Tag Archives: gun control

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 69. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear. Low 46. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  A Colorful Expression of Mind

This art show features work by people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. Spearheaded by Venture House, this exhibit includes paintings, sculptures, graphic art, and multimedia pieces. At the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery through June 30. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

At 111, oldest man in world lives on Upper West Side

He’s the oldest man in the world at 111 years young and he calls the Upper West Side home. Read more: ABC New York

Rent Guidelines Board considers rent freeze

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board has voted to consider 0 to 3 percent increases on one-year leases on rent-regulated apartments. Read more: Fox New York

Mayor de Blasio unveils affordable housing plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his ambitious $41 billion housing plan Monday, promising to embrace density, push developers to include homes for poorer residents and commit city funds to create enough housing over the next decade to house half a million people. Read more: NBC New York

GOP lawmakers mad over ‘hidden’ gun-control funding in state budget

Pro-gun GOP lawmakers are smoking mad that they voted for millions of dollars in funding for the SAFE Act — the state’s strict gun-control law — claiming they didn’t know the spending was hidden in state budget bills. Read more: New York Post

Study ranks New York as worst state for retiring

A new survey from Bankrate ranked New York state dead last on the list of places to retire. Read more: CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 33. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 26. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Carols and Car Races

Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco brings her quartet Formula One, which plays original compositions inspired by car racing to Flushing Town Hall on Friday, December 13. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

LIRR, NJT ban booze ahead of Santacon

There’s another attempt to crackdown on debauchery and drunkenness by a group of Santa Claus wannabees. Read more: ABC New York

Bloomberg gun group calls for crackdown on online gun sales loophole

Thousands of guns could be sold illegally by unlicensed firearms dealers on just one classified ad website, according to an investigation commissioned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Regulators to conduct safety review of Metro-North Railroad

The Federal Railroad Administration will launch an intensive two-month review of safety compliance and culture at Metro-North after a train derailed and killed four people earlier this month. Read more: CBS New York/AP

De Blasio to meet with Obama at White House Friday

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is set to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House Friday, along with several other newly elected mayors. Read more: NBC New York

Budget vote approved in the House

Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure’s defeat. Read more: AP

 

NYC gun deaths drop more than 30 percent


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Firearm-related deaths in New York City declined more than 30 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to a new Health Department study.

The number of deaths dropped from 524 in 2000 to 366 in 2011.

The city’s firearm fatality rate is less than half that of the national rate, which showed no decline during the same 11-year period. Its rate is also lower than most major cities.

The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with gun-related injuries declined by 21 percent between 2000 and 2011.

Although the rates included homicides, accidents and suicides, 84 percent of firearm deaths in 2011 were attributed to murders.

In his weekly radio address Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke about the city’s continuing efforts in fighting gun violence.

“We’re working every day to address this epidemic by targeting police resources where they’re most needed and implementing the same pro-active law enforcement strategies that have proven so effective citywide,” he said. “We will continue doing everything we can to keep illegal guns off our streets, because the more people we can keep from carrying guns, the more lives we can save.”

 

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U.S. Senate gun control vote disappoints New York lawmakers


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

The build-up lasted a full four months.

From the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to the State of the Union and rallies afterward, tougher laws on gun control were debated and pored over until U.S. Senators finally voted 54-46 in favor of an amendment to strengthen background checks at gun shows and online.

However, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 needed 60 “aye” votes to pass.

In New York, many state officials were deeply disappointed when the news came out of Washington on Wednesday, April 17.

“I was embarrassed,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “Our New York delegation did terrific work, but I was embarrassed by the U.S. Senate. They couldn’t even do the simplest reform which itself was a far cry from what we really needed.”

City Councilmember Donovan Richards echoed the sentiment.

“It’s a crying shame. I would urge these individuals who voted down the bill to come visit the parents of the countless lives that were lost. Blood is on their hands.”

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of the amendment.

Gianaris was one of the first state senators to push for tougher gun laws last year when he put forth legislation expanding background checks and banning assault rifles.

Background checks were eventually incorporated into the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013.

In January, the New York State Legislature passed the SAFE Act, which includes some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The bill initially limited magazine capacity to seven bullets, banned assault rifles and tightened background checks. Critics viewed it as a radical, knee-jerk reaction by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Sandy Hook shooting while legislators were chastised for the rush to pass the bill.

Cuomo later backtracked on the magazine limit as a compromise to reach this year’s budget on time.

Federal background checks under the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 would have been lighter than checks outlined in New York’s SAFE Act.

The New York bill allows mental health professionals to alert the state if a patient has the potential to be violent. If the threat is deemed viable, the state can revoke the patient’s gun license.

While New York is traditionally viewed as a liberal state, Gianaris said the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lobby here is as prominent as in Washington. However, he said New Yorkers generally supported the SAFE Act despite the NRA presence.

Assemblymember Nily Rozic, a co-sponsor of the SAFE Act, traveled to the nation’s capital last month as part of the Assembly’s Black, Latino and Asian caucus to lobby for the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act.

She and Assembly colleagues from across the state pushed for a wide package of gun control bills, which she described as the first step in better nationwide gun laws.

Rozic said she was disappointed the Senate could not get the amendment to pass, but is hopeful looking forward.

“We had some great conversations,” she said. “I’d be happy to go back to D.C. and continue the fight.”

Richards, a proponent of gun buyback programs, said the goal is to take away criminals’ opportunities to get their hands on weapons.

“If we’re not doing what we can to ensure that these individuals don’t have gun access,” he said, “we’re doing a disservice to our children, to our community.”

All New York legislators, however, have not been in favor of the SAFE Act and gun legislation.

State Senator Greg Ball, who represents parts of Duchess and Putnam Counties, has actively opposed the bill, citing the loss of rights to people who legally purchased assault rifles.

Addressing the senate debate on the bill in January, Ball said making assault rifles illegal did not compensate for the help mentally ill people in the state really need. To make his point, he described a constituent with a bipolar, schizophrenic son who Ball said did not get proper state care.

“She fears for her life and the lives of her neighbors every day,” he told his fellow Senators. “And the mental health system in the state of New York has failed her repeatedly. It’s a kangaroo system where that child will be treated like a number, and a ticking time bomb to go off. And that single mom doesn’t have the support of the state, or that system, to care for that child.”

Instead, the Republican alleged the SAFE Act was a ploy to help Cuomo one day become president, and that it and would make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding gun owners.

Ball was not available for comment by press time.

In Richards’ southeast Queens district, gun safety is of utmost concern. He mentioned several individuals among his constituency who lost their lives due to gun violence, including his friend Darnell Patterson. Patterson was murdered in South Jamaica.

“The list goes on and on,” he said. “As government officials, we’re supposed to [...] do as much as we can to protect everyday citizens.”

-BY TERENCE M. CULLEN & MAGGIE HAYES

 

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Call for gun control as Corona murder remains unsolved


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Debra Greene received a call at work last April that changed her life forever. Her oldest son, Theodore Malcolm Greene, had been shot on his way home by an unknown perpetrator and by the time she reached the hospital, Theodore was gone.

One year later, there are still no answers for this grieving mother who said all she wants is closure and justice.

“It’s not easy, there’s no closure,” said Greene. “I fight with anger all the time. Someone had to have seen something.”

The 26-year-old victim had been coming back from celebrating a friend’s birthday in Manhattan when he was approached at approximately 5 a.m. and shot 21 times in front of 98-25 Horace Harding Expressway in LeFrak City on Friday, April 20.

Greene said all she knows is that there had been a fight at the club that night, but that through surveillance videos, police noted her son was not a part of the quarrel.

“None of this makes sense to me,” said Greene. “I would like to know, I would like justice.”

Now, Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Senator Jose Peralta have come together to urge local residents to speak up and help solve this murder. An additional $2,000 has been pledged to the initial $22,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.

“A killer is free in New York City and we don’t know who that is,” said Dromm. “By increasing the reward amount, we are sending a strong message that we are not giving up on our search.”

Peralta said the community needs to denounce gun violence loudly and help save another similar incident from happening.

“Guns are a plague in some Queens communities,” said Peralta. “I will continue my fight to get them off of our streets and to put violent criminals in jail.”

Dromm also addressed the recent vote in Congress surrounding gun control.

“It’s a total disgrace,” he said. “We have to, as Americans, realize that gun violence affects our communities, affects families, affects mothers. When a mother loses a child, their life is never the same again.”

Along with lending his support in helping solve the LeFrak City murder, Peralta emphasized the need to pass firearm microstamping, which would allow guns and ammunition to become easier to track with markings on shell casings left behind at crime scenes. This method, Peralta believes, could have already helped solve Theodore’s murder.

“It will take all of us working together as neighbors and friends to bring peace to the lives of the family of Theodore Greene and at least some comfort,” said Peralta. “These bullet cases could be the difference between finding the killer and not.”

In the meantime, Greene passes the site where her son was cut down every day.

Some days, she said, are better than others. But some days, reality hits and she remembers her “smart boy” who had plans for a future.

Officials are asking anyone with information on this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 48. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Wednesday night: Clear. Low of 30 with a windchill as low as 23. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 10 to 25 mph

EVENT OF THE DAY: Spectacle: The Music Video

Spectacle: The Music Video at the Museum of the Moving Image explores the history and art of music videos in a first-of-its-kind exhibit. With 300 videos, artifacts and interactive installations it shows the cultural influence of music videos over the past 35 years, emphasizing their role in new creative technology and how they have pushed the boundaries of creative production. On view April 3-June 16. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Manhunt under way in Kissena Park after suspects flee

The NYPD is searching Kissena Park in Queens after officers pursued robbery suspects into the park Wednesday morning. Read more: ABC New York

Arrest in Forest Park attempted rape

Four days after a female jogger was attacked in Forest Park, police arrested Richard Kassebaum, 42, in connection with the assault. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Massive fire tears through concrete plant in Queens

A massive second-alarm fire burned through a concrete plant in Queens overnight. Read more: ABC New York

Pols, constituents shocked by Sen. Malcolm Smith bribery charge

After spending years under an ethical cloud, state Sen. Malcolm Smith’s arrest Tuesday was less surprising to many of his Albany colleagues than what he was actually arrested for.  Read more: New York Daily News 

Jackson Heights leaders push for slow zone on Northern Blvd.

A rash of accidents along Northern Boulevard could be a sign that the northwestern Queens thoroughfare is becoming the new “Boulevard of Death.” Read more: New York Daily News

Obama, in Colorado, to press for gun measures

In danger of losing congressional momentum, President Barack Obama is drawing attention to Colorado’s newly passed gun control laws as he applies public pressure on Congress to pass similar federal measures. Read more: AP

New NYPD technology could detect concealed weapons


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly called 2012 the year that will be remembered for an “epic” storm, a presidential election, the fiscal cliff and New York City’s fewest homicides in more than half a century – and the police department is continuing work to further decrease that number.

Last year, Kelly discussed a new tool capable of detecting concealed firearms on a person, and at this year’s State of the NYPD address, he announced that the police department recently received delivery of this new technology.

With the help of the London Metropolitan Police and the item’s vendor, a tool has been developed that reads a “specific form of natural energy emitted by people and objects,” according to Kelly. If something is blocking this radiation, such as a weapon, the tool will highlight that object.

“We still have a number of trials to run,” said Kelly. “But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”

Currently, the NYPD is determining how best to deploy the new technology to ensure it’s success in detecting concealed weapons.

Gun scan unit

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Marshall gives final State of the Borough address


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

In the final State of the Borough address of her administration, Borough President Helen Marshall focused on the continued recovery of south Queens nearly three months after Sandy — honoring one first responder in particular for his valiant efforts during the storm.

“Let’s reflect together now,” she said on Tuesday, January 22, “on the devastation Sandy caused. The relief, from across the street and across the country, and the rebuilding, now underway, inspired by hope and the promise of tomorrow.”

Marshall honored the memory of Dylan Smith — the Belle Harbor surfer who tragically died in Puerto Rico last month — for his heroic efforts to help neighbors during the storm. With Smith’s parents in attendance, Marshall announced her office would give a $10,000 grant to the Swim Strong Foundation, which teaches a healthy lifestyle through swimming, in Smith’s memory.

Swim Strong founder Shawn Slevin said the grant in Smith’s name would continue to help the program, which has taught more than 2,000 people water safety and granted nearly 700 scholarships.

“This will mean so much for our scholarship funds,” Slevin said. “The borough president and her staff have always been very supportive of us.”

Michael McDonald, who helped rescue Belle Harbor residents alongside Smith, recalled the late surfer was modest to the attention he received after the storm. Before the audience at Queens College’s Colden Theater, McDonald gave a heartfelt recollection of the late October night and referred to Smith as “a guardian angel in a wetsuit.”

“The idea that his name will be mentioned in what he loved to do, which was not only swim and surf, but look out for the safety of others [is wonderful],” he said.

Marshall, covering several other items on her 2013 agenda, called for continued legislation at the state and federal level to reduce gun violence. Marshall applauded the anti-gun work of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and announced she plans to sponsor a gun buy back program sometime this spring.

“While Thanksgiving was muted by Sandy and the holiday season was saddened by the horrific violence in Newtown, let’s all agree that 2013 must be a year of hope,” Marshall said. “Our hope for getting guns off the street is gaining momentum. Here in our city, we have a long-standing and tireless leader in this effort: Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Perhaps that’s part of the reason we have seen the lowest number of murders in the past 40 years.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Urinetown: The Musical

Winner of three Tony awards and one of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Performances start Thursday, January 10 and continue through Saturday, January 26 at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Crane collapses in Long Island City, injuring seven

Seven workers suffered minor injuries when a crane collapsed at a Long Island City building site. Read more: Queens Courier

Cuomo takes aim at guns, Sandy relief during State of the State address

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed New York will become the nation’s leader in gun safety laws in wake of recent shootings. Read more: Queens Courier

Seastreak Wall Street Ferry saw other problems before crash

The Seastreak Wall Street ferry that crashed in Lower Manhattan Wednesday has had a few minor incidents in recent years. Read more: CBS New York

Cheating teacher the answer man: probe

A Queens elementary- school teacher brazenly helped fourth-graders cheat on the state’s high-stakes English exams, even though there was a second proctor in the room, investigators found. Read more: New York Post

Breezy Point couple surprised with newly renovated home after it was destroyed by Sandy

An octogenarian Queens couple whose house was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy received a surprise gift on Wednesday — a brand new home. Read more: New York Daily News

Report: Queens Native Will Likely Head Up Treasury Dept.

President Barack Obama is reportedly set to tap a native New Yorker to serve as the new head of the United States Treasury Department. Read more: NY1

NYC firm hit hard on 9/11 gives $10M in Sandy aid

The New York City brokerage firm that lost 658 employees in the Sept. 11 terror attacks announced that it will “adopt” 19 schools in communities hit hard by Superstorm Sandy and will give each family in those schools $1,000 to spend as they see fit. Read more: AP

Cuomo takes aim at guns, Sandy relief during State of the State address


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed New York will become the nation’s leader in gun safety laws in wake of recent shootings.

At his annual State of the State address on January 9, Cuomo put forth a seven-point agenda that would lead to some of the tightest gun regulations in the country – particularly aimed at assault weapons and multi-round ammunition clips.

“I know that the issue of gun control is hard,” an energized Cuomo said during his closing remarks. “But we are proposing today common sense measures. It’s simple: no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer.”

Cuomo’s seven points are: the toughest assault rifle ban in the country; closing a private sale loophole by requiring background checks; banning high-capacity magazines; harsher penalties for illegal gun use; keeping guns away from the mentally ill; blocking direct Internet sales of ammunition in the state; and creating a state check on all ammunition purchases.

While the governor wants to crack down on high-powered rifles, he clarified any new gun legislation would not harm legal gun owners and would be a balanced plan.

“This is not taking away people’s guns,” Cuomo said. It is “about ending the unnecessary risk of high-capacity assault rifles.”

Relief and moving forward after Sandy dominated a good portion of Cuomo’s hour-and-a-half address.

On delayed federal aid, Cuomo called on Congress to stop “playing politics” and give relief to New York and New Jersey residents who desperately need it. The $9.7 billion initially passed Friday, January 4 for flood insurance was not enough, Cuomo said, and more had to be done.

“My friends, that [$9 billion] is just too little and that is too late,” he said. “This has long been established that in the face of a disaster, the federal government comes in to help.”

Cuomo promised the city as a whole would come back bigger and better, by remaking homes to last and resist future storms, especially in coastal regions. Raising homes in areas such as Rockaway could prevent future flooding like that during Sandy’s surge. The state also plans on buying parcels of land from residents who want to relocate to higher-elevated areas.

This also includes better precautionary measures for tunnels and subways. Though this would be costly for the state, Cuomo said he wants to do it now to prevent the city from shutting down in the way it did after Sandy.

“We can rebuild a better society than we had,” he said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 19F. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 20%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of snow and a chance of rain, then a chance of snow after midnight. Low of 32F with a windchill as low as 25. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Resorts World New Year’s Eve Bash

Ring in 2013 at Resorts World Casino’s New Year’s Eve Bash from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., where there will be live music, champagne and giveaways. Click here for more info or check out more New Year’s Eve events in Queens

Driver charged with DWI in fatal Queens crash

The driver of a car that overturned into the marshy waters near John F. Kennedy International Airport early Sunday morning, killing a 25-year-old woman, has been arrested. Read more: NBC New York

2 charged with teen’s murder in Far Rockaway

Two suspects were charged Sunday in connection with a shooting this weekend that left a 17-year-old boy dead outside a low-income housing development in Far Rockaway. Read more: CBS New York

Psychiatric test ordered for subway shove suspect

A woman accused of pushing a man to his death in front of a subway train told police she did so because she blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11 attacks, and because “I thought it would be cool,” prosecutors said at a court hearing. Read more: ABC New York/AP

President Obama’s determined to get a gun-control law in place early in his second term

President Obama called the Newtown school massacre “the worst day” of his presidency as he reiterated Sunday his determination to sign a gun-control bill into law early in his second term. Read more: New York Daily News

Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital Sunday after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Read more: AP

Fiscal cliff: Biden, McConnell make major progress

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden made major progress toward a year-end tax bill overnight. Read more: Politico

NRA calls for all schools to be protected by armed gaurds


| brennison@queenscourier.com


The National Rifle Association announced their plans to prevent another school massacre: armed guards at every school.

The NRA made the announcement at a press conference a week after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

With President Barack Obama appointing Vice President Joe Biden to a task force with the aim to end gun violence, the NRA tasked former Congressmember Asa Hutchison to head a national effort to create a “model shield program” for all schools.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA’s CEO Wayne LaPierre said.

The press conference was twice interrupted by protesters saying the NRA had blood on its hands for the mass shootings around the country before being escorted away by security.

For four days after the tragedy in Newtown the NRA remained silent before releasing a statement on the shooting.

“Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting,” the group said in a statement. “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the NRA’s remarks a “shameful evasion of the crisis facing our country.”

“Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Make your voice heard on gun control


| editorial@queenscourier.com


In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, The Courier is calling on you to reach out to your elected officials on gun control. If you want to see change, we urge you to reach out to the politicians and call for action.

U.S. Congressmembers

Congressmember Joseph Crowley

74-09 37th Avenue, Suite 306-B

Queens, NY 11372

Congressmember Gregory Meeks

153-01 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd floor

Jamaica, NY 11432

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney

21-77 31 Street

Astoria, NY 11105

Congressmember Nydia Velazquez

266 Broadway, Suite 201

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Congressmember Robert Turner*

82-20A Eliot Avenue

Middle Village, NY 11379

Congressmember Gary Ackerman*

218-14 Northern Boulevard

Bayside, NY 11361

Congressmember Steve Israel+

150 Motor Parkway, Suite 108

Hauppauge, NY 11788

Congressmember-elect Hakeem Jeffries+

1424 Fulton Street

Brooklyn, NY 11216

Congressmember-elect Grace Meng+

No address available

U.S. Senate

Senator Charles Schumer

780 Third Avenue

Suite 2301

New York, NY 10017

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

780 Third Avenue

Suite 2601

New York, New York 10017

*Leaving office effective January 3, 2013

+ Set to begin representing Queens effective January 3, 2013

 

Enough


| qceditorial@queenscourier.com


It is time to put aside partisan politics, reach across the aisle . . . and tackle gun control.

Last Friday’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, inside Sandy Hook Elementary, took the lives of 20 children and six adults. It should serve to galvanize pundits, politicians and the nation to embrace tougher legislation on guns.

Maybe it’s time to look at the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004 – and reinstate it.

President Bill Clinton signed into law the ban that prohibited the manufacture of 18 models of semiautomatic guns as well as magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds.

It expired in 2004 and, despite several attempts to reinstate it, our politicians foolishly let the ban go by the wayside.

Up until a few days after the shooting spree, you could purchase the Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3 Rifle, a military-style assault rifle, on the Walmart website.

Since then, Walmart officials have apparently thought better of it and pulled the gun from their site.

But the fact still remains: you can buy a gun at the same store you can purchase groceries, and gun violence takes the lives of 34 Americans every single day.

Now there is rhetoric from Texas Governor Rick Perry that individual school districts should have the ability to determine whether teachers and administrators carry guns.

ENOUGH!

Fighting fire with fire is not the answer.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) – suspiciously quiet in the days since Sandy Hook and whose Facebook page has been deactivated – has many politicians in its corner, thanks to campaign contributions.

On its homepage, in an article titled “More Guns, Less Crime in Virginia” and dated November 27, the author writes, “The point is, gun owners and the NRA have been right all along. It’s the criminals, not the law-abiding gun owners, who are the issue.”

Really?

To our knowledge, Adam Lanza was no criminal until the morning of December 14, when he used his mother’s own gun to execute her and the 26 other innocent victims.

In response to the massacre, former Congressmember and current MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, a self-proclaimed “conservative Republican who received the NRA’s highest ratings over four terms in Congress,” spoke out:

“Our Bill of Rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-styled high-caliber semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want.It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas. It’s time for politicians to start focusing more on protecting our school yards than putting together their next fundraiser. And it’s time Washington stops trying to win endless wars overseas and instead starts focusing on winning the war at home.”

We couldn’t agree more.