Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman was quoted in an article in the Democrat and Chronicle about the gun rally in Albany on Feb. 28. The article cited the arguments of some of the opponents of the new gun law attending the rally. It noted Deutchman does not believe the rally will have an impact.
“Voters like to think that if they get together and they protest, legislators immediately listen,” Deutchman is quoted. “I don’t know if it immediately works that way. There’s the greater interest of money and special interest groups.”
It goes on to quote her speaking of the arguments, “I’m not buying it. I don’t know that anyone is taking away their Second Amendment rights, unless maybe I was asleep when Gov. Cuomo got a bill passed that said you can’t own a gun in New York state.”
Deutchman saw more profit than rights in motivation.
“The big beneficiaries are the gun manufacturers,” the article quotes her. “The fact that so many guns are sold is making a profit for somebody … this is about gun manufacturers getting rich.”
Deutchman holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She is a professor of 20 plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). She has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which are “Electoral Challenges of Moderate Factions: Main Streeters and Blue Dogs, 1994- 2008,” The Forum, Vol. 8: Iss2, Article 2 (2010) (with DeWayne Lucas); “Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives, 1994- 2002,” Congress and the Presidency, 36:62-84, 2009 (with colleague DeWayne Lucas); and “Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008.
She has been a senior lecturer and visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne numerous times. Deutchman’s expertise in Australia has been cited in U.S.-based publications as well as in Australia in The Australian, The Age, Australian Time and Arena. Most recently, she taught a graduate course on “President Barack Obama and the World” at the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2010.
The full article follows.
Democrat and Chronicle
Passion drives activists’ rally in Albany
Jessica Alaimo • Staff writer • March 1, 2013
Hours before the sun came up Thursday, a procession of cars pulled into The Marketplace mall in Henrietta. Some holding signs, others clutching coffee cups, and all bundled up, 250 people boarded five buses to Albany. It would be a daylong trek, four hours on the bus, four hours standing outside the capitol, and then four hours back home. In other words, it wasn’t a trip for the casual observer. It takes a certain passion and dedication to spend an entire day rallying for a cause. Experts say people get involved in politics, and start rallying and doing similar activities, when the issue hits home. While he strongly disagrees with their message, the group got praise from an unlikely source, activist Ove Overmyer, who is often seen rallying for causes associated with labor and liberal matters.
“When matters hit home, when they affect your identity and affect your family and people you care about, you want to have a voice,” Overmyer said. “I don’t care what side of an issue you fall on, the democratic process depends on people that participate.”
For those attending the rally from Monroe County, the issue went beyond being able to keep their favorite rifle or accessory.
Those who boarded the buses Thursday used a house-of-cards argument to explain their dedication to the matter: The country was built upon the Bill of Rights. They saw the new gun law as a threat to the foundations of this country, and if one part were to fall, so would the rest.
“If they abuse one, or take it away, it will hit all of them,” said Holly Canham of Albion.
For some, it was a fear that they would not be able to defend themselves if things in this country took a turn for the worse.
“Everywhere around the world, when people are allowed to be armed, they’re free, when they’re not allowed to be armed, they’re slaves. Just look at history, and look at the situation around the world, when people don’t have the ability to defend themselves it’s only a matter of time before someone takes advantage of that,” said Chris Edes, chairman of Monroe County’s Shooters Committee on Public Education. “People think it can’t happen here, but it happened in many places.”
Among the crowd were many veterans, including Geoff Crouse of Webster.
“My dad was in World War II to keep the rights and freedoms that we have. I did the same by going to Vietnam, so I felt I’ve paid for my rights. When somebody in Albany is trying to do something that is not working, I have to go do something, I can’t be standing back and just watching it happen. We’ve paid our dues to have these rights and we’re not going to give them up.”
There were also sportsmen there, wanting to defend their passion and hobby.
“Shooting is my main sport,” said Robert Raiman of Henrietta. “To run around, intimidate pieces of cardboard, and this bill has killed it.”
The top desire of those we talked to was that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would hear them and overturn the law – but many thought that was unlikely. By showing critical mass, some hoped the law would be amended. Some hoped to rally support for a pending court case to rule the law unconstitutional. Some just hoped for media attention to help grow their ranks.
“A lot of people come down to Albany for various purposes,” Edes said. “They want to rally for health care, they want to rally for education, there’s a whole litany of issues. We want to show that we can bring more people there than any other group, that we are the largest and most important constituency.”
There was a lot of anger at Cuomo and supporters of the bill.
“Government is supposed to work for us, they are our elected officials, and they behave like they’re the almighty. It’s not appropriate,” said Kenneth Hann of Henrietta, a certified National Rifle Association instructor.
Despite their mass, their voices, and the news coverage, those who went to Albany are still a minority. And, given the dynamics of the modern political process, these rallies aren’t always effective, experts say. A recent Siena College Poll found that two-thirds of New York state residents support the act – something the activists dispute.
But a rally is not likely to have an impact, said Iva Deutchman, a professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
“Voters like to think that if they get together and they protest, legislators immediately listen,” Deutchman said. “I don’t know if it immediately works that way. There’s the greater interest of money and special interest groups.”
When it comes to their argument, “I’m not buying it,” Deutchman said. “I don’t know that anyone is taking away their Second Amendment rights, unless maybe I was asleep when Gov. Cuomo got a bill passed that said you can’t own a gun in New York state.”
But, when misinformation and fear is spread widely, and believed, somebody profits, Deutchman said.
“The big beneficiaries are the gun manufacturers,” Deutchman said. “The fact that so many guns are sold is making a profit for somebody … this is about gun manufac¬turers getting rich.”
Overmyer was also critical of the rhetoric.
“Their talking points are a little misplaced, what they did had nothing against the Second Amendment,” Overmyer said. “The biggest failure of our public discourse is that we talk in absolutes.”
Still, “I’m glad people participate in activism, and I’m glad people have a voice.”
As gun rights activists stated their case Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stood by the law. Roches¬ter Mayor Tom Richards also reiterated his support for the law Thursday.
“While we support the right to bear arms, we feel that this law takes the nec¬essary steps to ensure that gun ownership is done in a responsible manner,” he said in a statement.