Politicians Push Gun Control
As politicians across New York State were issuing statements about passing guncontrollegislationa7yearoldboy at Far Rockaway’s PS 215 was bringing a loaded .22 caliber handgun to school on Thursday morning. As The Wave went to press on Thursday afternoon, police were investigating and scant details were available. The Wave was told by the Police Department that School Safety officers discovered the gun and that his parents had been contacted. PS 215 also known as Wave Preparatory Elementary School and is located at 535 Briar Place in Far Rockaway.
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York Safe Act, offering some of the toughest gun control regulations in the country. Previously, at the State level, the Republican controlled Senate and the majority Democratic Assembly came to agreement to push for tighter controls after the shooting in Newtown, Ct. when 26 people were killed on December 14th, 2012.
On the national side, President Obama called for sweeping changes even though any new laws would face difficulty getting through a Congress which is split on the issue. “While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil," Obama said at a mid-day announcement at the White House, "if there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try it."
New York’s U.S. Senator, Kirsten Gillebrand supported the President in a letter to constituents. “The president has shown he is prepared to take meaningful steps to try and prevent the nearly 34 deaths that occur every single day due to senseless gun violence. But he cannot do it alone; Congress has to do its part.
“I am pleased the president will fight for a measure I wrote in 2009 that cracks down on the trafficking of illegal guns. When we pass this legislation, gun trafficking will be defined as a federal crime for the first time, and stiff penalties will allow law enforcement to stop the daily flow of illegal weapons on our streets from out of state. His plan also includes several of the initiatives I strongly support, such as an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and limits on high-capacity magazines. We have to prevent mass tragedies. We cannot accept daily shootings on our streets. The president’s proposals will help save lives, but only if they are enacted. Join me in demanding that Congress pass these proposals right away. Tell Congress: Pass President Obama’s gun proposals immediately. We cannot stand idly by and wait for another tragedy to occur.
If we refuse to let up, we will get lifesaving reforms signed into law,” she wrote.
Congressman Gregory Meeks was urging Congress as well. In a statement to the press, Meeks said “I call upon my Congressional colleagues to work with the President to transform the broad consensus that exists among the American people, including a majority of responsible gun owners, into a series of practical actions to erect an arc of safety and security around our communities, campuses, schools, and above all, our children.
“In this respect, I believe New York State can provide the path forward. Yesterday, thanks to the exemplary leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York passed one of the most sweeping gun control bills in the country. I hope my colleagues will consider New York’s new provisions in debating how best to protect our citizens.”