A stay-at-home Piermont mom has launched an online petition to change the Rockland County Legislature's stance on banning certain semiautomatic weapons in the state.
Gina Daschbach, 44, wants to give like-minded Rocklanders a chance to voice their disapproval with a resolution passed last month that calls for the repeal of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's new gun control laws.
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"The fact that they're trying to dismantle this historic law is a mistake," said Daschbach, who launched the petition this week. "I'm so shocked at our legislators."
Last month, Rockland legislators approved a resolution calling for a repeal of most of the Safe Act. More than 200 pro-Second Amendment Rocklanders packed the legislative chambers in New City that night and cheered the decision.
Daschbach, who says she is new to the activist scene, has recently become a co-founder of the Hudson Valley's chapter of Moms Demand Action, a nonpartisan grassroots movement with more than 80,000 national members that is calling for "gun sense in America."
"My heart broke open after Newtown," Daschbach said of the school massacre at Sandy Hook, Conn. in December that took the lives of 20 children and six adults. "We need to keep our kids safe and our Legislature needs to know we don't agree with this."
Daschbach followed in the footsteps of Alexandra Dubroff, 38, of Cold Spring, Putnam County, who started a similar petition after her county's legislators also called for the repeal of the Safe Act.
"Up until that point, I was so proud to be a New York State resident," Dubroff said. "I was just absolutely dismayed that that had been passed in my county."
Dubroff, also a co-founder of the Hudson Valley chapter of Moms Demand Action, has gotten 462 signatures on her petition so far.
"The people who are against gun laws are extremely vocal, vehement and powerful," Dubroff said. "But there's many people like me, moms and dads out there that believe in the New York Safe Act but for whatever reason aren't as vocal."
Daschbach moved her efforts from Facebook to Twitter a few weeks ago and has been tweeting influential Rockland politicians to get noticed. Since the petition launched Friday, four people have signed as of Saturday afternoon, including Legis. Alden Wolfe (D-Suffern).
"I'm deeply disturbed by the Legislature as having adopted the resolution; that's why I voted against it," said Wolfe, who was one of five Rockland legislators who voted against the resolution. "It was charged with political rhetoric. It made value judgments about the constitution and I thought it was inappropriate."
Legis. Jay Hood Jr. (D-Haverstraw) was also voted against the resolution.
"It bothers me that we're on the record saying this," Hood said. "I think it slaps the governor's office in the face and it's not good for us in the long run."
Legis. Frank Sparaco (R-Valley Cottage), who sponsored the Rockland County resolution, called the petition "irrelevant."
"I'm proud of what we accomplished," Sparaco said of his resolution. "It is what it is. If she [Daschbach] wants to waste her time getting hippies in Piermont to sign a petition, God bless her."
Daschbach's petition can be found at target="_blank"> signon.org.