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DEC summer camps accepting applications by Ron Kolodziej

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - Updated: 7:08 AM

Here’s one more reminder that the Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for its 2012 Summer Camp program. This program offers one-week adventures in conservation education for youngsters ages 11-17 at one of four residential camps.

Camp Colby in Franklin County, Camp DeBruce in Sullivan County, Camp Rushford in Allegany County and Pack Forest in Warren County offer opportunities for youngster ages 11-13 while Pack Forest and Camp Rushford also feature Teenage Ecology Week, an environmental studies program for 14- to 17-year-old campers.

Attendees at these camps learn about environmental stewardship and participate in a variety of activities including fishing, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, hunter safety education and more. They also learn about fields, forests, streams and ponds through first-hand experiences in and around these habitats.

All four camps will run for seven weeks beginning July 1; youngsters who have attended camp in the past may register for any of the weeks within their age range and they may attend for more than one week. The cost remains $350 per week, per camper.

For complete information, including applications, visit DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/education, or call (518) 402-8014. If you prefer, you can also contact the agency by writing to: DEC Camps, 2nd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-4500.

MICROSTAMPING

RESURRECTED

As I predicted earlier, microstamping has reared its ugly head again. The measure was “shot down” in the Legislature two years ago but has been resurrected by freshman Sen. Jose Peralta from (where else?) Queens. The measure is strongly supported by Mayor Bloomberg, who is described as an “anti-illegal gun crusader.”

Microstamping is another misguided, unproven and expensive technology. There’s very little chance the bill will reach the Senate floor, since the political structure of the Senate is much different than it was in 2010, but it may garner a few more constituent votes for the senators supporting it.

For the uninitiated, in microstamping a micro-laser engraves a firearm’s make, model and serial number on the tip of a gun’s firing pin so, at least in theory, it imprints the information on discharged cartridges so if they’re found at a crime scene the shooter can ostensibly be tracked. But, of course, there are a lot of “ifs” involved.

PLENTY OF PROBLEMS

There are plenty of problems with the technology; as a matter of fact, there are so many problems it just doesn’t work. In effect, it would only work with semi-automatic handguns that discard spent cartridge cases after shooting.

With wheelguns, i.e. revolvers, the cartridge case is retained within the cylinder until the shooter manually removes it later, probably some distance from the crime scene.

Then there’s the technology itself. It can be circumvented by anyone with knowledge of basic household tools such as nail files, or the firing pin can easily be replaced with one with no engraving.

Then too, what would happen in the event of a stolen firearm that had already been reported to proper authorities? All this technology would do is bring police agencies not to the miscreant but back to the doorstep of the person from whom the weapon was stolen.

Add to the list the extra costs involved in implementing this unproven and unreliable technology, costs which will ultimately be foisted upon gun owners.  Microstamping failed to pass muster two years ago but here it is again. It was a bad idea the first time around and it’s an even worse idea now.

     

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