Okyay: Gun loving grassroots in New York

Growing discontent for New York’s latest gun control law creates major resistance from grassroots activists, who are fighting back.

“The Second Amendment is the absolute bulwark of the Constitution.  It stands between freedom and oppression,” says Carl R. Gottstein, Jr. of Rensellear County, New York.

He asks, “If the government can disarm us, what stops them from telling us to shut up and get on the train?”

Moderator of the worldwide group Patriot Action Network, Gottstein told Human Events that social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Ning has opened the door to a truth spreading medium that has brought together tens of thousands of activists across the state reaching up to five million people.

Gottstein said, “Free people at last have the tools, ability and duty to stop the progressive agenda that is destroying America.  We are hard at work chipping a way to a new cornerstone of freedom,” he continued, “What we do in the morning is what the talking heads on the news talk about at night.”

When asked about the speedy passage of the SAFE Act, Gottstein said, “The SAFE Act was quickly passed without the usual three-day public input rule.  The Governor pushed it through calling it a Necessity of Emergency yet there is nothing in the SAFE Act that takes effect immediately,” he said.

“Show us the emergency provisions and immediate emergency action?” Gottstein said there is none, making the SAFE Act an unprecedented power snatch for strictly political purposes.

“We must stand up and fight this unlawful grab of our Constitutional rights in the courts, on the streets, and at the ballot box,” says Gottstein, who is an impact player at New York’s capitol.

Russ Thompson a US Army Veteran and founder of TEA New York along with his members have been active in bringing people together in Western New York for close to eight years.  “We started the tax revolt movement in 2006, and we haven’t stopped,” he said.

“We keep fighting for the Constitution, transparency, liberty and honesty.  We reject excessive taxation and regulation,” he said.

According to Thompson both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of moving away from the Constitution to suit their own interests.  “The SAFE Act is a prime example.”

“I have seen the corruption first hand.  The politicians live in their own bubble – out of touch with the electorate,” he said.

“We effect change by starting at the town board level, to the county level, to the state level,” he said.

“January 19 was supposed to be a rally in support of national gun appreciation day at Niagara Square in Buffalo, then the law changed, and our event turned into a protest,” said the community organizer. “It took a life of its own.”

“People were showing up in droves,” he said.

Thompson told Human Events that New Yorkers are infuriated and fed up with a state government that is manipulating our rights for personal gain.  “This issue stretches across political party lines.  We may disagree with a lot of the issues that Occupy West New York asserts, but we are on the same page when it comes to the Second Amendment.”

“New York State is ground zero – the testing ground for what can happen to each state in the union,” he said.

Judy Pepenella has been involved in community activism for her entire adult life.  She tells Human Events that she has been hollering, discussing and posing questions to local officials for many years.  She is from Hauppauge, New York.

Pepenella’s group, the Conservative Society for Action, has 5,500 members that stretch throughout the entire country.  However their focus is on Long Island politics in the State of New York.


“Our organization runs on the same concept of a political party, but we do not tell people what to do,” she said.

“Our philosophy is simple. I’m on a budget, so government should be too,” she said.  “The Constitution and the law are there for a reason, so follow it.”

Pepenella told Human Events that policy makers are using the lives of children to push their progressive agenda. “I’m outraged,” she said.

“Governor Cuomo is like the great white shark who ends up getting whatever he wants one way or the other,” she said.

“I recall seeing Governor Cuomo on television when he was a child in the 1970’s.  He was sitting with his father, Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York State,” said Pepenella who is also affiliated with Tea Party Patriots and Agenda 21 group.

“The newscaster asked the young Andrew Cuomo what he wants to be when he grows up.  Cuomo answered I’m going to be president,” Pepenella said.

“The Long Island delegation which includes Republican and Conservative party representatives, grassroots activists, the liberty and tea party movements, hunters, NRA members, people who own guns, and people who do not are united against unconstitutional laws that act as a disservice to the people,” she said.

Pepenella said, “We are unified in a way that I never expected.