crime with a camera, even if you have one in every room of every home and business. Furthermore, statistics have proven that, while crime rates go down in the immediate vicinity of the camera, the crime rates rise considerably as soon as you get out of camera range.
I’ve spoken to many of my neighbors about this issue. They’ve told me that although they like the added sense of security, they realize that it’s only a feeling, and not actual security. A camera is not a police officer, and is helpless to prevent even crimes that happen right in front of it. Also, they have indicated that they aren’t happy with the idea of being treated as suspects as they go about their daily life.
The reality is simple; You can be perfectly safe living in a cage, but you won’t have any freedom. We should listen to our Founding Fathers who warned that those who give up freedom for security deserve and receive neither.
I am opposed to placement of any police cameras in the residential neighborhoods of our district.
There are better ways to reduce crime and keep people safe, and I will be continually addressing these throughout this campaign.
2-10-13 — David On The Issues: The Proposed Effort of City Councilors to Prohibit Pre-Employment Background Checks
Just a few days ago, on February 6th, two Syracuse Common Councilors declared at a public meeting that an effort should be made to “Ban the Box,” meaning; Prohibit pre-employment criminal background checks.
At the outset, to a person who struggles to obtain employment because of a troubled past, this sounds like a great way to get a second chance in life. Nevertheless, to the business owner, this causes serious questions, whose answers could prove detrimental to not only their individual companies, but to the entire economy of our city.
Since this proposal came up, I have spoken to several business owners who operate within city limits. Even the most liberal of them, I’ve found to be diametrically opposed to this idea. What’s worse, is they have told me, in no uncertain terms, that such an ordinance would force them to immediately cease their participation in the Syracuse economy; They would leave for good.
Consider this proposal carefully, friends. Does this mean that a sex offender could be offered a job at a school? Could a bank robber be offered a job as a teller? These are serious concerns.
A couple of days after making the issue public, one of the two Councilors behind the proposal chose to clarify. He says that this law doesn’t mean that you can’t ever perform a background check. No, rather he proposes that you must allow the candidate to “dazzle you,” and complete the interview and job offer process before a background check can be made. Even with this clarification, serious concerns arise. Suffice it to say, that we all know an employer can be sued for discrimination if an offer of employment is rescinded, or employment is terminated once the criminal past is discovered.
While I have personal convictions that there are “victimless crimes” that should not cause a person to have a criminal background, I disagree vehemently with the idea that an employer does not have the right, and the free speech, to know all pertinent circumstances surrounding a potential new hire. In my opinion, this also violates simple contract law. A criminal who accepts an offer to work in the same sector from which he was convicted of a crime, would be entering the contractual relationship under false pretenses (not that the proponents of this law care much about that aspect).
If the city wants to be proactive, maybe these lawmakers should consider how people become part of the system. How about reexamination of arrest policies for certain violations within city limits? Then the amount of applicants in such a predicament might not reach crisis level.