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Rural versus urban on gun reform

Back in January, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the nation's first major gun reform since the mass shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, the month before. Cuomo's popularity has fallen a titch since then, but his favorable rating of 64 percent in the latest Siena College poll (pdf) is still in the first tier.

Support for the sweeping gun bill Cuomo signed also remains strong, at 61 percent overall. In the poll (see questions 17 and 18), 48 percent say the gun bill was rushed through without adequate debate or consideration of the consequences; 49 percent say it was rushed through but that was the right thing to do. The bill is especially popular in populous parts of the state, with 67 percent approval in the Downstate suburbs and 76 percent in New York City.

Upstate, 57 percent say they oppose the bill (pdf). You can see that reflected in the many resolutions passed by upstate counties calling for repeal of the SAFE Act. The backlash has led to scenes like this one at the legislature in St. Lawrence County, far upstate:

Many in the audience voiced unhappiness with a committee decision last week to recommend a watered-down resolution that did not call for outright repeal.

"If you let us down, we can certainly vote you out of office," said Al Scheuplein, Parishville.

I've been putting together a spreadsheet of the 50 or so counties involved, and I'll post the full results when I'm done. For now, I'll point out that St. Lawrence's last Census count showed a population of 111,944. That's on the big side for an upstate county in New York, and yet a relative speck among the 19,378,102 people who call the state home. While Cuomo appears to be in no difficulty, the question is what happens when state lawmakers go home to defend their votes.

The new poll numbers about elected officials in New York arrived on the same day that the Colorado legislature continues moving a series of bills to deal with gun violence. Below, Rachel's opening block on Colorado last week, featuring the president of the Colorado State Senate.