A debate worth having

When the kids were talking, we were listening.

They had us.

And we think they had some of the politicians.

In Florida, the Legislature acted and did some meaningful reforms that both Republicans and Democrats could support.

But here in New York, it’s still about politics. The Democrats in the Assembly are asking for gun control, the Republicans in the Senate, school safety measures. There is no debate, just posturing.

So when Gov. Andrew Cuomo started talking about his record on gun control, it sounded opportunistic and exploitative.

He bragged of his record of action after the Sandy Hook shooting that led to passage of the Safe Act.

That struck the wrong chord, especially here in upstate.

What was even worse was Gov. Cuomo’s decision to use his political muscle and money to go after seven Republican members of Congress — including Rep. Elise Stefanik in our 21st Congressional District — in a political move to force gun control reforms.

It set the wrong tone.

He was using the 17 deaths in Florida as a political wedge. That’s not the way to address this important issue.

The six-figure advertising campaign kicked off with a mix of TV and digital ads that called out seven upstate Republicans for taking National Rifle Association money and their A ratings from the gun lobby.

These are the same tactics Democrats condemn the NRA for using.

The ad campaign is paid for by the state Democratic Party.

This is not the way to have this discussion.

It is too emotional.

We deplore it when this life-and-death issue becomes the subject of partisan attack ads.

We urge you to turn off the TV when they air.

We urge you to ignore them when they pop up on your home page.

There will be an election this year in the 21st Congressional District, and this should be one of the key issues. There should be a discussion. And middle ground should be discussed.

We wonder why elected representatives can’t support the Second Amendment while also looking for common-sense reforms to make children safer.

We don’t need the NRA and Gov. Cuomo egging anyone on.

We’d be happy to consider a candidate with a C rating from the NRA, and so should you.

Cultural change can only be accomplished when constituents in the 21st Congressional District demand it be done. That will take a lot of work.

We ask that Gov. Cuomo and the state Democratic Party stop showing the attack ads and inflaming the situation.

If Gov. Cuomo wants meaningful reforms, he should use his political muscle to force a debate in the Legislature and have both sides compromise like in Florida.

That’s a debate worth having.

The Glens Falls Post Star