Elected officials expressed their condolences for Newtown, Conn., and especially the families of Friday’s school shooting victims on Twitter and Facebook through the weekend, but a smaller number are also calling for government action to control guns, to pass an assault weapons ban or, not so simply, to end gun violence.
What New York lawmakers and others are saying about guns and mental health following the school shooting:
We need to take a look at our mental health system, Gov says re #CT tragedy, the proliferation of guns, firearms— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 17, 2012
Gov: We as a society must unify and once and for all crack down on the guns that have cost the lives of far too many innocent Americans.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2012
Gov: Let this terrible tragedy finally be the wake-up call for aggressive action and I pledge my full support in that effort. #CTshooting— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2012
Cuomo told reporters today that the most “effective, efficient” way to legislate gun control is at the federal level.
I strongly support reinstating an Assault Weapons Ban and I urge my colleagues to pass it when the new Congress begins next year.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 16, 2012
A briefing of my recent work to end gun violence is below. I will be joining POTUS to take action & end gun tragedies 1.usa.gov/VKFSfM— Louise Slaughter (@louiseslaughter) December 17, 2012
I am horrified as a parent, appauled as a human being by today’s mass murder in a school. We must finally pass sensible gun control #Newtown— Eliot Engel (@RepEliotEngel) December 14, 2012
Our sympathy for #Newtown victims and families must be matched by concrete actions to stop gun violence (1/2)— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) December 17, 2012
Reinstate assault weapons ban, outlaw high-capacity magazines, strengthen bkgd checks, close gun show loophole (2/2)— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) December 17, 2012
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner posted his statement Saturday on LoHud.com:
The Westchester County Center, a county taxpayer owned building, will be the location for the next gun show on February 2 and 3 2013—according to north east gun shows.com.
Shortly after the Columbine High School shootings — which took the lives of 14 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado former County Executive Andrew Spano banned gun shows from the county center — calling gun shows at government buildings “inappropriate.”
After County Executive Rob Astorino defeated Mr. Spano — Mr. Astorino revoked the ban and allowed the gun shows to resume at the county center. When the gun shows were reinstated admission was $11- with $1.50 going to the county.
In light of the school shooting which killed 20 children and 7 adults in Sandy Hook, Connecticut on Friday — I am calling on the County Executive and Board of Legislators to ban gun and weapon shows from the county center. Citizens have a right to bear arms and a right to purchase guns from reputable dealers. But, there is nothing in the constitution that requires governments to allow gun sales at government buildings. If north east gun shows.com wants to have a gun show in Westchester — they should contract with a private facility, not a government owned building.
Among the weapons being sold at the gun show: firearms, knives, militaria military style weapons. An article in the June 20,2010 issue of the NY Daily News indicated that some vendors “sold books and magazines with nazi names. At least two sold stickers bearing confederate flags and swastikas.” There haven’t been additional reports since 2010 of nazi memorabilia being sold at the county center gun shows.
99% of the people who purchase guns at gun shows are honest, decent, law abiding citizens. All we need is one crazy like the school gunman whose family obtains a gun legally and starts shooting innocent people.
The time for “saying that we can’t talk about the policy implications of tragedies like this is over,” said Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on ABC’s “This Week.”
Washington Bureau reporter Brian Tumulty summarizes more reactions from Democratic lawmakers in his Sunday article, including Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.:
Lieberman supports such a ban but said there should also be a national commission to scrutinize gun laws and loopholes, as well as the nation’s mental health system and the role that violent video games and movies might play in shootings.
President Obama, who spoke at last night’s prayer vigil in Newtown, is calling for change but New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg says that’s not enough.
“These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.” —President Obama OFA.BO/8qicHd— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 17, 2012
What do you think lawmakers should do about gun violence? Leave your answer in the comments below.