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Remarks for New Town Victims

Remarks for New Town Victims

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Published by Jennifer M. Berkley

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Published by: Jennifer M. Berkley on Dec 18, 2012
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12/18/2012

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TH A S M E S E B ST TE O N W A F E YO K R A A Y LB N

Force DAVID I. WEPRIN

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COMMITTEES Banks Cities Election Law Governmental Employees Insurance Judiciary TASK FORCE Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task

Remarks by David I. Weprin Delivered at Shri Guru Ravidas Sabha of New York on Dec. 17, 2012 Good Evening. It is with a heavy heart that I address you all tonight. All of our lives have been forever changed by the horrific event on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. It is so hard to understand this terrible tragedy; it is unthinkable, it is unimaginable, it is incomprehensible. But so sadly, it is real. It must

be different this time -- we must not look the other way. We must take action.

It was just four months ago that our community gathered to mourn for those murdered in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 5 in a Sikh temple. A white supremacist opened fire on congregants, killing six and then himself. Four others were injured. We gathered in Richmond Hill, not far from here, to mourn together and try to heal our wounded hearts.

On July 20, just a few weeks earlier, a night at the movies turned deadly when 12 people were killed and dozens injured at a suburban movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The gunman was apprehended shortly after outside the theater. He used assault weapons with high capacity magazines. These are weapons that do not belong in a suburban mall or on our city streets. Two days later, President Obama delivered a ten minute speech from the University of Colorado, but made no mention of gun control. Why?

We remember that January day back in 2011, when another troubled young man opened fire in a Safeway parking lot in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people and injuring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head at point-blank range. In court, the gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, showed no remorse for his actions. As a nation, we have watched the former Congresswoman beat the odds that were stacked against her and make a miraculous recovery. Still, we have not had a meaningful

discussion on the national level about our country’s gun control laws.

Now, 27 people, 20 small children, have been gunned down. We cannot stand by and look the other way any longer. We have too much to lose.

President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law in 1994, but the measure expired a decade later. Since 2004, Democrats in Washington have tried to renew the ban, but none have been successful -- while more

innocent lives have been lost. We lost 20 precious children in their elementary school on Friday. Our laws must be changed to make it illegal to possess assault weapons. No one needs a military-style assault weapon or an ammunition feeding device capable of holding 100 rounds. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Albany to tighten our gun control laws here in New York State. On the federal level, a new assault ban will make it a crime to buy, transfer, import or possess an assault weapon on American soil.

Enough families have shed tears for their loved ones who have been victims of these heinous acts of violence. The time to take action is now. Gun control should not be a topic political leaders avoid because it’s unpopular. It is time to create meaningful change in our gun laws – lip service will no longer be tolerated.

Together, we pray for all those coping with this horrific tragedy and ask for strength for the

United States of America as we face an uncertain future.

ALBANY OFFICE: Room 827, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12248 • 518-455-5806, FAX: 518-455-5977 DISTRICT OFFICE: 56-21 Marathon Parkway, Little Neck, New York 11362 • 718-428-7900, FAX: 718-428-8575 E-mail: weprind@assembly.state.ny.us

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