Anticipating the turnout, Council Common president Don Moore announced yesterday afternoon that the meeting would be held not at City Hall but at the Central Fire Station. Once there, the assembled crowd had to be moved again--from the meeting room to the giant truck bay, which had been emptied of trucks.
The crowd was not happy with Marston or with Hudson. The white T-shirt worn by the man in the center of this picture bore the handwritten message "David Marston--a Psychotard is WAITING to beat you up," and the sign held by the man seated next to him read: BOYCOTT HUDSON UNLESS YOU NEED ANTIQUES SOCIAL SERVICES WELFARE DRUGS.
[Gossips Note: I have been told that I misquoted the T-shirt, which I readily admit is a possibility. I only saw the full text of the shirt once, before the man wearing it started trying to elude me--or so it appeared to me--because I had pulled out my camera. A commenter has informed me that the message on the shirt was actually "David Marston--This psychotard is WAITING for his beating"--a reference to a statement made in Marston's runaway email.]
Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), who chairs the Legal Committee, clarified that the goal in considering the gun legislation was to "ensure the safety of the people who work in city buildings, who visit City Hall, and who recreate in city parks." He made it clear the legislation was still the subject of research and discussion and mentioned both the City's policy on workplace violence, already in place, and New York State Penal Law Section 400. Saying that the conversation about the gun law "is going to be over in just about ten minutes," he explained that he would allow one pro-gun person to speak for five minutes and one anti-gun person to speak for five minutes.
The spokesperson for the pro-gun position was David Luck, who carried a wooden replica rifle with a little American flag stuck in the barrel. He introduced himself as a CPA in Chatham who attends the Rock Solid Church here in Hudson. The basic theme of his presentation was that guns prevent violent crime. He told the audience that rape had reached epidemic proportions in Orlando, Florida, until women were encouraged to buy handguns and learn to use them. When this happened, there was a 90 percent reduction in the incidence of rape. He challenged people who oppose gun ownership to put signs outside their houses declaring "This is a gun-free home" (that statement drew applause) and claimed that schools are targets of violence because they are gun-free zones.
There was no one present who wanted to speak for the anti-gun position, but Mayor William Hallenbeck announced that "the City" had a position on the gun law and asked city attorney Cheryl Roberts to explain it. Roberts reported her research, stating her legal opinion that the local law being considered would be preemptive of New York State Penal Law Section 400 and "if the Council passed this law, the City would be sued." Roberts' statement was greeted with thundering applause from the audience.